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lordsmurf 10-04-2009 08:19 AM

MJPEG options and alternatives?

Originally Posted by tobias
To continue where we left off. Would you be able to give any recommendation on a MJPEG2000 codec? The one from MainConcept is far from cheap. My question is if the price is really worth it? Due to the now much more expensive rig I had to upgrade to, adding $3000 plus taxes sounds steep. Lead offers their codec for $605 (have to buy their Multimedia SDK to get to buy the codec for an additional $10). Then there is also Morgan Multimedia that offers a codec for a measly $30!
Any suggestions?
Best regards,

MJPEG2000 and MJPEG are not the same thing.

MJPEG2000 is based off JPEG2000, whereas MJPEG is based off JPEG. The "M" is for "motion", a series of JPEG or JPEG2000 images. There is no temporal compression, only intra-frame compression.

To be completely honest, I don't really use it, and I rarely suggest MJPEG. A motion JPEG is really not too much different from a MPEG that only uses I-frames (no temporal compression), and MPEG is ether based on or similar to JPEG like compression. So instead of MJPEG, I'd opt for MPEG-2 I-frame only encodes at a high bitrate (15-25Mbps).

I don't see any information that would specify JPEG2000 as being better -- in terms of IMAGE QUALITY -- than JPEG. Nor MJPEG2000 over MJPEG. It exists for other reasons; it's just different.

If I were going to pick a light-compression codec, I'd instead opt for the "lossless" open-source/freeware HuffYUV or HuffYUV-MT (multithreaded) codec. This one balances compression and speed. Some other codecs can compress smaller "lossless" files, but take longer to decode when re-encoding or previewing in an NLE.

MJPEG also compresses to RGB colorspace, not YCrCb like HuffYUV does. The YCrCb is better to work with (not as lossy), hence HuffYUV's popularity among enthusiasts and professionals alike. Depending on the hardware and software in use, RGB, YUV or YCC can be used. VirtualDub, for example, converts everything to RGB for filtering, so you go from YCC to RGB and export back to YCC. Loss is minimal (often invisible), but present. Premiere's current versions (CS3/CS4), on the other hand, can work in either space.

Morgan has a 60-day trial. Try it. If it looks fine to you, then I don't see the need to buy the MainConcept MJPEG/MJPEG2000. I mostly suggest MainConcept Reference for the MPEG-2 and MPEG-4/AVC/AVCHD encoding -- quality on those simply is not beaten (although certain freewares try, and can come close if you like doing difficult/confusing command-line interfaces!).

lordsmurf 10-04-2009 08:30 AM

Looking back further into our messages...


Then on to my question, the project I was working on is finally about to start but has been changed a bit. The formats accepted are DVCPRO50 or MJPEG2000. The deadline for the price quotations are tomorrow and it will be decided who will get the project within a month. Now my question is about the MJPEG2000 codecs, do you have any experience with them? Any particular codec that you recommend? So far I've found codecs by Morgan Multimedia, MainConcept (not sure this one is MJPEG2000 tho), LEAD and Kakadu (couldn't find a decent price on this one). These should all work within Premiere, right? Which means I would capture in uncompressed SD (8 or 10bit) and then export/encode using one of these codecs. The material has also been expanded and does now also include some DV and a BetaCam tape.
So you're going to capture in uncompressed, and then export to MJPEG2000? I'd suggest DVCPRO50 for lesser compression. The same concerns above (which mostly address CAPTURING in the MJPEG2000 format) still apply.

If you still want to proceed with MJPEG...
Premiere should be fine with MJPEG/MJPEG2000, and then I still suggest giving Morgan the 60-day trial to see if quality is up to par. If you do these tests, and are unsure (still curious about MainConcept), then I have access to MainConcept Reference MJPEG2000, I can go run a test between the two. I don't remember if Reference has a demo/trial mode, either -- look into that.

tobias 10-04-2009 09:07 AM

I'll go for the one from MM. I can't really go the DVCPRO50 way any longer, since the client has made up his mind and chosen MJPEG2000 as the format for their archive. Thanks for offering to check up and compare the two. If I find the quality lacking when using MM's codec, I'll get back to you.

And thanks!

admin 10-04-2009 09:16 AM

PicVideo has some options for MJPEG, too. I don't see MJPEG2000, however.

Pretty cheap, like Morgan.

Back in the day, some 5-6 years ago, I worked with PicVideo and Morgan MJPEG. One was okay, and one was terrible. Unfortunately, I don't remember which was which. And in 2009, that easily could have changed (both may be fine, both may be terrible -- hard to say without some testing).

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