OpenEXR's features include:
- Higher dynamic range and color precision than existing 8- and 10-bit image file formats.
- Support for 16-bit floating-point, 32-bit floating-point, and 32-bit integer pixels. The 16-bit floating-point format, called "half", is compatible with the half data type in NVIDIA's Cg graphics language and is supported natively on their new GeForce FX and Quadro FX 3D graphics solutions.
- Multiple image compression algorithms, both lossless and lossy. Some of the included codecs can achieve 2:1 lossless compression ratios on images with film grain. The lossy codecs have been tuned for visual quality and decoding performance.
- Extensibility. New compression codecs and image types can easily be added by extending the C++ classes included in the OpenEXR software distribution. New image attributes (strings, vectors, integers, etc.) can be added to OpenEXR image headers without affecting backward compatibility with existing OpenEXR applications.
- Deep Data. Pixels can store a variable length list of samples. The main rationale behind deep-images is to store multiple values at different depths for each pixel. Support for hard surface and volumetric representation requirements for deep compositing workflows.
- Multi-part image files. Files can contain a number of separate, but related, images in one file. Access to any part is independent of the others; in particular, no access of data need take place for unrequested parts.