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The volume of raw image data captured by the high resolution camera is extremely huge. Thus the efficient image compression method should be used to decrease the bit rate. The image compression method based on wavelet is used more widely nowadays. However, two dimensional wavelet is only the tensor product of the one dimensional wavelet whose support region of basis function is extended from interval to square. Contourlet is an image multiscale geometric analysis tool, which could represent image sparsely and has strong capability of nonlinear approximation. The basis function of contourlet is multi-directional and anisotropic. Nevertheless, contourlet is redundant. So the non-redundant Wavelet Based Contourlet Transform (WBCT) is used in this paper. The SPIHT algorithm is very efficient way to coding the significant coefficients. And the improved no lists SPIHT is more easy to implemented by hardware. Image compression method based on the combination of both wavelet based contourlet transform and no lists SPIHT coding is proposed in the paper. Experiment shows that compared to wavelet based scheme the contourlet scheme can reserve the texture of the image. For barbara test image when coding at low bit rate the PSNR can improve about 0.2dB.