The prevalence of image fusion---the combination of images of different modalities, such as visible and infrared radiation---has increased the demand for accurate methods of image-quality assessment. The current study used a signal-detection paradigm, identifying the presence or absence of a target in briefly presented images followed by an energy mask, which was compared with computational metric and subjective quality assessment results. In Study 1, 18 participants were presented with fused infrared-visible light images, with a soldier either present or not. Two independent variables, image-fusion method (averaging, contrast pyramid, dual-tree complex wavelet transform) and JPEG compression (no compression, low and high compression), were used in a repeated-measures design. Participants were presented with images and asked to state whether or not they detected the target. In addition, subjective ratings and metric results were obtained. This process was repeated in Study 2, using JPEG2000 compression. The results showed a significant effect for fusion but not compression in JPEG2000 images, while JPEG images showed significant effects for both fusion and compression. Subjective ratings differed, especially for JPEG2000 images, while metric results for both JPEG and JPEG2000 showed similar trends. These results indicate that objective and subjective ratings can differ significantly, and subjective ratings should, therefore, be used with care.