Output image file quality / JPEG artifacts
Standard Test Scene
The Digilux 2 provides five select image sizes from 2560 x 1920 down to 640 x 480. It also unusually includes a HDTV standard size of 1920 x 1080 which crops the top and bottom of the frame. You can combine any of these sizes with three levels of JPEG compression (we have called these Super-Fine, Fine and Normal although the Digilux 2 manual refers to them as Very Low, Low and Normal compression rates). Additionally of course the Digilux 2 also provides a RAW mode which outputs one RAW file and one Fine quality JPEG for each shot taken.
RAW conversion note: The Digilux 2 is supplied with Silverfast DC SE for Leica, I found its RAW conversion to be very disappointing and therefore chose to use Adobe Photoshop CS with the latest Camera RAW plug-in the crop shown below is from a TIFF output from Photoshop CS.
Below you will find crops of the same 240 x 180 portion of the center of a sequence of images taken at some of the available combinations of image size and quality. Crops shown are at 100%, saved as extremely high quality JPEG.
The Super-Fine (Very Low compression) JPEG setting is the lowest compression JPEG we've seen from any digital camera, it results in extremely large file sizes with absolutely no JPEG artifacts (you'd have a hard time distinguishing it from TIFF). The next compression level down will probably the one most used, still low compression with almost no JPEG artifacts but weighing in at around 2 MB per image.