PIX 2015
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JPEG/RAW Image Size & Quality

The C-40Z offers an almost mind blowing combination of image sizes and quality. In my opinion, it's too much and too confusing to a first time user. The other thing that adds to this confusion is the way that Olympus insist on grouping image size and JPEG quality together, it would be far easier to have two menu options, one to select image size and one to select TIFF / JPEG High / JPEG Normal. The other slightly odd thing about the C-40Z is that at SHQ resolution you get an addition 16 horizontal and 8 vertical pixels, these are real (not interpolated) which raises the question as to why the other resolutions use a smaller image size? Weird.

Standard Test Scene

On top of this wide range of native (or reduced size) image sizes there are also three larger interpolated image sizes (which we'll cover later). To give an impression of what some of the combinations of image size and quality produce the table below is a cross reference of some of them:

  • 2288 x 1712 SHQ
  • 2272 x 1704 TIFF
  • 2272 x 1704 HQ
  • 2048 x 1536 SQ1 High
  • 1600 x 1200 SQ1 High
  • 1280 x 960 SQ1 High
  • 1024 x 768 SQ2 High
  • 640 x 480 SQ2 High

Images below are cropped 240 x 100 area of the image magnified 200% (nearest neighbour).

2288 x 1712
2,408 KB

2272 x 1704
TIFF 11,357 KB (not available for download)
826 KB

2048 x 1536

974 KB

1600 x 1200

974 KB

1280 x 960

974 KB

1024 x 768


437 KB

640 x 480


203 KB

As you can see you'll never be short of image sizes to choose from, if you select the High compression setting you'll also not need to worry about JPEG artifacts. I personally would like to have seen three different JPEG levels at full resolution, an additional setting around 1.5 MB would be useful. One thing which is coming through quite strong here is the C-40Z's moiré (which I'll cover in more detail later).

Image Processing Adjustments

The C-40Z allows a wide degree of control over the camera's image processing algorithms. You can alter sharpening, contrast and colour saturation by up to 5 levels plus or minus. This impressive amount of control allows you to fine tune the output image to suit your own tastes or the final output media. For example I personally found the default sharpening to be a little aggressive and so used the camera with a sharpening level of -2 nearly all the time. Kudos Olympus for giving the user so much control.

Image Adjustment: Sharpening

Sharpness -4
Sharpness 0 (Normal)
Sharpness +4

Image Adjustment: Contrast

Contrast -4 Contrast -2  
  Contrast +2 Contrast +4

Image Adjustment: Saturation

Saturation -4 Saturation -2  
  Saturation +2 Saturation +4
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