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Output image file quality / JPEG artifacts

Standard Test Scene

Just like previous Olympus digital cameras the C-8080 provides a very wide range of image size and quality options. For JPEG output it uses the 'simplified' SHQ, HQ, SQ1 and SQ2 concept. The idea being that SHQ and HQ are for the full eight megapixel (3264 x 2448) images. SQ1 and SQ2 can be customized to any of three or four image sizes respectively as well as High or Normal JPEG quality. Additionally the C-8080 has a 3:2 (3264 x 2176) image size, supports TIFF output for all image sizes as well as RAW (Olympus ORF file format). In summary:

  • RAW: (full effective sensor resolution)
  • TIFF: All image sizes
  • SHQ JPEG (High quality): 3264 x 2448, 3264 x 2176 (3:2)
  • HQ JPEG (Normal quality): 3264 x 2448, 3264 x 2176 (3:2)
  • SQ1 JPEG (High or Normal): 2592 x 1944, 2228 x 1712, 2048 x 1536
  • SQ2 JPEG (High or Normal): 1600 x 1200, 1280 x 960, 1024 x 768, 640 x 480

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 RAW file was converted to a TIFF using Camedia Master 4.2.

3264 x 2448 RAW (Uncompressed)
11,809 KB .ORF (not for download)
3264 x 2448 TIFF
23,424 KB .TIF (not for download)
3264 x 2448 JPEG SHQ
3,490 KB (2:1 compression, 4 bpp)
3264 x 2448 JPEG HQ
1,632 KB (4:1 compression, 2 bpp)
2592 x 1944 JPEG SQ1 High
2,921 KB (1.6:1 compression, 5 bpp)
2048 x 1536 JPEG SQ1 High
2,028 KB (1.6:1 compression, 5 bpp)
1600 x 1200 JPEG SQ2 High
1,270 KB (1.6:1 compression, 5 bpp)
1024 x 768 JPEG SQ2 High
473 KB (1.3:1 compression, 6 bpp)

For anyone who wants the ultimate JPEG quality with no chance of artifacts the SHQ mode implements a very low compression ratio and should be as close to TIFF as you can get. The HQ mode is also relatively artifact free although it is possible to pick out a very slight loss of detail on 'flat areas' within the image (nothing that would be missed by the human eye in print). At smaller sizes the High mode actually compresses even less than SHQ and so should deliver extremely good results. Downsampling results were good if a little jagged at 1024 x 768 or 640 x 480.

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Total comments: 10

I have mine already for ten years. And still, when I go traveling abroad, I leave my Nikon D7000 with all the best lenses for it at home without any regrets and take my lightweight C8080 with me. With all the shortcomings of the C8080, it is still a great camera which delivers great sharp pictures with very nice collars. And like somebody here already have mentioned, it's macro is very good.
Besides, my credo is: Don't zoom to much, but move yourself more. For me, taking pictures means walking around and looking first. How to press the shutter-release-knob you can teach any monkey.


My father bought this great professional camera at US a few years ago.It was an excellent choise and this camera gave us a lot of family memories!However he is old now and not interested in taking professinal photos anymore.It's really pitty for this camera to stay unuseless, so i'd like to sell it to someone who need a camera for a professional resultThere's already someone who is intersted in buying it but i think that this camera deserves more careful research!Contact me for more information.Thank you.

Comment edited 2 minutes after posting

Bought mine new at Sam's for $400. Build quality amazing and the camera with original battery still taking nice low ISO shots today.

LOL, get really tired of "loose lens comments" over the years;)


Recently picked a mint one up for peanuts out of curiosity, so glad I did, it takes superb jpegs and the colour is as accurate as any I've seen on any camera. I'll definitely use it occasionally, ergonomically it's also very nice, fits my hand like a glove and it's built like a tank. Still a camera worth using IMHO.

Comment edited 2 minutes after posting

I loved this line of camera! I remember when the Olympus C-xxxx line and the Nikon E-xxx line went mano a mano to rule the compact camera world! I still have my C-7070 and my E-990 which I consider to be the two best (and their full supply of converters), they dont make compact cameras as great as these anymore- with direct live histograms and pixel mapping! The C-7070 super macros even surpassed those of the C-8080 and we all know how great the E-990 (and C-7070) was with macros and digiscoping! Who needs a superzoom camera when one of these can be directly attached to a telescope eyepiece with no vignetting and full use of the zoom of the camera!

Tord S Eriksson

The C-8080 was my first 'serious' digital camera (had a Konica KD-500Z before that), which I bought when I got a small inheritance (UW house, flash, the works).

A superb compact, with excellent one-hand operation (most buttons within reach with your right hand still holding the camera).

Mine is still in working order, still takes lovely macros, and flash shots, but its flaws were plenty as well (a few samples):

It crashed on the third day of my vacation to the US and Canada with my wife, and had to be sent overseas to get new firmware installed (nowadays we are allowed to do such things ourselves)!

It is still lousy in any kind of back-lighting (I use to call the effect 'lilac rivers', as both the EVF, and the LCD became totally useless, due to floods of lilac color flowing over them) but the prints were not affected, bar a lot of flare problems).

Its powered zoom, that had four steps (wide, less wide, normal, and full telephoto), and nothing in between. Nice macro, though. Cont

Comment edited 2 times, last edit 5 minutes after posting
Tord S Eriksson

The inner camera lens barrel is very wobbly, but it doesn't seem to affect the image quality one bit!

Slow, really slow, in every way. Slow update of the EVF, slow saves (about two RAWs per minute, maximum)!
But the majority of reviewers loved it, and I know pros that got one, to complement their Hasselblads, and stuff.

So, till this day, no more C-x0x0 cameras released by Olympus. The camera never earned the company the massive amount they had invested in it, and almost killed Olympus. Happily, the C-7070 was still in production, and earned the company its keep (at least the camera department).

Then came the bold move into m43 (MFT), and another crisis, requiring help from Sony (a lot of money!).

Tord S Eriksson

The maximum useable ISO is 140!

Comment edited 5 minutes after posting

One of my favorite cameras ever and I use it to this day. It is built like a tank. Slow by today's standards, it was way ahead of its time with a ⅔ sensor.

Comment edited 34 seconds after posting

Yes absolutely right, for me too, have it since amazing 8 years and still really good pictures coming out.

1 upvote
Total comments: 10