Output image file quality / JPEG artifacts
Standard Test Scene
The DSC-V3 provides five different output image size settings as well as a 3:2 aspect ratio size (3072 x 2048). These sizes can be used in combination with Fine or Standard JPEG compression. In addition the DSC-V3 also allows for uncompressed TIFF and RAW capture. When capturing in TIFF or RAW modes the V3 also writes a full resolution Fine JPEG file (so effectively TIFF / RAW + JPEG).
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 Sony Image Data Converter 2.0.
|3072 x 2304 RAW (Uncompressed)
15,149 KB .SRF (not for download)
|3072 x 2304 JPEG Fine
2,936 KB .JPG
|3072 x 2304 JPEG Standard
1,616 KB .JPG
|2592 x 1944 JPEG Fine
2,151 KB .JPG
|2048 x 1536 JPEG Fine
1,480 KB .JPG
|1280 x 960 JPEG Fine
543 KB .JPG
Sony keeps it simple with just two compression settings and to be honest that's all that's needed, the Fine mode provides clean images with no visible artifacts, the Standard mode delivers better storage economy without compromising image quality too much (some artifacts but hardly noticeable). The V3's downsampling algorithm appears to be good, no jaggies and crisp looking images.