Compared to the Nikon Coolpix 990

We've chosen to compare the C-3040Z with the Nikon Coolpix 990, this comparison will give us a chance to see what improvements a 1.5 generation 3 megapixel (C-3040Z) can produce versus a first generation 3 megapixel (Coolpix 990). The C-3040Z JPEG quality was set to SHQ, the 990 set to FINE.

Some crops below are of an 120 x 90 area of the image magnified 200%, some are straight 240 x 180 crops. Lighting - 2 x 800W studio lights with dichroic daylight filters bounced off a white overhead reflector (about as close as you can get to "indoor daylight").

Olympus C-3040Z Nikon Coolpix 990

It's pretty clear to see that the C-3040Z's lens is better than that found on the 990, more colour purity across the board, no edge fringing (slight redness along edges seen on the 990's images), good sharpness and resolution. The C-3040Z also seems to have chroma noise under control, with nice smooth flat gray areas with almost no mottled colour artifacts.

Noticeably the C-3040Z's images are less saturated than the 990, as this may not be to everyone's taste and it would have been nice to have a colour saturation option in the setup menu.