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.