JPEG/TIFF Image Size & Quality

As with the DSC-S75 the CD300 has a new selection of two different JPEG compression modes, either FINE or STANDARD. This means you can now choose from a variety of image resolutions (2048 x 1536, 2048 x 1360 (3:2), 1600 x 1200, 1280 x 960 and 640 x 480) in combination with either JPEG FINE, JPEG STANDARD or TIFF image quality, a total of 15 different image size / quality combinations.

Standard Test Scene

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:

  • 2048 x 1536 TIFF
  • 2048 x 1536 FINE JPEG
  • 2048 x 1536 STANDARD JPEG
  • 1600 x 1200 FINE JPEG
  • 1280 x 960 FINE JPEG
  • 640 x 480 FINE JPEG

Images below are cropped 240 x 90 area of the image magnified 200% (nearest neighbour).

2048 x 1536
9,219 KB (Not available for download)

1,386 KB

794 KB

1600 x 1200

827 KB

1280 x 960

586 KB

640 x 480

150 KB

As you can see close-up there's very little difference between the TIFF and JPEG FINE, if anything the JPEG FINE image seems to look "cleaner". Again, as we saw on the S75 samples Sony seem to be taking a "hands off" approach to image sharpening, their algorithms are far less aggressive than in the past leading to smoother, cleaner images with less artifacts / halo effects.

ISO (Sensitivity) Adjustment

ISO equivalence on a digital camera is the ability to increase the sensitivity of the CCD to allow for faster shutter speeds and/or better performance in low light. The way this works in a digital camera is by "turning up the volume" on the CCD's signal amplifiers, nothing is without its price however and doing so also amplifies any noise that may be present and often affects colour saturation.

The CD300 features three selectable ISO sensitivities of 100, 200 and 400 as well as the same Auto mode we saw on the S70/S75 (varies sensitivity between ISO 100 and 300 automatically depending on available light). I'm not half as impressed with the CD300 as I was with the S75, whether it's the addition of the CD mechanism or just that this camera doesn't suppress the noise as well as the S75 but noise is definitely higher and clearly visible. The shots below were taken under normal lighting conditions and don't compare well with similar samples taken with the S75 under adverse (darker) lighting.

ISO 100, 1/10s, F6.3
ISO 200, 1/25s, F6.3
ISO 400, 1/40s, F6.3

About average, what we'd expect from this three megapixel sensor really which is surprising after the ultra-clean high ISO images we saw out of the S75.

DISCLAIMER: I'd like to point out that the camera reviewed WAS a pre-production unit and we may well see cleaner images from a final production unit (we will update the review later).

Picture Effects

Just as with the S75 (and most other Sony digital cameras) the CD300 features four 'post processing' picture effects which can be used to stylise your images.

No picture effect Negative Art picture effect
Sepia picture effect Black & White picture effect
Solarize picture effect Date & Time Stamp

Note that as well as this you can use the "TEXT" mode to shoot black and white (2 colour) photocopy style GIF's (useful for copying text, although slow to process).