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Old Oct 30, 2004, 9:54 PM   #1
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Hi all,

I'm wondering what your opinions are on this question. Is there a noticeable difference between the quality of shots at SHQ versus HQ settings?

I have two Olympus cameras, a D-460z and a C-765uz. Here's my experience:

On the D-460z, which is a 1.3MP camera, I noticed a difference right away, and only ever shot in SHQ mode.

With the new C-765uz, I have taken a few test shots of different subjects, in different lighting conditions, including a shot with a large section of clear blue sky in it, which I know would have produced a lot of compression artifacts at HQ mode with the D-460, and...

In all cases, even zoomed in 200%+ on the images, I can't see a difference between the HQ and SHQ shots.

I'm wondering if this is partly related to the fact the C-765uz is a 4MP camera, and so with way more pixels to work with than the old camera, the higher compression does not produce noticeable artifacts?

Maybe my test shots have not been over a large enough range of subjects and lighting conditions to produce a difference yet.

Anyway, I'm interested in your opinions about this, because based on the limited tests I've done, I'm very tempted to shoot in HQ mode most of the time and only switch to SHQ for extra special shots. But I don't want to set about doing that in general use and then find out afterwards that the quality of a lot of my shots is compromised.

I have a 512MB memory card, so that would fit tons of HQ shots, which certainly makes HQ an attractive option for times when I won't be able to dump the memory frequently. An alternative approach to preserving memory space that I have read about is to use the 3MP setting but with the highest quality (lowest compression), so you get the image quality of SHQ, but just a smaller image size.

My only question about that approach would be: is 3MP still large enough for 8x10 prints, and/or a bit of cropping?

Thanks very much for your input, and all the great discussions in these forums.

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Old Oct 31, 2004, 1:02 AM   #2
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On my 2mp C-700, I notice it in scenes where there's a lot of minute detail, like leaves on trees.

When I was on vacation the first time with my then new camera I thought I'd be smart and shoot in HQ to save space...big mistake. One of my shots which would have been a great competition shot was ruined due to too much in-camera compression. I now take more cards and use the highest JPEG setting possible, and for a competition shot I might even use the TIFF mode (since there's no RAW).

The SHQ HQ issue doesn't really raise its ugly head until you go to print larger sizes...if you look at a picture on the camera's monitor it will look beautiful due to the monitor's small size, but as soon as you get larger (computer monitor) and then requiring more detail (printing 8x10 or larger) these problems really start showing up.
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Old Oct 31, 2004, 11:05 AM   #3
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Interesting, thanks for the feedback.

I have examined the shots on a 19 inch computer monitor, including zoomed in, and didn't notice significant differences, but have not tried printing. I'm sure the difference would show up somewhere along the line, but maybe not in any purposes I would be shooting for anytime soon (I'm not shooting for competitions, though in the future...).

Does anyone have experience with this issue on a 4MP camera? Do the extra pixels make a difference to how visible the compression is?

Also, what about the 3MP setting with low compression? It would be a shame to not use the full size of image that the camera is capable of, but if the compression really is a big deal, and if 3MP is generally big enough for 8x10s and/or some cropping, I think I'd be happy with using that setting for times when I need to maximize memory space.

--Julian (also in Toronto) :-)
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Old Oct 31, 2004, 11:19 PM   #4
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I rarely use HQ on my 750, but the few times I've compared it to SHQ, I've noticed more noise and less shadow detail in HQ. The noise is more noticeable in large patches of a single color gradient like the sky or very smooth reflective surfaces like water or a chrome object. Details in shadows can simply disappear into the murky darkness.

While the difference may be very subtle to some, with the availablity of large memory cards and falling prices, I prefer to err on the side of caution and take all my shots at SHQ to retain as much post processing flexibility as possible. I get around 200+ shots in SHQon a 512MB card.

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Old Mar 31, 2006, 10:11 AM   #5
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I recenly purchased the Olympus C700 UZ and would love info and input on the SHQ vs HQ... (among other things - trying to learn the whole thing - new to us)

style="BACKGROUND-COLOR: #000000"Took some pics in HQ 1600x1200 in auto mode. (Some were better than others.) Also, when cropped, will the image quality decrease?

We will mostly be using the camera for pics of horses and family both posed and action and I would appreciate any info/suggestions regarding settings etc. I need to be able to shoot fairly quickly so as not to miss things and I surely want quallity, crisp, clear shots.

What 'settings' would be recommended? (The terminology is still foreign... but "ISO" and the SHQ vs HQ (1600x1200 or would something else work better?) or even TIFF (I see TIFF is not an allowed extension here.)
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Old Apr 11, 2006, 6:29 AM   #6
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I use the C-760UZ , 3.2MP. I can't identify the C-700Uz to know your resolution, however that said I always shoot at the highest JPG quality possible ( I don't shoot tiff because of storage constraints) you never know what use you may have for a photo in the future and it you want to crop the extra MPs are handy.

I always archive my originals unedited and only work on copies, I figure that some time in the future I will be better at editing than I am now.

Regards settings, I usually shoot in program mode for general work, the auto functions do most of the work for you, though you still have control over exposure via the EV adjustments. For long exposures I use manual mode, but I find having to set everything through menus cumbersome and most times the opportunity has passed by the time I get it all set up, so I stick with program mode ( I almost never use Auto mode)

The main thing is to shoot and try different settings and get used of your camera and what it will do, shooting digital cost you nothing so practise and practise again!

Get yourself a program that will read the Exif information ofyour images so you can check what settings you had used, IEXif is good if you use Internet Explorer or you can get it for Firefox


Hope this is of some use to you, I'm no expert and still learning myself.

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Old Apr 16, 2006, 2:11 PM   #7
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There is no need to use TIF. SHQ is enough. TIF is made by the camera from the SHQ JPG (this is true for my camera - C740UZ, but I expect the same for all C7xxUZ). You get the same JPG compression spots in TIF.

There is an "unofficial" possibility to get RAW on C730UZ - C770UZ. AFAIK C700UZ - C720UZ can not produce RAW. See more on RAW here.
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Old Apr 17, 2006, 8:30 AM   #8
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Hi , I just made the same discovery. I made some macro-shots with my c-8080 in both HQ and SHQ and the difference, even after zooming in heavily, wasn't noticable with my bare eyes. I very much doubt if you can tell the difference after printing, except maybe when making really big enlargements. The difference in storagesize though was very high, easily 3 times more bytes. So unless you are making big shots, make more out of your memorycard and set camera on HQ mode!
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