I have a Casio EX-S12. It has a setting for image size, but also a separate setting for what it calls "image quality". There are three image quality values: "Fine", "Normal", and "Economy".
The Casio manual is not clear on what image "quality" actually means -- specifically how it's different from image size. All they say is that the "Fine" setting "helps to bring out details when shooting a finely detailed image of nature that includes dense tree branches or leaves, or an image of a complex pattern." I'm confused because isn't this what image size is all about (more pixels = more detail)?
In terms of memory usage, the manual also says that for a 5 megapixel picture, a "Fine" image takes up 2.99 MB, a "Normal" image takes up 1.62 MB, and an "Economy" image takes up 1.12 MB, so this "image quality" setting of theirs is certainly having a significant impact on memory usage.
My question is, what exactly is "image quality", if it's not image size? What is the "thing" that is taking up additional memory?