On my vacation, I got a new Olympus TG-3 because I liked the feature set. But when I compare the pictures to the output of my wife's Canon Ixus 800 there is much more noise and I would even say that the 6MP Canon makes better images than the Olympus 16MP. I just compared a low light picture of a plant in front of me and the Canon has much sharper images and much more detail in the picture when I zoom into maximum detail. Also the automatic setting of the Olympus produces worse images than the default P(rogrammable?) mode.

I was thinking that the noise is my main critic point. What would be the best way to reduce it (I don't need 16MP preserved anyway). - set it to 8MP? - have the images automatically resized after importing to computer? - settings? any other ideas?

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    Post some samples from both if you can, though the settings would be really useful: shutter speed, ISO, and aperture at a minimum for both samples. I suspect that your ISO on the Olympus was much higher, thus introducing more noise. – John Cavan Sep 18 '14 at 2:21

It's probably the defaults image setting parameters that each camera is set to. Is there a "neutral" setting for your camera that it's set to instead of something like "standard"?

If not, somewhere in your manual it will tell you how to change the image processing parameters. You'll want to bump up the sharpening and noise removal settings, and maybe contrast as well.

  • It is default set to HighISO which adds a LOT of noise! – RRZ Europe Sep 20 '14 at 18:47
  • As a hint for the future: if you'd posted some sample images as John Cavan suggested, we could you have told you this was the issue much quicker. – Philip Kendall Sep 22 '14 at 13:01

One thing to note is that if you're zooming to "maximum detail" (i.e. 100% crop or 1-to-1 size) on both images, that's not a fair comparison. The Olympus has more pixels, so you're effectively zooming in 60% (sqrt(16/6) ~ 1.6) more on the 16 MP images than you are on the 6 MP images. For any practical application (either on-screen or printing), what you care about is a fixed output size, not a fixed zoom ratio.

  • My example is quite fair, since I take a picture the same area and zoom onto the same part of the image (they have around same wide+zoom, so the image is almost identical). And then I see much more detail on the Canon than in the Qlympus image which has more MPs. – RRZ Europe Sep 18 '14 at 20:04
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    If you're comparing the same content in both photos, then you haven't "zoom[ed] to maximum detail" on both cameras. Either your example is wrong, or your description of how you are comparing them is wrong; of the latter, please clarify the question. In both cases, please post sample images. – Philip Kendall Sep 18 '14 at 20:25

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