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Fine, normal, and economy mean when referring to a digital camera?

What does fine, normal, and economy mean when referring to a digital camera?  I can shot any of these without changing the resolution (10M).  Is it the number of colors or what?  File makes file about 3 times the size of economy.
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schmir1
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schmir1
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dalton1976Commented:
Normaly, it's the level of your JPEG compression!
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schmir1Author Commented:
Here is what the manual says:

The "Fine" setting helps to bring out details when shooting a finely detailed impage of nature that includes dense tree branches or leaves, or an image of a complex pattern.

Great but how is this done?
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schmir1Author Commented:
So compression means that what, the more the compression the more interprolation that is being done?  So transitions between to patterns become less well defined (like hair).
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dalton1976Commented:
Do you know how compression work?

Imagine you PIC  like a chess board...
in the first cell,   if there is 10 differents red, it make 2 or 3 reds
do it with all CMYK colors
do it in all cells (make independant color palet)

because of this you can lose some details (range of colors) (shadows)

You 10M is only the number of pixels you'll take from your snapshot

   
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LocoTechCJCommented:
What they do is combine like colors to save the space, losing some of the detail.  Here is a great article that explains this and a lot more:  

http://electronics.howstuffworks.com/digital-camera6.htm

Check out the whole article for even more info.

LTCJ
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dalton1976Commented:
If you compress a PIC with a software  (like photoshop).  You'll see those sqares!!
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schmir1Author Commented:
I did know about data compression based on repetition but not on irrelavancy.  Thanks LocoTechCJ for the article.
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