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Fujifilm FinePix JZ300 Ken McMahon, July 2009

Fujifilm FinePix JZ300 results: Real-life resolution / High ISO Noise

Fujifilm FinePix JZ300 vs Panasonic DMC-FS30 / FH20 High ISO Noise

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To compare noise levels under real-life conditions we shot this scene with the Fujifilm FinePix JZ300 and the Panasonic Lumix DMC-FS30 / FH20

The lenses on both cameras were set to approximate the same field of view and ISO was manually set.

The above shot was taken with the the Fujifilm FinePix JZ300 in Program mode with the lens at a wide angle setting of 5mm (28mm). The exposure was 1/4 of a second at f3. The crops are taken from the area marked with the red square and presented below at 100%.

The keen-eyed amongst you will notice that the first crop in the series, taken at 100 ISO is quite badly underexposed, and the 200 ISO shot is also a little underexposed. The reason for this is the JZ300's slowest available shutter speed range in Program mode is 1/4 of a second. Slower speeds are available in some of the scene modes like Night, but that isn't going to help here. If you like to shoot interiors at slow shutter speeds with a tripod, this is something you'll need to consider and may rule the JZ300 out. It makes it difficult to make an assessment of the noise levels at these lower ISO settings, but from what we can see there's little evidence of noise in these crops, though the detail in the stone column on the right is on the soft side.

At the higher ISO levels the FinePix JZ300 does a good job of maintaining balance between the inevitable noise increase and the effects of the processing required to keep it in hand. The 400 ISO crop looks grainy, but not unpleasantly so, and the noise has an organic, slightly film grain-like quality. At 800 ISO we're definitely looking at digital noise, nonetheless this is a quality compromise that in many situations would be worth making to get a low light shot.

At 1600 ISO and the 3 Megapixel 3200 ISO settings it all gets very ugly, but there isn't a compact camera that doesn't suffer the same fate at these high ISO settings.

Compared with the Panasonic Lumix DMC-FS30 / FH20 there are some distinct differences. For one thing, the FS30 / FH20's shutter speed range extends to 8 seconds and for this scene it selected a (correct) exposure of 0.8 of a second at f3.3. At the lower ISO range from 80 to 200 ISO the Lumix FS30 / FH20 crops are correctly exposed and show better detail than those form the JZ300. At 400 ISO though, there's a marked difference and the Lumix FS30 / FH20 crop becomes quite badly smeared. From 800 ISO upwards there probably isn't much to choose between the two. The FS30 / FH20's ability to shoot long exposures combined with superior performance at the lower end of the ISO scale makes it a better choice for interior and low-light tripod-based shooting.

Now head over to our Fujifilm FinePix JZ300 gallery to see some more real-life shots in a variety of conditions.

Fujifilm FinePix JZ300
Panasonic DMC-FS30 / FH20
80 ISO not available
80 ISO
100 ISO
100 ISO
200 ISO
200 ISO
400 ISO
400 ISO
800 ISO
800 ISO
1600 ISO
1600 ISO
3200 ISO (3 Megapixels)
3200 ISO Not available

Fujifilm FinePix JZ300 results: Real-life resolution / High ISO Noise

All words, images, videos and layout, copyright 2005-2017 Gordon Laing. May not be used without permission.

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