Outdoor scene - Panasonic Lumix DMC-FZ50 vs Canon 400D / XTi with 18-55mm
With 10 Megapixel resolution and DSLR styling, it's fair to say many people will compare the FZ50 against products like Canon's EOS 400D / Rebel XTi. So we've done just that here, shooting the same scene with each camera within moments of each other using their best quality JPEG and lowest ISO settings; the Canon was fitted with its EF-S 18-55mm kit lens.
The FZ50 captured a narrower 4:3 frame, but the focal length of each camera was adjusted to deliver the same vertical field of view. Since the 400D / XTi crops below are taken from the same 4:3 area as the FZ50, it's effectively being treated here as a 9 Megapixel 4:3 camera.
The image above was taken with the Panasonic Lumix DMC-FZ50 at 9mm f11 and with a sensitivity of 100 ISO; the original JPEG measured 4.65MB, while the original image used for the Canon 400D / XTi crops was taken at 24mm f13 with a sensitivity of 100 ISO and measured 3.76MB. Apertures of f11 and f13 were selected because these images are part of a series covering each camera's entire ISO range; sharper results are possible with their lens apertures opened, and we've selected the optimum settings for our studio-based resolution comparisons on the following page. In the meantime, the
crops shown here are taken from the upper left, center and lower right portions of the originals
(on a 4:3 crop for the 400D / XTi) and presented here at 100%.
Viewed at 100%, the FZ50 crops reveal slightly higher detail than the 400D / XTi, especially in the trees on the third crop; this is mostly due to the relatively poor edge performance from the 400D / XTi's 18-55mm kit lens though. Fit the 400D / XTi with a better lens and you'll get noticeably superior results.
Of greater concern though are quite visible noise speckles and smearing from processing on the FZ50 crops, even though the image was taken under ideal conditions at its lowest 100 ISO sensitivity. As we'll see throughout the results and gallery pages, noise and subsequent noise reduction is the FZ50's Achilles Heel.