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Panasonic Lumix DMC-FZ8 Gordon Laing, June 2007

More results : Outdoor / Resolution / Noise / Noise 2 / Corner sharpness / Fringe & macro / Distortion / Vignetting

Panasonic Lumix DMC-FZ8 vs Sony Cyber-shot DSC-H9 outdoor scene

  To compare real-life performance we shot the same scene with the Panasonic Lumix DMC-FZ8 and Sony Cyber-shot DSC-H9 within a few moments using their lowest ISO settings.

The zoom lenses of each camera were adjusted to deliver the same field of view; the FZ8 crops show a slightly larger field due to its slightly lower resolution.

The image left was taken with the Panasonic Lumix DMC-FZ8 at 7mm f5.6 and with a sensitivity of 100 ISO; the original JPEG measured 3.3MB. The crops are taken from the top left, centre and lower right areas.

The Panasonic FZ8 may have one less Megapixel than the Sony H9, but the crops below reveal a great deal about the actual differences between the cameras in real-life. The first row shows the H9 suffering from quite obvious coloured fringing, while the third row shows the H9 exhibiting considerable smearing through noise reduction, even at 80 ISO.

So while the FZ8 is far from perfect, and indeed shows noise speckles at 100 ISO, it still delivers superior image quality to the Sony H9 under ideal conditions like these - and it's comfortably cheaper too.

For RAW results with the FZ8, check further down this page. For more outdoor results against the Sony H9, check our FZ8 Outdoor noise page.

Panasonic Lumix FZ8
Sony Cyber-shot H9
Panasonic Lumix FZ8 - crop 1
Sony Cyber-shot H9 - crop 1
f5.6, 100 ISO
f5.6, 80 ISO
Panasonic Lumix FZ8 - crop 2
Sony Cyber-shot H9 - crop 2
f5.6, 100 ISO
f5.6, 80 ISO
Panasonic Lumix FZ8 - crop 3
Sony Cyber-shot H9 - crop 3
f5.6, 100 ISO
f5.6, 80 ISO

Panasonic Lumix DMC-FZ8 JPEG versus RAW comparison

To evaluate the effect of the FZ8’s in-camera processing and compression, we recorded a best-quality JPEG followed by a RAW version of the same scene immediately afterwards. The JPEG and RAW files measured 3.3MB and 11MB respectively.

The FZ8's RAW files are supported by Adobe Camera RAW 4.x, so we converted the file in Photoshop CS3 using the default settings and 'as-shot' White Balance, before exporting the image as a 16-bit TIFF. We then opened the file in CS3, converted it to 8-bit, then cropped and saved the image using the same JPEG settings as above.

Panasonic Lumix DMC-FZ8 JPEG versus RAW
Panasonic Lumix DMC-FZ8 JPEG
Panasonic Lumix DMC-FZ8 RAW
JPEG, f5.6, 100 ISO
RAW conversion, f5.6, 100 ISO

The crop from the RAW conversion on the right reveals a great deal about the JPEG processing of the FZ8. There's clearly less sharpness, lower contrast and greater evidence of noise. Of course the RAW file gives you the opportunity to apply your own levels of sharpening, contrast and noise reduction using more sophisticated tools, and while it's a concern to find such obvious noise at 100 ISO, we greatly appreciate having a RAW option on the FZ8. Of course as always, different source material, not to mention different RAW converters may deliver different results.

Panasonic Lumix DMC-FZ8 results continued...

Outdoor / Resolution / Noise / Noise 2 / Corner sharpness / Fringe & macro / Distortion / Vignetting
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