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Panasonic Lumix DMC-FZ8 Gordon Laing, June 2007

Panasonic Lumix DMC-FZ8 gallery

 
The following images were taken with the Panasonic Lumix DMC-FZ8. The FZ8 was set to 7M Fine JPEG mode and 4:3 aspect ratio with Auto White Balance, Multiple metering and the Standard Colour mode.

The individual exposure mode, file sizes, shutter speeds, aperture, ISO and lens focal length are listed for each image.

The crops are taken from the original files, reproduced at 100% and saved in Adobe Photoshop CS2 as JPEGs with the default Very High quality preset, while the resized images were made in Photoshop CS2 and saved with the default High quality preset.

The three crops are typically taken from far left, central and far right portions of each image.

Landscape: 3.37MB, Program, 1/250, f5, ISO 100, 6-72mm at 6mm (equivalent to 36mm)

Landscape - Panasonic FZ8 at 6mm f8     Our first shot was taken with the FZ8 zoomed-out to its widest angle equivalent of 36mm.

This was fine for this particular composition, but is noticeably less wide than rivals like the Sony H9 or Olympus SP-550UZ.

There's plenty of detail in the crops, although worryingly some noise is already visible - even at the FZ8's lowest sensitivity of 100 ISO.
     
   
     
   


Portrait: 3.32MB, Aperture Priority, 1/800, f4.5, ISO 200, 6-72mm at 20mm (equivalent to 120mm)

Portrait - Panasonic FZ8 at 20mm f4.5   For this portrait shot we stood back, zoomed-into an equivalent of 120mm, and manually selected the smallest available aperture.

The background isn't particularly blurred, but there's plenty of scope for standing further away and zooming-in more if desired.

We increased the ISO to 200, and some evidence of smearing due to noise reduction is already visible in the crops, but there's still lots of detail.
     


Macro: 2.57MB, Program, 1/400, f6.3, ISO 400, 6-72mm at 72mm (equivalent to 432mm)

Macro - Panasonic FZ8 at 72mm f6.3   The FZ8 offers good macro capabilities, whether zoomed-out and almost touching the subject, or stood back and fully zoomed-in. We went for the latter in this shot, to avoid both the risk of shadows and bee stings!

Despite working at an equivalent of 432mm, the FZ8's image stabilisation has ironed out any shakes and the crops show lots of detail.

Noise and noise reduction levels have increased at 400 ISO, but it's not much worse than at 200 ISO.
     


Landscape: 3.23MB, Program, 1/200, f5.6, ISO 100, 6-72mm at 32mm (equivalent to 192mm)

Landscape - Panasonic FZ8 at 32mm f5.6     To test the FZ8's mid-zoom performance, we photographed this steamship at an equivalent of 192mm.

At a sensitivity of 100 ISO, there's lots of detail in the crops, but again a worrying amount of noise. Remember this shot was taken at the lowest sensitivity and on a bright day, so is as good as it gets.

Visible noise even at 100 ISO is the worst aspect of the FZ8, and it's certainly not for anyone who likes examining their pictures on-screen at 100%.
     
   
     
   


Wildlife: 3.16MB, Program, 1/200, f5.6, ISO 100, 6-72mm at 72mm (equivalent to 432mm)

Wildlife - Panasonic FZ8 at 72mm f5.6   This shot was taken at the FZ8's longest focal length and the bird was just outside the camera's closest focusing distance.

The FZ8, like most superzooms, isn't the fastest at focusing, so subjects like birds can prove tricky - but this one stood still long enough for us to grab the shot. If you're after a quicker focuser, consider the Sony H9.

Once again there's lots of detail in the crops, but also visible noise when viewed at 100% even at 100 ISO.
     


Detail: 3.47MB, Program, 1/320, f5.6, ISO 100, 6-72mm at 72mm (equivalent to 432mm)

Detail - Panasonic FZ8 at 72mm f5.6   Another shot with the FZ8 at its longest focal length, and again no problems with shake. Panasonic sure has the optical side of its superzooms sorted.

Once again though, while the crops are detailed, there's still lots of noise speckles even at 100 ISO.

To be fair, these aren't visible on smaller prints, but those who like to view on-screen at 100% are warned.
     


Indoor: 3.10MB, Program, 1/100, f3.2, ISO 800, 6-72mm at 6mm (equivalent to 36mm)

Indoor - Panasonic FZ8 at 6mm f3.2   As always, our final two shots test the camera at its highest ISO settings, and as with most compacts, we weren't expecting great results.

This shot was taken with the sensitivity increased to 800 ISO and there's an inevitable increase in noise.

There's still a fair amount of detail in there though, so for emergency situations and smaller prints, it's just about acceptable.
     


Indoor: 3.31MB, Program, 1/13, f2.8, ISO 1250, 6-72mm at 6mm (equivalent to 36mm)

Indoor - Panasonic FZ8 at 6mm f2.8     For our final image here we increased the FZ8's sensitivity to the maximum of 1250 ISO; note the High Sensitivity preset offers a further 3200 ISO equivalent, but as you can see in our FZ8 outdoor results, it ain't pretty.

As you'd expect, there's a further reduction in quality here, but to be fair, it's on-par with rival models. Check our Sony H9 and Olympus SP-550UZ Galleries.

To see how a DSLR handles this same scene, check our Nikon D40x Gallery.
     
   
     
   

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