Support Cameralabs by shopping at our partner stores or donating via Paypal
 






Follow my RSS feed at Camera Labs RSS Feed
 
  Latest camera reviews

Panasonic TZ60 / ZS40
Sony RX100 III review
Sony A3000 review
Canon EOS 1200D T5
Sony WX350
Nikon P600
Sony Alpha A5000
Sony Cyber-shot HX400V
Panasonic Lumix GH4
Panasonic TS5 FT5
Sony Alpha A6000
Canon SX700 HS
Canon SX600 HS
Olympus TOUGH TG2
Nikon AW1
Nikon D3300
Fujifilm XT1
Olympus STYLUS 1
Sony Cyber-shot RX10
Olympus OMD EM1
Panasonic Lumix GM1
Nikon D610
Sony Alpha A7
Nikon D5300
Canon PowerShot A2500
Sony Alpha A7r
Canon ELPH 130 IXUS 140
Nikon COOLPIX P520
Nikon COOLPIX L820
Canon PowerShot S120
Panasonic Lumix GX7
Canon SX510 HS
Canon PowerShot G16
Fujifilm X20
Panasonic FZ70 / FZ72
Canon EOS 70D
Sony RX100 II
Canon ELPH 330 IXUS 255
Panasonic Lumix GF6
Fujifilm XM1
Olympus EP5
Panasonic Lumix LF1
Panasonic TZ35 / ZS25
Olympus XZ2
Sony HX300
Panasonic Lumix G6
Sony HX50V
Fujifilm X100S
Canon SX280 HS
Canon EOS SL1 / 100D
Panasonic TZ40 / ZS30
Nikon D7100
Nikon COOLPIX A
Fujifilm X-E1
Canon EOS 6D
Nikon D5200
Panasonic Lumix GH3
Canon PowerShot S110
Panasonic Lumix G5
Sony NEX-6
Panasonic Lumix FZ200
Canon PowerShot SX50 HS
Nikon COOLPIX P7700
Olympus E-PL5
Canon EOS M
Panasonic TS20 / FT20
Canon PowerShot G15
Nikon D600
Nikon COOLPIX L810
Canon PowerShot D20
Sony RX100
Panasonic Lumix LX7
Canon SX500 IS
Fujifilm HS30 EXR
Sony HX200V
Panasonic FZ60 / FZ62
Canon 520HS / 500HS
Canon 110HS / 125HS
Nikon D800
Canon EOS T4i / 650D
Canon PowerShot A3400
Panasonic ZS15 / TZ25
Olympus E-M5
Nikon D3200
Fujifilm X-Pro1
Canon PowerShot A2300
Canon SX240 / SX260
Samsung NX200
Sony Alpha SLT-A77
Canon EOS 5D Mark III
Panasonic ZS20 / TZ30
Canon PowerShot G1 X
Sony NEX-7
Panasonic GX1
Olympus E-PM1
Nikon V1
Sony NEX-5N
Canon EOS T3 / 1100D
Canon EOS 600D / T3i
Nikon D7000
Canon EOS 60D
Canon EOS 550D / T2i
Canon EOS 7D

All camera reviews
 
 
   
 
  Best Buys: our top models
   
  Best Canon lens
Best Nikon lens
Best Sony lens
Best budget DSLR
Best mid-range DSLR
Best semi-pro DSLR
Best point and shoot
Best superzoom
Best camera accessories
   
 



Camera Labs Forum

Any questions, comments or a great tip to share? Join my Camera forum and let everyone know!
   
 
  DSLR Tips



 
Free Shipping on ALL Products
Panasonic Lumix DMC-LX2 Gordon Laing, October 2006

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

Support Camera Labs by shopping via these links

 
 
 




Click here for the Lumix DMC-LX2 video tour

 




 

Panasonic Lumix DMC-LX2 real-life noise (standard, low and high NR)

Panasonic Lumix LX2 at 8mm f8  

To compare noise levels under real-life conditions we shot this scene using the Panasonic Lumix LX2 at each ISO setting. The test was repeated for the LX2's Low and High Noise Reduction settings.

The image was shot in 16:9, but the zoom adjusted so the vertical field matched previous results for comparative purposes. Due to the high brightness of the scene and requirement to shoot it at up to 3200 ISO, it was necessary to use a neutral density filter. The brightness also forced us to set the aperture to f8.


The image above was taken with the Panasonic Lumix DMC-LX2 at 8mm f8 and at 100 ISO; the original measured 4.63MB. The crops are taken from an area just below and to the left of the centre. For the 3200 ISO result we used the LX2's High Sensitivity preset mode.

It's immediately clear from the results below that noise - and noise reduction - are the LX2's biggest problems. Set to the default Standard Noise Reduction setting, speckling is visible even at 100 and 200 ISO, while detail is lost significantly at 400 ISO and above.

The Low Noise Reduction setting reveals fractionally more detail - see the vertical fencing bars in the 200 ISO crop for example - but again results in compromised overall quality at 400 ISO and above.

Switching to High Noise Reduction results in a considerable loss of detail at 200 ISO and above, along with an almost impressionistic effect. This is seen most obviously in the 3200 ISO crop, although to be fair, this uses the LX2's High Sensitivity preset which Panasonic admits should only be used for smaller prints.

That said, noise and loss of detail through noise reduction is a serious issue for the Lumix LX2. Every time a manufacturer increases the resolution of a sensor it claims noise levels have been kept under control, but this is yet another example where the laws of physics beg to differ. And arguing the results look fine on smaller print sizes is surely missing the point of buying a 10 Megapixel product.

Panasonic Lumix DMC-LX2
(standard NR)
 
Lumix DMC-LX2
(low NR)
 
Lumix DMC-LX2
(high NR)
Lumix LX2 at 100 ISO (standard NR)   Lumix LX2 at 100 ISO (low NR)   Lumix LX2 at 100 ISO (high NR)
100 ISO, 1/50, f8
 
100 ISO, 1/50, f8
 
100 ISO, 1/50, f8
         
Lumix LX2 at 200 ISO (standard NR)   Lumix LX2 at 200 ISO (low NR)   Lumix LX2 at 200 ISO (high NR)
200 ISO, 1/100, f8
 
200 ISO, 1/100, f8
 
200 ISO, 1/100, f8
         
Lumix LX2 at 400 ISO (standard NR)   Lumix LX2 at 400 ISO (low NR)   Lumix LX2 at 400 ISO (high NR)
400 ISO, 1/200, f8
 
400 ISO, 1/200, f8
 
400 ISO, 1/200, f8
         
Lumix LX2 at 800 ISO (standard NR)   Lumix LX2 at 800 ISO (low NR)   Lumix LX2 at 800 ISO (high NR)
800 ISO, 1/400, f8
 
800 ISO, 1/400, f8
 
800 ISO, 1/400, f8
         
Lumix LX2 at 1600 ISO (standard NR)   Lumix LX2 at 1600 ISO (low NR)   Lumix LX2 at 1600 ISO (high NR)
1600 ISO, 1/800, f8
 
1600 ISO, 1/800, f8
 
1600 ISO, 1/800, f8
         
Lumix LX2 at 3200 ISO High sensitivity preset (standard NR)        
3200 ISO, 1/1600, f8 (High Sensitivity preset)
 
3200 ISO unavailable outside HS mode
 
3200 ISO unavailable outside HS mode


Panasonic Lumix DMC-LX2 JPEG versus RAW comparison

To eliminate the effect of Panasonic’s in-camera processing and compression, we took an additional photo with the LX2 set to RAW; this also records a matching JPEG, but with higher compression so we reshot the scene immediately afterwards using the JPEG Fine mode. Noise Reduction was set to Standard. The RAW and JPEG files measured 19.5 and 4.63MB respectively.

The RAW file was processed with Adobe Camera RAW using the default settings (with a slight exposure adjustment to match the JPEG), then transferred to Photoshop with 16-bit tonal depth, before converting to 8-bit then cropping and saving using the same JPEG settings as above.


Panasonic Lumix DMC-LX2 JPEG versus RAW
10M Fine JPEG, 100 ISO, 1/50, f8
RAW conversion, 100 ISO, 1/50, f8

Using the Adobe Camera RAW defaults, the processed RAW file from the LX2 is lacking the saturation and sharpness of the in-camera JPEG, although shows a little extra tonal detail which had been smoothed out by the JPEG. We could pretty much match the in-camera example by increasing the saturation and sharpness in ACR, but couldn't produce a result with significantly greater detail or lower noise.

Further tweaking (or alternative RAW software) may coax a better result from the LX2, but common adjustments in ACR showed little benefit over shooting in JPEG.


Panasonic Lumix DMC-LX2 results continued...

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

Support this site by checking prices below or shopping via our affiliate stores

USA readers



 
UK readers




All words, images, videos and layout, copyright 2005-2014 Gordon Laing. May not be used without permission.

/ How we test / Best Cameras / Advertising / Camera reviews / Supporting Camera Labs