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Panasonic Lumix DMC-TZ3 Gordon Laing, May 2007

Panasonic TZ3 results : Outdoor / Resolution / Noise / Noise 2 / Corner sharpness / Fringe & macro / Geometry / Vignetting

Panasonic Lumix DMC TZ3 vs FZ8 real-life noise

 

To compare noise levels under real-life conditions we shot this scene with the Panasonic Lumix DMC TZ3 and FZ8 within a few moments using each of their ISO settings. Both cameras have the same effective resolution.

The zoom lenses of each camera were adjusted to deliver the same field of view. In the absence of any manual controls, the TZ3 was set to Normal picture mode, and in the spirit of equality we set the FZ8 to Program mode. The FZ8's Noise Reduction was set to Standard.

The image left was taken with the Panasonic Lumix DMC-TZ3 at 6mm f3.9 and at 100 ISO; the original measured 3.4MB. The crops are taken from an area just below and to the left of the centre.


 
At 100 ISO the TZ3 delivers clean images with plenty of detail. Increased to 200 ISO there's a loss of ultimate detail through noise reduction smearing, but the results are still acceptable. At 400 ISO though the output quality falls dramatically, losing both detail and saturation - the crop looks quite washed out despite being taken seconds later. Detail continues to fall while noise levels increase at 800 and 1250 ISO. The 3200 ISO sample taken using the TZ3's High Sensitivity preset employs lower resolution, before interpolating up and applying considerable noise reduction - the result ain't pretty.

It's quite revealing to compare the TZ3's samples against the FZ8 though. This higher-end model appears to employ a quite different strategy to noise reduction (in Standard NR mode) with considerable processing apparent even on the 200 ISO sample. This is particularly apparent on the foliage and the TZ3's crops look more detailed at a number of sensitivities. The FZ8 does however allow you to adjust the noise reduction and we'll show examples of that in our forthcoming FZ8 review.

As for the TZ3, it's yet another Panasonic compact you'd be advised to operate at 200 ISO or below for the best results.

Panasonic Lumix TZ3
 
Panasonic Lumix FZ8 (Standard NR)
 
100 ISO
 
100 ISO
     
 
200 ISO
 
200 ISO
     
 
400 ISO
 
400 ISO
     
 
800 ISO
 
800 ISO
     
 
1250 ISO
 
1250 ISO
     
 
3200 ISO (High Sensitivity preset)
 
3200 ISO (High Sensitivity preset)

Panasonic Lumix DMC-TZ3 results continued...

Outdoor / Resolution / Noise / Noise 2 / Corner sharpness / Fringe & macro / Geometry / Vignetting
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All words, images, videos and layout, copyright 2005-2014 Gordon Laing. May not be used without permission.

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