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Panasonic Lumix DMC-FZ100 Ken McMahon, November 2010

Panasonic Lumix FZ100 results : Real-life resolution / Sharpness mid-range / Sharpness tele / High ISO Noise
/ Vs FZ38 / FZ35

Panasonic Lumix FZ100 vs Lumix FZ45 / FZ40 vs Canon PowerShot SX30 IS High ISO Noise


 
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To compare noise levels under real-life conditions we shot this scene with the Panasonic Lumix FZ100, the Lumix FZ45 / FZ40 and the Canon PowerShot SX30 IS.

The lenses on all three cameras were set to approximate the same field of view and ISO was manually set.

The above shot was taken with the the Lumix FZ100 in Program mode with the lens at a wide angle setting of 4.5mm (25mm). The ISO sensitivity was set to 100 and the exposure was one second at f2.8. The crops are taken from the area marked with the red square and presented below at 100%.

Even at low ISO settings the Lumix FZ100 struggles to hold on to fine image detail. In the 100 ISO crop the level of detail in the wood panelling and the stone column is what you'd expect to see at a much higher ISO sensitivity. At 200 ISO the picture changes, there's no more loss of detail but there is more noise, the image looks grainier overall and detail on the edge of the stone column is starting to break up.

At 400 ISO it's the same story to a greater degree. The noise is now clearly visible and what detail remained at 200 ISO has all but gone. The 800 and 1600 ISO settings are only something you'd consider for must have shots where quality wasn't an issue.

While the FZ100 noise problems aren't inconsequential, at 100 ISO it's not something you'd be overly concerned about unless you were planning on using images at 100 percent, either on a large screen or printed. The real problems begin when you start to raise the ISO sensitivity. Because the FZ100's noise bar is set so low, as soon as you start to raise the sensitivity above the 100 ISO minimum it becomes a real issue. If you compare the Lumix FZ100 crops with those from the Lumix FZ45 / FZ40 and PowerShot SX30 IS, both of which are quite closely matched in terms of quality, what you see is that the 100 ISO crop on the FZ100 looks closer to the 400 ISO crop on the other two cameras.

Our final test page compares the RAW output from the FZ100 against the FZ45 / FZ40 and the older FZ38 / FZ35. See our Lumix FZ100 vs FZ38 / FZ35 page, or head over to our Panasonic Lumix DMC-FZ100 gallery to see some more real-life shots in a variety of conditions.


Panasonic Lumix FZ100
 
Panasonic Lumix FZ45 / FZ40
 
Canon PowerShot SX30 IS
80 ISO Not available
80 ISO
80 ISO
100 ISO
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200 ISO
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200 ISO
400 ISO
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800 ISO
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1600 ISO
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3200 ISO (High Sens scene mode)
3200 ISO (High Sens scene mode)
2500 ISO (Low Light scene mode)


Panasonic Lumix FZ100 results : Real-life resolution / Sharpness mid-range / Sharpness tele / High ISO Noise
/ Vs FZ38 / FZ35


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