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






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

Fujifilm X100T
Nikon COOLPIX S3600
Sony Alpha A5100
Sigma DP1 Quattro
Sony Cyber-shot W830
Nikon COOLPIX L830
Nikon D750
Canon SX400 IS
Sony Cyber-shot H400
Panasonic Lumix LX100
Canon SX60 HS
Canon ELPH 340 IXUS 265
Canon G7X
Nikon COOLPIX P530
Canon SX520 HS
Canon G1 X Mark II
Panasonic Lumix FZ1000
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



 
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 Real-life resolution (wide)

 
Support this site by shopping below

 

To compare real-life performance when zoomed-out, we shot this scene with the Panasonic Lumix FZ100, the Lumix FZ45 / FZ40 and the Canon PowerShot SX30 IS within a few moments of each other using their best quality JPEG settings.

The lenses on each camera were set to approximately the same field of view. As all three cameras have closely matched maximum wide-angle focal lengths - 25mm equiv for the Lumix FZ100 and FZ45 / FZ40, and 24mm equiv for the PowerShot SX30 IS we used these settings for our wide-angle quality comparisons.

All three cameras were set to Program mode at the lowest available ISO sensitivity - 100 ISO on the Lumix FZ100 and 80 ISO on the Lumix FZ45 / FZ40 and PowerShot SX30 IS.

The above image was taken with the Lumix FZ100 in Program mode. The lens was set to 4.5mm (25mm equivalent) and the metering selected an exposure of 1/800 at f4 at an ISO setting of 100. The original 4320 × 3240 pixel image had a file size of 5.67MB.

We've talked before about the difficulties this scene presents, in the mid-day autumn sunsine there's a wide range of tones to capture, from the foreground shadow to the whitewashed walls. On the whole the Lumix FZ100 has done an ok job with the exposure, though it has overexposed the scene slightly. The auto white balance has made a good job of assessing the scene - there's no perceptible colour cast and the colours are well balanced, vivid and natural-looking.

The detailed crops are something of a disappointment though. Without exception, they all look quite soft and fine detail is all but obscured. Look at the windows of the foreground houses in the second crop, the roof tiles in the third crop and the windows and balcony dividers in the fourth crop - all of the detail is soft and indistinct compared with the crops from the Lumix FZ45 / FZ40 and the PowerShot SX30 IS.

The comparison with the FZ45 / FZ40 is of course interesting as both cameras share the same lens, which suggests that it's the Lumix FZ100's sensor and image processing that is the issue. One possibility is that the FZ100's sensor has a worse noise performance than that of the FZ45 / FZ40 and Panasonic has increased the noise reduction to compensate. If this is the case it might be possible to squeeze a better quality JPEG from the FZ100 by adjusting the noise reduction and sharpness settings for JPEGs, or shooting RAW and processing the files using the supplied Silkypix RAW converter software or a third party conversion utility. Scroll down below the main crops to see a comparison of JPEGs at different processing settings, followed by some RAW comparisons.

Wide angle performance is only part of the story though, for the full picture make sure to take a look at our mid-range resolution and telephoto resolution test pages before seeing how they compare at higher sensitivities in our High ISO Noise results - and don't forget our RAW results at the bottom of this page. We also have a comparison against its predecessor in our Lumix FZ45 / FZ40 versus FZ38 / FZ35 page.


Panasonic Lumix FZ100
 
Panasonic Lumix FZ45 / FZ40
 
Canon PowerShot SX30IS
f4, 100 ISO
f4, 80 ISO
f4, 80 ISO
f4, 100 ISO
f4, 80 ISO
f4, 80 ISO
f4, 100 ISO
f4, 80 ISO
f4, 80 ISO
f4, 100 ISO
f4, 80 ISO
f4, 80 ISO

 

Panasonic Lumix FZ100: trying to get the best out of the sensor

As mentioned above, we believe the FZ100's sensor suffers from worse noise than the FZ45 / FZ40 and Panasonic has increased the noise reduction to compensate. If this is the case it might be possible to squeeze a better quality JPEG from the FZ100 by adjusting the noise reduction and sharpness settings for JPEGs, or shooting RAW and processing the files using the supplied Silkypix RAW converter software or a third party conversion utility.

To put this theory to the test, we shot the same scene using the Panasonic FZ100 using its best quality JPEG setting with different noise reduction and sharpness settings. The FZ100 was set to Program mode and at 100 ISO selected an exposure of 1/500 at f4. There's a clear improvement in image detail in the second crop taken with NR set to -1 with little if any perceptible increase in noise, while the third crop with NR reduced to -1 and Sharpness increased to +1 shows more detail still. At the lowest ISO setting at least, it's worth considering adjusting the default noise reduction and sharpness in this way. But at higher sensitivities, noise will become more obtrusive with these settings.

Scroll down to see if there's any benefit to shooting in RAW with the FZ100, or if you're ready to move on, check out the camera's performance at different focal lengths in our mid-range resolution and telephoto resolution test pages before seeing how it compares at higher sensitivities in our High ISO Noise results.

Lumix FZ100 JPEG defaults
 
Lumix FZ100, NR reduced
 
Lumix FZ100, NR reduced, sharpness boosted
f4, 100 ISO, NR 0, Sharpness 0
f4, 100 ISO, NR -1, Sharpness 0
f4, 100, ISO NR -1, Sharpness +1




Panasonic Lumix DMC-FZ100: JPEG versus RAW (including FZ45 / FZ40 RAW)


We photographed the scene pictured above using the FZ100's RAW plus Large Fine JPEG mode, allowing us to directly compare images created from exactly the same data. Below are 100% crops taken from the original JPEG file alongside the RAW version, processed with the supplied Silkypix Developer Studio 3.1 SE; by default, the Unsharp Mask is set to zero in SilkyPIX, which unsurprisingly delivers a very soft result, so here we've increased the amount to 100 in order to accentuate fine details. We've also included crops taken from the FZ45 / FZ40's RAW file, processed with the same settings for comparison. Note in the first row of crops, the distant building was in shade when we took our FZ45 / FZ40 sample, but the other areas of the composition weren't affected.

At first glance the in-camera JPEG and processed RAW results from the FZ45 / FZ40 look quite similar with the default settings, but look closely and you'll spot greater noise speckles on the latter, especially in flat areas of colour like the blue sky. Clearly the FZ45 / FZ40 is applying greater noise reduction to its in-camera JPEGs by default than the standard settings of Silkypix. Which is better is entirely personal: some may like all speckles to be smoothed-out by noise reduction, even at the cost of ultimate detail, while others will prefer a more hands-off approach which leaves some noise behind in an attempt to preserve detail. Of course the important question is whether there is actually any more detail visible on the RAW version, and the answer is very little in this case. But the valuable thing is having access to a wide variety of settings to tweak, along a higher dynamic range to play with, so those who want to get the best from their FZ45 / FZ40 should definitely shoot in RAW and experiment with different settings for the desired result.

Moving onto the FZ100 crops, it's clear they're also showing more noise speckles than the in-camera JPEG; it's certainly revealing to see the FZ100 RAW file suffering from more noise than the FZ45 / FZ40 at the same ISO sensitivity. But while the FZ100 RAW crops below are noisier than those from the FZ45 / FZ40 alongside it, they're arguably preferable to the overly-smeared results from in-camera JPEGs. Clearly the FZ100's MOS sensor is noisier than the CCD in the FZ45 / FZ40, and Panasonic has attempted to mask this with overly-aggressive noise reduction. But for our money, turning down the noise reduction, whether on in-camera JPEGs or by processing RAW files, produces a better result. Yes there's much more visible noise, but also lots more detail.

Now let's look at how the camera performs at longer focal lengths in our mid-range resolution and telephoto resolution test pages before seeing how it compares at higher sensitivities in our High ISO Noise results.



Panasonic Lumix FZ100
 
Panasonic Lumix FZ100 (RAW)
 
Panasonic Lumix FZ45 / FZ40 (RAW)
f4, 100 ISO
f4, 100 ISO
f4, 80 ISO
f4, 100 ISO
f4, 100 ISO
f4, 80 ISO
f4, 100 ISO
f4, 100 ISO
f4, 80 ISO
f4, 100 ISO
f4, 100 ISO
f4, 80 ISO


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


If you found this review useful, please support us by shopping below!
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