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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 Real-life resolution (approx 300mm)

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To compare real-life performance mid-way through their focal ranges, we shot this scene with the Panasonic Lumix FZ100, 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 to evaluate their performance around the middle of their zoom range. We opted for an equivalent focal length of around 300mm on each model.

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 47.5 mm (264mm equivalent) and the metering selected an exposure of 1/2000 at f4.5 with an ISO setting of 100. The original 4320 × 3240 pixel image had a file size of about 5MB.

As with the wide angle crops the Limix FZ100 looks very soft and lacking in detail compared with both the Lumix FZ45 / FZ40 and the PowerShot SX30 IS. In the first crop, you might argue that the image is merely less contrasty, but there's no escaping the lost of detail and even smearing that's visible in the second crop of the brickwork. And in the bottom crop none of the detail in the roof tiles that's showing in the FZ45 / FZ40 and SX30 IS crops is visible in the FZ100 crop.

The third crop is interesting because it shows something you can't see so much in the others. It looks very much like noise, or evidence of its suppression, or both. There's a clumpy look to the detail which, interestingly, is more apparent in the punchier, sharper FZ45 / FZ40 crop.

As far as middle of the zoom range performance goes, this is an easy call to make, with the PowerShot SX30 IS in first place, the Lumix FZ45 / FZ40 a creditable second and the FZ100 trailing in third place.

If you haven't done so already, be sure to take a look at our wide-angle resolution and telephoto resolution test pages before seeing how they compare at higher sensitivities in our High ISO Noise results.

Panasonic Lumix FZ100
Panasonic Lumix FZ45 / FZ40
Canon PowerShot SX30 IS
47.5mm (264mm) f4.5, 100 ISO
48.8mm (271mm) f4, 80 ISO
56.1mm (313mm) f5, 80 ISO
47.5mm (264mm) f4.5, 100 ISO
48.8mm (271mm) f4, 80 ISO
56.1mm (313mm) f5, 80 ISO
47.5mm (264mm) f4.5, 100 ISO
48.8mm (271mm) f4, 80 ISO
56.1mm (313mm) f5, 80 ISO
47.5mm (264mm) f4.5, 100 ISO
48.8mm (271mm) f4, 80 ISO
56.1mm (313mm) f5, 80 ISO

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

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