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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 (telephoto)

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To compare real-life performance with the lenses zoomed all the way in, 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 the maximum telephoto end of their zoom range. For the Lumix FZ100 and Lumix FZ45 / FZ40 this is an equivalent of 600m and for the Canon Powershot SX30 IS it's 840mm.

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 the PowerShot SX30 IS.

The above image was taken with the Lumix FZ100 in Program mode. The lens was set to 108 mm (600mm equivalent) and the metering selected an exposure of 1/1600 at f5.2 with an ISO setting of 100. The original 4320 × 3240 pixel image had a file size of 4.91MB.

At the maximum telephoto end of its reach, 600mm equivalent, the Panasonic Lumix FZ100 results bear out what we've seen at the wide angle and mid-point of the telephoto range. Once again the crops are soft on details and show a clumpiness that's suggestive of a much higher ISO sensitivity than the 80 ISO at which they were shot. Having said that, looking at the extremely granular crops from the Lumix FZ45 / FZ40, you might prefer the softness of the FZ100 crops. In this set of crops, the Canon PowerShot SX30 IS treads the middle path producing a more balanced result.

At this stage its worth noting that the Lumix FZ100 image quality, while not the best we've seen and not up to the standards of either the Lumix FZ45 / FZ40 or the PowerShot SX30 IS, is by no means poor. The FZ100 doesn't suffer from the SX30's colour fringing problem and its overall image quality is certainly good enough for most applications. And, as we've seen, with a little effort there are some steps you can take to improve it.

If you haven't done so already, be sure to take a look at our wide-angle resolution and mid range 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
108mm (600mm) f5.2, 100 ISO
108mm (600mm) f5.2, 80 ISO
150.5mm (840mm) f5.8, 80 ISO
108mm (600mm) f5.2, 100 ISO
108mm (600mm) f5.2, 80 ISO
150.5mm (840mm) f5.8, 80 ISO
108mm (600mm) f5.2, 100 ISO
108mm (600mm) f5.2, 80 ISO
150.5mm (840mm) f5.8, 80 ISO

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

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