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Panasonic Lumix DMC-FZ28 Gordon Laing, November 2008

Panasonic Lumix DMC-FZ28 gallery

The following images were taken with the Panasonic Lumix DMC-FZ28. Unless otherwise stated, the FZ28 was set to Program mode with 10M Fine quality, Auto White Balance, Multiple Metering, and the default zero positions for Picture Adjustments. Image Stabilisation was enabled for all these handheld images.

The individual exposure mode, file sizes, shutter speeds, aperture, ISO and lens focal length are listed for each image.

The crops are taken from the original files, reproduced at 100% and saved in Adobe Photoshop CS2 as JPEGs with the default Very High quality preset, while the resized images were made in Photoshop CS2 and saved with the default High quality preset.

The three crops are typically taken from far left, central and far right portions of each image.

Note: you may wish to open a number of galleries for direct comparison of detail and noise: Canon PowerShot SX10 IS sample images, Panasonic Lumix DMC-LX3 sample images and Canon PowerShot G10 sample images.

Landscape: 3.67MB, Program, 1/400, f8, ISO 100, 4.8-86.4mm at 4.8mm (equivalent to 27mm)

  This first shot was taken with the FZ28 under bright light at its lowest 100 ISO sensitivity and therefore represents ideal conditions.

Thanks to in-camera correction, there's no visible fringing. One look at the crops though reveals a disappointing softness, which isn't surprising given the f8 aperture.

Strangely the FZ28 prefers to stick below 1/500 in Program, which under bright conditions like these forces small apertures and diffraction as a result. Coincidentally the earlier FZ18 applied the same strategy.

Landscape: 4.81MB, Program, 1/400, f5.6, ISO 100, 4.8-86.4mm at 4.8mm (equivalent to 27mm)

  Another shot taken under bright light with the lens zoomed-out to 27mm at 100 ISO.

This shot was taken at a very low angle and a flip-out monitor would have made composing it much easier.

There's a fair amount of detail in the crops, and again a lack of fringing thanks to in-camera processing, but an ultimate crispness that's lacking compared to the Canon SX10 IS's version in its Gallery.

Keep an eye on that duck though as we'll see more of it in a moment.

Landscape: 4.68MB, Program, 1/400, f6.3, ISO 200, 4.8-86.4mm at 86.4mm (equivalent to 486mm)

    For this shot of an approaching boat we increased the sensitivity to 200 ISO and zoomed the lens to its maximum focal length.

The FZ28's continuous AF had no trouble tracking the boat and keeping it sharp despite the very long focal length.

The increase in sensitivity has however resulted in a visible increase in noise, and a loss of ultimate detail.

Wildlife: 4.83MB, Program, 1/320, f5.6, ISO 100, 4.8-86.4mm at 86.4mm (equivalent to 486mm)

  Remember the duck from the second photo? Here it is again at closer range as it waddled past us.

This time the lens was fully zoomed-in, and it illustrates the flexibility of the 18x range. At one moment you can grab wide landscape shots, and seconds later you could zoom-in for a close-up.

Here we've dropped the sensitivity to the minimum 100 ISO and the quality is noticeably superior to the samples above and below at 200 ISO.

Portrait: 3.87MB, Program, 1/500, f8, ISO 200, 4.8-86.4mm at 38mm (equivalent to 214mm)

  For this portrait we zoomed the lens to around mid-way, at an equivalent of 214mm. Face detection was enabled and the sensitivity set to 200 ISO.

Once again the FZ28 has refused to select a shutter faster than 1/500 in Program, thereby resulting in its minimum aperture of f8 under these conditions.

As such, the depth of field is quite large and there's also softening due to diffraction. We'd recommend using Program shift or Aperture Priority to avoid f8, and if you want a blurrier background, try standing back and zooming-in closer.

Macro: 4.75MB, Program, 1/160, f4, ISO 400, 4.8-86.4mm at 10mm (equivalent to 56mm)

  The Lumix FZ28 can focus down to 1cm in its macro mode when zoomed-out, but like others at this range suffers from pronounced geometric distortion and softness in the corners.

So for this macro shot we moved away a few cm and zoomed-into around 2x. The details are roughly the same size as being closer and wider, but the geometry is much improved and the field much flatter.

The crops show very sharp details which extend way beyond the centre - a good macro result.


Indoor: 4.57MB, Program, 1/40, f2.8, ISO 400, 4.8-86.4mm at 4.8mm (equivalent to 27mm)

  Our first indoor shot was taken with the FZ28 at 400 ISO and the lens zoomed-out

The boost in sensitivity has seen a visible increase in noise and noise reduction artefacts, particularly in shadows or flat areas of colour.

It's roughly equivalent to other cameras with 1/2.3in 10 Mpixel sensors like the Canon SX10 IS, and acceptable at smaller sizes. Like that camera, there's still good detail in the well-lit magazine covers.

Indoor: 3.47MB, Program, 1/20, f2.8, ISO 800, 4.8-86.4mm at 4.8mm (equivalent to 27mm)

  Our second indoor was taken with the FZ28 increased to 800 ISO. The shutter speed of 1/20 was easily stabilised by the camera.

As you'd expect, there's a significant increase in artefacts here. although the FZ28's noise reduction has minimised the visible speckles - this in turn has smeared away the finest details though.

There's still a reasonable amount of detail present, but you'd only want to use this for small prints.


Indoor: 2.97MB, Program, 1/80, f2.8, ISO 1600, 4.8-86.4mm at 4.8mm (equivalent to 27mm)

  Our final shot was taken with the FZ28 at 1600 ISO, where there's a significant drop in quality.

The colours are less saturated as a whole, and viewing at 100% reveals undesirable noise and processing artefacts.

Compared against the Canon SX10 IS, the artefacts here look slightly worse, but at 1600 ISO neither are acceptable for anything other than emergency use or for small online images.

All words, images, videos and layout, copyright 2005-2017 Gordon Laing. May not be used without permission.

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