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Panasonic Lumix FZ47 / FZ48 Gordon Laing, September 2011
 
 

Panasonic Lumix DMC-FZ47 / FZ48 vs Lumix FZ40 / FZ45 vs Canon PowerShot SX30 IS image quality

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To compare real-life performance when zoomed-out, we shot this scene with the Panasonic Lumix FZ47 / FZ48, Lumix FZ40 / FZ45 and the Canon PowerShot SX30 IS within a few moments of each other using their best quality JPEG settings.

Note I'll update this page with SX40 HS samples when it becomes available.

The lenses on each camera were adjusted to deliver the same field of view and all three cameras were set to f4 in Aperture priority mode for a level playing field. f4 was chosen to maximise sharpness and minimise diffraction.

The ISO sensitivity was manually set to the lowest available setting on each camera: 100 ISO on the Lumix FZ47 / FZ48 and 80 ISO on the Lumix FZ40 / FZ45 and Canon SX30 IS.

  Panasonic Lumix FZ47 / FZ48 results
1 Panasonic Lumix FZ47 / FZ48 Resolution
2 Panasonic Lumix FZ47 / FZ48 Noise
3 Panasonic Lumix FZ47 / FZ48 Sample images

The image above was taken with the Panasonic Lumix FZ47 / FZ48 with the lens set to 6.5mm (37mm equivalent) and the aperture set to f4 in Aperture Priority mode; f4 was chosen to maximise sharpness while avoiding diffraction, and selected on all three cameras below for a level playing field. The FZ47 / FZ48 was set to its minimum sensitivity of 100 ISO, where at f4 it metered an exposure of 1/1000 and generated a JPEG measuring 5.08MB.

To remind ourselves, the Lumix FZ47 / FZ48 may be the latest of the three cameras compared below, but employs the lowest resolution of 12 Megapixels, compared to 14 on its predecessor and Canon rival. This slightly lower resolution is responsible for the correspondingly larger area captured by the FZ47 / FZ48 in the crops below, but does it suffer in terms of detail recorded? Let's find out.

In the first row of crops, the biggest visible difference between the three cameras is the presence of coloured fringing on the Canon and their absence on the two Panasonics. Coloured fringing is prevalent on super-zoom lenses, but Panasonic manages to avoid it, not with superior optics but by digitally processing it out on JPEG images. The result is a much cleaner image which doesn't suffer from the obvious fringing on the Canon.

Moving onto the second row of crops, there are minor differences in processing styles, but essentially the same amount of real-life detail recorded.

On the third row of crops, the two Panasonics share roughly the same amount of detail again, although some of the finest foliage detail on the Canon has been smeared-out by processing, and again there's some coloured fringing apparent in areas of high contrast.

The final row of crops contain plenty of fine details and looking closely there's little to tell the three cameras apart in terms of actual resolution. But in terms of style and processing there's more to discuss. All three are exhibiting fine noise textures even at their lowest sensitivities, but the FZ47 / FZ48 enjoys a crispness that's lacking on the other two, while the Canon once again is suffering from coloured fringing and a little softness.

This final row of crops is the decider in this first test, with the latest Lumix FZ47 / FZ48 delivering slightly crisper and preferable results to its predecessor despite - or arguably because of - its slightly lower resolution. In the meantime, I'd rank Canon's SX30 IS bottom of this threesome in image quality due to coloured fringing in areas of high contrast and a slight smearing of fine details. To be fair, these differences are only apparent when pixel-peeping, and when printed or viewed at lower magnifications there's not much to tell them apart at their lowest sensitivity. But look closely and there are differences as I've pointed out. Now let's see how they compare across their sensitivity ranges in my Panasonic Lumix FZ47 / FZ48 noise results.

 


Panasonic Lumix FZ47 / FZ48
 
Panasonic Lumix FZ45 / FZ40
 
Canon PowerShot SX30 IS
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 FZ47 / FZ48 results : Real-life resolution / High ISO Noise




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