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Panasonic Lumix G6 Gordon Laing, June 2013
 
 

Panasonic Lumix G6 vs Canon EOS SL1 100D Noise

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  Panasonic Lumix G6 results
1 Panasonic Lumix G6 Quality JPEG
2 Panasonic Lumix G6 Quality RAW
3 Panasonic Lumix G6 Noise JPEG
4 Panasonic Lumix G6 Noise RAW
5 Panasonic Lumix G6 Sample images

To compare noise levels under real-life conditions, I shot this scene with the Panasonic Lumix G6 and the Canon EOS SL1 / 100D, within a few moments of each other using their best quality JPEG settings at each of their ISO sensitivity settings; my RAW noise comparison is on the next page.

The Lumix G6 was fitted with the latest Lumix G 14-42mm f3.5-5.6 Mark II kit lens, and the Canon EOS SL1 / 100D with the Canon EF-S 18-55mm f3.5-5.6 STM kit lens. Both lenses were adjusted to deliver the same picture height as seen opposite. The narrower 4:3 aspect ratio of the Lumix G6 meant small strips were cropped from either side of the composition compared to the Canon.


The image above was taken with the Panasonic Lumix G6. The camera was set to f5.6 in Aperture priority mode and the sensitivity to the base of 160 ISO; I'd previously confirmed that f5.6 delivered the sharpest result with the new 14-42mm lens. I used the same aperture for the EOS SL1 / 100D, again having pre-determined this to deliver the best results. I disabled Auto Lighting Optimiser and any other contrast enhancers as they can artificially increase noise levels; note I have a second comparison using RAW files on the next page. Both cameras metered exactly the same exposures, so you really are looking at like for like below.

The Panasonic features 16 Megapixels across a 4:3 shaped frame, while the Canon features 18 Megapixels across a wider 3:2 aspect ratio frame. For my tests over these four pages I matched the coverage across the short axis (vertically for this composition), so the Lumix G6 cropped a little from the left and right sides of this shot compared to the Canon. As such, both cameras were sharing roughly the same pixel density across the areas evaluated, and hence show similar magnification in the crops. Speaking of which, I took a crop from each image, indicated by the red square in the image above left and reproduced them at 100% below.

A quick glance at the crops below reveals similar differences to my outdoor resolution comparison: the Lumix G6 images are slightly more subdued than those from the EOS SL1 / 100D. The Canon images are slightly crisper and more contrasty. This is however down to different default approaches to image processing within the camera, and if desired, you can tweak either model to apply more or less sharpening, contrast, saturation or noise reduction. The important thing here is the amount of recorded detail and the amount of noise or noise reduction artefacts you can see at each sensitivity.

I'd say from their respective base sensitivities up to 800 ISO, both the Lumix G6 and EOS SL1 / 100D share a very similar degree of real-life detail and noise on their out-of-camera JPEG images. Again most of the differences you can see up to this point are down to sharpening and contrast.

But from 1600 ISO upwards, you can begin to see a different approach by each manufacturer when it comes to dealing with noise. The Lumix G6 becomes rougher around the edges while the EOS SL1 / 100D becomes more smudged, with both models losing the finest details. That said at 1600 and 3200 ISO they're still fairly similar in detail here.

At 6400 ISO though, both cameras really begin to deteriorate significantly, although I'd say the larger sensor of the EOS SL1 / 100D gives it the edge in overall quality at this point. You could argue the Canon looks better at 12800 ISO too, but really it's game over for both cameras by now and you wouldn't want to use either at this setting, let alone their maximum 25600 options.

So the contentious range, if we can call it that, lies between 3200 ISO and 12800 ISO, where the Canon enjoys a minor edge for pixel-peepers, but between their base sensitivities and 1600 ISO, there's little if anything to choose between them. So another good result for the Lumix G6 proving the smaller Micro Four Thirds sensor can compete against Canon's larger APS-C sensor in this category, but what's happening behind the scenes? Find out in my Panasonic Lumix G6 RAW noise results, or if you've seen enough, head over to my Lumix G6 sample images.


Panasonic Lumix G6 JPEG
 
Canon EOS SL1 / 100D JPEG
160 ISO
100 ISO
200 ISO
200 ISO
400 ISO
400 ISO
800 ISO
800 ISO
     
1600 ISO
1600 ISO
     
3200 ISO
3200 ISO
     
6400 ISO
6400 ISO
     
12800 ISO
12800 ISO
     
25600 ISO
25600 ISO

Panasonic Lumix G6 results : Quality / RAW quality / Noise / RAW Noise


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