Panasonic Lumix DMC-GX1 Gordon Laing, February 2012

Panasonic GX1 RAW vs JPEG

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To compare real-life performance between RAW and JPEG files on the Panasonic GX1, I shot this scene in the camera's RAW+JPEG mode.

The sensitivity was set to the minimum 160 ISO and the aperture to f5.6, which I'd previously confirmed delivered the sharpest images.

The JPEG was processed using the in-camera defaults, while the RAW file was processed using the supplied SilkyPIX software with a tweak in the Levels and an Unsharp Mask of 100 applied at the Export stage.
  Panasonic GX1 results
1 Panasonic GX1 Quality
2 Panasonic GX1 RAW vs JPEG
3 Panasonic GX1 Noise
4 Panasonic GX1 Sample images

On the previous page we saw how the Panasonic GX1's default processing for in-camera JPEGs is relatively laid back. Like the Lumix G3 before it, this is fine if you're not a fan of over-cooked processing, but equally the big question is how well do the GX1's images respond to a boost in sharpening and contrast? As always the best way to find out is to start with a RAW file so I shot this scene in the RAW + JPEG mode and processed the former with the supplied SilkyPIX software. For the desired boost I adjusted the Levels within the program and applied an Unsharp Mask at 100 during export.

The difference as seen below is quite dramatic and the processed RAW file is certainly much punchier, but is it technically any better? Looking closely the boost in sharpening has definitely enhanced a little more fine detail, most apparent in the tree foliage and buildings, but there's still a clumpiness in some of the trees in the second row of crops and also a slight posterised effect where certain details, like house roofs, appear as solid areas of colour. This is a trait I've seen before on some Panasonic cameras, but like these previous models it seems to affect some types of detail more than others.

It's definitely seen worst here on the second row of crops, and turning back to the previous page reveals the Sony NEX-5N and Olympus E-P3 delivering finer spatial and tonal details in those specific trees and rooftops which trip-up the Panasonic. But move onto the third and fourth rows of crops and the processing enhancements made to the GX1's RAW file here have delivered what most would agree to be a visibly superior result to the 5N and E-P3.

This illustrates a particular processing style may suit some types of subjects more than others even if they exist on the same image. More importantly it shows that while the GX1 isn't immune to the occasional clumpiness observed on previous Lumix models, its RAW files can certainly unveil finer details and punchier output if that's what you desire - and given the right subject matter the GX1 can compete and even outclass the best of its rivals on detail at low ISOs.

Now lets see how the camera performs at high sensitivities in my Panasonic GX1 noise results page. Alternatively if you'd like to download some photos to check out for yourself, head over to my Panasonic GX1sample images page, or if you've seen enough proceed directly to my Panasonic GX1 verdict!


Panasonic GX1
(JPEG using in-camera defaults)
Panasonic GX1
(RAW processed with SilkyPix and Unsharp Mask at 100 and Levels tweak)
f5.6, 100 ISO
f5.6, 100 ISO
f5.6, 100 ISO
f5.6, 100 ISO
f5.6, 100 ISO
f5.6, 100 ISO
f5.6, 100 ISO
f5.6, 100 ISO

Panasonic GX1 results : Quality / RAW vs JPEG
/ High ISO Noise

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