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Panasonic Lumix LF1 Gordon Laing, July 2013
 
 

Panasonic Lumix LF1 vs Lumix LX7 RAW Noise

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  Panasonic Lumix LF1 results
1 Panasonic Lumix LF1 Quality JPEG
2 Panasonic Lumix LF1 Quality RAW
3 Panasonic Lumix LF1 Noise JPEG
4 Panasonic Lumix LF1 Noise RAW
5 Panasonic Lumix LF1 Sample images

To compare RAW noise levels under real-life conditions, I shot this scene with the Panasonic Lumix LF1 and Lumix LX7 within a few moments of each other using their RAW modes at each of their ISO sensitivity settings.

The lenses were both adjusted to deliver an equivalent field of view and stabilisation disabled for this tripod-based test. I then put the cameras into Aperture Priority and selected the f-number I'd previously determined to deliver the best quality. Coincidentally this was the same value for both cameras: f4.

As always the red square on the image opposite indicates the area I've cropped for comparison below, where they're presented at 100%.


In my comparison below you can see how the Lumix LF1 compares against the Lumix LX7 when both cameras are set to RAW. I processed all files in Adobe Camera RAW using identical settings: Sharpening at 70 / 0.5 / 36 / 10, Luminance and Colour Noise Reduction both set to zero, the White Balance set to 3650K and the Process to 2012 with the Adobe Standard profile. These settings were chosen to reveal the differences in sensor quality and isolate them from in-camera processing. The high degree of sharpening with a small radius enhances the finest details without causing undesirable artefacts, while the zero noise reduction unveils what's really going on behind the scenes - as such the visible noise levels at higher ISOs will be much greater than you're used to seeing in many comparisons, but again it's an approach that's designed to show the actual detail that's being recorded before you start work on processing and cleaning it up if desired.

Once again what you're looking at below are two cameras which share the same 1/1.7in sensor size, but slightly different resolutions: 12 Megapixels on the LF1 and 10 Megapixels on the LX7. Obviously they also have different lenses, but with the crops coming from near the center of the frame, and the same processing applied to both models, we're really comparing the sensors here.

I'll keep it brief here: I'd say between 80 and 800 ISO, both the LF1 and LX7 share very similar noise characteristics, not to mention similar degrees of real life detail. The two extra Megapixels of the LF1 aren't delivering finer details, and the two fewer Megapixels of the LX7 aren’t delivering lower noise. Interestingly on the previous page I reckoned the LX7 enjoyed a minor edge up to 800 ISO, but when comparing their RAW files with the same processing settings, they're much closer.

At 1600 ISO upwards, pixel-peepers might notice fractionally higher evidence of chroma noise on the LF1, but not enough to choose one over the other - and besides at this point neither camera is delivering much detail to work with.

So once again when it comes to actual noise levels and detail recorded by their sensors throughout their sensitivity ranges I'd rank the Lumix LF1 and LX7 on a similar level - as you should expect given their identical sensor size and similar resolutions. But the more important story in my tests is that the LX7 can resolve finer details overall thanks to a sharper lens, something that's particularly evident in my outdoor results at the start of this section. So you'll have to weigh-up whether the longer zoom range, built-in viewfinder and smaller body of the LF1, not to mention its wireless connectivity, is worth having over the ultimately sharper results from the LX7. But as I've said before, even though the LX7 delivers crisper results, the Lumix LF1 is still capable of very respectable image quality, and you'll see more examples in my Panasonic Lumix LF1 sample images.


Panasonic Lumix LF1 RAW
 
Panasonic Lumix LX7 RAW
80 ISO
80 ISO
     
100 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 not available in RAW


Panasonic Lumix LF1 results : Quality / RAW quality / Noise / RAW Noise


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