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Panasonic Lumix LF1 Gordon Laing, July 2013
 
 

Panasonic Lumix LF1 vs Lumix LX7 RAW Quality

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To compare the real-life performance in RAW I shot this scene with the Panasonic Lumix LF1 and Lumix LX7 within a few moments of each other using their RAW modes; note the Lumix TZ35 / ZS25 is not represented in this test as it only records in JPEG. My noise comparison is on the next page.

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 squares on the image opposite indicate the areas I've cropped for comparison below, where they're presented at 100%.

  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


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 both 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 5500K 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.

With a slightly higher resolution, the LF1 crops show a slightly smaller area in the crops, but as we saw on the previous page, there's no additional detail; indeed the LX7 crops remain crisper and better defined, thanks to what are quite clearly superior optics.

You'll also notice some jagged edges in the LF1 crops which weren't present on the in-camera JPEGs. I suspect this is down to Adobe Camera RAW's processing, especially with my unusually high degree of sharpening applied. Maybe the LF1 responds better to other RAW converters or certainly with less sharpening applied. I should note though the conversions were made using a final version of ACR which fully supported the LF1, and not a Beta version. I'll try the LF1's RAW files in other converters in the future to see if better results can be delivered.

In the meantime though it's hard to argue with the quality from the LX7 here and on the previous page. Despite 'only' having 10 Megapixels, it delivers the crispest details here, proving the importance of quality optics. Although again as I noted on the previous page, the LX7 is also larger than the LF1 and has a shorter zoom range, not to mention no built-in viewfinder. These are all things you have to weigh-up.

Now let's see how they compare at higher sensitivities in my Panasonic Lumix LF1 noise results. Alternatively skip to my Panasonic Lumix LF1 sample images.

 

Panasonic Lumix LF1 RAW
 
Panasonic Lumix LX7 RAW
f4, 80 ISO
f4, 80 ISO
f4, 80 ISO
f4, 80 ISO
f4, 80 ISO
f4, 80 ISO
f4, 80 ISO
f4, 80 ISO

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


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