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Panasonic Lumix TZ40 / ZS30 Gordon Laing, Apr 2013
 
 

Panasonic Lumix TZ40 / ZS30 Handheld Night Shot

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Like most recent Panasonic compacts, the Lumix TZ40 / ZS30 features a Handheld Night Shot mode which stacks multiple images taken in a burst into a single image to reduce noise or shake.

On this page I've put the Lumix TZ40 / ZS30's Handheld Night Shot mode to the test. This automatically selects the sensitivity so I've compared it against the closest manual ISO setting in traditional modes.

 

 

  Panasonic TZ40 / ZS30 results
1 Panasonic TZ40 / ZS30 Quality
2 Panasonic TZ40 / ZS30 Noise
3 Panasonic TZ40 / ZS30 Handheld Night Shot
4 Panasonic TZ40 / ZS30 Sample images

Handheld Night Shot sets the exposure automatically and in this first example selected 1600 ISO at f3.3 and 1/8. I took the shot then tried to match it in Program with the same sensitivity. This time the camera selected the same f3.3 aperture, but a shutter speed of 1/6, which is a third of a stop longer.

Composite shooting models like Handheld Night Shot won't record more detail, but can iron-out visible noise by averaging the data across the frames. But in the example below I can't see much difference in noise between the two sets of crops. The Handheld Night Shot version looks punchier with higher contrast, and perhaps a little sharper, but the noise levels look very similar.

Scroll down for another example, or check out my Panasonic Lumix TZ40 / ZS30 sample images, or if you've seen enough, skip ahead to my verdict.

Panasonic Lumix DMC-TZ40 / ZS30: Handheld Night Shot at 800 ISO
f3.3, 1/8, 800 ISO
f3.3, 1/8, 800 ISO
f3.3, 1/8, 800 ISO

Panasonic Lumix DMC-TZ40 / ZS30: Program at 800 ISO
f3.3, 1/6, 800 ISO
f3.3, 1/6, 800 ISO
f3.3, 1/6, 800 ISO




Panasonic Lumix DMC-TZ40 / ZS30: Handheld Night Shot at 400 ISO

In this second example, Handheld Night Shot automatically selected an exposure of 1/8 at f3.3 and 400 ISO. Switching the camera to Program mode at f3.3 resulted in exactly the same exposure settings.

In this example the Handheld Night Shot version again looks like it has higher contrast and sharpening, but again the actual visible noise levels are no better - in fact if anything the higher contrast has made them more obvious on the middle crop of the pillar.

Both sets of results are a little disappointing for the composite mode which should reduce noise while maintaining detail. Yes, they're a little punchier, but the noise levels are much the same as the single frame versions. Of course this analysis is based only on these two examples and there may be situations where Handheld Night Shot delivers a superior result, but from my shots here there's nothing to get particularly excited about.

Now let's check out a selection of Panasonic Lumix TZ40 / ZS30 sample images, or if you've already seen enough, head over to my verdict!





Panasonic Lumix DMC-TZ40 / ZS30: Handheld Night Shot at 400 ISO
f3.3, 1/8, 400 ISO
f3.3, 1/8, 400 ISO
f3.3, 1/8, 400 ISO

Panasonic Lumix DMC-TZ40 / ZS30: Program at 400 ISO
f3.3, 1/8, 400 ISO
f3.3, 1/8, 400 ISO
f3.3, 1/8, 400 ISO


Panasonic TZ40 / ZS30 results : TZ40 / ZS30 quality / TZ40 / ZS30 Noise
/ TZ40 / ZS30 Handheld Night Shot


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