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Panasonic Lumix DMC-TZ8 / ZS5 Ken McMahon, August 2010

Panasonic Lumix DMC-TZ8 / ZS5 results: Real-life resolution / High ISO Noise

Panasonic Lumix DMC-TZ8 / ZS5 vs Sony Cyber-shot DSC-H55 vs Nikon COOLPIX S8000 High ISO Noise

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To compare noise levels under real-life conditions we shot this scene with the Panasonic Lumix DMC-TZ8 / ZS5, Sony Cyber-shot DSC-H55, and the Nikon COOLPIX S8000.

The lenses on all three cameras were set to approximate the same field of view and ISO was manually set.

The above shot was taken with the the Panasonic Lumix DMC-TZ8 / ZS5 in Program mode with the lens at a wide angle setting of 5mm (30mm). The ISO sensitivity was set to 80 and the exposure was one second at f3.4. The crops are taken from the area marked with the red square and presented below at 100%.

Overall, the results from the Lumix TZ8 / ZS5 are very good, with the lower ISO settings producing good detail with little evidence of noise. It's really very hard to fault the 80 ISO crop which shows excellent details in both the stone column on the left and the wood panelling. At 100 ISO there are one or two specles beginning to appear, but even in the 100 percent crops you have to look very hard to spot the change.

200 ISO is a bit of a watershed, the detail in the stone column has deteriorated and, though it's less noticeable the same thing has happenned in the wood panelling; this is still a very acceptable image though. At 400 ISO the noise is beginning to gain the upper hand, but the Lumix TZ8 / ZS5's attempts to process it out are effective without being intrusive, the worst of the noise has been subdued without too much softening of image detail as a result.

At 800 ISO it's starting to look bad. The edge of the column is beginning to break up and it's all looking very clumpy. and at 1600 ISO it's becoming hard to tell the noise and the processing apart from any actual image pixels.

You don't have to look very hard to see that the Lumix TZ8 / ZS5 outshines the COOLPIX S8000 every step of the way from the COOLPIX S8000's lowest 100 ISO setting all the way up the scale. In fact we'd go so far as to say that the Lumix TZ8 / ZS5 400 ISO crop is better than the COOLPIX S8000 100 ISO crop.

The comparison with the Sony Cyber-shot H55 is more interesting. At 80 ISO we think the Lumix has the edge on the H55, the crop is cleaner and shows more detail. From 100 ISO upwards the crops differ, but you couldn't really say one was better than the other. The Panasonic crops are smoother, the Sony ones granier, it's really a question of personal preference.

It's interesting to note that the 3 Megapixel High Sensitivity scene mode on the Panasonic Lumix DMC-TZ8 / ZS5 has produced a far better result than any of the manual ISO settings above 400 ISO, if you can live with the smaller image size, this is a really useful low-light feature to have at your disposal. Now head over to our Panasonic Lumix DMC-TZ8 / ZS5 gallery to see some more real-life shots in a variety of conditions.

Panasonic Lumix DMC-TZ8 / ZS5
Sony Cyber-shot DSC-H55
Nikon COOLPIX S8000
80 ISO
80 ISO
80 ISO Not available
100 ISO
100 ISO
100 ISO
200 ISO
200 ISO
200 ISO
400 ISO
400 ISO
400 ISO
800 ISO
800 ISO
800 ISO
1600 ISO
1600 ISO
1600 ISO
2000 ISO (Low Light scene mode)
3200 ISO
3200 ISO

Panasonic Lumix DMC-TZ8 / ZS5 results: Real-life resolution / High ISO Noise

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