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Panasonic Lumix ZS15 / TZ25 Ken McMahon, June 2012
 
 

Panasonic Lumix ZS15 / TZ25 vs Lumix ZS20 / TZ30 vs Canon PowerShot SX240 HS image quality

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To compare real-life performance when zoomed-out, I shot this scene with the Panasonic Lumix ZS15 / TZ25, the Lumix ZS20 / TZ30 and the Canon PowerShot SX240 HS, within a few moments of each other using their best quality JPEG settings.

The lenses all three cameras were set to an equivalent field of view and all were set to Aperture Priority exposure mode.

The ISO sensitivity was manually set to 100 ISO on each camera.

  Lumix ZS15 / TZ25 results
1 Lumix ZS15 / TZ25 Quality
2 Lumix ZS15 / TZ25 Noise
3 Lumix ZS15 / TZ25 Sample images

The above image was taken with the Panasonic Lumix ZS15 / TZ25. The lens was zoomed in slightly to 5.9mm to provide an equivalent field of view to the Lumix ZS20 / TZ30 and Canon PowerShot SX240 HS. To provide a fair comparison and to avoid diffraction from a small aperture setting the Lumix ZS15 / TZ25 was set to Aperture priority mode and I selected an aperture of f4 which resulted in a shutter speed of 1/320. For this tripod-mounted test stabilisation was disabled. The original Fine JPEG file was 5.2MB in size. The crops are taken from the areas marked with red rectangles and presented here at 100%.

These bright overcast conditions should prove no problem for the PowerShot ZS15 / TZ25, but in fact all three cameras overexposed the scene slightly, resulting in highlight clipping. Aside from the slight overexposure, the ZS15 / TZ25 has produced a good result with plenty of contrast and neutral, natural looking colours.

The ZS15 / TZ25 crops show a good level of detail overall with little noise, but a degree of softness, particularly towards the edge of the frame. In the lighthouse crop the lighthouse itself is a little indistinct and there's the merest hint of a colour fringe in the third crop from the extreme edge of the frame. The edge detail in this crop is quite soft too, particularly when you compare it with the fourth crop from the centre of the frame which has much sharper edges.

Overall this is a good result from the Lumix ZS15 / TZ25's 12.1 Megapixel CMOS sensor just a little let down by the softness at the frame edges.

Compared with the 14 Megapixel Lumix ZS20 / TZ30 the results are closer than you might expect. In the crops from the frame edges there's not much to choose between them but, comparing the final crop from the centre of the frame, there's a little more detail in the ZS15 / TZ25 crop and it's sharper. The comparative lack of detail in the crop from the ZS20 / TZ30 is due to a degree of noise which, if you look closely you can see in all four crops. Perhaps unsurprisingly, the ZS15 / TZ25 has a slight quality edge due to it's superior noise performance at 100 ISO. It'll be interesting to see what effect this has at higher ISO sensitivites on the next page.

Compared with the Panasonic Lumix ZS15 / TZ25, the PowerShot SX240 HS crops actually look remarkably similar. Both cameras have a 12 Megapixel sensor and there's very little to choose between them in terms of either the resolving power of their respective lenses or the image detail recorded by the sensor. The detail in the first crop is a little softer on the Lumix ZS15 / TZ25 and the lighthouse is less well defined - though this is more due to slight overexposure on the ZS15 / TZ25 than lens or sensor deficiencies. In the third crop the Lumix ZS15 / TZ25 has the edge for sharpness, but in the centre of the frame the edge detail is better defined by the SX240 HS. Overall I'd say the PowerShot SX240 HS produces slightly sharper results.

See how these models compare at higher sensitivities in my Lumix ZS15 / TZ25 Noise results.

 


Panasonic Lumix ZS15 / TZ25
 
Panasonic Lumix ZS20 / TZ30
 
Canon PowerShot SX240 HS
f4, 100 ISO
f4, 100 ISO
f4, 100 ISO
f4, 100 ISO
f4, 100 ISO
f4, 100 ISO
f4, 100 ISO
f4, 100 ISO
f4, 100 ISO
f4, 100 ISO
f4, 100 ISO
f4, 100 ISO


Panasonic Lumix ZS15 / TZ25 results : Quality / Noise



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