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Sony Cyber-shot RX10 Gordon Laing, February 2014
 
 

Olympus STYLUS 1 vs Panasonic Lumix FZ200 quality at 300mm

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To compare real-life performance at an effective focal length of 300mm, I shot this scene with the Olympus STYLUS 1 and Panasonic Lumix FZ200 within a few moments of each other using their base sensitivities and best quality JPEG settings. I tried every aperture setting and selected the sharpest result for the crops below.

For comparison here I attempted to match the vertical coverage as closely as possible on both models. Each was delivering an effective focal length of around 300mm on this page. The Sony RX10 is not included here as it does not offer a 300mm focal length. You can however come close to the results below with the RX10 by simply taking a 12 Megapixel crop from its 20 Megapixel frame.

For my results at other focal lengths, noise and RAW comparisons, see the results index above right.

  Sony Cyber-shot RX10 results
1 Sony RX10 Quality at wide angle
2 Sony RX10 Quality at 50mm
3 Sony RX10 Quality at 100mm
4 Sony RX10 Quality at 200mm
5 Olympus STYLUS 1 Quality at 300mm
6 Panasonic FZ200 Quality at 600mm
7 Sony RX10 noise
8 Sony RX10 RAW noise


On my fourth results page I'll compare both cameras at an equivalent focal length of 300mm, and as before I've attempted to match their vertical coverage by fine-tuning their zooms. The crops, as always, are taken from the areas indicated by the red rectangles and reproduced below at 100%. The STYLUS 1 and FZ200 crops show the same area as both share the same 12 Megapixel resolution, while the RX10 is not present here as its maximum focal length is 200mm.

I tested both cameras at every aperture setting and at an equivalent of 300mm I found the STYLUS 1 was crispest at f4, while the FZ200 performed best closed a stop further to f5.6.

Once again it's a repeat of what we saw on the earlier pages: the FZ200 looks crisper, but the STYLUS 1 looks less noisy. It's worth noting that noise speckles can actually give the appearance of a sharper image, so don't discount the STYLUS 1 as being softer due to lesser optics here. Ultimately both are delivering very similar degrees of real-life detail, although the STYLUS 1 is definitely a little cleaner.

Another thing worth mentioning is the RX10. Its lens may stop at 200mm equivalent, but its higher resolution means if you were to take a 12 Megapixel crop from this focal length, you'd actually end up with an image that covers almost the same area as the STYLUS 1 here. The Olympus manages to get a little tighter, so ultimately wins that battle, but the Sony comes very close so don't discount it if you want to shoot at 300mm.

300mm is the longest focal length of the STYLUS 1, so it too bows out at this point. But being a thorough reviewer I don't want to just say the FZ200 continues on to zoom twice as close. I want to see if it's any good at 600mm. Find out in my 600mm comparison. Alternatively you can compare their performance at higher sensitivities in my noise results or check out what's happening behind the scenes in my RAW noise results. Or perhaps you'd like to check out my sample images or skip straight to my verdict on all three cameras!

 

Olympus STYLUS 1
 
Panasonic Lumix FZ200
f4, 100 ISO
f5.6, 100 ISO
f4, 100 ISO
f5.6, 100 ISO
f4, 100 ISO
f5.6, 100 ISO
     
f4, 100 ISO
f5.6, 100 ISO
     
f4, 100 ISO
f5.6, 100 ISO

Sony RX10 results : Quality / At 50mm / At 100mm / At 200mm / At 300mm / At 600mm / Noise / RAW Noise


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