Panasonic Lumix FZ47 / FZ48

Quality

Panasonic Lumix DMC-FZ47 / FZ48 vs Lumix FZ40 / FZ45 vs Canon PowerShot SX30 IS image quality

   
To compare real-life performance when zoomed-out, we shot this scene with the Panasonic Lumix FZ47 / FZ48, Lumix FZ40 / FZ45 and the Canon PowerShot SX30 IS within a few moments of each other using their best quality JPEG settings. Note I’ll update this page with SX40 HS samples when it becomes available.

The lenses on each camera were adjusted to deliver the same field of view and all three cameras were set to f4 in Aperture priority mode for a level playing field. f4 was chosen to maximise sharpness and minimise diffraction.

The ISO sensitivity was manually set to the lowest available setting on each camera: 100 ISO on the Lumix FZ47 / FZ48 and 80 ISO on the Lumix FZ40 / FZ45 and Canon SX30 IS.

  Panasonic Lumix FZ47 / FZ48 results
1 Panasonic Lumix FZ47 / FZ48 Resolution
2 Panasonic Lumix FZ47 / FZ48 Noise
3 Panasonic Lumix FZ47 / FZ48 Sample images

The image above was taken with the Panasonic Lumix FZ47 / FZ48 with the lens set to 6.5mm (37mm equivalent) and the aperture set to f4 in Aperture Priority mode; f4 was chosen to maximise sharpness while avoiding diffraction, and selected on all three cameras below for a level playing field. The FZ47 / FZ48 was set to its minimum sensitivity of 100 ISO, where at f4 it metered an exposure of 1/1000 and generated a JPEG measuring 5.08MB.

To remind ourselves, the Lumix FZ47 / FZ48 may be the latest of the three cameras compared below, but employs the lowest resolution of 12 Megapixels, compared to 14 on its predecessor and Canon rival. This slightly lower resolution is responsible for the correspondingly larger area captured by the FZ47 / FZ48 in the crops below, but does it suffer in terms of detail recorded? Let’s find out.

In the first row of crops, the biggest visible difference between the three cameras is the presence of coloured fringing on the Canon and their absence on the two Panasonics. Coloured fringing is prevalent on super-zoom lenses, but Panasonic manages to avoid it, not with superior optics but by digitally processing it out on JPEG images. The result is a much cleaner image which doesn’t suffer from the obvious fringing on the Canon.

Moving onto the second row of crops, there are minor differences in processing styles, but essentially the same amount of real-life detail recorded.

On the third row of crops, the two Panasonics share roughly the same amount of detail again, although some of the finest foliage detail on the Canon has been smeared-out by processing, and again there’s some coloured fringing apparent in areas of high contrast.

The final row of crops contain plenty of fine details and looking closely there’s little to tell the three cameras apart in terms of actual resolution. But in terms of style and processing there’s more to discuss. All three are exhibiting fine noise textures even at their lowest sensitivities, but the FZ47 / FZ48 enjoys a crispness that’s lacking on the other two, while the Canon once again is suffering from coloured fringing and a little softness.

This final row of crops is the decider in this first test, with the latest Lumix FZ47 / FZ48 delivering slightly crisper and preferable results to its predecessor despite – or arguably because of – its slightly lower resolution. In the meantime, I’d rank Canon’s SX30 IS bottom of this threesome in image quality due to coloured fringing in areas of high contrast and a slight smearing of fine details. To be fair, these differences are only apparent when pixel-peeping, and when printed or viewed at lower magnifications there’s not much to tell them apart at their lowest sensitivity. But look closely and there are differences as I’ve pointed out. Now let’s see how they compare across their sensitivity ranges in my Panasonic Lumix FZ47 / FZ48 noise results.

 
Panasonic Lumix FZ47 / FZ48
 
Panasonic Lumix FZ45 / FZ40
 
Canon PowerShot SX30 IS
f4, 100 ISO
f4, 80 ISO
f4, 80 ISO
f4, 100 ISO
f4, 80 ISO
f4, 80 ISO
f4, 100 ISO
f4, 80 ISO
f4, 80 ISO
f4, 100 ISO
f4, 80 ISO
f4, 80 ISO


Panasonic Lumix FZ47 / FZ48 results : Real-life resolution / High ISO Noise

Panasonic Lumix DMC-FZ47 / FZ48 vs Lumix FZ40 / FZ45 vs Canon PowerShot SX30 IS Noise

 
  Panasonic Lumix FZ47 / FZ48 results
1 Panasonic Lumix FZ47 / FZ48 Resolution
2 Panasonic Lumix FZ47 / FZ48 Noise
3 Panasonic Lumix FZ47 / FZ48 Sample images
To compare noise levels under real-life conditions we shot this scene with the Panasonic Lumix FZ47 / FZ48, Lumix FZ40 / FZ45 and the Canon PowerShot SX30 IS within a few moments of each other using their best quality JPEG settings at each of their ISO sensitivity settings. Note I’ll update this page with SX40 HS samples when it becomes available.

All three cameras were set to Program exposure mode and the lenses adjusted to deliver the same field of view.

The ISO sensitivity was set manually, apart from in the final row of crops where each camera was set to their respective low-light / high sensitivity scene presets, where coincidentally all automatically selected the same speed of 2000 ISO.

The image above was taken with the Panasonic Lumix FZ47 / FZ48 with the lens set to 7.4mm (42mm equivalent) and the aperture set to f3.2 in Program mode. The FZ47 / FZ48 was set to its minimum sensitivity of 100 ISO, where at f3.2 it metered an exposure of 0.3 seconds and generated a JPEG measuring 4.99MB. The crops below are taken from the area marked with the red rectangle and reproduced at 100%.

To remind ourselves, the Lumix FZ47 / FZ48 may be the latest of the three cameras compared below, but employs the lowest resolution of 12 Megapixels, compared to 14 on its predecessor and Canon rival. This slightly lower resolution is responsible for the correspondingly larger area captured by the FZ47 / FZ48 in the crops below, but does it also allow it to enjoy lower noise levels? Let’s find out.

With a lowest sensitivity of 100 ISO, the latest Lumix FZ47 / FZ48 actually misses out on a sample the first column, where the earlier Lumix FZ40 / FZ45 and Canon SX30 IS offer an 80 ISO setting. Both these models deliver roughly similar results in terms of detail, although worryingly both are also exhibiting clear noise textures even at double-digit sensitivities when examined closely at 100%.

The Lumix FZ47 / FZ48 joins-in at 100 ISO, and while having two fewer Megapixels results in a slightly larger area in its crop, there’s arguably no less detail recorded than its rivals. Faint noise textures are also visible, but they’re a little more discreet than the Lumix FZ40 / FZ45 and Canon SX30 IS at this point.

At 200 ISO noise levels increase on all three cameras, but the FZ47 / FZ48 enjoys a slightly crisper result than its predecessor and rival; the Canon SX30 IS is already suffering and becoming less defined than the other two.

At 400 ISO, noticeable noise reduction has kicked-in on both Panasonics, but the FZ47 / FZ48 is a little cleaner. Meanwhile, the Canon SX30 IS has suddenly become very noisy with some digital artefacts.

With the sensitivity doubled to 800 ISO, both Panasonics turn up their noise reduction, smearing out the speckles but also taking some fine detail with them. That said, pixel-peepers will probably prefer the FZ47 / FZ48 version. Once again the Canon is really suffering here and has fallen behind the Panasonics.

At 1600 ISO neither Panasonic is looking great, but again the newer FZ47 / FZ48 enjoys a visible edge at 100%. Meanwhile, the Canon is fast turning into an impressionist painting.

1600 ISO marks the maximum sensitivity of each camera at their full resolutions, but each offers a scene preset with access to higher sensitivities at a reduced resolution. There’s no manual control over the sensitivity in these presets, but interestingly all three cameras automatically selected the same setting of 2000 ISO. Once again the FZ47 / FZ48 enjoys the edge over its predecessor which is suffering from some unnatural-looking artefacts.

Panasonic’s decision to reduce the resolution of the FZ47 / FZ48 from its predecessor was in order to support faster continuous shooting and 1080i video, but as seen here it also enjoys the added benefit of slightly lower noise levels without compromising actual recorded detail. Pixel-peepers will see a small but visible edge over the FZ40 / FZ45, while both Panasonic’s continue to out-perform the earlier Canon SX30 IS at high sensitivities. Anyone hoping for a significant improvement in noise levels though will be disappointed to find the differences are quite subtle. Ultimately while the FZ47 / FZ48 indeed delivers better-looking images than its predecessor, you’ll have to look closely to spot the difference. That said, it’s a step in the right direction and I look forward to seeing Panasonic take further brave steps backwards in resolution to improve low-light performance. Then there’s Canon’s latest PowerShot SX40 HS which not only reduces the resolution from 14 to 12 Megapixels, but also switches from CCD to CMOS technology. Could we be witnessing the end of the Megapixel numbers game for prosumer super-zooms? I hope so, but make sure someone tells Sony…

Now head over to my Panasonic Lumix FZ47 / FZ48 sample images to see more real-life shots in a variety of conditions.

Panasonic Lumix FZ47 / FZ48
 
Panasonic Lumix FZ45 / FZ40
 
Canon PowerShot SX30 IS
80 ISO not available
80 ISO
80 ISO
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 (High Sens scene mode)
2000 ISO (High Sens scene mode)
2000 ISO (Low Light scene mode)


Panasonic Lumix FZ47 / FZ48 results : Real-life resolution / High ISO Noise

Buy Gordon a coffee to support cameralabs!

Like my reviews? Buy me a coffee!

Follow Gordon Laing

All words, images, videos and layout, copyright 2005-2020 Gordon Laing. May not be used without permission. As an Amazon Associate I earn from qualifying purchases.

Website design by Coolgrey