Panasonic Lumix DMC-FX30

Panasonic Lumix DMC-FX30 vs Fujifilm FinePix F30 real-life noise

Panasonic Lumix DMC-FX30 results continued…

Outdoor / Resolution / Noise / Noise 2 / Corner sharpness / Fringe & macro / Distortion / Vignetting

To compare noise levels under real-life conditions we shot this scene with the Panasonic Lumix DMC- FX30 and Fujifilm FinePix F30 within a few moments using each of their ISO settings.

The zoom lenses of each camera were adjusted to deliver the same field of view; the Fujifilm F30 crops show a slightly larger field due to its slightly lower resolution.

The image left was taken with the Panasonic Lumix DMC-FX30 at 7mm f3.3 and at 100 ISO; the original measured 3.31MB. The crops are taken from an area just below and to the left of the centre.

At 100 ISO, the Panasonic FX30 captures a decent degree of detail, but noise is already apparent even at this lowest sensitivity. At 200 ISO it’s become sufficient for the FX30’s noise reduction to kick-in and smear-out a lot of fine detail: foliage on trees and bushes are almost rendered into a solid colour.

With the sensitivity increased to 400 ISO, there’s a drop in saturation with a washed-out appearance, while at 800 and 1250 ISO, noise dominates the image. When set to the 3200 ISO High Sensitivity preset, the resolution is reduced and the processing hiked-up for an almost cartoon-like effect.

Visible noise at every sensitivity, even the lowest 100 ISO setting, is sadly something that’s become par for the course on modern compacts and especially those from Panasonic. We don’t like it, but unfortunately that’s the current state of play. The results below are essentially no different from what you’d get with the Lumix FZ8 for example.

Before you completely resign yourself to noise on a compact though, take a look at the results from the Fujifilm FinePix F30, below right. This manages to hold it together pretty well up to 400 ISO, and despite some unpleasant processing artefacts at higher sensitivities, still looks better than the competition. The Fujifilm F30, and its successor the F31fd, are two of the best compacts when it comes to respectable quality at higher sensitivities, and we can only hope their replacement, the FinePix F50fd with its hike to 12 Megapixels, doesn’t compromise and end up looking like the rest of the pack.

Panasonic Lumix FX30
Fujifilm FinePix F30
Panasonic FX30 at 100 ISO   Fujifilm F30 at 100 ISO
100 ISO
100 ISO
Panasonic FX30 at 200 ISO   Fujifilm F30 at 200 ISO
200 ISO
200 ISO
Panasonic FX30 at 400 ISO   Fujifilm F30 at 400 ISO
400 ISO
400 ISO
Panasonic FX30 at 800 ISO   Fujifilm F30 at 800 ISO
800 ISO
800 ISO
Panasonic FX30 at 1250 ISO   Fujifilm F30 at 1600 ISO
1250 ISO
1600 ISO
Panasonic FX30 at 3200 ISO   Fujifilm F30 at 3200 ISO
3200 ISO (High Sensitivity preset)
3200 ISO
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