iZoom, FZ200, LX7, FastStone - a few thoughts

Started Apr 10, 2013 | Discussions thread
Detail Man
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Re: iZoom, FZ200, LX7, FastStone - a few thoughts
In reply to Mikedigi, Apr 12, 2013

Mikedigi wrote:

Detail Man wrote:

. . . . What counts is which approach is reducing loss of sensor resolution the least by minimizing sensor-cropping for the same composite Zoom Factor. . . .

I have always avoided digital zooms and I was expecting to find that iZoom was less usable than EZ.

To my surprise, I am impressed by this particular iZoom and I would imagine that the iResolution concept has made the difference.

Have a look at this image recorded by tinpusher on a LX5 in "Intelligent Auto" mode (which uses "i-resolution"):

http://www.dpreview.com/forums/post/36754973

The DPR (in-post-quoted) image display system is currently on the blink - but a link to this particular DPR Gallery image should (at least) display:

http://www.dpreview.com/galleries/5935060925/photos/653226

Note the horrible looking detail smearing in the trees along the perimeter of the lake. Note Panasonic's statement:

LUMIX's new Intelligent Resolution Technology automatically identifies parts with outlines, detailed texture areas and soft gradation areas, and optimizes the edge emphasis on the outlines and detailed texture areas while using the Venus Engine noise reduction process to make the soft gradation areas smoother.

http://www.panasonic.asia/lumix/philippines/features/ir_technology/index.html

It appears that "i-resolution" not only slectively sharpens - it also selectively smears fine details. In the case of tinpusher's image, it appears that low exposure fine foliage detail that may well have been pixelated by the limited resolution of the LX5's image-sensor was interpreted by the "i-resolution" processing as a "soft gradation" area. The results are (IMO) really wretched and troubling.

Theoretically, digital upsizing sounds like a bad idea, but here it seems to be rather well implemented.

So, Panasonic has defied physics ? Rather tricky of them to pull information out of no information.

Certainly, several birders are using iZoom and are liking it, and in their application, poor results would be obvious and unacceptable.

I have not seen the examples that you have seen - but it seems clear that they had better hope that pixelation (which will be more prevalent using a cropped image-sensor) does not add together with low exposure areas such that the "i-resolution" processing interprets those areas as "soft gradation areas". Non-linear sharpening that only works in good light on subject-matter that lacks significant amounts of very fine details seems to me like a potential recipe for trouble.

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