FZ150 - Sharpness and NR tests - whats your opinion?

Started May 15, 2012 | Discussions
Dim67
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FZ150 - Sharpness and NR tests - whats your opinion?
May 15, 2012

Hi all,

I decided to do a sharpness and NR test with the FZ150 because I never really use any of those custom settings and wanted to see what difference they make.

At this point I'm not quite sure about the results so I'm back at leaving them at 0.

I set up a display indoors with just a single bulb lamp, camera on the tripod with Stab. off and used the 2 sec timer for the shots. Shutter was 1/20 but somewhere halfway the test it went to 1/30 but I dont think it made much difference.

The first pic is with all sliders set to 0, then I started setting the sliders each at an increment so the second pic is S-1 etc.

The pics are numbered 001 to 017 but the gallery put 017 at the top, so start at the bottom.

I know its a little time consuming, but please share your opinion on what you think looks best.

150

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GeraldW
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Re: FZ150 - Sharpness and NR tests - whats your opinion?
In reply to Dim67, May 15, 2012

That was a lot of work for you. Thank you.

The best looking, sharpest, and most detailed shots are those with + sharpening, and -NR. I thought +1 sharpening and -2 NR was the best.

I based my judgements on three things: 1) the overall impression; 2) the resolution of the little lines in the ribbon in the swallow's mouth; and 3) the label on the wine bottle - and there I looked at the pattern in the paper label, the coat of arms in the upper right, and the clarity of the small print at lower right.
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Tootsall
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Re: FZ150 - Sharpness and NR tests - whats your opinion?
In reply to GeraldW, May 15, 2012

I d.l. all of your shots in this series and opened them all up in PS at 200%. Positioned them all so they were in the same spot on the screen and then scanned up and down through them. For me there is no doubt I prefer Sharpness +1 and NR -1 or -2 (close call). I concentrated on the lines on the banner on the matchbox, the "grain" in the yellow ink on the matchbox (printing process usually leaves a bit of "grain" in the ink...looks like a matrix of dots or, as in this case, a sort of diamond mesh pattern...and it reveals how "sharp" the normal size view will be), the appearance of the wool, and the grain and noise level in the wooden figure upper left. Too much noise reduction kills that mesh pattern and "flattens" the picture as well as blurring the fuzziness of the yarn. Going +ve on the noise introduces noise particularly in the wooden figure; -ve on the sharpness and (you knew this was coming), the yarn loses clarity.

Then went back and viewed them all in "normal" (25%) to confirm my first thoughts.

But...that's just my opinion; your mileage may vary.

And...thanks for the work in putting that together.

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Lil g
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Re: FZ150 - Sharpness and NR tests - whats your opinion?
In reply to Tootsall, May 15, 2012

So let's say 20 people view and all average out a vote Sharpness +1 and NR -1. Is this a setting to leave or do you use this as guide for this type of indoor composition. Are these settings I would want to use outdoors with the LT-55. Would you always leave these on or would you forget them if higher shutter speed were available. Forgive the beginner questions but I love this type of very informative thread. There is a lot of credit to be given for the time that went into doing this test and a lot of credit to those who have taken the time to give well thought out answers and opinions. This is just great.
Thank you all
Greg

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Lil g
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Re: FZ150 - Sharpness and NR tests - whats your opinion?
In reply to Lil g, May 15, 2012

I would also add that by the time you get to 010 - S+1 NR-1. It appears to me that the Sensas Cabernet has been opened. Just sayin'...

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GeraldW
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Re: FZ150 - Sharpness and NR tests - whats your opinion?
In reply to Lil g, May 16, 2012

Greg,

As it happens, those are my usual settings for pretty much everything, including for use with my TCON 17 which is very similar to your Panasonic lens.

That shot may be NR = 0; but shapening is definitely +1.

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Lil g
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Re: FZ150 - Sharpness and NR tests - whats your opinion?
In reply to GeraldW, May 16, 2012

Thanks! I'll look forward to trying it this weekend, it's in the notebook.
Were you in the water for the whale tail?

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Tootsall
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Re: FZ150 - Sharpness and NR tests - whats your opinion?
In reply to Lil g, May 16, 2012

Lil g wrote:

I would also add that by the time you get to 010 - S+1 NR-1. It appears to me that the Sensas Cabernet has been opened. Just sayin'...

No...but the paella was ready to eat and went down well with a Singha beer.

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MissingLinkie
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Re: FZ150 - Sharpness and NR tests - whats your opinion?
In reply to Tootsall, May 16, 2012

Yep, i also set mine on the +1S NR -1.

And i also start to see a pattern here on DPR (i joint not that long ago..)

MANY Fz150 (or must i say pany )users are testing there cams
upto there limits -possibility's to get everything out of it,
that developers have put in it.
Is it my imagination that i dont see that often on other brands?
(i say often not always )

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sherman_levine
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Re: FZ150 - Sharpness and NR tests - whats your opinion?
In reply to MissingLinkie, May 16, 2012

Here, people contribute; in other forums, people critique.
Here is better.
Sherm

MissingLinkie wrote:

Yep, i also set mine on the +1S NR -1.

And i also start to see a pattern here on DPR (i joint not that long ago..)

MANY Fz150 (or must i say pany )users are testing there cams
upto there limits -possibility's to get everything out of it,
that developers have put in it.
Is it my imagination that i dont see that often on other brands?
(i say often not always )

-- hide signature --

This is just my RAW avatar....

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Nicholas Bell
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Noise Reduction -2, Sharpening +1
In reply to Dim67, May 16, 2012

Looks best to me , and are my normal settings (outside I also use contrast -1).

Nick

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GeraldW
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Re: FZ150 - Sharpness and NR tests - whats your opinion?
In reply to Lil g, May 16, 2012

No, we were in a small boat about 50' away. Our boat was larger than the one in the background, and covered. Held about 30 people. Things were happening all around us and you never knew where or when the whales would pop up. No chance to compose a shot most of the time - just point the camera in the right direction and shoot. I'd be looking at a whale in one direction and someone would say "oh, look" and I'd twist around and there would be something like that tail happening. I kept the lens zoomed to a fairly wide setting so framing wasn't a big issue, and the fast response of the FZ150 was a huge help. The guide said it was the best watching they had in a long time. This was a side trip off a cruise ship in Samana Bay in the Dominican Republic.

There was a guy on our boat with a semi-pro level Canon 7D DSLR and a 100-400 IS zoom lens. I wouldn't think he got much as the length of the lens made it hard to swing it around in the crowded conditions on our boat, and most of the time, he had too long a focal length. Having a wide zoom range and a compact camera was a big help.
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GeraldW
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Re: FZ150 - Sharpness and NR tests - whats your opinion?
In reply to MissingLinkie, May 16, 2012

I have always tested all my cameras over the last 30 years or more (I got my first good camera in 1955) and have posted quite a few times with test info on the Canon forum. However, I get better responses here. I have a Canon SX230HS and the ZS15 and will shortly be doing some side by side comparisons. The two are similar in many respects; but very different in others.
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GeraldW
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Re: Noise Reduction -2, Sharpening +1
In reply to Nicholas Bell, May 16, 2012

Nick,

Have you played around with saturation? I haven't tried it; but lowering contrast and raising saturation sometimes works (at least on some other cameras).
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Dim67
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Re: FZ150 - Sharpness and NR tests - whats your opinion?
In reply to Tootsall, May 16, 2012

Thanks for the replies! I guess it also depends on the subject matter, lighting conditions, aperture/shutterspeed and zoomrange.

Thanks Tootsall for the extra work in PS and confirm that S+1, NR-1 are just about the best settings.

Tootsall wrote:

I d.l. all of your shots in this series and opened them all up in PS at 200%. Positioned them all so they were in the same spot on the screen and then scanned up and down through them. For me there is no doubt I prefer Sharpness +1 and NR -1 or -2 (close call). I concentrated on the lines on the banner on the matchbox, the "grain" in the yellow ink on the matchbox (printing process usually leaves a bit of "grain" in the ink...looks like a matrix of dots or, as in this case, a sort of diamond mesh pattern...and it reveals how "sharp" the normal size view will be), the appearance of the wool, and the grain and noise level in the wooden figure upper left. Too much noise reduction kills that mesh pattern and "flattens" the picture as well as blurring the fuzziness of the yarn. Going +ve on the noise introduces noise particularly in the wooden figure; -ve on the sharpness and (you knew this was coming), the yarn loses clarity.

Then went back and viewed them all in "normal" (25%) to confirm my first thoughts.

But...that's just my opinion; your mileage may vary.

And...thanks for the work in putting that together.

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KDM
KDM
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Re: FZ150 - Sharpness and NR tests - whats your opinion?
In reply to Dim67, May 16, 2012

What a wonderful piece of work. I will register my preference for S+1, NR-1, and I would like to add my thanks. It must have been hard work and I am grateful that you are sharing the results.

It would be great if a moderator could award posts such as this a "sticky" classification so that newcomers to the forum could benefit from this really useful data.
Ken

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Nicholas Bell
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Yes, but...
In reply to GeraldW, May 16, 2012

Have you played around with saturation? I haven't tried it; but lowering contrast and raising saturation sometimes works (at least on some other cameras).

Yes I have Gerry, and it was just a little too colorful for my tastes. Used it while birding and I noticed they were prettier than real life. Those with the artistic eye and skill I lack might really find it useful. I don't mean to indicate that it is any way "over the top" like some of the other settings. I believe the idea is to lower contrast to help avoid losing detail in highlights while reintroducing color lost by doing this by increasing saturation. Makes sense.

Nick

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Ronald A Yorko
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Contrast
In reply to Nicholas Bell, May 17, 2012

Curious as to the effects of adjusting Contrast. I can understand the NR and Sharpness settings, but it seems the Contrast settings could effect both.

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GeraldW
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Re: Contrast
In reply to Ronald A Yorko, May 17, 2012

Contrast should increase or decrease the gradation between black and white (or with color) At least that's the theory. Not all cameras work that purely and there is often interaction between saturation and contrast.

The idea behind reducing contrast is to reduce the hotness of highlights, so they don't burn out; but images look "flatter" and less dynamic.. Increasing contrast adds a sense of greater sharpness and adds some "pop" to the images but you risk blown highlights.

The FZ150 has "picture adjust" settings for contrast, sharpening and saturation, plus noise reduction. So you can play around with the relationships between those parameters.
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MaartenSFS
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Re: Contrast
In reply to GeraldW, May 17, 2012

I have been using:
Contrast: 0
Sharpness: +1
Saturation: +1
NR: -1

I would be very interested to hear about others contrast and saturation settings. Do you keep those settings when using vivid mode?
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