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Compared to... Panasonic DMC-FZ20

Below you will find a studio comparison between the Panasonic FZ30 and its predecessor, the DMC-FZ20, at ISO 400.

Studio scene comparison (@ ISO 400)

  • Panasonic DMC-FZ30: Aperture Priority mode, ISO 400, Default Image Parameters,
    Manual white balance, +0.66 EV
     
  • Panasonic DMC-FZ20: Aperture Priority mode, ISO 400, Default Image Parameters,
    Manual white balance, +0.66 EV
     
  • Lighting: Daylight simulation, >98% CRI
Panasonic DMC-FZ30
Panasonic DMC-FZ20
ISO 400, 1/250 sec, F5.6
ISO 400, 1/400 sec, F5.2
3,951 KB JPEG
2,401 KB JPEG
Noise, std dev: 6.1
Noise, std dev: 5.0

At ISO 400 the limitations of the FZ30's new chip start to show much more clearly, with most of the detail advantage offered by the extra three million pixels obliterated by noise - and more specifically the effects of noise reduction. By comparison, the FZ20 images (themselves noisy and showing nasty noise reduction effects) look quite clean. Again, ISO 400 is to be avoided unless you really need the extra sensitivity. In any case I'd advise using ISO 400 in RAW mode, which if processed using ACR yields images with more visible luminance noise ('grain') but considerably more detail and sharpness.

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