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Compared to... Olympus SP-500UZ

Below you will find a studio comparison between the Panasonic DMC-FZ7 and the 6 megapixel 10x zoom Olympus SP-500UZ. We have included samples each camera's highest and lowest standard ISO settings (ISO 80 and 400).

See later in the review for the FZ7's special 'high sensitivity' ISO 800 and 1600 modes.

Studio scene comparison (@ ISO 80)

  • Panasonic DMC-FZ7 : Aperture Priority mode (F5.0), ISO 80, Default Image Parameters, Manual white balance, +0.7 EV compensation
     
  • Olympus SP-500UZ: Aperture Priority mode (F5.0), ISO 80, Default Image Parameters,
    Manual white balance, +1.0 EV compensation
     
  • Lighting: Daylight simulation, >98% CRI
Panasonic DMC-FZ7
Olympus SP-500UZ
ISO 80, 1/60 sec, F5.0
ISO 80, 1/50 sec, F5
1,817 KB JPEG
3,221 KB JPEG

Once again Panasonic is saved by the quality of the Leica-badged lens, which pulls an impressive amount of detail out of our studio scene and has admirable edge-to-edge consistency and good contrast / sharpness. On the digital side it's mostly good news too; color is excellent; natural and vivid without being overblown; there isn't any evidence of over-sharpening and the noise reduction is low enough to retain plenty of low contrast detail (in this well-lit scene). On the downside, there is some visible noise (especially in the watch face, which doesn't bode well for blue skies), as well as some (admittedly mild) artefacts / jaggies on diagonal lines - neither are serious enough to mar prints unless you intend to go bigger than A4.

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