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Compared to... Olympus SP-500UZ

Below you will find a studio comparison between the Panasonic DMC-FZ7 and the Olympus SP-500UZ at ISO 400.

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

Studio scene comparison (@ ISO 400)

  • Panasonic DMC-FZ7: Aperture Priority mode (F5.0), ISO 400, Default Image Parameters, Manual (preset) white balance, +0.7 EV compensation
     
  • Olympus SP-500UZ: Aperture Priority mode (F5.0), ISO 400, Default Image Parameters,
    Manual white balance, +1.0 EV compensation
     
  • Lighting: Daylight simulation, >98% CRI
Panasonic DMC-FZ7
Olympus SP-500UZ
ISO 400, 1/320 sec, F5.0
ISO 400, 1/200 sec, F5.0
1,862 KB JPEG
3,830 KB JPEG

At ISO 400 both cameras are showing fairly obvious noise, and the main differences are how the cameras deal with noise reduction. The FZ7's sensor would appear to have higher chroma noise, and Panasonic's engineers have done their best to preserve as much detail as possible. This has worked - the FZ7 results look pretty sharp for a camera in this class, but there's no getting away from the fact that - even in this well-lit studio scene - there is an unacceptable amount of chroma noise in dark areas and the blue parts of the picture look very blotchy indeed. As usual, fine for small prints, but to be avoided unless you really need the extra sensitivity.

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