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Compared to... Kodak V610

Below you will find a studio comparison between the Panasonic DMC-TZ1 and the Kodak EasyShare V610 at ISO 400.

Note: The V610 doesn't have a custom (measured) white balance function, so these are the most neutral results we could get (after trying the various presets), using Auto White Balance. The color cast in these shots is purely down to the white balance being unable to correct completely our studio lighting.

Studio scene comparison (@ ISO 400)

  • Panasonic DMC-TZ1: Program AE mode, ISO 400, Default Image Parameters,
    Manual white balance, +0.33 EV compensation
  • Kodak V610 : Program AE mode, ISO 400, Default Image Parameters,
    Manual white balance, +0.33 EV compensation
  • Lighting: Daylight simulation, >98% CRI
Panasonic DMC-TZ1
Kodak EasyShare V610
ISO 400, 1/640 sec, F3.6
ISO 400, 1/630 sec, F4.1
1,951 KB JPEG
1,155 KB JPEG

There's not a great deal you can say about these results, they are both poor (with the Kodak V610 winning the award for least usable ISO 400 output we've seen this year). Panasonic's new Venus III engine is claimed to offer excellent noise reduction, but I'd rather have noise than this; blurred detail, watercolor-like artefacts, color bleeding (especially reds) and banding have robbed the image of most of the subtle detail the Leica lens is picking up. The sensor is, we know, noisy, but a bit of luminance noise (the 'grainy' stuff) never hurt anyone, and can actually help make an image look a bit 'crisper'. The Venus III engine has taken a sledgehammer to the noise nut, and I think I'd want to avoid using ISO 400 for anything but the smallest print. Finally, to be fair to Panasonic, next to the Kodak V610 the 100% crops actually look good.

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