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Compared to...

Below you will find a studio comparison between the Konica Minolta Z5 and the similarly specified Panasonic DMC-FZ5 at each camera's maximum sensitivity (DiMAGE Z5: ISO 320, Panasonic FZ5: ISO 400)

Studio scene comparison (DiMAGE Z5 @ ISO 320, Panasonic FZ5 @ ISO 400)

  • Konica Minolta DiMAGE Z5: Manual mode, ISO 320, Default Image Parameters,
    Custom white balance.
     
  • Panasonic DMC-FZ5: Aperture Priority mode, ISO 400, Default Image Parameters,
    Manual white balance
     
  • Lighting: Six 18W Full Spectrum (>98 CRI) fluorescent tubes
Konica Minolta DiMAGE Z5
Panasonic DMC-FZ5
ISO 320, 1/320 sec, F5.0
ISO 400, 1/640 sec, F5.0
1,325 KB JPEG
1,372 KB JPEG
Noise, std dev: 5.1
Noise, std dev: 6.0

Things get much more interesting at the highest ISO settings (ISO 320 for the Konica Minolta Z5, ISO 400 for the Panasonic FZ5). Athough the DMC-FZ5 has measurably higher luminance noise (this is what we measure for our concise tests), it is easy to see from looking at the crops that the Konica Minolta Z5 has much more color noise - all shadow areas appear very blotchy. Just as bad is the almost total obliteration of fine detail in the Konica Minolta shot due to the huge amount of noise reduction necessary.

RGB Noise Comparison

Since the images produced by these two competing cameras have such widely different noise characteristics, we've analysed the noise on a per channel basis using a crop taken from our standard studio shot.

Konica Minolta Z5 @ ISO 320 Panasonic DMC-FZ5 @ ISO 400
100% crop 100% crop
Red Channel
Noise std. dev: 14.7

Red Channel
Noise std. dev: 6.1

Green Channel
Noise std. dev: 5.8

Green Channel
Noise std. dev: 4.2

Blue Channel
Noise std. dev: 6.5
Blue Channel
Noise std. dev: 4.5

As you can see, the Konica Minolta Z5 has considerably more noise - and a larger grain size - in the red and blue channels than the Panasonic FZ5 (and you can clearly see the noise reduction in action in the red and blue channels on the Panasonic images).

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