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Compared to... Panasonic DMC-FZ8

Below you will find a studio comparison between the Olympus SP-550UZ and the Panasonic DMC-FZ8 at ISO 400. See later in the review for the SP-550UZ's higher ISO modes.

Studio scene comparison (@ ISO 400)

  • Olympus SP-550UZ: Aperture Priority mode (F5.0), ISO 400, Default Image Parameters, Manual (preset) white balance, +1.0 EV compensation
     
  • Panasonic DMC-FZ8: Aperture Priority mode (F5.0), ISO 400, Default Image Parameters, Manual (preset) white balance, +0.7 EV compensation
     
  • Lighting: Daylight simulation, >98% CRI
Olympus SP-550UZ
Panasonic DMC-FZ8

ISO 400, 1/160 sec, F5.0

ISO 400, 1/200 sec, F5.0

3,833 KB JPEG
1,891 KB JPEG

At ISO 400 much of the advantage offered by the sharper Leica optic has been lost thanks to Panasonic's 'noise problem'. That said the SP-550UZ isn't a whole lot better, with obvious strong noise reduction artefacts and visible chroma noise in shadow areas. But there is still some detail there and the output would be perfectly usable for smaller prints.

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