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Compared to... Fujifilm FinePix S8000fd and Olympus SP-560UZ

Below you will find a studio comparison between the Panasonic DMC-FZ18, the Fujifilm Finepix S8000fd and the Olympus SP-560UZ at ISO 800.

Studio scene comparison (@ ISO 800)

  • Panasonic DMC-FZ18: Aperture Priority mode, ISO 800, Default Image Parameters, Manual white balance, +0.66 EV compensation
     
  • Fujifilm FinePix S8000fd: Aperture Priority mode, ISO 800, Default Image Parameters, Manual white balance, +0.67 EV compensation

  • Olympus SP-560UZ : Aperture Priority mode, ISO 800, Default Image Parameters, Manual white balance, +0.7 EV compensation
     
  • Lighting: Daylight simulation, >98% CRI
Panasonic DMC-FZ18
Fujifilm S8000fd
Olympus SP-560UZ

ISO 800, 1/500 sec, F4.5

ISO 800, 1/480 sec, F4.5

ISO 800, 1/800 sec, F4.5
2,830 KB JPEG
2,959 KB JPEG
2,444 KB JPEG

Here you can see much more clearly the different approaches to noise reduction, none particularly satisfactory. While the Panasonic's output is very soft it actually shows a lot of chroma (color) noise in the shadow areas. The Fujifilm looks much sharper, but has only fractionally more detail and shows strong noise reduction artefacts. The classic smearing of color we've seen with all Venus III equipped cameras has been toned down a little, but we're losing more luminance detail than we did with the FZ8 - and there's more visible noise. As ever, with such a small sensor, it's swings and roundabouts, and there simply isn't anything the manufacturers can do with such a noisy signal; they can't win.

High ISO is one of the marketing weapons of choice this year, but as these (and most other) results show, we are still a long away from really usable results at ISO 800 and above. It might be alright for the odd party-snap but printing it on anything above postcard size will not be worth the expense.

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Comments

Pranay Verma

This is a fantastic camera. Shooting with lights gives a very good output. This camera is not meant for shooting in the night, inspite of that the results are spectacular.

On Diwali (a celebration of lights in India) I shot this video and you would be amazed with the quality. Mind it, this is a VGA output and not 720 or HD.

The link is http://youtu.be/GJGF0nl-7NY

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