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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 1600.

Studio scene comparison (@ ISO 1600)

  • Panasonic DMC-FZ18: Aperture Priority mode, ISO 1600, Default Image Parameters, Manual white balance, +0.66 EV compensation
     
  • Fujifilm FinePix S8000fd: Aperture Priority mode, ISO 1600, Default Image Parameters, Manual white balance, +0.33 EV compensation

  • Olympus SP-560UZ : Aperture Priority mode, ISO 1600, Default Image Parameters, Manual white balance, +0.7 EV compensation
     
  • Lighting: Daylight simulation, >98% CRI

Note: ND4 filter (2 stops) used on all three cameras.

Panasonic DMC-FZ18
Fujifilm S8000fd
Olympus SP-560UZ

ISO 1600, 1/250 sec, F4.5 ND4

ISO 1600, 1/320 sec, F4.5 ND4

ISO 1600, 1/320 sec, F4.5 ND4
2,455 KB JPEG
3,084 KB JPEG
2,782 KB JPEG

The ISO 1600 output of all three candidates can be recommended for emergency use only. The pattern that has been developing on the previous pages becomes even clearer here. The FZ18 is heavily blurring all chroma noise and thus converting the image into a rather unpleasant watercolor scene, while the Fuji is preserving a little more detail and producing a sharper looking image, but one that looks like it's been viewed through beaded glass, so strong are the noise reduction artefacts. The Olympus is occupying the middle ground, but still looks awful, proving that there's simply no noise reduction system on earth capable of taking a couple of morsels of real picture information and plucking them out of the soup of noise to produce a result that even looks vaguely like a 'photograph'. I have to say the Panasonic is undoubtedly the worse of the bunch here.

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