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Compared to...

Below you will find a studio comparison between the Panasonic DMC-FZ3 and the similarly specified Canon Powershot S1 IS at ISO400

*note: We didn't have an S1 IS on hand, however we have used a shot from a previous session, taken under identical conditions (thus the slightly different position of the items in the shot).

Studio scene comparison (@ ISO 400)

  • Panasonic DMC-FZ3: Aperture Priority mode, ISO 400, Default Image Parameters,
    Manual white balance, +0.3 EV compensation
     
  • Canon PowerShot S1 IS: Aperture Priority mode, ISO 400, Default Image Parameters,
    Manual white balance, +0.3 EV compensation
     
  • Lighting: Two 800W studio lamps with dichroic daylight filters bounced off the ceiling
Panasonic DMC-FZ3
Canon PowerShot S1 IS
ISO 400, 1/13 sec, F5
ISO 400, 1/25 sec, F4.5
1,388 KB JPEG
1,340 KB JPEG
Noise, std dev: 6.8
Noise, std dev: 5.2

At ISO400 the difference is even more obvious, with the FZ3 capturing considerably more detail and producing a much sharper result - again without any significant evidence of in-camera sharpening. Noise, on the other hand, is only just the right side of acceptable; the inevitable consequence of using such a small sensor (1/3.2 inch). Printed at 6x4 inches the noise appears as a slight graininess, and I'd rather have some noise than a soft image, but it would still be nice to see slightly more effective noise reduction on the FZ3 at higher ISO's.

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