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Compared to... Fujifilm FinePix S9500 (S9000)

Below you will find a studio comparison between the Panasonic FZ50 and the similarly-specified Fulfil FinePix S9500 (S9000) at ISO 400.

Studio scene comparison (@ ISO 400)

  • Panasonic DMC-FZ50: Aperture Priority mode, ISO 400, Default Image Parameters,
    Manual white balance, +0.66 EV

  • Fujifilm FinePix S9500 Zoom: Aperture Priority mode, ISO 400, Default Image Parameters, Manual white balance, +0.7 EV compensation
     
  • Lighting: Daylight simulation, >98% CRI
Panasonic DMC-FZ50
Fujifilm FinePix S9500
ISO 400, 1/320 sec, F5.0
ISO 400, 1/200 sec, F5.7
3,499 KB JPEG
4,324 KB JPEG

At ISO 400 the superiority of the S9000's Super CCD sensor is obvious - noise (and therefore the amount of noise reduction needed) is lower. The bleeding reds and overall 'smearyness' of the FZ50 result look pretty poor in comparison but - crucially - the amount of high contrast detail retained is actually not that different (check out the fine text on the globe and batteries). Low contrast detail, on the other hand, has all but disappeared from the FZ50 image, meaning most of the fine texture in the shot has been lost. The sheer size of these images mean that the loss of detail is irrelevant for standard-sized prints. The bleeding and banding of the reds is still visible in small prints, however, and - when I produced a 6x4 inch glossy from this image - was the only thing that gave a clue as to the horrible mess Venus III makes of your pictures. You want to shoot ISO 400 or up? Turn the noise reduction down (or ideally shoot raw) and don't make big prints.

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