Compared to... Panasonic DMC-FZ7

We'll start by looking at how well the FZ8 compares to the camera it replaces, the DMC-FZ7. We have included samples at each camera's lowest sensitivity setting (FZ8: ISO 100, FZ7: ISO 80) and ISO 400. See later in the review for the FZ8's higher ISO (ISO 800, 1250 and 3200) modes.

Studio scene comparison (FZ8 @ ISO 100, FZ7@ ISO 80)

  • Panasonic DMC-FZ8: Aperture Priority mode (F5.0), ISO 100, Default Image Parameters, Manual white balance, +0.33 EV compensation
     
  • Panasonic DMC-FZ7: Aperture Priority mode (F5.0), ISO 80, Default Image Parameters, Manual white balance, +0.7 EV compensation
     
  • Lighting: Daylight simulation, >98% CRI
Panasonic DMC-FZ8
Panasonic DMC-FZ7

ISO 100, 1/60 sec, F5.0

ISO 80, 1/60 sec, F5.0
3,241 KB JPEG
1,817 KB JPEG

Unsurprisingly there's very little difference at all between the FZ8 and its predecessor at the lowest ISO - and the extra megapixel gives a small resolution advantage. In general the edge-to-edge performance is excellent; the Leica-badged lens used on Panasonic's FZ series has always offered superb sharpness and contrast. Note that there is still a little of the corner softness in this, our second sample of the FZ8, but it is so mild as to be almost unnoticeable.

The output also looks a little cleaner than the FZ7, with less visible noise. This smoothness is, of course, a two-edged sword, as the Venus III noise reduction is also taking some of the texture of the scene away too. It's also worth noting that - though cleaner than the FZ7 - the output is still, if you look very closely, suffering from mild noise reduction artefacts (something much more visible when shooting scenes with lower lighting and less contrast).