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Compared to... Panasonic Lumix DMC-TZ3

Below you will find a studio comparison between the Ricoh R8 and the Panasonic TZ3 at ISO 800.

Studio scene comparison @ ISO 800 

  • Ricoh R8: Program mode, ISO 800, Default Image Parameters,
    Manual white balance, +1.0 EV compensation

  • Panasonic DMC-TZ3: Program mode, ISO 800, Default Image Parameters,
    Manual white balance, +0.66 EV compensation
     
  • Lighting: Daylight simulation, >98% CRI
Ricoh R8
Panasonic DMC-TZ3
ISO 800, 1/620 sec, F4.2
ISO 800, 1/500 sec, F4.4
3,666 KB JPEG
2,304 KB JPEG

The pattern does not change at ISO 800. There is even more noise on the Ricoh image (exacerbated by the quite heavy sharpening) and the Panasonic is just blurring any detail away that it can find. At the end of the day it is a matter of personal taste. You'll have to decide between the noise and blur, one of them you'll have to take. However, bear in mind that you can always run a noisy image through an anti-noise filter but you can't get any detail back that has been blurred away by the camera. From this point of view the Ricoh approach to noise reduction certainly gives the user more options and, if you're shooting in decent light, ISO 800 will produce a usable small print.

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