Fujifilm F100fd vs. Panasonic TZ5
Over the holidays I had both the Panasonic TZ5 and the Fuji F100fd to play with. I took some shots of my Christmas tree, and I was quite amazed to see that the results from the Fuji were much sharper and cleaner than the Panasonic's.
I then took some night shots of the city. I used manual ISO in all cases (which is very easy to change with e Panasonic, but real hassle with the Fuji). I took some shots with a flash, some without. The Fuji gave much sharper results than the Panasonic, with less smearing effects, and the colors were more faithful to the original with the Fuji.
Next I took a few pictures in a mall. Here I noticed a few things that the Panasonic did better: First, it gave a better balance between a flash lit object and the background. Another thing that I noticed was that there was much stronger barrel distortion with the Fuji at 28mm than the Panasonic. The Panasonic is rumored to correct distortion in processing, so maybe that's the reason. But other than that, the Fuji's picture quality is miles ahead of the Panasonic.
The Fuji fails (for me) in a few areas: the interface is AWFUL. It's just illogical. And as mentioned in the review, the camera selects ISO 800 any time you use flash. It's really tricky to change the ISO for flash photography. Another drawback for me is the movie mode, since I like to shoot short clips quite often. The Panasonic offers 720p and you can zoom while recording. But the video quality is not great. The Fuji's is only VGA and you cannot zoom while recording a movie (a deal breaker for me).
Another advantage to the Fuji is that it's smaller and fits in your pockets.
Fuji just announced a replacement, so the F100fd is available at great prices. If you don't care much about the movie mode, I cannot recommend this camera highly enough. It's a real eye opener to see the results that it can achieve for such a low price.