FZ1000 Wide Angle Soft, maybe only ~13MP of detail

Started Aug 9, 2014 | Discussions
Eigenmeat Contributing Member • Posts: 511
FZ1000 Wide Angle Soft, maybe only ~13MP of detail
8

I just received my FZ1000, and oh boy, the thing is a blast to shoot with. I absolutely like everything about the camera, except the image quality at wide angle(~25-30mm). From 50mm onward, the FZ1000 lens is beast, pin sharp corner to corner. After reading the DPR review closely, they also have similar experience. I normally all for software lens correction, but I think Panny went too far on this one, especially on a flagship prosumer camera. The lens is wayyyy under design at wide angle to provide anywhere near 20MP worth of information. Anyways, I decided to a my own test to see how much sensor information are actually being thrown away for the correction.

All sample below are available at original 100% resolution.

OOC JPG, -5 noise reduction, +3 sharpening

1. OOC JPG, -5 noise reduction, +3 sharpening, the sharpness is relatively poor once you move out 1/3 away from the frame

RT basic sharpen, no NR, no distortion correction

2. I then loaded the raw into RawTherapy, basic sharpen, no noise reduction.(Color are different I know, RT color just turns out to be nicer in this case)

-Imaging circle of the lens does not cover the sensor at all. Those corner are black and contain no information. There goes ~2MP worth of sensor information goes out the window right at the start.

-The field of view is much wider than OOC JPG

-It's actually quite sharp corner to corner(check original), much better than OOC JPG. This rule out that my lens might be defective.

-I had to resize little bit on this one, as DPR dose accept image more than 20MP. RT output slightly more than 20MP for FZ1000 raw.

RT raw output distortion correct in Photoshop and crop to same angle of view as OOC JPG

3. I manually corrected the RT raw in distortion, and crop to approximately to the same field of view as the OOC JPG, see below

-You guys should open up the original file, u will see it's actually quite sharp per pixel(much sharper than OOC JPG), but...

-but here is the kick, you are only left with a 12MP image(once again, see original image below)!! The camera(and Lightroom/ACR) simply re-interpolate the image back to 20MP!

-I admit than my distortion correction is not perfect nor the most efficient, but there is no way for Panny to use more than 13-14 MP worth of actual sensor pixel to generate the "20MP" wide angle image.

This show much is being cropped away!

4th. This is to show how much I cropped away to attain the OOC JPG field of view. They could actually go abit wider to attain 24mm eqv. without hitting the black corners.

Well that is it, do you guys think that is too much software lens magic for a flagship model? And Frankly, the magic does not work too well in this case. I felt the humble $90 kit lens on my EOS-M was giving me sharper images at wide angle. I am very disappointed, as I used the extreme wide end alot. But then, there are so much to like on the other aspects of the camera... Tough decision

Appendix: Rawtherapee best effort, and Lightroom conversion

Highest field of view from RT without hitting any black corners, re-interpolated back to 20MP

Conversion from LR, basically very similar to OOC.

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OP Eigenmeat Contributing Member • Posts: 511
Appendix II, UnCorrected Raw R10

for comparison, here is an uncorrected raw from the RX10 at 24mm eqv

Disclaimer, I don't own an RX10, the sample below is taken from a raw files provided by the Ephotozine RX10 review.

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halfwaythere Contributing Member • Posts: 893
Re: FZ1000 Wide Angle Soft, maybe only ~13MP of detail

I'm not sure I understand your post. Lens corrections are the norm these days and surely not a reason to complain about it this much.

To my eyes the images are very sharp with great detail corner to corner. Maybe the sensor records a wider but that doesn't really matter since you can't really use it.

Stuart T Forum Member • Posts: 61
Re: FZ1000 Wide Angle Soft, maybe only ~13MP of detail
1

Hmm, that worries me slightly. I realise that lens corrections are the norm, but I assumed that when the specs for the FZ1000 say "20.9mp sensor 20.1mp effective" that was accounting for the cropping done for image proessing and distortion corrections.

I am shocked to see just how much the lens barrel encroaches onto the sensor area at wide angle, and have to agree that it looks like a massive amount of sensor resolution is being lost when cropping out those black corners.

Edit: just thinking about it again though, the situation is probably not as bad as your illustration suggests. The lens correction pulls those corners out of the center frame, so your really only loosing the black bits. I would estimate it's closer to 17-18mp effective in your example.

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OP Eigenmeat Contributing Member • Posts: 511
Re: FZ1000 Wide Angle Soft, maybe only ~13MP of detail
1

I guess the point I was trying to make is how much correction is being done. I think for a premium camera, that is abit too much. The end result is not good in this case either.

For the FZ1000 at 25mm eqv, the camera is basically only using about ~13MP worth of sensor information to create the final 20MP image. I think that is abit too much.

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OP Eigenmeat Contributing Member • Posts: 511
Re: FZ1000 Wide Angle Soft, maybe only ~13MP of detail
2

Cropping away the the black corner you still have 17MP, I agree. But cropping away the black corners still does not correct the distortion, by the time you correct the distortion and crop to the same degree as OOC jpg and you will end it up with 13-14 MP. You try simply by starting with the uncorrected image I provided.

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halfwaythere Contributing Member • Posts: 893
Re: FZ1000 Wide Angle Soft, maybe only ~13MP of detail

Again I'm not sure what you are trying to articulate. Are the 25mm equiv. images not really 25mm equiv or are you complaining that they could be wider than 25mm but you are getting only 25mm equiv?

Why would you care about what is going on behind the processing if the end result is satisfying?

Brue
Brue Senior Member • Posts: 1,155
Re: FZ1000 Wide Angle Soft, maybe only ~13MP of detail

Eigenmeat wrote:

Cropping away the the black corner you still have 17MP, I agree. But cropping away the black corners still does not correct the distortion, by the time you correct the distortion and crop to the same degree as OOC jpg and you will end it up with 13-14 MP. You try simply by starting with the uncorrected image I provided.

This is very interesting, but one thing I think I'm seeing is that there was no distortion correction done to the RX10 photo. I could be wrong.

OP Eigenmeat Contributing Member • Posts: 511
Re: FZ1000 Wide Angle Soft, maybe only ~13MP of detail

Yes, the RX10 image i shown has absolutely no correction

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OP Eigenmeat Contributing Member • Posts: 511
Re: FZ1000 Wide Angle Soft, maybe only ~13MP of detail
3

The 25mm eqv image you got is 25mm eqv field of view, that is true. But the cheating part is that it's only a 13MP image interpolated back to 20MP. And I don't think the result at 25mm is all that satisfying.

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Stuart T Forum Member • Posts: 61
Re: FZ1000 Wide Angle Soft, maybe only ~13MP of detail

Look again though at your fourth image down. The full resolution (20mp) image is not denoted by the gray box but only by the pixels containing photo data. The lens correction has pulled the corners out from the center. If you look at the area you have shown as the OOC crop most of what has been cropped are the corners containing the lens barrel.

I agree that in this case you could probably squeeze another megapixel out of this shot with some carfeul cropping, but that is one of the advantages of shooting raw - you can make the best of every single image rather than settling for the cookie cutter camera settings.

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Brue
Brue Senior Member • Posts: 1,155
Re: FZ1000 Wide Angle Soft, maybe only ~13MP of detail

So could it not follow that ", by the time you correct the distortion and crop to the same degree as OOC jpg and you will end it up with XX-YY MP. You try simply by starting with the uncorrected image I provided."

halfwaythere Contributing Member • Posts: 893
Re: FZ1000 Wide Angle Soft, maybe only ~13MP of detail

Eigenmeat wrote:

Yes, the RX10 image i shown has absolutely no correction

Since its not the same scene we can't really speculate how much are you sacrificing when shooting with the FZ1000. And also Sony may have embedded the correction within the raw files.

OP Eigenmeat Contributing Member • Posts: 511
Re: FZ1000 Wide Angle Soft, maybe only ~13MP of detail

Trying start with image #2, and try to make that to look like OOC JPG in term of distortion and field of view. Let me know much of the original image is left once you done that.

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Stuart T Forum Member • Posts: 61
Re: FZ1000 Wide Angle Soft, maybe only ~13MP of detail
1

Yes, you're right. I'm no expert but I did as you suggested and try as I might I can't get more than about a 14mp image from the uncorrected shot.

My apologies for doubting.

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halfwaythere Contributing Member • Posts: 893
Re: FZ1000 Wide Angle Soft, maybe only ~13MP of detail

Thats not a valid point because my processing skills can't match those of the Panasonic or Adobe programmers. Their algorithms might be more complex than a simple crop and straighten.

You are overanalyzing a pretty minor issue since it won't affect the vast majority of users because they either shoot jpgs or use adobe software.

OP Eigenmeat Contributing Member • Posts: 511
Re: FZ1000 Wide Angle Soft, maybe only ~13MP of detail

quite worrying, isn't it? :/

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Stuart T Forum Member • Posts: 61
Re: FZ1000 Wide Angle Soft, maybe only ~13MP of detail
3

halfwaythere wrote:

Thats not a valid point because my processing skills can't match those of the Panasonic or Adobe programmers. Their algorithms might be more complex than a simple crop and straighten.

You are overanalyzing a pretty minor issue since it won't affect the vast majority of users because they either shoot jpgs or use adobe software.

I respectfully disagree. It's certainly important to me. If I'm paying for a 20mp camera I don't want all my wide angle shots with just 13mp. This is going to make me seriously rethink the pre-order I have placed.

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halfwaythere Contributing Member • Posts: 893
Re: FZ1000 Wide Angle Soft, maybe only ~13MP of detail

Again I'm gonna ask you the same thing: why do you care about the corrections if the end result is, by your own admission, very good.

Using a 1" sensor with an ambitious focal length lens was always going to be challenging and that is one of the main reasons the aperture only goes to F8.

Stuart T Forum Member • Posts: 61
Re: FZ1000 Wide Angle Soft, maybe only ~13MP of detail
1

For me the concern is not about the corrections. It's about the fact that my 20mp camera is only capable of 13mp images at the wide end.

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