Compared to... Panasonic Lumix DMC-FZ5

Below you will find a studio comparison between the Canon PowerShot S2 IS and the Panasonic Lumix DMC-FZ5, chosen for its similar specification (you'll find comparisons to the Sony H1 and the original S1 IS on subsequent pages). We have included samples for the lowest and highest ISO settings for each camera (ISO 50 and 400 for the Canon S2 IS, ISO 80 and 400 for the Panasonic FZ5).

Studio scene comparison (Canon S2 IS @ ISO 50, Pansonic FZ5 @ ISO 80)

  • Canon PowerShot S2 IS: Aperture Priority mode, ISO 50, Default Image Parameters,
    Manual white balance, +1.0 EV compensation
  • Panasonic DMC-FZ5: Aperture Priority mode, ISO 80, Default Image Parameters,
    Manual white balance, +0.7 EV compensation
  • Lighting: Daylight simulation, >98% CRI

Note: the Panasonic FZ5 shots were taken before we changed the lights in our fixed studio setup. This explains the different exposure values and pattern of reflections.

Canon PowerShot S2 IS
Panasonic DMC-FZ5
ISO 50, 1/40 sec, F5.0
ISO 80, 1/80 sec, F5.0
2,067 KB JPEG
1,610 KB JPEG
Noise, std dev: 1.3
Noise, std dev: 2.1

Perhaps unsurprisingly, there's very little difference between these two similarly-specified cameras when it comes to detail (though the Panasonic FZ5 has does slightly better in terms of edge to edge sharpness). There's the usual Canon 'bright' colors (especially the reds) and smooth noise-free appearance, and an overall softness (also seen in our gallery shots) that is hidden to some extent by the fairly aggressive in-camera sharpening.