Compared to... Panasonic DMC-FZ7

Below you will find a studio comparison between the Kodak Z650 and the similarly specified Panasonic DMC-FZ7. We have included samples for the lowest and highest standard ISO settings for each camera (ISO 80 and 400). We have not included the Z650's ISO 800 mode as this is only available at the 1.7MP setting.

Studio scene comparison (@ ISO 80)

  • Kodak EasyShare Z650 : Aperture Priority mode (F5.0), ISO 80, Default Image Parameters, Auto white balance, +0.67 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
Kodak EasyShare Z650
Panasonic DMC-FZ7
ISO 80, 1/60 sec, F5.0
ISO 80, 1/60 sec, F5.0
1,089 KB JPEG
1,862 KB JPEG

Elsewhere I've described the Z650 as a 'budget' big-zoom model, and there's no doubt that its sub-$350 price is one of the lowest in its class. But the spread of prices isn't that great, and its interesting to see what you get if you spend a little more (less than $50). The comparison above shows clearly how not all German-branded lenses are not the same, with the FZ7's Leica optic clearly outclassing the Schneider lens on the Z650. Sure, the Panasonic result is visibly noisier (though it's mostly luminance noise, so just looks a touch grainy), and the Z650 has Kodak's signature rich, vivid color, but next to the FZ7 image the Kodak just looks soft.