Compared to... Canon EOS Rebel XT (350D)

Below you will find a studio comparison between the Panasonic FZ30 and the Canon EOS Rebel XT (350D) at their highest ISO settings.

Studio scene comparison (FZ30 @ ISO 400, Rebel XT @ ISO 1600)

  • Panasonic DMC-FZ30: Aperture Priority mode, ISO 400, Default Image Parameters,
    Manual white balance
  • Canon EOS 350D (Digital Rebel XT): Canon EF 50 mm F1.4, Aperture Priority (F9), ISO 1600, JPEG Large/Fine, Manual WB, Default Parameters (Parameter 1)
  • Lighting: Daylight simulation, >98% CRI
Panasonic DMC-FZ30
Canon Rebel XT
ISO 400, 1/250 sec, F5.6
ISO 1600, 1/640 sec, F9
3,951 KB JPEG
3,746 KB JPEG
Noise, std dev: 6.1
Noise, std dev: 3.8

If you ever wanted a stark example of why people buy a digital SLR for high ISO work these comparisons will do the job. One of the reasons image stabilization is so popular with big zoom cameras is that they simply cannot produce acceptable results at anything over ISO 200, whereas Canon's CMOS sensor is producing results at ISO 1600 - two stops more sensitive - that have almost as little noise as the FZ30's ISO 80 images. This somewhat negates the argument that to compare 'like for like' you need to look at very fast image-stabilized lenses when comparing a super zoom camera with a DSLR.