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

Below you will find a studio comparison between the Panasonic FZ50 and the Canon EOS Rebel XT at ISO 1600.

Note: Due to limitations on the highest shutter speed you can use on the FZ50 at wider apertures, the ISO 1600 comparison was taken with an ND4 (2 stop) filter attached to the lens.

Studio scene comparison (@ ISO 1600)

  • Panasonic DMC-FZ50 : Aperture Priority mode, ISO 1600, Default Image Parameters, Manual white balance, +0.66 EV compensation
  • 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-FZ50
Canon Rebel XT
ISO 1600, 1/320 sec, F5.0
ISO 1600, 1/640 sec, F9
3,900 KB JPEG
3,746 KB JPEG
Noise, std dev: 6.1
Noise, std dev: 3.8

The comments from the FZ30 review last year are still completely valid, so I'm just going to repeat them almost verbatim: '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 that have almost as little noise as the FZ50's ISO 200 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'.