High ISO comparison

Below you will find a studio comparison between the Panasonic LX21 (4:3 mode) at ISO 800 and 1600 (the ISO 3200 mode uses pixel-binning to produce a very low resolution result suitable only for very small prints when you've no other options).

Note: the ISO 1600 studio shot was taken with an ND4 (2 stop) filter attached to the lens.

Studio scene comparison (@ ISO 800 & 1600)

  • Panasonic DMC-LX2: Aperture Priority mode, ISO 800, Default Image Parameters,
    Manual white balance, +0.66 EV compensation

     Panasonic DMC-LX2: Aperture Priority mode, ISO 1600, Default Image Parameters,
    Manual white balance, +0.33 EV compensation. ND4 (2 stop) Neutral density filter.
  • Lighting: Daylight simulation, >98% CRI
Panasonic DMC-LX2
Panasonic DMC-LX2
ISO 800, 1/640 sec, F4.9
ISO 1600, 1/320 sec, F4.9
3,001 KB JPEG
3,456 KB JPEG

There's not a lot to say here; I was surprised to see how different the ISO 1600 result is to the FZ50; the LX2 result is is a lot less smudgy-looking and a lot noisier, but it must be said not a whole lot better. They're not ompletely useless (if you only want to produce a very small print and there's no alternative to cranking up the ISO setting), and Panasonic can't be blamed for including ISO 800 and 1600 options on a camera in 2006 (it's very much the done thing), but when your sensor is noisy at ISO 100 you can't expect miracles, or anything close.