Compared to... Panasonic Lumix DMC-FZ5

Below you will find a studio comparison between the Sony Cyber-shot H1 and the Panasonic Lumix DMC-FZ5, chosen for its similar specification. We have included samples for the lowest and highest ISO settings for each camera (ISO 64 and 400 for the Sony H1, ISO 80 and 400 for the Panasonic FZ5).

Studio scene comparison (Sony DSC-H1 @ ISO 64, Panasonic FZ5 @ ISO 80)

  • Sony Cyber-shot DSC H1 : Aperture Priority mode, ISO 64, Default Image Parameters,
    Manual white balance, +1.0 EV compensation
  • Panasonic DMC-FZ5: Aperture Priority mode, ISO 80, Default Image Parameters,
    Manual white balance, +1.0 EV compensation
  • Lighting: Daylight simulation, >98% CRI
Sony DSC-H1
Panasonic DMC-FZ5
ISO 64, 1/50 sec, F5.0
ISO 80, 1/50 sec, F5.0
2,004 KB JPEG
2,069 KB JPEG
Noise, std dev: 1.1
Noise, std dev: 2.1

If we thought the H1 and Canon S2 IS were close, then look at these results - aside from a very slight difference in the rendition of reds (which are a touch over saturated in the Sony image) and very slightly better detail in the Panasonic image (masked to some extent by the rather harsh sharpening used by the Sony) there is really very little to choose between them. Again the default contrast on the H1 is a little too high, but the results are very smooth and clean. The Leica-lensed Panasonic is still the camera to measure all others by in this class - in terms of sharpness and detail, but the H1 narrows the gap to such a point that it's almost academic. Note that the results from the FZ5 are broadly what we'd also see if we'd used the FZ20.