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Digital Cameras - Panasonic Lumix DMC-LZ1 Test Images

 

I've begun including links in our reviews to a Thumbnail index page for the test shots. The data on this page includes a host of information on the images, including shutter speed, ISO setting, compression setting, etc. Rather than clutter the page below with all that detail, we're posting the thumbnail index so only those interested in the information need wade through it!

 

"Sunlit" Portrait:
(This is my new "Outdoor" Portrait test - read more about it here.)

High resolution and strong detail, with nearly accurate color. Contrast is high, with limited detail in the highlights and shadows.

 

  • Exposure compensation: +0.7 EV, about average.
  • Contrast/Tone: Somewhat high, some highlight detail lost, even with slightly dark midtones.
  • White Balance: Auto is best, though slightly cool-toned. Daylight setting a hint yellow, Manual a hint red.
  • Color accuracy: Pretty good, though blues are slightly purple, and reds a hint magenta. Still quite good overall though.
  • Skin tones: Pretty good, slightly flat pinks though.
  • Resolution/sharpness: Good detail and sharpness throughout the frame.
  • Shadow detail: Moderate shadow detail, with moderately high noise.

To view the entire exposure series from zero to +1.3 EV, see files LZ1OUTAP0.HTM through LZ1OUTAP4.HTM on the thumbnail index page.



 

Closer Portrait:

Excellent resolution and detail, but again, high contrast.

  • Exposure compensation: +0.7 EV, about average. (A little bright looking, but +0.3 EV just looked way too dark.)
  • Exposure/Tone: High contrast results in harsher skin tones, with very bright highlights on Marti's face.
  • Detail: Increased detail and resolution, with good definition.
  • Distortion: Good, 6x zoom lens avoids geometric distortion close-in like this.

To view the entire exposure series from zero to +1.3 EV, see files LZ1FACAP0.HTM through LZ1FACAP4.HTM on the thumbnail index page.



 

Indoor Portrait, Flash:
Normal Flash
+1.0 EV
Slow-Sync Flash
+1.0 EV

Pretty good exposure with the flash in the normal setting, though more even coverage with the Slow-Sync mode. Strong warm color cast in Slow Sync mode, though.

  • Exposure: Very good at +1.0 EV, but quite dim at the default exposure. More even coverage in Slow-Sync mode at +1.0 EV, though stronger warm cast.
  • Flash balance with room lighting?: Good, very little sign of a blue cast in the highlights from the flash. Stronger orange cast in Slow-Sync mode from the incandescent lighting though.
  • Color: Red skin tones, and slightly dark colors in bouquet, though still fairly good.

To view the entire exposure series from zero to +1.3 EV in the normal flash mode, see files LZ1INFP0.HTM through LZ1INFP4.HTM on the thumbnail index page.

To view the same exposure series in the Slow-Sync flash mode, see files LZ1INFSP0.HTM through LZ1INFSP4.HTM on the thumbnail index page.



 

Indoor Portrait, No Flash:
Auto White Balance
Incandescent White Balance
Manual White Balance

Good color with the Manual white balance setting, but Auto and Incandescent are both very yellow. About average exposure compensation required.

  • Exposure: +1.0 EV adjustment needed, about average.
  • White Balance: Manual setting best overall. Incandescent and Auto settings both very warm.
  • Color: Skin tones a little pink, blue flowers a little dark and purple, but overall color still good. (About average, given the tough light source.)

To view the entire exposure series from zero to +1.3 EV, see files LZ1INMP0.HTM through LZ1INMP4.HTM on the thumbnail index page.

ISO Series:
The Panasonic LZ1's image noise is a little high, even at the lower ISO settings. At ISOs 200 and 400, noise is much more pronounced, with bright pixels, and anti-noise processing at ISO 400 produces almost an "Impressionist" effect. That said though, ISO 200 photos make fine-looking 8x10 inch prints. ISO 400 shots look blotchy at 8x10 (but probably OK to hang on a wall and view from a distance of a foot or more). At 5x7 inches, ISO 400 shots look much better, and would probably be acceptable to most consumers.

ISO Series
ISO 64
ISO 100
ISO 200
ISO 400



 

House Shot:
Auto White Balance
Daylight White Balance
Manual White Balance

Good color, though slightly cool and magenta, with high resolution and strong detail. Very bad blurring in the corners though.

  • Sharpness/Detail: Good detail for its class.
  • Sharpness in Corners: Very bad, strong blurring in all four corners of the frame, extending far into the main image area.
  • Color: Manual setting best, though a hint cool. Auto setting slightly yellow, and Daylight setting much warmer.
  • Detail lost to anti-noise processing?: Noticeable in the brick patterns.





 

Far-Field Test

High resolution and strong detail, but a limited dynamic range. Very soft corners.

This image is shot at infinity to test far-field lens performance, and to present a near-infinite range of detail to the camera. NOTE that this image cannot be directly compared to the other "house" shot, which is a poster, shot in the studio.

  • Sharpness/Detail: Good detail and sharpness, especially in the center of the frame.
  • Sharpness in Corners: Bad in the top corners, though the lower corners look much better. Quite a bit of softening up top though.
  • Color: Good.
  • Dynamic Range: A little low, some loss of detail in both highlights and shadows.
  • Detail lost to anti-noise processing?: Some, in the shadowed brick patterns.

Resolution Series:

Wide Angle "Fine"
JPEG
"Normal"
JPEG
2,304 x 1,728
LZ1FAR2304F
LZ1FAR2304N
1,600 x 1,200
LZ1FAR1600
-
1,280 x 768
LZ1FAR1280
-
640 x 480
LZ1FAR0640
-



Color Effects Series:

Color Effects Series
Natural Color
Vivid Color
Cool Color
Warm Color
Black & White
Sepia



 

Lens Zoom Range

A very good 6x zoom range.

The DMC-LZ1's focal length range of 37-222mm equivalents is broader than most point & shoot digital cameras. It corresponds to a moderate wide angle to a very good telephoto.

Wide Angle
6x Telephoto
Digital Telephoto



 

Musicians Poster
Auto White Balance
Daylight White Balance
Manual White Balance

Cool, magenta color cast, though still fairly good results. High resolution and strong detail.

  • White Balance: Auto and Daylight white balance settings both warm. Manual setting slightly cool and magenta, but closer to reality.
  • Color: Pink skin tones and purplish blues.
  • Sharpness/Detail: Very good. (Close to the limits of the poster though.)





 

Macro Shot
Standard Macro Shot
Macro with Flash

A small macro area with great detail (though slightly high noise). Flash has trouble up close though.

  • Minimum Macro Area: 2.11 x 1.59 inches (54 x 40 millimeters), about average.
  • Softness in corners?: Quite a bit, slightly more than average. (Most cameras get fairly soft corners in macro mode.)
  • Flash performance in macro mode?: Flash can't throttle down enough for the closest shots, shadow is cast by the lens.




 

"Davebox" Test Target
Auto White Balance
Daylight White Balance
Manual White Balance

Good overall exposure and color, but bright colors are very saturated.

  • White balance: Manual setting best overall, though a hint magenta. Auto setting a hint yellow, though Daylight setting was much warmer.
  • Color Accuracy: Good overall hue accuracy, but color is more oversaturated than with most consumer cameras. Reds and greens are particularly bright, as are some blues.
  • Shadow detail and noise: Limited detail in the briquettes, with moderately high noise.



The results in the tests below mirror those seen above in other test shots. The test series are repeated here without further comment, for the benefit of our more quantitatively-oriented readers.


ISO Series:

ISO Series
ISO 64
ISO 100
ISO 200
ISO 400


Color Effects Series:

Color Effects Series
Natural Color
Vivid Color
Cool Color
Warm Color
Black & White
Sepia




 

Low-Light Tests

Mediocre low-light performance in normal exposure modes, but acceptable results in the camera's "Night" scene mode. Should work OK for typical city night scenes, but be sure to use a tripod to avoid camera shake!

  • Exposure limit: 1/4 foot-candle at ISO 400. (About 1/4 as bright as typical city street lighting at night.) 1/2 foot-candle at ISO 200, and one foot-candle at ISO 100. At ISO 64, images were dim even at one foot-candle. Though with Night mode, images are bright to 1/2 foot-candle at ISO 64.
  • Autofocus Limit: A bit below 1/4 foot-candle. (About 1/4 the brightness of typical city street lighting.)
  • White Balance: A little cool-toned.
  • Noise Levels: On the high side, particularly at lower light levels and higher sensitivity settings.
  • Detail loss to anti-noise processing?: Noticeable at one foot-candle, and increasing from there.
  • General Notes: The Panasonic LZ1 struggled a bit in our low-light testing, having problems producing adequate exposures in its normal shooting mode. This was largely the result of the one second maximum exposure time in normal mode. Night Mode fixes the ISO at 64, but lets exposures stretch to 8 seconds, which produced good results down to a light level about a quarter as bright as typical city street lighting at night, which was also about the limit of the LZ1's autofocus system. Bottom line, the camera should work fine for typical city night scenes, but be sure to use a steady tripod to avoid camera shake on the long exposures.

(Note: If you'd like to use a light meter to check light levels for subjects you might be interested in shooting, a light level of one foot-candle corresponds to a normal exposure of two seconds at f/2.8 and ISO 100.)

  1 fc
11 lux
1/2 fc
5.5 lux
1/4 fc
2.7 lux
1/8 fc
1.3 lux
1/16 fc
0.67 lux
ISO
64
Click to see LZ1LL06403.JPG
1 sec
f2.8
Click to see LZ1LL06404.JPG
1 sec
f2.8
Click to see LZ1LL06405.JPG
1 sec
f2.8
Click to see LZ1LL06406.JPG
1 sec
f2.8
Click to see LZ1LL06407.JPG
1 sec
f2.8
ISO
100
Click to see LZ1LL10003.JPG
1 sec
f2.8
Click to see LZ1LL10004.JPG
1 sec
f2.8
Click to see LZ1LL10005.JPG
1 sec
f2.8
Click to see LZ1LL10006.JPG
1 sec
f2.8
Click to see LZ1LL10007.JPG
1 sec
f2.8
ISO
200
Click to see LZ1LL20003.JPG
1/1 sec
f2.8
Click to see LZ1LL20004.JPG
1 sec
f2.8
Click to see LZ1LL20005.JPG
1 sec
f2.8
Click to see LZ1LL20006.JPG
1 sec
f2.8
Click to see LZ1LL20007.JPG
1 sec
f2.8
ISO
400
Click to see LZ1LL40003.JPG
1/3 sec
f2.8
Click to see LZ1LL40004.JPG
1/1 sec
f2.8
Click to see LZ1LL40005.JPG
1 sec
f2.8
Click to see LZ1LL40006.JPG
1 sec
f2.8
Click to see LZ1LL40007.JPG
1 sec
f2.8
Night
Mode
(ISO
64)
Click to see LZ1LL064N03.JPG
2 sec
f2.8
Click to see LZ1LL064N04.JPG
4 sec
f2.8
Click to see LZ1LL064N05.JPG
8 sec
f2.8
Click to see LZ1LL064N06.JPG
6 sec
f2.8
Click to see LZ1LL064N07.JPG
8 sec
f2.8



 

Flash Range Test

Underexposed at eight feet, with decreasing intensity as the distance increased.

  • Flash range at telephoto lens setting: Not even eight feet.
8 ft 9 ft 10 ft 11 ft 12 ft 13 ft 14 ft
Click to see LZ1FL08.JPG
1/60 sec
f3.7
ISO 64
Click to see LZ1FL09.JPG
1/60 sec
f3.8
ISO 64
Click to see LZ1FL10.JPG
1/60 sec
f3.9
ISO 64
Click to see LZ1FL11.JPG
1/60 sec
f4.1
ISO 64
Click to see LZ1FL12.JPG
1/60 sec
f4.2
ISO 64
Click to see LZ1FL13.JPG
1/60 sec
f4.4
ISO 64
Click to see LZ1FL14.JPG
1/60 sec
f4.4
ISO 64



 

ISO-12233 (WG-18) Resolution Test

OK resolution for a four megapixel camera, 1,050 lines of "strong detail." Average barrel distortion at wide angle, virtually no distortion at telephoto. High chromatic aberration, particularly at wide angle, and strong blurring in the corners.

 

  • Resolution: 1,050 lines both vertically and horizontally.
  • Artifacts begin at: ~600 lines.
  • Extinction point: ~1500 lines.

  • Barrel/Pincushion distortion: 0.8% barrel at wide angle, 0.09% at telephoto.
  • Chromatic Aberration: High at wide angle, much lower at telephoto.
  • Corner Sharpness: Corners are quite blurry at wide angle, much sharper at telephoto.



Resolution Series, medium focal length
Wide Angle "Fine"
JPEG
"Normal"
JPEG
2,304 x 1,728
LZ1RES2304F
LZ1RES2304N
1,600 x 1,200
LZ1RES1600
-
1,280 x 960
LZ1RES1280
-
640 x 480
LZ1RES0640
-


 

Resolution Test, Zoom Series
2,304 x 1,728
(Fine,
Wide Angle)
LZ1RESW
2,304 x 1,728
(Fine,
Telephoto)
LZ1REST



 

Viewfinder Accuracy/Flash Uniformity

An accurate LCD viewfinder. Slight flash falloff at wide angle, though flash is too weak for full 6x telephoto.

  • Optical Viewfinder Accuracy: n/a, LCD viewfinder only.
  • LCD Viewfinder Accuracy: Very good, close to 100% accuracy at wide angle and telephoto.
  • Flash Uniformity: Slight falloff at wide angle (better than average though). Flash is virtually ineffective at telephoto shooting ranges.



LZ1 Review
LZ1 Test Images
LZ1 Specifications
LZ1 "Picky Details"
Up to Imaging Resource digital cameras area

 

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