Panasonic G2 RAW Image Quality

We've recently started looking at RAW files converted with dcraw, an excellent freeware raw converter. dcraw usually offers timely support for the latest cameras, but more importantly, it does not apply any noise-reduction, sharpening or other corrections such as geometric distortion correction to the output files. (We found that Adobe Camera Raw still applies some limited noise-reduction when its NR settings are set to zero, and it also applies other corrections depending on the make and model of the camera). There will always be differences between RAW converters, in terms of the sort of demosaicing algorithms they use (the processes by which they convert the separate Red, Green, and Blue data sets to an array of full-color RGB pixels), but dcraw seems to use a fairly generic algorithm that delivers good sharpness with relatively few artifacts, and can be counted on to not apply any noise reduction if you don't want it to.

Below are crops from Panasonic G2 RAW files compared to RAW files from other recent SLD models: the Olympus E-PL1, the Panasonic GF1 and the Samsung NX10. All were converted with dcraw with no noise reduction or sharpening.

RAW Image Quality
Panasonic G2 vs Olympus E-PL1, Panasonic GF1 and Samsung NX10
RAW files converted with dcraw, no NR, no sharpening
Simulated Daylight
Panasonic G2
Olympus E-PL1
Panasonic GF1
Samsung NX10
I
S
0

1
0
0
Panasonic G2
Olympus E-PL1
Panasonic GF1
Samsung NX10
I
S
O

2
0
0
Panasonic G2
Olympus E-PL1
Panasonic GF1
Samsung NX10
I
S
0

4
0
0
Panasonic G2
Olympus E-PL1
Panasonic GF1
Samsung NX10
I
S
O

8
0
0
Panasonic G2
Olympus E-PL1
Panasonic GF1
Samsung NX10
I
S
0

1
6
0
0
Panasonic G2
Olympus E-PL1
Panasonic GF1
Samsung NX10
I
S
O

3
2
0
0
Panasonic G2
Olympus E-PL1
Panasonic GF1
Samsung NX10
I
S
0

6
4
0
0
N/A
ISO 6400
not supported
N/A
ISO 6400
not supported
N/A
ISO 6400
not supported
N/A
ISO 6400
not supported
N/A
ISO 6400
not supported
N/A
ISO 6400
not supported
N/A
ISO 6400
not supported
N/A
ISO 6400
not supported
N/A
ISO 6400
not supported

Both the Olympus E-PL1 and Samsung NX10 appear to have a slight edge over the Panasonic G2 and GF1 in terms of high ISO noise in their RAW files. Like their JPEGs, the GF1 shows a bit more chroma noise compared to the G2, but otherwise is very similar. Click on the crops above to load the full size images.

 

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