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  #1  
Old 16-02-07
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Arrow Panasonic Lumix DMC-FZ8 image samples

We have some images to share with you from a production Panasonic Lumix DMC-FZ8, Panasonic's latest lightweight and compact super-zoom, featuring an image stabilised 12x Leica zoom and and extended 18x optical zoom (at lowered resolution). The samples cover the zoom range and the full ISO range of the camera.

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Old 16-02-07
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Re: Panasonic Lumix DMC-FZ8 image samples

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We have some images to share with you from a production Panasonic Lumix DMC-FZ8, Panasonic's latest lightweight and compact super-zoom, featuring an image stabilised 12x Leica zoom and and extended 18x optical zoom (at lowered resolution). The samples cover the zoom range and the full ISO range of the camera.

More...
Is it me or have Panasonic taken a step back yet again. These images to me are disappointing. I did hope that this new model would at least produce better images than the FZ20 I currently use. Ok they have improved the specification, even the looks, but image wise they don't seem to have made the necessary advance to make me consider upgrading. Shame I did like the idea of shedding some bulk.
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Old 16-02-07
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Re: Panasonic Lumix DMC-FZ8 image samples

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Originally Posted by lumix View Post
Is it me or have Panasonic taken a step back yet again. These images to me are disappointing. I did hope that this new model would at least produce better images than the FZ20 I currently use. Ok they have improved the specification, even the looks, but image wise they don't seem to have made the necessary advance to make me consider upgrading. Shame I did like the idea of shedding some bulk.
Ron, to be fair to Panasonic, the FZ8 is not the model to compare your FZ20 with. The current 'premium' bridge model from Panasonic that your FZ20 represented in 2004 is the FZ50.

But what is it about the samples I've published that you don't like? Granted the conditions weren't ideal, but at ISO 100 and 200 the results look pretty good to me and I expect they will print better than they look on-screen. The lens looks extremely sharp, especially at the telephoto end and the 18x extended zoom mode is really usable.

Simon Joinson at dpreview granted it a 'Highly Recommended'.

I'm only curious about what bothers you because maybe you have locked on to something we've missed?

Ian
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Old 16-02-07
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Re: Panasonic Lumix DMC-FZ8 image samples

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Ron, to be fair to Panasonic, the FZ8 is not the model to compare your FZ20 with. The current 'premium' bridge model from Panasonic that your FZ20 represented in 2004 is the FZ50.

But what is it about the samples I've published that you don't like? Granted the conditions weren't ideal, but at ISO 100 and 200 the results look pretty good to me and I expect they will print better than they look on-screen. The lens looks extremely sharp, especially at the telephoto end and the 18x extended zoom mode is really usable.

Simon Joinson at dpreview granted it a 'Highly Recommended'.

I'm only curious about what bothers you because maybe you have locked on to something we've missed?

Ian
Thanks Ian for the photos. I think I read that these are from the final production model. I have read the FZ8 review at DPreview the same second it came out. Though I do have to say that personally I do not trust so much the reviews there and had serious debates with Simon Joinson about some.
Currently I'm busy for the next couple of hours, but I will get to comparisons and other things when I get back. From the photos I've seen that you just posted, a first fast approximation is that the FZ8 results at least for the basic ISOs sensitivities 100-400 and given the sensors that Mathusita supplies Panasonic the results look encouraging to me in comparison with the FZ50 disaster.

I wish I had this camera to test it myself along with the Olympus SP-550 UZ. Though I read too a sneak preview of full size sample photos from the SP-550 UZ.

I' ll get back soon.
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Old 16-02-07
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Re: Panasonic Lumix DMC-FZ8 image samples

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Originally Posted by Ian View Post
Ron, to be fair to Panasonic, the FZ8 is not the model to compare your FZ20 with. The current 'premium' bridge model from Panasonic that your FZ20 represented in 2004 is the FZ50.

But what is it about the samples I've published that you don't like? Granted the conditions weren't ideal, but at ISO 100 and 200 the results look pretty good to me and I expect they will print better than they look on-screen. The lens looks extremely sharp, especially at the telephoto end and the 18x extended zoom mode is really usable.

Simon Joinson at dpreview granted it a 'Highly Recommended'.

I'm only curious about what bothers you because maybe you have locked on to something we've missed?

Ian
I'm not saying that the images are poor, only that there is not any real improvement over the quality I get from the FZ20. If I was to nitpick then most look to have been over sharpened in camera. Always assuming you have not done anything to them. Not knowing the exact conditions you took these under, I do feel there is just not the clarity that I have come to expect from my camera. I have thought about buying a smaller camera, as the FZ20 is quite large and not something you can always have with you. Maybe I'm jumping the gun and should wait to see what the FZ8 can do in good lighting.
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Old 17-02-07
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Re: Panasonic Lumix DMC-FZ8 image samples

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Originally Posted by lumix View Post
I'm not saying that the images are poor, only that there is not any real improvement over the quality I get from the FZ20. If I was to nitpick then most look to have been over sharpened in camera. Always assuming you have not done anything to them. Not knowing the exact conditions you took these under, I do feel there is just not the clarity that I have come to expect from my camera. I have thought about buying a smaller camera, as the FZ20 is quite large and not something you can always have with you. Maybe I'm jumping the gun and should wait to see what the FZ8 can do in good lighting.
I don't see any oversharpening myself. There is a trace of noise at ISO 100 that I don't recall with the FZ20 - probably because of the more tightly packed 7 megapixels compared to the FZ20's 5, but the FZ8 has a RAW file mode, so you can massage the quality with greater flexibility when required.

I'm taking the kids for a day out in London tomorrow, so I'll have a chance to get some better shots if the weather allows.

Ian
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Old 17-02-07
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Re: Panasonic Lumix DMC-FZ8 image samples

OK...after doing some comparisons with most of the FZ Series I ended up with the following:

The FZ8 looks to me that it is an upgrade in image quality compare to the FZ7. Most of the sample photos of the FZ8 show a tendency to match the the detail and occasionally the hues the FZ5 had and that is shown from the comparison samples following (100% original crops).

Just for reference in terms of noise here are the Noise Indexes as measured by Noise Ninja:

FZ5 ISO80 = 26
FZ7 ISO80 = 32
FZ8 ISO100 = 28

FZ5 ISO400 = 53
FZ7 ISO400 = 62
FZ8 ISO400 = 55

My only concern in the FZ8 is some slight softness in the lower right corner I have observed. There is also some color bleeding in the ISO400 and up. If you ask me if I would buy the FZ8, the answer is YES.
Though, the FZ8's 7MP sensor has reached its limit and any future increase in Megapixels just needs a new sensor and not some harsh tuned Venus Engine.


LOW ISO Comparison Sample 1






LOW ISO Comparison Sample 2






HIGH ISO Comparison Sample 1






HIGH ISO Comparison Sample 2







George
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Re: Panasonic Lumix DMC-FZ8 image samples

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Originally Posted by Ian View Post
I don't see any oversharpening myself. There is a trace of noise at ISO 100 that I don't recall with the FZ20 - probably because of the more tightly packed 7 megapixels compared to the FZ20's 5, but the FZ8 has a RAW file mode, so you can massage the quality with greater flexibility when required.

I'm taking the kids for a day out in London tomorrow, so I'll have a chance to get some better shots if the weather allows.

Ian
Indeed, I don't see any oversharpnning myself on the FZ8 like I saw on the FZ7 that wasleaving sharpening artifacts in the edges of objects mostly. Of course it is a 7MP camera and some very slight luma noise is present at ISO100. Not something to complain of at least for me. From the comparison shots I supplied earlier it looks that the tuned Venus Engine III indeed does a good job. While suppresses well the Chorma Noise and more moderate the Luma noise, even at ISO400 shots there is plenty of detail there left.

Ian, since you will have a chance to go to London and use the camera, is it possible to take a single day shot using all ISOs and a single indoors shot using again all ISOs in order to have a reference for all ISOs under daylight and under indoors (with or without flash) conditions?

George
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Old 17-02-07
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Re: Panasonic Lumix DMC-FZ8 image samples

Morning George, the sky looks clear as I gaze out the window (though that can change of course!). So I'm hopeful of some good shots.

Ian
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Re: Panasonic Lumix DMC-FZ8 image samples

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Originally Posted by Ian View Post
Morning George, the sky looks clear as I gaze out the window (though that can change of course!). So I'm hopeful of some good shots.

Ian
Morning Ian,

I also forgot to inform you of something that might worth to test it on the FZ8.
When I bought my FZ5, I instantly performed some tests that I will do with any camera I buy or fall in my hands. The test had to do with noise at all ISOs. So in my FZ5 I observed the following:

When the camera is set to Auto ISO, the images have less noise than when the camera is set to a predifined ISO setting.
So in a daylight when ISO set to AUTO, the camera will choose ISO80. The noise taken at AUTO ISO and when the camera choose 80 is less than presetting the camera to ISO 80 and shoot in daylight.
Same applies to all other ISOs.
You might want to give that thing a try on the FZ8 at some point and inform me of your findings.

Have fun in London with lots of photos.
I'm leaving today too for my country house as there is a 3 day off due to the Greek Halloween which is this Monday.

George
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