Panasonic FZ5 Noisey ??

Discussion in 'Digital Photography' started by measekite, Apr 10, 2005.

  1. measekite

    measekite Guest gave the FZ5 a very poor writeup when it
    comes to NOISE. It seems that noise (or the lack of it) it at the heart
    of getting great results in a variety of circumstances. While I was
    getting ready to consider the FZ5 because of its lower weight and bulk,
    compared to the FZ20, I feel now I should wait for another crop of

    Now does not hit the camera on this issue as hard. Why
    would there be such a difference in objective reporting?

    Anyway, what do we consider from here?
    measekite, Apr 10, 2005
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  2. In small sensors, there is a limit to how low the noise can be. It is
    unlikely you will see great improvements in the short term. You may find
    yourself waiting for ever!
    Different measurement techniques, none of which actually relate directly
    to how humans perceive the images. [Justification for comment: in audio
    the SNR measurement is weighted to the ear's differing sensitivity at
    different frequencies. I see no camera noise measurements which does this
    for the eye's spatial frequency response.]
    How much does noise matter? In times past, some grain enhanced the
    character of low-light shots - it added atmosphere, but this view is
    currently unfashionable. How do you [propose to] view your images?
    Screen, Web site, printed? What size?

    David J Taylor, Apr 10, 2005
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  3. measekite

    SteveB Guest

    I've seen a colour noise test in a UK computer magazine, PCW I think, where
    they measured the noise on a few hundred different colours and aggregated
    the results statistically to give an overall result for each camera. It was
    a good way to compare cameras. The problem was that the winning camera was
    a Kodak 6490 which has excessive in-camera noise reduction which obliterates
    fine detail, so you have to be very careful when comparing.

    SteveB, Apr 10, 2005
  4. So, in fact, it was not "a good way to compare cameras"!

    David J Taylor, Apr 10, 2005
  5. measekite

    measekite Guest

    Do you own one. Are you saying that results at ISO 200 and ISO 400
    produce very acceptable results and I should disregard the
    digitalcamerainfo report. If that is the case are they lying or just
    plain wrong. And if that is true can they not be trusted as a sourced on
    I am hoping for a camera capable of producing striking low noise
    enlargements up to 8.5x11 that are cropped 20 to 30%.
    measekite, Apr 10, 2005
  6. measekite

    measekite Guest

    Noise reduction that obliterates fine detail is not the same as having a
    decent sensor size ratio to the MP and not having noise at all. I think
    the issue with the PS cameras is not having a sufficient sensor size and
    cramming more MP on the sensor then they should.
    measekite, Apr 10, 2005
  7. measekite wrote:
    I have an FZ5 (recently acquired) and my wife has an FZ20 (some months
    old). I don't find the noise on the FZ20 pictures unacceptable, and I
    expect my FZ5 to be the same. If noise is critical, I would avoid the
    higher ISOs.

    Here are the sums - crop by 25% (say) so your image uncropped would be
    14.6 x 11.3 inches. A rule of thumb is 300 pixels per inch, so you would
    need 15 MP sensor resolution. As I recall, only a full-frame Canon DSLR
    offers so many pixels. In practice, I have seen goo A4-sized prints
    (about the same size) from a 3MP Nikon 990, so I would certainly expect
    acceptable images from a 5MP FZ5. Doubtless, images from a 15MP camera
    would look sharper, particularly if you take a magnifying glass to the

    See if you can borrow an FZ5 for a short while and try it. I don't think
    you will be disappointed.

    David J Taylor, Apr 10, 2005
  8. measekite

    ecm Guest


    If you read the DRP review closely, they're differentiating between
    chrominance and luminance noise - the K-M Z5 has very high chroma noise
    (color noise) whereas the Pana FZ-5 has very high Luminance noise(
    light and dark noise). The K-M Z5 images are seriously over-processed
    in-camera, a lot of info is being lost; they still have quite nasty
    chroma noise at ISO 400, too. Panasonic tends to under-process their
    pics, especially when it comes to noise, so that you can do it
    yourself. The noise from the Pana FZ-5 is much "finer-grained", too -
    it tends to be less objectionable that way.
    You need to look to a dSLR then - there aren't any consumer digicams
    these days that you can use above ISO 100 without significant noise.
    For your cropping and enlarging requirements you'll probably need at
    least 6 Mpixels. The Canon 350 XT would be good, although I'm not
    trying to start a brand war; CMOS sensors in general are supposed to be
    good for low noise, though. I've seen very striking images from several
    low-end dSLR's recently; the Pentax *istDS, Oly E300, Nikon D70, Canon
    dRebel/dRebel XT, whatever - with a good lens they'll all do what you
    want. Lighting and a bright lens are vital, so that you're shooting
    with as low an ISO as possible.

    Really, the FZ-5 is aimed at a less demanding audience - it's a nice
    lightweight 5 Mpixel IS long zoom consumer-level camera; good for
    snapshots, vacation pics and amateur nature buffs/birders/etc.
    long-zoom pics. It's not meant to be used for art shots; if you're
    lucky and know how to take pictures properly, you'll occasionally get
    one worth putting on the wall, though.

    ecm, Apr 10, 2005
  9. measekite

    SteveB Guest

    That's correct. What it means is that any other method of measuring which
    is bound to be less thorough than that PCW test has to be treated with
    SteveB, Apr 10, 2005
  10. measekite

    measekite Guest

    Here is what I did do. First I set aside the review
    that said the noise level on the FZ5 was not acceptable. I went to the site and as well I temporarily set aside their opinions.

    I went to the samples section of for the FZ5 review and
    downloaded all of the images. Unfortunately most were at ISO 80 but
    there were a couple at ISO400. The images were large and the resolution
    was set for 72ppi. I then went to image size in Photoshop and clicked on
    the auto button for 133 lines of resolution and check the best quality
    radio button. The resolution jumped to about 266. I am telling you
    what I did even thought I only very very vaguely understand it.

    I then used the cropping tool for either a 4x6 or a 6x4 and the
    resolution jumped to over 600 ppi. I then set the view to the Canon PR1
    profile in Photoshop. I printed it with my Canon IP4000 using OEM ink
    on Costco/Kirkland Paper using a setting in the Canon Driver of Photo
    Paper Pro, and added all of the effects like vivid and noise reduction -
    strong etc. The print looked fabulous. I have never gotten a wet
    process photo print from anything other than a professional lab that
    looked this good. I still need to find out what would happen going up
    to full letter size.

    Using one of the photos I printed it out using the same setting using
    Canon Photo Paper Pro and the Costco/Kirkland. On the Canon there was a
    hair less stipple texture. Both were fantastic. A 4x6 Costco Print is
    35 cents cheaper than the Canon Photo Paper Pro. 39 cents vs 4 cents
    plus ink Cost. As for the actual Colors, I could not tell, even after
    starring for a few minutes, that there was any difference at all.

    I just hope that what I downloaded from dpreview was really work from a
    Panasonic Lumix FZ5. I know that they were done by a Pro and edited by
    a Pro to achieve all of the perfection they could get.
    measekite, Apr 11, 2005
  11. measekite wrote:
    Sounds like you've enjoyed yourself! You may be able to check the origin
    from the EXIF data. I would also hope that the camera images were not
    edited in any way, but I don't know their policy.

    I am not surprised that the 6 inch x 4 inch prints were OK, they should
    be, and I hope the exercise has helped your decision-making process. (I
    didn't follow any of the Photoshop stuff).

    David J Taylor, Apr 11, 2005
  12. measekite

    Ben Thomas Guest

    My Nikon D70 has less noise at ISO 1600 than my Kodak DX6490 at ISO 400.
    The Kodak is so noisy at ISO 400 that I consider ISO 400 unusable. I would not
    say the same for the D70 at ISO 1600.
    Ben Thomas, Apr 12, 2005
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