Wednesday, December 2, 2009

Panasonic ZS3 versus Fuji F70EXR -- round 2

Another daytime test ... another total f*ck up ... this one is too big to be called a simple brain fart. I shot the ZS3 at 1600 ISO all day ... I managed to save a few images, but this turns out to be another non-contest ...

Still ... let's see how the Fuji shoots in the woods and how the Panny shoots at 1600 ...

Here are some very pretty logs with snow on them. Although it was pretty balmy here today (+6C), the woods remained pretty cool and the partial shade and low sun means that the little bit of snow we have had so far manages to hand on in a few places ...

Both cams look pretty good ...

Panny (1600 ISO)

Fuji (200 ISO)

The Panny is actually competitive here at web sizes. I used more glow there though, and that seems to help with this shot.

On the way in, I found this lovely fallen log (800 ISO):

The equivalent image for the Panny was hopeless, as there is simply too much shadow. As I walked, I came upon a baby squirrel (or at least really small) ... cute as a button (for a rabid creature of the woods :-)

This shot is at 400 ISO, which is well within the Fuji's range of very clean and detailed images.

He later hopped up a tree stump and I cleverly shot those images only on the Panny ... at 1600 ISO again:

Why black and white you say? Because it was pretty shady here, so the color noise was pretty bad. The detail was acceptable for web use, though, so a B&W image looks ok ... at least, I think so.

I walked a little further into the woods (I needed to leave soon so I was in a hurry by now unfortunately) and a dove very loudly launched to a branch. The Panny image at 1600 ISO is hopeless here, because he is far away ... but the Fuji images is surprisingly good. This is a 100% crop (click on the small image to see the real crop full sized) ... and you'll be amazed to know that this image is shot at 800 ISO from quite a few feet away.

The last (usable) image I shot with the Panny was this image looking straight up on the path at full wide angle ... this thing goes *wide* ...

And I capped the day off with a series of macro images ... the Panny goes *far* closer, but the images was unusable. So I show only the Fuji images ... shot at three focal lengths and all at 100 ISO.


The other extreme at 270mm from further away ... note the nice compression and narrowing of the background ... this is *much* nicer ...

And here is a nice compromise, showing the same magnification as the 28mm shot (note: it's actually showing more here, so I left some on the table when I shot at 28mm, but the illustration still works.) Excellent background here ... remember that, to get this magnification, you zoom in until you see f4.9 on a half press. That's the macro sweet spot for the F70EXR. Kudos to FTF member Altruisto for discovering this.


1) The Fuji works really well in the woods at half resolution because it retains excellent detail and low noise at 800 ISO ... note that I shot at AUTO ISO 800 to retain the higher level of detail purposely ... since there were no people, I had no shutter speed issues.

2) The Panny generates a lot of chroma noise at 1600 ISO, but retains a fair amount of detail, so web images can be saved with processing. Often, B&W is necessary, but sometimes not.

3) The Panny's wide angle is really nice. Really, really wide.

4) The Fuji's macro sweet spot should always be used. It makes for much better backgrounds, and we know that it essentially eliminates CA.

5) Is it just me, or is that bokeh on the Fuji in macro mode *very* clean?

6) The author is prone to brain farts lately.

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