Saturday, January 23, 2010

Panasonic ZS3 versus Fuji F70EXR – Round 9 – Snowy Day Revisited

I’ve shot these against each other a few times now, but this time I thought I’d see how well I could shoot them for the mom and pop users who do not like to process their output. This is quite useful for those who want to upload to blogs or facebook with a minimum of fuss.

I started in my front yard … my neighbour has a lovely spruce in his front yard that looks great after some snow. So I like to target that sucker now and again.

These are unedited. Uploaded exactly as the camera shot them for the reasons stated above. Blogger / Picasaweb did the downsizing, so this is totally realistic for those who hate the idea of processing images.

The settings were my standard P mode and EXR DR800 … I post whichever I prefer, and for the Panasonic I generally held to auto with compensation dialed in. Intelligent auto is not smart enough for snow.






For web sizes, I’d have to call that a tie. The ZS3 image can print a bit bigger, but not as much as you think from the 5mp / 10mp size difference.

After these shots, I drove out to the point, where the wind surfers hang out. It was cold on this day (shot two weeks ago), but the sun was irresistible. Idiot that I can be, I left the ninja underwear at home … duh.

I opened with a comparison of that wonderful willow again.





Again, both are perfectly credible here. One thing you might be thinking is that the Panny seems to be having no issue with dynamic range. And I’m thinking the same thing. We’ve seen this in previous rounds as well.

I walked over to the river and saw that there were lunatic wind-surfers out braving the extreme cold wind.





Hard to choose there … I used a bit  too much compensation here at –2/3ev … the Fuji used none and handled the snow itself. That would be an advantage for some people for sure. But both images are pretty good anyway.

I happen to love the look of a shoreline … especially when lined with trees.





Again, the difference is my extra compensation for the Panny. But both look pretty nice.

How about some grass with shadows across them?





That one is again a tie. The images are very similar, with the Panny being a bit darker because of the compensation.

Here’s an action shot that I only captured with the Fuji … it was too fleeting.


I shot one isolation image of a tree growing out of the side of a snow bank … or so it seemed.





So for outdoor shots on a sunny day, I really see no important difference between these two. They both handle the scenes well, and that includes dynamic range.

The Fuji’s shadows are more open, so you can give a slight nod there if you like, but I don;t see how anyone would be dissatisfied with what these things turn out. And remember that I have dragged these straight from the explorer, so there are no edits applied at all.


drpankajshukla said...

Hi Kim!
Can u give me a link to your evaluation of the pro-low light and pro-focus modes of the F70exr !
I am sure u must have evaluated them somewhere but i am unable to find them !

Kim Letkeman said...

drpankajshukla, I have tried them out a few times. This is what I have:

drpankajshukla said...

Hi Kim!
Thanks for your response !
I checked out all the links that u mentioned !
As I understand the Pro-low light mode output for people images is not ideal due to slight blur [subject movement causing misalighnment of the images in the final blend ]! however the skin tones seem as good to me as in the image out of the sony model that u tested[wx1] !please correct me if I am wrong !
How good are the print outs i.e.the pro-low light and the 1600 iso ones ![I expect that the prints will be great since the noise is unlikely to show on paper !

Kim Letkeman said...

Re: skin tones -- you are asking the wrong guy since I am color blind ... I adjust skin tones quite often using skin tune. Re: prints ... I printed 4 1600 ISO images at 5x7 size and they look great. The girl's mother was very pleased.

drpankajshukla said...

Hi Kim again !
I assume that skin tune is a software to adjust skin tones correctly ?

what type of color blindness do u have ?

Kim Letkeman said...

According to my ophthalmologist, I have pretty much the worst case he has ever seen. And he's tested the entire RCAF in the 40s. I know for a fact that I have both red-green and blue-yellow deficiencies. There are official sounding names for these based on whether you have problems in one or two types of cones, and I think mine is in one type, but fairly severe attenuation of the signal. The thing is, I see in color. I can easily identify bright primaries. But I have trouble as light falls or shades darken or lighten too much. Simply not enough differentiation between adjacent shades. I use skintune because I am able then to place tones into the correct part of the spectrum.

drpankajshukla said...

Hi Kim again !
The red-green is more common than the yellow -blue type !Having both types is even more rare !However with respect to the fact that the color recognising ability is limited to the lighter shades is a saving grace !

Kindly give me a link to Skin Tune and oblige !

Kim Letkeman said...

Thanks for the kind words. It looks like the new generation of skintune has been folded into phototune 3, so I will have to look at that as an upgrade myself. My biggest issue right now is that skintune is one of the few filters that force me to run the 32bit version of CS4. I prefer the 64bit versions because it can use much more RAM.

Unknown said...

Hi Kim,

I have bought this camera couple of days ago and when I shoot pics almost all the pics have noise in it. I have put the sensitivity level to 100 but even same result no improvement.

Can you help me in tuning the camera to take the snaps in better way. I have old Nikon L4 & Fuji S1000 both shoots in good way and the pics will be fantastic however its not the case with F70 EXR so it will be helpful if you can assist me in tuning this device.

Vidhya Sagar

Kim Letkeman said...

Vidhya: I suggest you search this site for "how to shoot" and read the Mark II post (there are two.) Or even read both. The point being that those settings work well for me. I get noise at 800 and above, but I do not find it excessive.

Kunal said...

Hi Kim. I must say you are doing a great job here. I really look up to your work.

Well I am really struggling in choosing between the f80exr and tz7.

Read multitude of reviews but the ultimate decision would be which one can take the best pictures of moon and some stars.

If you have a any link or advice would be most welcomed.


Kim Letkeman said...

Kunal: I address moon shots in part 3 of the ZS3 series. Hard to call a winner, though. Both cams have strengths and weaknesses, which is why I still own both. Anyway, here is the link: