Tuesday, May 4, 2010

Panasonic ZS3 versus Fuji F70EXR – The Great 2010 Garden Shootout Mark I

Ok … so the title is a little much. In fact it’s quite early in the season, but I must say that there is quite a bit of activity as spring marches along.

I took the ZS3 and the F70EXR outside for a few minutes today and captured what was growing in the front yard.

I started with the bleeding hearts in the front yard near the step. A very pretty early spring bloomer.





The processing here was quite different, but this comes from the way in which each image responds.  The Panny image was not all that sharp to start with, but I did a lot of work on it and it looks nice even at 800px (remember to click through.)

Next, I shot the a leaf that had captured a drop of water. A difficult thing to render since water is only defined by the highlights it shows. The F70 successfully captured it and the Panny did not. A bit of blur. It was a bit windy, so perhaps this was simply a statistical thing.



Next, I moved to the fence area, where I have Tulips that come up every year. A nice pure yellow that is nearly impossible to capture in bright sunlight.





This time, I preferred the Panny shot a bit darker in the background.

You cannot see it here, but there were bits of crap in these images that CS5’s content aware fill completely wiped out with perfectly believable replacements … I was totally blown away. Kudos to Adobe for saving me tons of time!

I then captured a pretty pair of Tulips with the F70EXR only. I cannot recall why there is no Panny version of this shot.



And finally the Lilac bush in the middle of the front yard. It is finally blooming, so I am able to get some tiny flowers. I like to shoot with angles that show a mix of blooms and leaves in the background, and I must say that the F70EXR slaughtered the ZS3 in this part of the shoot. Despite its longer reach and its better macro facility, the F70EXR is consistently easier to use for this type of shot.





So the first serious garden shoot is done, and the F70EXR won that round in my opinion. Nothing wrong with the output of the ZS3 though … if it has features you like (and the video is to die for), then by all means enjoy it.    

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