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Thread: I'm confused! Noise & banding with Panasonic DMC FZ 100

  1. #1

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    I'm confused! Noise & banding with Panasonic DMC FZ 100

    I recently bought Panasonic DMC FZ 100, one of the latest versions of super-zoom compact cameras challenging. I was impressed by the well-qualified features and specs
    published in many of photography web sites. In fact I am convinced in my selection by the most of its qualifications after I have it, but unfortunately I did not quite satisfy by the shoot IQ's taken at high ISO (i.e., 400/800) values. Panasonic has announced the avaiability of the new version of "DMC FZ100 firmware" to replace the existing one in camera. I have not uploaded the firmware yet, but I am not sure whether it will correct "the noise and banding effects occuring in some outdoor shooting conditions..(I suppose the same problems I encountered at high ISO values)"
    I wonder if there is some one else experiencing the same situation or similar, eithe with this brand or others, and the results has came up...

  2. #2

    Re: I'm confused! Noise & banding with Panasonic DMC FZ 100

    Quote Originally Posted by aydo View Post
    I recently bought Panasonic DMC FZ 100, one of the latest versions of super-zoom compact cameras challenging. I was impressed by the well-qualified features and specs
    published in many of photography web sites. In fact I am convinced in my selection by the most of its qualifications after I have it, but unfortunately I did not quite satisfy by the shoot IQ's taken at high ISO (i.e., 400/800) values. Panasonic has announced the avaiability of the new version of "DMC FZ100 firmware" to replace the existing one in camera. I have not uploaded the firmware yet, but I am not sure whether it will correct "the noise and banding effects occuring in some outdoor shooting conditions..(I suppose the same problems I encountered at high ISO values)"
    I wonder if there is some one else experiencing the same situation or similar, eithe with this brand or others, and the results has came up...
    It must have a very small sensor as the MP density is 50MP/cm2 - compare that to say my Canon 5D at 5MP/cm2 of sensor and you can see why it might be noisy. Panasonic are pretty good - I also have a G1, but that has a normal size dslr sensor (well, almost) and the image quality on that is fine.

    http://www.dpreview.com/reviews/spec...c_dmcfz100.asp

    Can you post one or two sample images?

    Posting images on this site. http://www.cambridgeincolour.com/forums/thread5745.htm

  3. #3
    Moderator Dave Humphries's Avatar
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    Re: I'm confused! Noise & banding with Panasonic DMC FZ 100

    Hi Aydo,

    Noise is the problem with these small sensor cameras, well that and too much DoF to be as creative as one might like to be.

    Do as Rob suggests and post an image or two so we can advise.

    I suspect, no, strike that - you will need a third party noise program to deal with sensor noise effectively - although even that may struggle with any banding. I use Neat Image, it is waaay better than any 'noise filter' found in a standard image editors, upto and including CS5 - it works in a different way.

    You should, no must, work from RAW, which the DMC FZ100 can do, not jpg, as the in-camera applied sharpening will just make the noise look worse. Using RAW, you can remove it before you sharpen.

    One other thing to bear in mind, sensor noise will increase with sensor temperature and that will increase not only with ambient temp, but also with how much you have recently used the camera. i.e. a shot taken as soon as you arrive somewhere (assuming camera was switched off in the bag) should be less noisy than one where you've been actively using it for an hour. How much this contributes is going to vary by camera model (and ambient temp.), it is a theoretical issue that may play a part, or may not.

    Cheers,

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    Sample shoots at different ISOs w/Panasonic DMC FZ100

    Hello carregwen and Dave Humphries!

    Many thanks to you for your kind attentions and explanations on my recent post regarding the noise problems. As you recommended, I am attaching a couple of picture samples, just picking them with respect to their representative ISO values.
    I am not too hopeful about abilities of these shoot samples to reflect sufficiently the degree of noiseness appearing in original JPEG pictures, since the dimensions and file sizes of originals were had to be changed quite a bit here.
    These pictures were taken just arbitrarily with no specific target in mind, and all adjustments are camera's its own(in auto mode).

    Below is, @ISO 160, originally 1.4 MB, 4320X3240 pxl, 25 mm(35 mm eqv) wide,
    AE f/4 - 1/2000
    test160.JPG

    Below is, @ISO 400, originally 5.1 MB, 4320X3240 pxl, 25 mm(35 mm eqv) wide,
    AE f/2.8 - 1/15
    test400.JPG

    Below is, @ISO 800, originally 5.7 MB, 4320X3240 pxl, 115 mm(35 mm eqv) wide,
    AE f/3.5 - 1/10
    TEST800.JPG

    Many thanks again for your continuing attentions, and all the best!

  5. #5

    Re: Sample shoots at different ISOs w/Panasonic DMC FZ100

    Aydo

    I merged the thread that had what is now post #4 above (sample shots). There is no need to start a new thread, as it can cause confusion having two. Hope you don't mind. I'll have a look at the shots tomorrow.

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    Moderator Dave Humphries's Avatar
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    Re: Sample shoots at different ISOs w/Panasonic DMC FZ100

    Quote Originally Posted by aydo View Post
    As you recommended, I am attaching a couple of picture samples, just picking them with respect to their representative ISO values.
    I am not too hopeful about abilities of these shoot samples to reflect sufficiently the degree of noiseness appearing in original JPEG pictures, since the dimensions and file sizes of originals were had to be changed quite a bit here.
    Hi Aydo,

    You're right, and in hindsight, I should have asked for a 700 x 700 crop from an area of the image, so that no downsizing was necessary.

    Is that possible from these assuming the bookcase one shows the banding problem?

    Thanks,

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    Re: Sample shoots at different ISOs w/Panasonic DMC FZ100

    Quote Originally Posted by Dave Humphries View Post
    Hi Aydo,

    You're right, and in hindsight, I should have asked for a 700 x 700 crop from an area of the image, so that no downsizing was necessary.

    Is that possible from these assuming the bookcase one shows the banding problem?

    Thanks,
    Never mind Dave, I should have figured that out in advance.

    Any way, I was complaining for the noise problems rather than banding. In the crop below, this can be obviously observed with also addition of some color desaturation or color aberrations of some kind (if not banding), especially at shadowed portions of the picture. Just ignore the degree of sharpness since the shutter speed was considerably low and shoot was made handheld.

    My prime concern is whether you would advise updating camera firmware or instead, simply trying to edit RAWs from the scratch..
    I would be happy hearing if somebody who overcame such or similar problems by uploading new firmwares..

    Regards..

    I'm confused! Noise & banding with Panasonic DMC FZ 100

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    Moderator Dave Humphries's Avatar
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    Re: Sample shoots at different ISOs w/Panasonic DMC FZ100

    Hi again Aydo,

    I have never updated a camera's firmware, but if the release notes say it improvs noise, it may be worth it.

    This is, unfortunately fairly typical of the noise you get with small sensor cameras like yours (and my old Fuji) at higher iso's.

    Here's your crop with a band of Neat Image noise reduction applied across the middle, I deliberately left a strip across the top and a wider one at the bottom untreated to allow comparison.

    I'm confused! Noise & banding with Panasonic DMC FZ 100

    True, it does reduce the resolution somewhat, and it hasn't removed the yellow blotches, but I think you can see that it helps and obviously looks better when the image is shown at a more normal resolution than 100%.

    Here it is resized down to 250px from 700, representing about 1/3 full size, the sort of downsize ratio you might normally do to a fullsized picture.

    I'm confused! Noise & banding with Panasonic DMC FZ 100

    The Neat Image bits are more acceptable for noise than the untreated bits, I think.

    I did try to find a RAW original shot at 800iso from my Fuji, to compare, but failed - I obviously avoided that speed, most were shot at 200, 100 or 400, in order of quantity found - they were all better than yours, but that's to be expected at those speeds.

    The noise of the camera was one of the factors that eventually drove me to spend 10x the price of the Fuji to get a DSLR and a wide zoom lens (equivalent to my 10x zoom on the Fuji). Only you can judge whether ultimately, the hobby is worth that much of your disposable income/savings.

    btw, there's an uncanny similarity of book types between our bookcases

    Hope that helps,
    Last edited by Dave Humphries; 22nd November 2010 at 01:04 AM.

  9. #9

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    Re: Sample shoots at different ISOs w/Panasonic DMC FZ100

    Thank you Dave..

    It was very kind of you that you patiently dealed with the subject and made nicely organized comments and advises.

    It seems that – or - was crystalized that, I should manage this quarrel by post-editing tools for a while until I got a DSLR camera. Meanwhile, I should also postpone updating the firmware of my FZ100 until I hear someone has done it already and got the improvement promised.

    Regarding a DSLR camera, I was thinking about CANON EOS 550D (REBEL T2i) with 18-55 standard lens and additionally an appropriate zoom and a close-up (macro) lense..

    Thank you again and hope to talking on other subjects soon too…

    All the best!

  10. #10

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    Re: I'm confused! Noise & banding with Panasonic DMC FZ 100

    Hi, I understand from Panasonic that not all ver.1 FZ100 cameras require the firmware update. It all depends on the range of serial numbers your camera is in. All informatiom on this can be obtained from Panasonic at Tel: 0844 844 3869. I hope this helps. Good luck. Rod.

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