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Adding a Panasonic Lumix DMC-ZR1/ZX1 as my walkabout camera

By MentorRon
I just found a Panasonic Lumix DMC-ZR1 at a thrift store for $15 Cdn. Looked it up on Google and found several good reviews, and nothing bad. These are copies of test bench photos from the year it was introduced, comparing it to my FujiFilm Finepix F100fd and another highly rated camera from that year.
It has a 24-200mm zoom compared to Fuji's 28-140mm, plus a better OIS and usable video at 1280x720 30fps (which the F100fd did not).
The group of 9 photos at left were taken at ISO100 and mid-zoom.
In comparing the Panasonic and Fuji, you must remember that the Fuji has a larger CCD, which you can tell by the image sizes: a 1/1.6 inch instead of the usual 1/2.33 inch, as in the Panasonic. So the Panasonic has an uphill battle to overcome that Fuji advantage.
The only thing I noted is the Panasonic has a tiny bit less contrast, which can help in some cases (high contrast scenes) and not in others. I have also found, in using the camera, that choosing it's "Vivid" colour option, it also sharpens the images slightly without overemphasizing the colour palette or adding artificial edges around contrasty objects. This is NOT mentioned in the owner's manual, but I intend to use it.

Tags: General camera comparisons

Voters: newbe2,


joshwa Plus
9 905 United Kingdom
25 Sep 2019 11:42AM
The Panasonic looks to perform well, with decent results even at ISO1600.

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MentorRon 1 73 Canada
25 Sep 2019 5:38PM
Yes, it competes well with my Fuji F100fd, which has a larger CCD (48.56 sq mm vs Lumix's 28.46 sq mm). I don't use ISO1600, having set both camera's to max ISO800.
I have found, however, in home testing, that I COULD use 1600 if I ran it through Neat Image V8 to remove digital artifacts such as grain. (I don't use any post-processor that I have to pay for.) Neat Inage and Irfanview do the things that I'm willing to do, but I try to avoid them as much as possible. I like to show what the camera can do without extenal assistance. So Irfanview is used mostly for fine rotations when horizons are not straight or something on the edge of the image distracts (e.g. someone's arm gets in the photo).
The Lumix's CCD IS affected by spectral highlights, such as the sun's reflection off glass or metal, so I have to compensate by changing viewpoint or focal length (very infrequently).

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