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Panasonic Lumix DMC-FX01 Photos

Panasonic Lumix DMC-FX01On a recent press trip to Lisbon, Portugal, I was given the opportunity to try out the new 28mm wide-angle zoom, 6 megapixel, compact Panasonic Lumix DMC-FX01 digital camera. Here are some sample images taken with a pre-production version of the FX01 - please note that they do not represent the quality of the final production version of the camera.

Website: Panasonic Lumix DMC-FX01 Photos

Published: Monday, February 20, 2006

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Reader Comments

  1. It may just be wishful thinking, but these photos appear to have very
    little noise and/or purple fringing. Although one picture scared me for
    a second when I saw its windows. It looks exactly like high ISO noise.
    Shades of the Ricoh Caplio GX8.

    http://tinyurl.com/ddkqn

    GARY POGODA at 07:54pm on Sunday, February 19, 2006

  2. Gary, you can't be serious. Resized to 800x600, any camera produces noiseless results. Take a look at the following Ricoh Caplio R3 image (I don't remember the source), shot at ISO *400*:

    http://img328.imageshack.us/img328/6698/19viso400small2sc.jpg

    Do you see much noise? What about PF? There isn't any. That's the beauty of 800x600 for you :-)

    Prog.

    Prognathous at 10:12pm on Sunday, February 19, 2006

  3. Prog, I agree the smaller the size, the more difficult to see the noise,
    so I looked real close at Mark's photos. I can still see noise in the R3
    photo; however, it was shot at ISO 400, so without knowing the ISOs
    of Mark's photos, we may be comparing Apples and Windows. :)

    GARY POGODA at 10:44pm on Sunday, February 19, 2006

  4. I deliberately chose an ISO 400 image to show that resizing to 800x600 makes noise a non-issue (even when the original image is rather noisy to begin with). However, if you see noise in that one, then how about this:

    http://img46.imageshack.us/img46/5059/04600x8005py.jpg
    Caplio R3, ISO 64.

    Do you still find the Panasonic more impressive in terms of noise? I'd be surprised if you would. The point is simple: One can't evaluate image quality using resized images. The original image (or crops of it) is needed for that.

    Prog.

    Prognathous at 01:56am on Monday, February 20, 2006

  5. Don't liten to him Prog. Gary does not have a clue as to what he is talking about. He's only going to patronise you and frustrate you, so ignore his tired 20 Questions.
    If a guys like Gary, who comments on this site all the time, does not know that looking at resized images is foolish by now, then he needs to learn to stop patronising every one and every thing and shut the hell up.

    Espy at 02:23am on Monday, February 20, 2006

  6. Prog, don't get me wrong. Your original example was a good one. It
    illustrates how reducing the size of a noisy photo can make the noise
    less visible. It also illustrates that a noisy photo, even after it's resized
    to 800 x 600, will still exhibit some noise. If the FX01 were as noisy as
    the R3, I would have expected to see more noise in Mark's photos.

    There are two possibilities. One is that Mark's photos were all shot at
    low ISOs, which would make them not a good indication of the FX01's
    noise performance. I did consider that possibility; however, it appears
    from the lighting of some of his shots, that high ISOs would have been
    required.

    The other possibility is that the FX01 is not as noisy as the R3. To be
    absolutely certain of that, we will need to see some full-size crops, as
    you have already suggested.

    Espy, looking at resized images might be foolish, but if that is all you
    have to go by, then you do the best you can with them.

    GARY POGODA at 05:47am on Monday, February 20, 2006

  7. Absolutly loving this camera..! Its perfect for everything i want to do :)

    Smoky at 12:02pm on Monday, February 20, 2006

  8. Gary you are making a fool of yourself this time, I'm afraid.

    "looking at resized images might be foolish, but if that is all you
    have to go by, then you do the best you can with them"

    The thing to do is comment only on what can be commented on. For example, colour rendition and handling of high contrasts. To me it looks that the colour is very pleasing, almost Olympus-like, and much better than that of the photographs taken with the other Panny. Handling of high contrasts is more problematic, there are many pictures with hopelessly blown highlights - but that is something to be expected from a sensor this tiny.

    But noise is definitely not something you should voice your opinion on when you only have downsampled pics at your disposal. The only sensible way of checking for noise in a digital photograph is to download a full-sized image, print it @ 300ppi and then look at the print from normal viewing distances to see if there is any visible noise that can be considered bothersome.

    And as far as that window is considered, Gary, that isn't chrominance noise you see there. That's stained glass.

    Zoltan at 12:24pm on Monday, February 20, 2006

  9. Zoltan, it must be me, because I thought that is exactly what I was
    implying about the windows when I said it scared me "for a second".

    As for the noise issue, that is another story. If you resize a picture
    by say 5%, will "ALL" the noise suddenly disappear? Obviously not.
    What about 10% or 15%? Well maybe some, but not all. The more
    drastically you resize, the less visible the original noise.

    At 800 x 600, if the full-size original were noisy, the resized image
    would still show some of the noise. That point is well proven by the
    first R3 photo at ISO 400 supplied by Prog.

    I agree that if we had full-size crops, my conclusion (actually it was
    really only wishful thinking) would be more valid. Maybe Mark will be
    kind enough to oblige. :)

    GARY POGODA at 12:57pm on Monday, February 20, 2006

  10. "Although one picture scared me for
    a second when I saw its windows."


    Nice one Gary :-)

    It seems that some Manufacturers managed to improve their Processing Engines for this batch of releases (Sony with higher sensitivities on 1/2.5" sensors, Panasonic here...). They might be closing the gap with Fuji's ones (keep it mind that the F10 is a larger 1/1.7" sensor that require a slower lens for the same size).

    Side-note: it's not about sensor size... it's about lens diameter.

    Olivier_G at 01:06pm on Monday, February 20, 2006

  11. Thanks, O_G.

    Speaking of lens diameter, or more specifically, image circle, what do
    you think is going on with the new Panasonic Lumix DMC-TZ1? It has
    a 6.37 megapixel CCD, of which only 5 megapixels are being used. Is
    it possible that its 10x zoom lens is so small that its image circle could
    not even cover a 1/2.5" CCD? It just doesn't make sense.

    GARY POGODA at 01:33pm on Monday, February 20, 2006

  12. If the FX01 is anything like the FX9 then it will have very high noise reduction performed in camera (at the higher ISOs), causing images to appear noise-free - resized to 800x will cause images to look detailed even though the full size version may be way less detailed due to the heavy noise reduction.

    Josh at 02:36pm on Monday, February 20, 2006

  13. Gary: I agree, it wouldn't make much sense not to optimize the image circle to the sensor size...
    Maybe a typo, as this site specify a 5.3MP sensor with 5.0MP effective: http://index.hu/tech/digicam/mutat_mc?formid=954

    Olivier_G at 03:06pm on Monday, February 20, 2006

  14. Josh, you make an excellent point. I would have to agree, if the FX01's
    noise reduction is more like the FX9 than say the LX1, or the Ricoh R3,
    which is likely the case given that the FX9 is a close sibling to the FX01,
    then this heavy-handed noise reduction would be even more difficult to
    detect at anything less than full-size.

    O_G, a typo would make sense. When I see the name FX01, I cannot
    help but think that it is a typo since the successor to the FX9 should be
    the FX10. :)

    GARY POGODA at 06:37pm on Monday, February 20, 2006

  15. I would really like to see the full size images. Can they put on this site?

    I agree with most of those who say that noise will all but disappear at 800x600.

    If the full images take up to much server space a small crop of the area of each photo which exhibits the highest noise, along with these small images to evaluate the total look of the picture would be very helpful.

    I want to buy this camera, but the major complaints I've seen about noise in FX9 images, and in fact all Panasonic digital cameras, means I will wait till I can see a range of photos from the camera.

    Panasonic Japan have some images at full res, and they look superb. So superb I can hardly believe they came straight from an FX01.

    There are 4 images at ISO 80 and 1 at ISO 125
    unfortunately none at ISO 200 or 400, which I would sorely like to see.

    http://panasonic.co.jp/pavc/global/lumix/gallery/models/fx01.html

    The main FX01 info section is at

    http://panasonic.co.jp/pavc/global/lumix/fx01/index.html

    I'll wait for some more comprehensive images before deciding and then it's either the FX01 or a Fuji F30.

    Paul at 08:40pm on Monday, February 20, 2006

  16. Sorry Paul, one of the conditions when we were given the cameras was not to publish full sized images, as they don't represent the final production quality. You'll have to wait until my review :)

    I can only give you answers to questions about the handling etc.

    Mark Goldstein at 08:45pm on Monday, February 20, 2006

  17. OK, thanks for the reply.

    I believe it is being released next month so hopefully their will be some reviews available soon. Do you have any plans for a review of this camera yet? ASAP I hope :-)

    The 28mm lens is a major plus for me, I just hope it can deliver the goods when it comes to picture quality. I am a little disappointed that the ISO 800 - 1600 is not 6Mp as I doubt I would ever use it in that case.

    Still, this sounds like a fantastic camera, small size, wide lens, SD memory card which I already have, 3 frame exposure bracketing, optical image stabilizer.

    Man, if it could deliver Fuji's ISO 1600 performance it would be the camera of the decade.

    Paul at 09:18pm on Monday, February 20, 2006

  18. Paul, #15 sounds like a good plan of action. Do happen to know if the
    Fuji F30 has an AF assist lamp? I did not see any mention of such in
    Fuji's announcement.

    Mark, I have a "handling" question for you about the FX01. Based on
    your experiences with the camera in Lisbon, would you say it handles
    image noise well?

    GARY POGODA at 09:21pm on Monday, February 20, 2006

  19. I'm currently reviewing the Panasonic DMC-LZ5, and am then going to PMA in Orlando for a week. So any review will not be until mid-March I'm afraid.

    Mark Goldstein at 09:22pm on Monday, February 20, 2006

  20. Very cheeky Gary!

    Suffice to say, no comment...

    Mark Goldstein at 09:23pm on Monday, February 20, 2006

  21. Yes Gary, the F30 has a focus assist lamp.

    quite good info here Fuji Worldwide.

    http://home.fujifilm.com/products/digital/lineup/f30/index.html

    and here at Fuji USA.

    http://tinyurl.com/maujf

    It's one heck of a nice camera. If only it had a 28mm lens.

    I'd love to buy both, the F30 and the FX01 but I don't think that's going to happen.
    But then again, my wife would like a nice little camera too, so then I get to use both. LOL

    Paul at 11:04pm on Monday, February 20, 2006

  22. Thanks, Paul. I see now that the F30 has AF assist, and something
    else I did not know about, Picture Stabilization (PS). Why don't they
    put these things in their press announcement?

    I agree about the 28 mm lens, and a 5x zoom would be nice as well.
    The F650 has a 5x zoom, but as far as I can tell it does not have an
    AF assist lamp or PS, and of course, no ISO 3200, although a usable
    ISO 400 is not too shabby, nor is a 3.0" LCD.

    GARY POGODA at 11:04am on Tuesday, February 21, 2006

  23. Actually, Mark, there may be something helpful you can do that would
    not violate your agreement with Panasonic. How about a close-up shot
    showing hair so we can get an idea of the level of detail of your resized
    images?

    Ditto for the TZ1.

    GARY POGODA at 11:30am on Tuesday, February 21, 2006

  24. I am not so sure about the "image stabilization Gary.

    If you look at the spec sheet it says

    "Picture Stabilization: Yes, Mode Dial"

    From the Fuji F30 PDF brochure

    "PS (Picture Stabilization) mode: Perfect to prevent blurring due to fast-moving subject or camera shake, this PS mode automatically sets the optimum ISO sensitivity and shutter speed to beautifully freeze the moment forever in sharp detail."

    No talk about Optical or Digital image stabilization. And for a real stabilizer it has to be one of the two.

    I think this is just sales talk because the FX9, FX01 have image stabilizers so Fuji have to claim some sort of stabilization to make it sound good. In fact it comes close to false advertising in my mind, because unless you read very carefully anyone would asume it to have a "real" image stabilezer system.

    Just like the FX01 has ISO 800 to 1600, but at very reduced resolution, so what's the point. Well the F11, F30 has it so the FX01 had better have it too, even if it is just a sales gimick.

    They are both VERY good cameras, but sales department have a way of twisting reality to suit their purpose, which can actually create a negative impression when you realize it is just hype.

    You can download the PDF brochure at both Fuji worldwide and USA I think. It has some good info, but I can't wait to see the PDF manual which is not available yet. That will have everything we need to know about features and operation.

    Paul at 02:30pm on Tuesday, February 21, 2006

  25. Gary, are you a member of the Photography Blog Forums?

    It might be more appropriate if we discussed these topics in the forum rather than filling up this page, which I believe is supposed to be comments about the images.

    I have just joined Username Paul_77

    I'd be happy to continue this discussion in the Digital Cameras forum, I'm worried we might annoy someone doing it here.

    Paul at 04:01pm on Tuesday, February 21, 2006

  26. When I saw the term "Picture" Stabilization used, I was immediately
    suspicious, so I quickly scanned the description and thought I saw it
    had two modes, one for normal handshake, and the other for being
    in a moving vehicle. Now I'll have to go back and read more closely.

    BTW, I don't want to speak for Mark, but from personal experience,
    these are the types of discussions on which this blog thrives, so put
    your worries aside.

    GARY POGODA at 06:41pm on Tuesday, February 21, 2006

  27. You were right, Paul, clever marketing. The PS mode takes advantage
    of the F30's high sensitivities by automatically setting the optimum ISO
    and shutter speed to "freeze the moment". I suppose, if it does work as
    advertised, it is actually better than IS alone, which cannot compensate
    for fast moving targets. The combination of IS and PS would have been
    ideal, but if the F30's ISO 1600 and ISO 3200 are actually usable, then
    IS might not be missed.

    GARY POGODA at 08:30pm on Tuesday, February 21, 2006

  28. Your right Gary, I think that, although it's a bit of a "snow job", with such high ISO settings it really shouldn't be much of a problem. But yea, with OIS as well WOW!!

    I am having such a hard time choosing between the FX01 and the F30. I think I will end up with both.

    I have a cunning plan. LOL

    I'll buy the FX01 when it comes out in a couple of weeks because I really need something soon. And then, when the F30 comes out, I'll say to my wife "look dear I think this FX01 is a great little camera for you, I'd better get another camera so you can carry this one around with you".

    That way I can use whichever is most suitable for the situation.

    Do you think she'll buy that???

    Paul at 09:43pm on Tuesday, February 21, 2006

  29. Oh by the way Gary, thanks for clarifying the use of the blog for me.

    Paul at 09:45pm on Tuesday, February 21, 2006

  30. #### yeah, I'll buy that, Paul!

    That's why I buy a new compact digicam every year.
    I like to keep up with the times, and if I buy an older model from a year ago, I can get one at slightly cheaper prices than the brand spanking new ones, which now, don't have THAT much more to offer, as we can see.
    And because I've sort of kept up to speed with cameras but not with my home computer, I am seriously in the shitter right now because my computer is not fast enough to handle huge file sizes
    in applications like Photoshop that takes for ever to render even the basic stuff. Try stitching a few large shots together and it gets all jammed up.

    As far as the technological combination of sensor size/stabilization/fast shutter/wide-angle lens/noise/shutter lag/buffer - we have hit the limit -
    when it comes to cramming all of these things into a small form factor and make it all function properly without too many glitches and problems with amateur handling, before the nagging little problems start to crop up in one or more of the combinations;
    because we're ultimately pushing the quality of the actual finished to the limit too.

    So buy buy! Spend spend! Print print! Because you know what? This little old machine can go straight to the the dump and be buried for future generations to dig up and say what a waste that was.

    AA at 04:39am on Wednesday, February 22, 2006

  31. Paul, your plan might work, if your wife doesn't read this blog. :)

    AA, I hate to sound like a broken record, but you should submit an
    article to "The Peoples' Voice". Even your slow computer would be
    able to handle word processing.

    Gary's Parries at 05:17am on Wednesday, February 22, 2006

  32. Here's another Caplio R3 image at 800x600 (noise reduced):

    URL

    This one was shot at ISO 800 (!!) by Tom Jhou (who wrote an interesting review of the camera). I brightened it up a bit and resized to 800x600.

    What do you think about it Gary, do you see noise? ;-)

    A link to the original image in a dpreview.com discussion about the new Caplio R4.

    Prog.

    Prognathous at 12:29am on Sunday, February 26, 2006

  33. Nice try, Prog. I found the original photo, and it appears quite noisy.


    https://jshare.johnshopkins.edu/tchou7/tj/R0011231.JPG

    I also found the same photo filtered in Neat Image, and the noise is
    gone.


    https://jshare.johnshopkins.edu/tchou7/tj/R0011231_filtered.jpg

    When I resized the original "unfiltered" photo to 800 x 600, there was
    still PLENTY of noise to be seen.

    Pretty sneaky. I like that. :)

    GARY POGODA at 01:30pm on Sunday, February 26, 2006

  34. I don't quite get what's sneaky. After all I did write that the image was "noise reduced". I gave a link to the original discussion that includes both the original and the filtered images, so there wasn't any need to go and "find" anything. It was all there, in writing. Did I omit any detail that makes my post sound sneaky?

    Anyway, the bottom line remains: 800x600 can't be used to evaluate noise.

    The second thing to learn here is that the notoriously noisy Caplio R3 is not only on-par with Canon S60 (in terms of noise), but it also has a valuable ISO 800 mode that can produce usable results with some post-processing.

    Prog.

    Prognathous at 02:07pm on Sunday, February 26, 2006

  35. It seemed like you were saying "noised-reduced" as a result of the
    800 x 600 resizing, rather than by post-processing, since I thought
    the point you were trying to make was that such resizing produces
    noiseless results, as you indicated in comment #2.

    If you purposely resized a noise-reduced image to show that noise
    reduction would be difficult to detect in an 800 x 600 resized image,
    I thought Josh already made that point in comment #12.

    In either case, I realize now that you were not intentionally trying to
    be sneaky about it.

    GARY POGODA at 02:30pm on Sunday, February 26, 2006

  36. Gary

    I think you are suffering from Paralysis by Analysis. I've had the R3 (sorry, wrong thread!) for a few weeks now and I can say that it takes some very good shots. The terrible noise I've seen in photo examples on the internet, I have not been able to reproduce. Maybe the firmware upgrades have eliminated most of it. The macro mode is very good too. I wish it had more zoom, but for its size (even comfortably fits in jeans pocket), it cant be beat.
    Its an excellent pocket camera for sure.

    Mario at 03:05pm on Sunday, February 26, 2006

  37. You may be right, Mario, although I have not heard of any noise fixes
    as a result of the firmware updates for the R3.

    It's difficult to say, since I do not own one ... yet. :)

    GARY POGODA at 03:21pm on Sunday, February 26, 2006

  38. Do not buy this camera, it is a 6MP CCD, but it compresses the pics down to 2MB+. This can not be over-ridden; the "4MB" setting does nothing. Remember, compression ratio is just as important as CCD resolution. I'm returning mine today. Back to my EX750, reliable and rugged.

    Brett at 08:05am on Tuesday, April 04, 2006

  39. If by 2MB+ you mean 2-3MB, that seems average for a 6MP camera.

    GARY POGODA at 08:32am on Tuesday, April 04, 2006

  40. Average

    nick in japan at 01:28am on Wednesday, April 05, 2006

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