Panasonic Lumix DMC-FP8 Review

3.5
December 16, 2009 | Gavin Stoker |

Image Quality


All of the sample images in this Review were taken using the 12 megapixel Fine JPEG setting, which gives an average image size of around 5.5Mb.

Despite shoehorning a 28-128mm equivalent zoom lens into a body just 20.2mm in depth, quality doesn't seem to have been unduly affected on the Panasonic FP8, said optics picking up a good degree of detail and offering up crisp results if there is plenty of light around. In bright, sunny conditions most users will be satisfied with the results straight out of the camera, and, if conditions are a little drab, selecting the ‘vivid' option from amongst the colour settings will provide a sense of visual dynamism otherwise lacking under such circumstances. We did detect a slight blue-ish colour cast creeping into natural daylight shots however.

Shooting handheld at maximum zoom we did however get an expected softening of detail, though barrel distortion is minimal at extreme wideangle. Close up macro shots seem to work well, with the ability to get as close as 5cm from your subject and still achieve sharp results perfectly sufficient for a point and shoot camera. Examining detail close up, some pixel fringing is evident between areas of high contrast, but wouldn't usually be noticeable otherwise.

In terms of light sensitivity, noise is creeping into low light shadow areas from ISO 400 upwards, though results shooting without flash at ISO 800 are still perfectly usable. At ISO 1600 detail is visibly suffering - edges of our test subjects becoming smudged - and High Sensitivity mode is best avoided except in desperation.

So, to sum up, the Panasonic FP8 performs at its best when there's plenty of light available; faced with more challenging conditions degradations and aberrations become readily noticeable.

Noise

There are 6 ISO settings available on the Panasonic Lumix DMC-FP8. Here are some 100% crops which show the noise levels for each ISO setting.

ISO 80 (100% Crop)

ISO 100 (100% Crop)

   

ISO 200 (100% Crop)

ISO 400 (100% Crop)

   

ISO 800 (100% Crop)

ISO 1600 (100% Crop)

Sharpening

Here are two 100% Crops which have been Saved as Web - Quality 50 in Photoshop. The right-hand image has had some sharpening applied in Photoshop. The out-of-the camera images are a little soft at the default sharpening setting and benefit from some further sharpening in a program like Adobe Photoshop. Unfortunately you can't change the in-camera sharpening level.

Original (100% Crop)

Sharpened (100% Crop)

   

Chromatic Aberrations

The Panasonic Lumix DMC-FP8 handled chromatic aberrations well during the review, with limited purple fringing present around the edges of objects in certain high-contrast situations, as shown in the examples below.

Example 1 (100% Crop)

Example 2 (100% Crop)

Macro

The Panasonic Lumix DMC-FP8 offers a Macro setting that allows you to focus on a subject that is 5cms away from the camera when the lens is set to wide-angle. The first image shows how close you can get to the subject (in this case a compact flash card). The second image is a 100% crop.

Macro Shot

100% Crop

Flash

The flash settings on the Panasonic Lumix DMC-FP8 are Auto, Auto/Red-eye Reduction, Forced On, Slow Sync./Red-eye Reduction, Forced Off. These shots of a white coloured wall were taken at a distance of 1.5m.

Forced Off - Wide Angle (28mm)

Forced On - Wide Angle (28mm)

ISO 64 ISO 64
   

Forced Off - Telephoto (128mm)

Forced On - Telephoto (128mm)

ISO 64 ISO 64

And here are some portrait shots. As you can see, neither the Flash On or the Auto/Red-eye Reduction settings caused any red-eye.

Forced On

Forced On (100% Crop)
   

Auto/Red-eye Reduction

Auto/Red-eye Reduction (100% Crop)

Night

The Panasonic Lumix DMC-FP8's maximum shutter speed is 60 seconds in the Starry Sky Mode scene mode (there are also 15 and 30 second options) and 8 seconds in the Night Scene mode, which is great news if you're seriously interested in night photography. The shot below was taken using a shutter speed of 1/3rd second at ISO 400. I've included a 100% crop of the image to show what the quality is like. The camera takes the same amount of time again to apply noise reduction, so for example at the 15 second setting the actual exposure takes 30 seconds.

Night Shot

Night Shot (100% Crop)

Entry Tags

review, wide-angle, 12 megapixel, panasonic, 28mm, 4.6x zoom, dmc-fp8, Panasonic Lumix DMC-FP8 Review, dmc fp8, fp8