Tests of the Panasonic ZS100 (compared to Leica X and Panasonic LX100)

Discussion in 'Other Brands' started by dalethorn, Apr 6, 2016.

  1. dalethorn

    dalethorn Guest

    My informal tests comparing the new Panasonic ZS100 (1-inch sensor) to the Leica X-U (APS-C), both using 35 mm effective focal lengths, except the final image where the ZS100 zooms to its maximum of 250 mm eff. focal length.

    The amazing thing in the harbor set, in dull flat lighting, is that the Leica X wins clearly on the water tower and the ocean water, but the ZS100 wins big on the trees detail, unless I'm missing something. These were shot JPEG only.

    In the statue scene, the X-U has some wins and some ties, but I don't see a win for the ZS100. The ZS100 zoomed scene shows the camera's strength. The ZS100 lens does seem to be good edge to edge, at least at the apertures I shot, which I would expect for a $700 USD camera.

    The processing here was a 2 pct. crop on the ZS100 images, and all were resized to 4096 pixels wide. I also sharpened the ZS100 images slightly.

    Another bit of fantastic news, for me anyway, is the carrycase:
    The Leica 18727 case made for the D-Lux6/Panasonic LX7 fits the following cameras precisely, like a glove:
    Panasonic ZS100.
    Panasonic LX7.
    Leica D-Lux6.
    Nikon Coolpix A.

    The similar case made for the Leica D-Lux/Panasonic LX100 also fits the ZS100 well, with a mm or two extra room in length and width.

    Leica X-U, f7.1, 1/1000 braced, ISO 100.

    Panasonic ZS100, f6.3, 1/1000 braced, ISO 125.

    Leica X-U, f5.6, 1/800 braced, ISO 200.

    Panasonic ZS100, f5.6, 1/800 braced, ISO 125.

    Panasonic ZS100, f5.9, 1/320 braced, ISO 125.
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  2. dalethorn

    dalethorn Guest

    Now here's the comparison of the ZS100 and LX100. Images were resized to 4096 wide, but not cropped horizontally for accurate registration. I did try to crop vertically some to get approx. the same vertical view. All shots were JPEG only, AP at f5.6, auto shutter, ISO 200. Both cameras used the 3:2 frame size.

    The focal lengths were 75, 150, and 300 (135 effective). The LX100 used Intelligent Zoom for the 150 FL and that zoom plus Digital Zoom for the 300 FL.

    Rather than display the individual frames here, here's the page, and the images are on the second row. Click each one, then right-click to download.

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  3. Jock Elliott

    Jock Elliott All-Pro

    Jan 3, 2012
    Troy, NY
    The LX100 and the ZS100 images look very comparable to me.

    Dale, what do you think?

    Cheers, Jock
  4. dalethorn

    dalethorn Guest

    Given the disclaimer that this is JPEG only, here's what I see:

    At 300 mm, the LX100 loses most detail. Still useful for small images when needed.

    At 150 mm, you can see that the bicycle, utility pole, and store window behind the bicycle are much sharper with the ZS100. For some reason, the LX100 did better with the foreground trees, even though they shouldn't be the focus point. At the very left slightly above center, the bricks are clearly better with the ZS100. In the foreground near the lower right, the square lighted pedestrian walk sign is better and less noisy with the LX100. This is very interesting, in that the LX100's detail at 150 mm with iZoom should be less, and that seems to be borne out in the center of the images, but it might be that the iZoom of the LX100 changed the focus points toward the foreground and that's why the foreground objects were better. That will need some investigation.

    At 75 mm, you can see that the green iron gate is a little clearer with the ZS100, even though I sharpened the LX100 image a little. Maybe it needs a better sharpening. The bricks at left and the Majestic Square lettering above that are better on the ZS100. Again, that could have something to do with focus points. Both cameras used one-area autofocus, both used center-weighted metering, and I shot bursts with each so as to get the best image from the burst.

    There might be some lens issues too, and maybe if both cameras are shot RAW and the RAW developer did proper lens corrections, things might be different. In any case, the ZS100 acquits itself for its physical size, although $700 is a pretty stiff price just to get a one-inch sensor with a 250 mm zoom.

    Big oops!! I just realized that I shot the ZS100 images at 250 mm, not 300 mm, since 250 mm is the maximum and I didn't use an extended zoom with the ZS100.
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  5. I've found that using digital zoom with my Panasonic cameras is just fruitless. TBH, digital zoom with any camera is pretty hopeless. IZoom is almost acceptable on the FZ1000 and the LX100.
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  6. dalethorn

    dalethorn Guest

    Yes, definitely agree. The 2x iZoom gets good results on the LX100 for some subjects, just takes a little practice to get there.
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