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Panasonic Lumix DMC-FT3 - Test Shots: ISO Performance

By Gavin Stoker
Reviewed:

Summary

Our Score

8/10

User Score

Review Price £299.99

As with Panasonic's Micro Four Thirds compact system cameras, the humbler Lumix DMC-FT3 offers Auto ISO and 'intelligent' ISO for those who want to leave the camera to decide, and with commendable consistency. Otherwise manually selectable light sensitivity settings are fairly standard, running from ISO100 up to a modest ISO1600, with the top ISO6400 option only available the camera itself deems it necessary via High Sensitivity mode.

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As expected at the lowest ISO100 setting as expected we're not seeing any noise, though filtered daylight has provided a warmish colour cast. Left to its own devices, the camera's AF has also automatically focused on whatever is dead centre of frame - here the back wheels of our toy cars.

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No discernible difference as we up the ante to ISO200, and similarly no image noise to report.

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At ISO400, normally the stage at which noise begins to intrude if we're unlucky we again have a clean bill of health served up by the FT3. Incidentally ISO400 was what the camera itself chose for our test scene when left on Auto ISO.

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ISO800 and looking at the rear wheels there's discernibly noise here, but again, it's hardly at a noticeable level unless you're cropping into your frame to look for it.

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At ISO1600 we're noticeably losing edge definition and getting a fuzzier, softer image overall, so, as with most point and shoot compacts, the advice is to stick to ISO800 and below if you want to avoid such artefacts.

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We've tried the High Sensitivity mode on our test subjects too, which results in a resolution drop in order to better disguise any increase in noise. OK, so grain has been smudged so isn't as pronounced as it is at ISO1600, and the shot has a smoother look, but inevitably it's at the expense of detail so we'd rather stick with ISO1600 anyway when all said and done.

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PoisonJam

March 15, 2011, 3:34 pm

Did you take any photos of people with the flash on?

Since the flash and lens are at the same height and so close to each other I'd worry that red eye would be a BIG problem with this camera...

joose

March 15, 2011, 3:36 pm

Questions

It would be useful to know the amount of shots you can expect from a full charge, with and without the GPS being switched on.

How long can it maintain 3.7fps for?

“3D shooting mode (useful only if you own a compatible TV)”

Does this mean with a 3D TV or just with a Panasonic 3D TV?

Impressive ISO results up to 800 with 1600 being good for emergency. Is it possible to set an ISO range limit with this camera?

Suggestions for improvements

Is it possible to add shot details to your photos? i.e. iso, aperture, shutter speed?

Different subject for iso tests

CK

March 16, 2011, 5:27 pm

The ISO crop photos seems much better at demonstrating the noise. Nice move.

joose

March 16, 2011, 7:03 pm

@CK - Those crops were available before. When you click to enlarge you can then choose any point in the photo to view closer as well as the overall shot. That feature is very good but the subject chosen isn't as there is no part which shows us how fine detail is affected by iso increases.

CK

March 17, 2011, 6:43 pm

@joose - The car placement is different, and the cropped portion is also different. Now light and shadow on the crops (pardon my lack of specialist vocabulary) can easily be seen, for quick and direct comparison on one page. Previous crops also seem to be out-of-focus, but I can be wrong on this.

Yeah I know the enlarged photos were present in the past and you may prefer to opening the images one by one, but I'm not commenting on something that didn't change (much).

jstampfl

October 19, 2011, 7:51 pm

I have a TS3. The time to write the full size jpg is reduced to about 1 sec by the use of a high speed card like:

SanDisk SDSDXP1-008G-A75 8GB Extreme Pro SDHC Memory Card

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