Panasonic ZS60/TZ80 Testing

 


In this Section:

The Panasonic ZS60/TZ80 compared with the ZS50/TZ70 and ZS40/TZ60

Testing the Resolution of the ZS60/TZ80 at different ISO settings

ZS60/TZ80 ISO Series Test Images

Testing “Diffraction Compensation” on the ZS60/TZ80

Testing the Resolution of the ZS60/TZ80 at different FL and aperture settings




The Panasonic ZS60/TZ80 compared with the ZS50/TZ70 and ZS40/TZ60


The ZS60/TZ80 is similar in many respects to the previous two models, the ZS50/TZ70 and the ZS40/TZ60.  All three models have the same 24-720mm EFL lens and a 1/2.3” sensor.  Since the lens is the same on all three models, they have the same widest available aperture at a given focal length setting, as well as the same macro and telemacro characteristics, as described earlier for the ZS40 here.


In addition, since the lens, lens ring and lens housing is the same on the ZS60/TZ80 as on the ZS50/TZ70 and the ZS40/TZ60, the adapter I used for the ZS40/TZ60, which is described here, can also be used for the ZS60/TZ80.  This allows the use of add-ons such as closeup lenses, teleconverters and filters.


The ZS60/TZ80 has a sensor of 18MP, reverting to the pixel count of the ZS40/TZ60, whereas the ZS50/TZ70 had a sensor of 12MP.  The ZS60/TZ80 has a number of additional features not found on the two earlier models.  These new features include  2160/25p (PAL) or 2160/30p (NTSC) video, which is commonly known as 4K video.  Other features include a touch screen, Post Focus and 4K photos.



Testing the Resolution of the ZS60/TZ80 at different ISO settings


I measured the resolution as described previously here using a chart board, except that instead of the coloured Es resolution chart used previously, I used copies of the black stepped triplet lines chart which was developed by Dr J. C. Brown as described here.  To provide constant uniform lighting I used two 500W (equivalent) daylight lamps.  I took shots at 90mm EFL in A mode in JPG-RAW pairs using a tripod and the 2 second timer across the ISO range of 80 to 3200 ISO.


Below is an image of the chart board as used:



Image of the Chart Board at 4:3 Aspect Ratio


At the page link below, I have provided the full sized test images for the 90mm EFL ISO series, as JPGs and RAW files, which can be downloaded from the links shown there.


Results


Below is a composite image which compares enlarged crops from the ISO series (click on the image for the full sized view):



TZ80 ISO Series


As can be seen, IQ remains quite high until 400 ISO, then at 800 ISO detail and colour retention begin to decline, and noise increases.




Testing the “Diffraction Compensation” feature of the ZS60/TZ80


A new feature on the TZ80 is called Diffraction Compensation (DC), for which the TZ80 manual says “The camera raises the resolution by correcting the blurriness caused by diffraction when the aperture is closed.” I think that could possibly be misleading since the resolution/detail that is lost by diffraction can’t be recovered by processing. Perhaps it would be better to say that the apparent IQ of of OOC JPGs may be improved slightly by using the feature.


I tested Diffraction Compansation (DC) feature on a printed calendar, using a tripod, and with the TZ80 at 50mm EFL. There is a note in the TZ80 manual which says “Noise in the periphery of the picture may stand out with higher ISO sensitivity” so I tested with DC set on Auto at 800 ISO to see if there was any effect.


Below are 100% crops comparing DC Off and Auto, for f/4.1 and f/8 (click on the image for the full sized view). The separate full sized OOC JPGs can be found in my DPR TZ80 gallery here.



Comparing Diffraction Compensation Off and Auto


There appeared to be a slight sharpening effect which is visible at 100% and f/8, but there was no visible effect at f/4.1.  I assume the added sharpening is applied progressively at each aperture setting as diffraction begins to impact the image, which for the TZ80 is above about f/5.6.


When I carried out some processing with PSE on the f/8 JPG taken with DC off, I found that by applying some USM as for “haze removal” (local contrast enhancement) the result was fairly similar to the result obtained using DC.  By processing from a RAW file it should be possible to obtain a better result than by using DC, which is a JPG-only feature.



Continue to ISO Series Test Images


Continue to Resolution of the ZS60/TZ80 with FL and aperture setting


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