Reviews on the Web

Panasonic FZ35 Review @ PhotographyBLOG

Panasonic Lumix DMC-FZ35 / FZ38

Panasonic Lumix DMC-FZ35 / FZ38

PhotographyBLOG has posted their review of the Panasonic Lumix DMC-FZ35 / FZ38, an ultra zoom digital camera that provides "a well-balanced and full-featured overall package" with its 12.1MP resolution (on a 1/2.33-in. CCD), 18x wide-angle optical zoom (27-486mm equiv.), optical Image Stabilization, 2.7-in. (230K dots) LCD, Intelligent AUTO (iA) mode, PASM, Scene modes, Face Recognition, and HD movie 1,280 x 720 pixels @ 30 fps.


  • I have this camera, I am so happy with it! The images are crisp and clear, the menu easy to understand and use, the telephoto can be used at max while hand held and still gives great results. It is small and lightweight, starts up fast, has long battery life for shooting all day. I can honestly say I have no idea what they could do to make it better. Well done Panasonic!

  • I just took this camera on a 2-week trip to Egypt and loved it. For the first time I was able to get sharp images of far-away objects. I even did a lot of shooting in the desert from a bouncing Land Cruiser with very good results. My only complaint is the heart-breaking amount of noise in all my photos at all ISO settings. Speckles are as much as 5 pixels and with fairly high contrast, making them difficult to eliminate with editing software, besides which, going through 2000 photos and applying noise reduction to each is a daunting prospect. Noise at ISO 80 is what I’d probably normally expect at ISO 800 or 1600.

    The 12 megapixel resolution helps with the noise issue, but if you’re buying the megapixels with the hope of being able to crop your pictures, you may be disappointed by the image quality.

    I have not tried working with the RAW images and reducing the noise in them, but I don’t expect better results, and don’t feel that that should be necessary anyway.

    I love the camera with this one exception.

  • Hi David,

    Thanks for your “in-the-field user report” on this camera! This is the kind of feedback that our readers find the most useful.

    I’ve gone back to the 4 expert reviews available on the Web. 2 reviewers do not find any noise issue at ISO 80, while 2 actually find something similar to your experience, especially with noise in the shadows.

    Check them out:

    PhotographyBLOG: “…noise-free images at ISO 80-200.
    TrustedReviews: “80 ISO is a new setting for the FZ38. The image quality is exceptionally good with no trace of image noise.
    DCRP (dcresource): “At the base ISO of 80 you will spot a fair amount of noise in shadow areas of your photos — more than I would’ve liked to see. You’ll also see some noise reduction artifacting at times, though it doesn’t really start to smear details away until you get above ISO 400.
    Imaging Resource: “In this very difficult sample, we’re also seeing yellow blotches that actually start at ISO 80 and continue to grow all the way up through ISO 1,600.

    Are your noisy pictures of daytime (bright adequate lighting) or of low-light (dim lighting) scenes?

  • Sorry to be two months in responding.

    The noise is in everything, including daylight shots at ISO 80. Now, I’d call myself a photo enthusiast, not a pro by any means. Could it be that what I’m calling noise is something else? In the first review you link to above, the pictures look very noisy to me at ISO 80, where what should be polished red and green surfaces have a lot of artifact. This isn’t due to compression, as it’s present in the raw images, as well. Is this the effect of noise suppression, which the reviewers remark on.

    Example is at admittedly a jpg, but saved at minimum compression and typical of the raw images I get, too. This is ISO 80 at 1/250 sec.

    Any comments much appreciated.


  • David,

    The example you linked to does look quite noisy, but then the face is in the shadows.

    Here’s a test to try:
    – Turn off noise suppression (for low light and for long exposures).
    – Use minimum compression and highest resolution.
    – Do not use any digital zoom.
    – Use ISO 80.
    – Use a scene where there is bright and shadow.
    – Get proper exposure (the example above is underexposed).

    Result: hopefully, and some noise in the shadow.

    From the 4 reviews available, you should see minimal noise in the bright part and a fair amount of noise in the shadows.

  • Does anyone know what setting is best for noise control? They give options ranging from -2 to +2

  • Hi Will,

    -2 will give you less noise reduction (and possibly higher image quality); +2 will give you more noise reduction (and possibly lower image quality). I always use -2 and do any noise reduction (if necessary) in post processing.