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  1. #1
    Join Date
    Sep 2006
    Posts
    9

    Panasonic FZ50/LX2 firmware petition..

    Guys, I've just started a petition for a Panasonic firmware update. The Venus III engine is simply too aggressive and kills a lot of details. We discussed this problem at dpreview forums and then I though about petition for simple firmware update (applicable on LX2 and FZ50), which will allow us to to turn the in-camera picture adjustments completely OFF, especially the Noise Reduction. Adjusting Noise Reduction to LOW is simply not enough.

    If you check these full resolution FZ50 images..
    http://www.pbase.com/fz3pics/fz50_low_light_test_pics

    ..or these full res. crops I made from the above full res. images..

    ISO 100:
    http://filexoom.com/files/23998/ISO100_crops.png
    ISO 200:
    http://filexoom.com/files/23998/ISO200_crops.png
    ISO 400:
    http://filexoom.com/files/23998/ISO400_crops.png
    ISO 800:
    http://filexoom.com/files/23998/ISO800_crops.png
    ISO 1600:
    http://filexoom.com/files/23998/ISO1600_crops.png

    Also this is very good example of the problem, this time taken with LX2:
    http://filexoom.com/files/23998/lx2_..._iso_crops.jpg

    Please, ignore the ISO 200 RAW shot. It's blurred by an accidental camera shake

    You will clearly realize how strong is the Venus III noise reduction, even at lowest possible level. It would really be great if Panasonic would release (finally) a user installable firmware, which will allow us to set the JPEG noise reduction to OFF.

    So if you are interested, read and sign the petition, which is available here..

    http://www.gopetition.com/online/9523.html

    Maybe if we collect enough petitioners, we will change something?

    Some time ago, many Casio z850 buyers cried about bad quality of video taken with this camera in high-quality mode. The official Casio statement was "there will be no firmware update nor we are working on it". But now, few months after Z850 release, there is a firmware fix (better said workaround) for this problem!

    So why not with Panasonic? I'm sure, we can be successful if we will act together..why not give it a try? We can't lose anything. So please, read and sign the petition and tell about it to as many Panasonic photographers as you know.
    Last edited by odklizec; 10-06-2006 at 02:33 PM.
    Panasonic FZ50/LX2 Firmware Petition

    Act Now!..
    http://www.gopetition.com/online/9523.html

  2. #2
    Join Date
    Jul 2005
    Posts
    6,590
    While this does show just how noisy the 10mp sensor has become, noise ninja definitely does a very much better job. Did you try Neat Image yet? It should do even better.

    Although I am not a fan of the very noisy sensor, I think your idea of being able to turn all in camera processing off is a very good idea. Good luck!
    Canon EOS 350D, Tamron SP AF 90mm F/2.8 macro, Sigma 18-50mm F2.8 DC EX, Canon EF 70-200mm f/4 L USM, Tokina AT-X124 Pro 12-24mm F4, Soligor 1.7x C/D4 DG Teleconvertor, Manfrotto 724B tripod, Canon Powershot S30

  3. #3
    Join Date
    Sep 2006
    Posts
    9
    Yes, I tried to denoise the images also with NeatImage, but to be honest, NoiseNinja did much better job for me. Maybe it's because I'm not very skilled in NeatImage But I'm not very skilled in NoiseNinja as well and I was able to achieve good results for less time.

    Personally, I don't care about noise too much, but I'm pleased with NoiseNinja results. The bad looking chroma noise is eliminated and the film-like grain (which I like) is preserved.
    Panasonic FZ50/LX2 Firmware Petition

    Act Now!..
    http://www.gopetition.com/online/9523.html

  4. #4
    Join Date
    Jul 2004
    Location
    Los Altos, CA
    Posts
    2,635

    Question Can you explain the "Banding" I see?

    In each of your samples, there is banding in at least the last two samples, seeming to get worse at higher ISOs. It doesn't ever appear in your first "Low NR" sample, rather in all the ones you post-processed. Any explanation?
    Let a be your umbrella!

  5. #5
    Join Date
    Oct 2004
    Location
    Wisconsin
    Posts
    2,929
    Nice comparison! That really shows how poorly it is at mid range to high ISO. Anyone that STILL says noise isnt a problem with this camera needs to have their eyes and maybe even their head examined.

    I wish you luck with your petition. Panasonic would really have an excellent camera if it werent so horrid with high ISO.

    Keep us posted on your petitions success.
    Jason

    "A coward dies a thousand deaths, a soldier dies but once."-2Pac


    A bunch of Nikon stuff!

  6. #6
    Join Date
    Sep 2006
    Posts
    9
    Actually, these sample shots are not mine, but the guy called Gobo (at DPReview) or fz3pics (at Pbase). I used them with his permission and I only did the crops and saved them as PNG (which is lossless) to preserve the details.

    I'm afraid, I must be blind, because I don't see any banding on these shots? The only thing I see is high noise produced by CCD. Yes, there is a lot of noise, but also a lot of details in RAW files. But just few days back someone at Clubsnap forum posted some LX2 hi-ISO shots, with huge banding problem..
    http://filexoom.com/files/15474/lx2_high_iso_crops.jpg

    So I'm tend to believe, this banding problem is "camera to camera" related.

    The problem I'm trying to cover by this petition is not the huge amount of noise or banding or whatever else. The main aim of this petition is to try move the Panasonic to start releasing the firmware updates for their cameras and point out to the amount of details smeared by Panasonic Venus III engine, especially their new (aggressive) Noise Reduction.

    I didn't say the noise is not a problem in general, because it is! I only said, it's not big problem for me! If I will use ISO 1600 in any compact camera, then only for B&W photography and some small web prints, which is OK for me. Something like a clean ISO 1600 with preserved details from compact or "SLR-like" cameras, is just a myth and it will not happen with such small sensors with such huge amount of pixels per mm of sensor size.

    I'm a realistic man. Panasonic can't (and will not) replace CCD in their already released cameras, nor will invest their time and money for developing better in-camera noise reduction, at least not for already released products. Of course, they will still improve their NR technology, but we will see the results of their work in next generation of cameras. I'm quite sure, they will not do this for already released cameras.

    So maybe we should start another petition headed to entire digital camera industry, with a request to stop megapixel races and providing us with useless marketing features like ISO 3200/6400, digital zoom, in camera image editing, touch screens, and similar stupid things not needed by anyone, maybe except the kids?

    And maybe if we will support this petition by a well organized and widely known customer strike (let's say not buying the digital cameras and accessories in selected day or week), the industry leader will have to listen us?

    I'm bored with the current heading of digital camera industry the same as you are and with us most of the knowledgeable community. Who really needs 10 or more megapixels, especially if they are not really usable? I will tell you..no one! But the marketing departments "think" we all need them. They think the users will not buy their new models, if there will be no increased number of megapixels in new model, which is completely wrong thinking. What we all need is better quality of current technologies. But you see...it's cheaper to add new chip with increased number of megapixels than developing some real enhancements.
    Panasonic FZ50/LX2 Firmware Petition

    Act Now!..
    http://www.gopetition.com/online/9523.html

  7. #7
    Join Date
    Jul 2005
    Posts
    6,590
    Odd, I did not notice any banding in particular either...
    Just lots noise even at ISO 100 in the un-de-noised RAW and ridiculous smearing in the camera processed samples.
    Canon EOS 350D, Tamron SP AF 90mm F/2.8 macro, Sigma 18-50mm F2.8 DC EX, Canon EF 70-200mm f/4 L USM, Tokina AT-X124 Pro 12-24mm F4, Soligor 1.7x C/D4 DG Teleconvertor, Manfrotto 724B tripod, Canon Powershot S30

  8. #8
    Join Date
    Jul 2004
    Location
    Los Altos, CA
    Posts
    2,635

    Unhappy Banding?

    I could still see it in the posts, but when I copied the image address and looked at a different size, it disappeared. So it must be an artifact of conversion from the original site to my monitor. My bad, sorry. I was thinking that if your "petition" showed that, it wouldn't be a good instrument necessarily for making your point to Panasonic.
    Let a be your umbrella!

  9. #9
    Join Date
    Sep 2006
    Posts
    9
    Quick update! Up to now, we collected 900+ petitioners. It seems, we will soon (tomorrow or so) turn over the 1000 signed people! Not bad for 15 days of running this small petition, what you think?

    Leica now released their rebadged versions of LX2/FZ50 so we will see if the noise reduction and other image processing is less or more the same as in the original Panasonic cameras and if the same, I'm ready to extend this petition also to Leica equivalents of LX2/FZ50.
    Panasonic FZ50/LX2 Firmware Petition

    Act Now!..
    http://www.gopetition.com/online/9523.html

  10. #10
    Join Date
    Sep 2006
    Posts
    9
    First 1000 signatures done! Not bad for less than 3 weeks of running this petition and with minimal announcement on major digital camera webs?
    Panasonic FZ50/LX2 Firmware Petition

    Act Now!..
    http://www.gopetition.com/online/9523.html

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