View Full Version : FZ 20 noise issues????????

10-29-2004, 01:22 PM
O.K., heres the deal. I read alot obout the fz15/20 and decided to get the 20. I've yet to get it. It's in the mail. But the truth is that I'm scared to death that I screwed up. As of recent, it seems like I keep hearing that it's not a good idea because of the noise issue?

I'm about ready to get it and send it back already for the fz15. I have never had a digital camera. Is this noise issue something that is going to turn me away from this camera after I get it?

To those of you who are critical of the 20 because of noise, please help me. Can you objectivley look at this situation and tell me that I will have problems? Or is this an issue where you are being overly critical?

Given my lack of experience in the area of digital cameras, is this noise issue so bad with the 20 that I will have troubles?

Or is the 20 still a very good camera and the noise issue is not as bad as some people make it sound?


Jim Last
10-29-2004, 01:37 PM
Having only had my FZ20 a few days and being in the process of accessorising :D I have not had a huge oportunity to fully test, however, from the few test shots I have taken the 'noise' issue, to my eye seems an unfair critism. Yes there is minor noise but to what I class as a more than acceptable level. Having looked at many other cameras before choising the FZ20 it is a package that rivals all equivelent priced units and even gives some of the more expensive prosumer and DSLR's a very good run for thier money. The best suggestion I can make is that you be the judge of the noise levels and run a handful of test shots when you receive it, if you are careful with everything and you find that you are not happy then simply pack it up and return it. I would be quite suprised if you did :)

This thread may help you decide.

10-29-2004, 01:54 PM
In fact, noise does not affect the quality of the images since it does not eat details.......you can notice noise only at full resolution and if you are sure that you are not gonna use this setting ´cos you dont need big prints, this issue is not going to be a problem for you.
I´ve just seen the Sony V3 images that Jeff has recently posted....and they are quite noisy and if you see them thoroughly at full size you'll notice that noise on the V3 eats details (check out the outlines)
FZ20 is a great DC - above the average and highly recommendable....do not regret about your buy....on the dprview.com forum many people share their shots and most of them are really great.

10-29-2004, 02:18 PM
There is finally a review up.. http://www.steves-digicams.com/2004_reviews/fz15.html
you can compare his shots with identical ones for the FZ20 (taken on different days of course). I just looked briefly and didn't see significant differences in the building shot (actually I thought the exposure was better on than the 15.

10-29-2004, 08:13 PM
I'm sure the noise visibility varies from computer to computer. For instance, I've compared FZ10 and FZ20 images on two different monitors

19" LG 1600x1200
17" cheap-o at 1024x768

Noise is visible even at 1600x1200 on my LG. While on the 17" monitor you don't notice at all. I just happen to be highly critical of image quality and notice every inconsistency. But that's why I'll end up paying $6,000 for a camera eventually heh.

You won't notice any noise on your standard monitor or prints. There's nothing WRONG with the camera, and you're not going to find anything better for the price range. Lots of people are more than happy with this camera, but some people just have different tastes.

Don't forget, there's lots of options for reducing noise in your photographs.
Try noise ninja, or for night shots, I've read that the following works.

The Night Scenery mode does a clean job with long exposures, stopping down the lens to around F6.5 for 8 seconds. The image stabilizer has limits so I'd always bring a trpod for long zooms.

10-29-2004, 08:59 PM
In theory, the FZ-20 may have noisier pics than some other cams but in practice, I don't see much noise, if any. I have used neatimage just to see what it can do, but I find no need for it. When I am retouching a photo, I usually only need noise reduction if I have made a significnt crop to a photo, or the photo was taken under some extreme conditions that any consumer/prosumer cam would have a difficult time with. Then I just use the noise reduction that is in my retouching software (Paint Shop Pro 9). I have had great results, and I am coming from using a film SLR before going digital. That is my comparison base, just so you have an idea.


BTW, I felt the same way you did at first-wondering if I made the right choice with my FZ-20, but the more I look at the competition, the more confident I feel that I got a great cam.

11-01-2004, 11:25 AM
Check out the demo neat image and the demo noise ninja and try it on sample FZ20 sample images ....THEY ARE AMAZING!!!!!! they remove almost ALL of the noise for reg 100 iso images and take nearly all of it away at high iso settings!!

I used both and I found noise ninja and neat image to be the same quality, but neat image is allot easier but also has advanced controls, and also is FREE if you only need to do 24bit images. you can make profiles from different ISO settings or even download some from thier site for alot of camera's. Also neat image home plus and pro plus both have photoshop plugins

Neat image URL http://www.neatimage.com
Noise Ninja URL http://www.picturecode.com/

Also what if the differnece between 24bit and 48bit RGB ? isnt the latter a bitmap?

11-02-2004, 03:09 AM
Check out the demo neat image and the demo noise ninja and try it on sample FZ20 sample images ....THEY ARE AMAZING!!!!!! they remove almost ALL of the noise for reg 100 iso images and take nearly all of it away at high iso settings!!

Yep, I'll second that.

However, I have found in my few days with the FZ20 that there is little cause for noise removal at 80/100ISO. I was scared about noise b4 I got the camera too, but it is not a problem (as yet). All cameras have noise to some degree, particularly high megapixel - small sensor ones. But I don't think its a problem on the FZ20


11-02-2004, 10:42 PM
yes and even when shooting at ISO 100 or so you cant even see any visible noise with most shots....however if you have a nice big blue sky or maybey some large dark shaddows you will see a little noise...as with alot of cameras in that price range....however just hit it with neat image and blam!! its crisp and nice again

11-05-2004, 11:14 AM
What picture adjustment settings are people using? I have Sharpness set High and Noise reduction set low on P with ISO100, I realises this opens me up to noise issues but my thinking is I would rather have a good sharp Image with noise and have to put it through Photoshop or Neat Image than not have enough detail, Is this thinking wrong? Contrast and saturation are normal, although Flash does seem to need to be toned down 1/3 stop.

Still Playing at the moment only had the camera 3 hours.

11-05-2004, 12:07 PM
I do not think there is a right or wrong setting.
I would start out with all the defaults. Take lots of pictures and when you see something you want changed.... change it.
I think a lot of the "soft thing" people talk about can be fixed by shooting -2/3 exposure when you are outside.
You may want to change that indoors under low light or I guess any low light situation.

Pay attention to the metering modes, I like spot metering and focus but that may be due to that was the best setting I found on the FZ10, which does not have as many options.