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Test footage shot with the Panasonic Lumix FS30:
If a manufacturer is going to run the megapixel race, it needs to win the fight for low noise – something which gets harder with more pixels on a tiny sensor.
Like plenty of high-end compact cameras, the FS30 makes plenty of unlikely sounding claims, not least of which is the one implied by the fact you can set its ISO to a maximum expanded setting of 6400.
That's a full two stops more than many compact cameras are comfortable with, and significantly expands the amount of light you can use to shoot with.
But it's all for nowt if noise isn't controlled, but the FS30 does a fine job.
Between ISOs 80 and 400 there's no cause for concern – our test images produced good, accurate colour and reproduced plenty of detail.
It's only at ISO 1600 that things become problematic. The FS30 applied plenty of noise reduction, evidenced by a lack of noise but a marked uptick in the amount of JPEG-style mottling of supposedly-fine detail.
The images are better than web-only shots, though, as long as you don't try to run off A3 prints. Impressively, its ISO 1600 performance is on a par with the Canon 980IS's.
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Dave is a professional photographer whose work has appeared everywhere from National Geographic to the Guardian. Along the way he’s been commissioned to shoot zoo animals, luxury tech, the occasional car, countless headshots and the Northern Lights. As a videographer he’s filmed gorillas, talking heads, corporate events and the occasional penguin. He loves a good gadget but his favourite bit of kit (at the moment) is a Canon EOS T80 35mm film camera he picked up on eBay for £18.