I just got a new camera (Panasonic ZS60) and I've been running into a few problems/questions while testing. Mostly it seems like leaves have a low-resolution, watercolor-like appearance in low-light conditions. But sometimes things look pretty bad in good light, too.

My guess is that this may just be inherently low resolution of the camera, but in-camera smoothing and noise may play a part as well. I just want to know if there is some postprocessing or exposure setting I could change to fix it.

Photo link: https://flic.kr/p/29msFRz

I understand that bigger sensors do better in low light (I have an LX100 for low light) but I'm not entirely clear why. They should have less noise and better ISO and they may be able to use a faster shutter for less blur. But the photo I'm posting was shot using a tripod with the ISO forced to 80.


I view this image as a bad example for determining a problem with both resolution and low light / noise handling. Why? Because your trees are very far away and the image is shot wide...I don't expect to be able to count the leaves.

Additionally, you have two very different exposure values in the frame. You have a blown sky and water and a darker area of water and land. It appears as if your exposure was attempting (but failing) to save the highlights at the expense of under exposing the shadows.

Under exposure will always exacerbate the noise in the shadows.

Because the image goes bright-shade-bright-shade, a graduated ND (neutral density) filter would not have helped here. So, I suggest next time shooting an exposure for the highlights and one for the shadows and combine them in post.

For further testing, you need to first understand the resolution limits of your lens and make sure to shoot a proper exposure. Try a scene with less overall exposure variation.

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I agree with scheduledForDeletion in that this is not a good example. Also, consider that the direction of the light can extenuate or hide texture which can be perceived as a lack of sharpness. For example, flat light found on an overcast day or in shadow, or light coming straight at the subject such as light from an on-camera flash will not show very much texture. Contrast this with light coming from the side which will greatly enhance the appearance of texture and will therefore appear to be a sharper image.

If you're shooting RAW, then you must also consider the fact that RAW images will naturally have low contrast and no added sharpening. Your issue could quite possibly be fixed simply by boosting the contrast and adding sharpness.

Here's a link to 500px.com where is did a keyword search for your camera's model: https://500px.com/search?submit=Submit+Query&q=Panasonic+ZS60&type=photos Compare these photos to the photo in your link and there's quite a big difference.

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What is wrong with this photo?

At the most basic level it seems (seems - because the link to the example image is dead barely two hours after the question was posed) the camera was asked and expected to do things beyond the limits of its technical capabilities. All cameras and lenses have limitations to what they are technically capable of achieving.

Having the best equipment in your hands is not the key to making great photographs:

It is knowing the equipment you have well enough to know what it will and will not allow you to do and then working within those parameters to get images that the technical capabilities of the gear at your disposal will allow you to make.

As this answer notes, the Panasonic ZS60 is capable of producing great photographs when used well within its limitations. All cameras, even the top-of-the-line flagship models from each camera maker, have limitations. Although the marketers will try and convince you that the latest, greatest model has no limitations, it's amazing how limited that same model becomes a few short years later when they are touting the improvements in the next model that is introduced to replace it.

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