Panasonic TZ202: Close-Up Comparison with Ricoh GXR P10 (CX)

Introduction | Comparison Table | Comparison Photos (Ruler) | Comparison Photos (Real World)

On this page, I compare the close-up capabilities of the Panasonic TZ202 with the Ricoh GXR and its P10 camera unit. I use this camera for the comparison because it has about the same characteristics as my wife's former Ricoh CX4.

 

Introduction

Ricoh's small sensor cameras, including the "old" GRs, are extremely good macro shooters. The Ricoh R and CX series as well as the Ricoh GXR S10 and particularly, P10 camera units demonstrate what is possible (see elsewhere on this site). Having a 1" sensor (size: 13.2 x 8.8 mm), the Panasonic TZ202 as well as the different Sony RX100 models cannot really compete with these small-sensor cameras in this respect.

My wife had owned various Ricoh R and two CX cameras before she switched to a Sony RX100 M1. She always bemoaned the poor macro capabilities of the RX100 in comparison with her Ricoh small-sensor cameras. The Panasonic TZ202 is a little bit better in this respect, achieving a minimum object width of 5 cm to fill the horizontal frame, but it is still far behind the Ricoh cameras.

 

Comparison Table

This is what I found out about our three 1" sensor cameras with respect to their capabilities for close-up photos and about the Ricoh GXR P10 (or CX4):

 
TZ202
RX100 M1 RX100 M4 Ricoh GXR P10 / CX4
Focal Length (mm)
24
28
35
28
24
31 (in macro mode)
Min. Distance normal (m)
0.5*
0.5*
0.5*
0.05
0.05
n.a.
Min. Distance macro (cm)
3*
3*
5*
5
5
1
Min. Object Size macro (mm)**
55-56
49-50
59-60
80
100
18...22***
Largest Aperture (... f/8)
3.3
3.5
3.7
1.8
1.8
3.5

*) As given by the camera, not measured; **) my own measurements; hard to measure exactly...

In the following, I will deal only with the Panasonic TZ202 and the Ricoh GXR P10 (or CX4)!

 

Comparison Photos (Ruler)

So, the numbers speak for themselves: The Panasonic TZ202 has a minimum object width of 5 cm versus a minimum object width of about 2 cm for the Ricoh small-sensor cameras. I determined the minimum object widths for the TZ202 already in the past. Now, I confirmed them once again for 28 mm and also determined the minimum object width for the GXR/CX. Here are some sample photos:

         

Panasonic TZ202 at 3 cm (28 mm) - original version (20 MP)

 

Ricoh GXR P10 at 1 cm (31 mm) - original version (10 MP)

 

Ricoh GXR P10 at 1 cm (31 mm) - original version (10 MP)

In these samples, the TZ202 achieves a minimum object width of nearly 5 cm and exhibits a slight pincushion distortion. The GXR P10 achieves a minimum object width of about 2.2 cm (on other photos, it achieves values even below 2 cm) and a strong barrel distortion. The GXR P10 photos also show stronger color aberrations. All in all, the Ricoh blows the Panasonic away with respect to magnifications, but has definite issues with image quality... Note that all the photos are fuzzy in the corners because these are farther away, and the depth of field is minimal when shooting close-ups.

So, what can I do to move the TZ202 closer to the GXR P10? My first idea that I also had explored earlier was to crop the TZ202 image to the same pixel size that the GXR image has. The TZ202 has a 20 Megapixels sensor (5472 x 3648 pixels, 3:2), whereas the GXR P10 has a 10 MP sensor (3648 x 2736, 4:3). So what happens if I crop the TZ202 image to the size of a GXR P10 image? Here is the result:

    

Panasonic TZ202 at 3 cm (28 mm) - 10 PM version

 

Ricoh GXR P10 at 1 cm (31 mm) - original version (10 MP)

    

Panasonic TZ202 at 3 cm (28 mm) - 10 PM version

 

Ricoh GXR P10 at 1 cm (31 mm) - original version (10 MP)

The two TZ202 sections are taken from the same photos, which is not optimal for the second section, because sharpness is best around 0 cm on the ruler. This section was just created for comparison reasons. Anyway, now the minimum object width for the TZ202 is 3.2 cm compared with 1.8...2.2 cm for the GXR P10 (and CX). Thus, it shows about 150% more than the Ricoh cameras.

Finally, I asked myself what would happen if I crop the TZ202 images to about the same section that the GXR P10 photos show and then scale them up in Adobe Photoshop Elements. Considering the larger pixels of the TZ202 sensor, there should be some room left... Here are the results of this experiment:

    

Panasonic TZ202 at 3 cm (28 mm) - 10 PM version

 

Ricoh GXR P10 at 1 cm (31 mm) - original version (10 MP)

    

Panasonic TZ202 at 3 cm (28 mm) - 10 PM version

 

Ricoh GXR P10 at 1 cm (31 mm) - original version (10 MP)

Note that the second section taken from the TZ202 photo cannot be used for judging sharpness because the photo was sharpest around the 0 value on the ruler. Anyway, I think that the TZ202 can indeed compete with the Ricoh small-sensor cameras with respect to macro capabilities when you create comparable conditions.

I forgot the exact values, but the upscaling to 10 MP is about 150%, which would be comparable to a 150% tele zoom. This might be acceptable in many cases.

 

Comparison Photos (Real World)

I also compared the close-up capabilities of the of the Panasonic TZ202 versus the Ricoh GXR P10 (and CX) in practice. This was somewhat difficult when I wanted to use the GXR P10 at its closest distance of 1 cm, because the lens casts a shadow and typically blocks the sun, provided it is shining. This is a little bit easier at 3 cm, the minimum distance of the TZ202, but shading may also be a problem. So, the following photos do not always show the maximum magnification of the GXR, but they provide a feeling of what is possible with both cameras.

Motif 1

         

Panasonic TZ202 at 3 cm (28 mm) - original

 

Panasonic TZ202 at 3 cm (28 mm) - original

 

Panasonic TZ202 at 3 cm (28 mm) - original

         

Ricoh GXR P10 - original

 

Ricoh GXR P10 - original

 

Ricoh GXR P10 - original

             

Ricoh GXR P10 - original

 

 

 

 

Motif 2

         

Panasonic TZ202 at 3 cm (28 mm) - original

 

Ricoh GXR P10 - original

 

Ricoh GXR P10 - original

         

Ricoh GXR P10 - original

 

Ricoh GXR P10 - original

 

Ricoh GXR P10 - original

Motif 3

         

Panasonic TZ202 at 3 cm (28 mm) - original

 

Ricoh GXR P10 - original

 

Ricoh GXR P10 - original

Comparison at About the Same Size...

Finally, I scaled the above TZ202 image (Motif 3) up by 150% and cropped it to 10 MP, that is to the size of as GXR P10 image. For a better comparison, I post-processed the right GXR P10 photo (Motif 3) a little bit...

    

Panasonic TZ202 at 3 cm (28 mm) - original

 

Ricoh GXR P10 - original

 

 

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12.03.2019