Panasonic Lumix DMC-CM1: still a difference in auto and manual .JPG output

A few days ago Panasonic released the update to Android 5 (Lollipop) for the Lumix DMC-CM1. Some readers were curious if the company improved the .JPG output of its Venus Engine. After a few tests I'm quite sure this is not the case. In some cases though, I seem to get better results using manual settings this time. What do you think? 

In fact, it's three simple scenes I managed to capture in an otherwise very busy week. The close-up of a plant, a keyboard and some ivy leaves, all captured with the Panasonic Lumix DMC-CM1 in both auto and manual. I'll show you the resized versions of all three and than the crops I made. 

Since the 16.8MP is quite large and the shots were pretty close, I first made 1280 x 720 crops of all shots. What you see in this post are the resized versions of those. You'll find all originals on Flickr to compare for yourself (and I'll include the original crops as well). 

One difference with the previous post about this issue though: in the settings I set "i.Dynamic" OFF. To be honest I don't know why it was on and I don't even know what it does. If you do, please don't hesitate to explain. Update: got a tip DPReview explains what it's about in their  review of the CM1: " the i.Resolution and i.Dynamic features increase edge sharpness and shadow detail respectively".

For the resized originals, I'll share the auto version first followed by the manual version. Same goes for the crops, of course.

Here you can already see the difference above - there is simply more texture and detail in the shot. Have a look at the crops (auto first, manual next)

In the second shot, the difference isn't as obvious, but you will see it (and the angle is slightly different, too)

Again, you'll see the result from the iA+ setting is much "smoother", whereas the oversharpening of Manual shows more detail. Not sure which one I prefer in this case I must admit.

Finally, the ivy leaves. Again, I didn't get the exact same shot, but you'll see the crops are identical, as is the oversharpening of the manual output (especially visible in the second crop)

So I wonder which one you prefer: a bit more agressive oversharpening in the manual .JPG output showing more detail, or the smoother result of the iA+ setting of the Panasonic Lumix DMC-CM1. You'll find the originals in a dedicated album on Flickr.

Meanwhile, I finished my little "test setting" in the basement for lowlight comparisons, I hope to be able to share the results from several devices soon. And I'm getting acquainted with the Polarr Online Photo Editor to work on the raw .DNG and RW2 results coming from the Lumia 1020/1520 and the Panasonic. It might not be as versatile as Adobe's products, but it's free and I find it very easy to use. Hope to write a bit more about my experiences with it soon as well.

Don't forget to check out what Ringcredible can mean for your international calls by the way (below)