Panasonic FZ18

My FZ18 Picture Adjust settings

An explanation of my Picture Adjust settings for the Panasonic FZ18, and the reasons I’ve chosen them.

I’m frequently asked about my picture adjust settings. They are set as follows:

  • Contrast  -2
  • Sharpness  -1
  • Saturation  +1
  • Noise Reduction  -2

I choose these settings because I want to have more control how these parameters are applied to my photos, rather than leave it up to the camera.


I turn sharpening down because I want to control the degree of sharpening in a photo. Sometimes I selectively sharpen parts of an image. If I the camera oversharpens an image, it can not be undone.  However, for those who do not edit photos, they may want to bump up sharpening.

Noise Reduction

My thinking is the same for Noise Reduction. In-camera noise reduction can smear detail, especially in Panasonic cameras. I prefer to do the noise reduction when necessary and use the free version of Neat Image.


I reduce the contrast setting because I take most of my photos outside in bright sun. By reducing contrast, my goal is to minimize blown highlights, though proper exposure plays an even more important role in controlling blown highlights.


I increase saturation a tad because I’m so used to Canon cameras that produce much more saturated colors. This is just a personal preference and not as important to me as the settings mentioned above. It’s important not to increase saturation to the point that light skin tones don’t look too red, especially when taking flash photos.


It’s important to understand that these settings my not be appropriate for everyone, particularly those who do not like to edit their photos. So experiment until you find a picture adjust combination that works best for you.

About the author

Gail Bjork

Gail Bjork, who is passionate about digital photography, is the owner and editor of Digicamhelp.Gail is the author of three illustrated ebooks about digital photography. A number of her photos and digital photography related articles appear at other websites.In 2006, a series of her photos, People in the Louvre, were exhibited at the Underground Photo Gallery
in Iisalmi Finland. Eight of her photos taken in the Florida scrub are on permanent exhibition at Parrish Medical Center in Titusville, Florida.Gail served twelve years as an elected member of The School Board of Palm Beach County, Florida, one of the largest school districts in the U.S. She has also been the editor of a small town newspaper and a free-lance writer. Gail and her husband owned and ran several small businesses.