I think the big thing with the quality with the cameras was the Manual capabilities. Other than that just the vibrance was better in the fz18. Its a flawed test I know but, still its the only thing I had at the time. I live in a place where there is a walmart. no best buy not ONE store like that, Not one toy store. Not ONE sports equipment store. 2 grocery stores and 5 stoplights in the entire town.
I'm from dallas, west palm beach jacksonville and miami. I've spent a great deal of time in all of them. This place sucks. But, school is free. So while visiting a place in j ville I did all these tests. I wish I had freedom to test all cameras in 1 spot with 1 lighting and a tripod for no flaws. But, I didn't. I think my methods are 90% accurate on what was a better camera. But, its not perfect