Panasonic Lumix DMC-TZ1 Review

April 28, 2006 | Mark Goldstein | PhotographyBLOG | 22 Comments |

Panasonic Lumix DMC-TZ1Back in early February I got the opportunity to try out a pre-production version of the Panasonic Lumix DMC-TZ1, the smallest camera in the world with a 10x zoom lens. The pocketable Panasonic TZ1 offers a focal length of 35-350mm, 5 megapixels, a 2.5 inch LCD screen and ISO 80-1600. Today PhotographyBLOG brings you the full review of the Panasonic TZ1.

Website: Panasonic Lumix DMC-TZ1 Review



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#1 ViDeo

For those crying about lack of manual controls, remember this is an advanced Point&Shoot;, not a dSLR or SLRlike. I have the Kodak P850 and I bought the TZ1 to be a smaller companion to it. I love the 10X optical zoom with IS in such a compact camera. I was going to get the V550 until I gave this camera a testrun. I was sold immediately. The pics are stunning...great colors and sharp. Quick startup, focus and capture times. Don't knock the specs till you try the camera for yourself folks. Highly recommend!

1:08 pm - Friday, April 21, 2006

#2 GARY POGODA

What about the lens cap? Is it soft plastic or hard plastic? Is it push-on
or locking? Is power-up disabled with the lens cap attached?

4:13 pm - Friday, April 21, 2006

#3 Mark Goldstein

Hard plastic, locking, you can turn the camera on with the lens caps attached as the lens doesn't automatically extend

4:18 pm - Friday, April 21, 2006

#4 GARY POGODA

That sounds great. It seems Panasonic paid attention to detail. The
only major drawback, in terms of buying this camera for my wife, is
its lack of in-camera sharpening; however, your sample photos look
pretty good, and it is only after you compare them side-by-side with
sharpened versions that you really notice they are soft. Besides, my
wife does most of her printing at 5 x 7, and if she wants 8 x 10s, it's
easy enough to sharpen them in post-processing.

After a long and tedious search, this could be the one. :)

5:30 pm - Friday, April 21, 2006

#5 Mark Goldstein

Surely you haven't finally found the Holy Grail, Gary? :-)

7:46 pm - Friday, April 21, 2006

#6 Mario

Gary, but there's no 28mm wide angle *grin*. Just joking. I say go for it!

Hi Mark, great review. Can you please fix the link to the movie file.
Thanks.

6:48 am - Saturday, April 22, 2006

#7 GARY POGODA

Let's just say that the TZ1 is now at the top of my short list, but I do
have until June to make a final decision. Plus, I am still very curious
as to what happened to that unused 1.3 megapixels.

7:28 am - Saturday, April 22, 2006

#8 Mark Goldstein

The movie link is fixed now Mario.

11:53 am - Saturday, April 22, 2006

#9 Claude

What about the battery life? I had a Panasonic DMC-FX2. It took several batteries to carry me through the day. Granted, I take quite a lot of photos every day, but still!

11:07 pm - Sunday, April 23, 2006

#10 Diana Lorenz

Thanks for the great, detailed and pedagogically structured review, which allowed me to look at the evidence and make up my own mind about the camera, rather than merely telling me what *you* (or the producer) think. I found this website after several days of trying in vain to get my questions about this camera (most importantly the noise issue) answered by checking out the five or six review-posting websites I know. Most had no review of the TZ1 yet. Those that had (dcresource) have the frustrating habit of using *only* ISO 80 for their sample pictures.
Finally I googled the camera name plus "noise" and was sent here. What a relief! I wish other websites could adopt your method of posting crops at 100%, which load fast and are easy to compare.

TZ1 is on top of my list now. Puhhh!

7:17 pm - Saturday, April 29, 2006

#11 GARY POGODA

Just curious. Is the Kodak EasyShare V610 also on your list? With its
10x zoom in an ultra-compact size, I 'think' it is now at the top of my
list, and the TZ1 is a close second.

7:31 pm - Saturday, April 29, 2006

#12 nick in japan

Gary, as you know, I usually dont get very far into a camera review if it doesnt have, at least, a 28mm view, well I made an exception and looked at the TZ1, oops, it doesnt fit into the "shirt Pocketable" size either! More than 1 1/2" thick and half a pound. Had to stop reading. I'd have the V570 as #2 (Price may have dropped where-ever you are, a real nice consideration)
Actually, the 570 AND 610 really do complement each other, maybe getting both at
a discount would be a smart move, may be worth a try. Japanese retailers will reduce prices quite a bit for a double purchase., I don't know about America, or UK.

12:51 am - Sunday, April 30, 2006

#13 Mario

I dont know anyone who keeps their pocket cameras in their shirt pocket. If they do, I hope the dont forget its there if they bend forward.

Granted, the TZ1 probably wont fit in a tight jeans pocket either, but, as Mark says, it could go into a large pocket.

This would easily be a jacket pocket or baggy trousers/shorts. 4cm thick is probably the largest size that can be considered "pocket" before making too much of a noticeable bulge.

7:09 am - Sunday, April 30, 2006

#14 nick in japan

You know one now, Mario, nice to meet you! I can carry my Wife's Pentax C6 and my Kodak V570 in my left breast pocket, not at the same time silly, but attached to a chain around my neck. Depending on what kind of shooting I'm going to do that day, determines which to take. They both are very thin and become un-noticable.
The whole idea about pocketable is exactly that, finally we have some less than 1" thin cameras to back-up our prime shooters.
Good shooting!
PS. My LX-1 is too big for a shirt pocket, therefore it has a home in my jacket/vest pocket, or slid in the hot-shoe of the F-828, or one of the Canons. I made a neat little hot-shoe foot that resides on the LX-1 permanently.

8:24 am - Sunday, April 30, 2006

#15 GARY POGODA

Maybe I'll start with the V610, and if she likes it, then get the V570 to
complement it. The size of either would be perfect for her to carry in
her pocketbook. Her Casio was 1.4" thick, and she always had it with
her. Now she is using a Canon G3, and she never has it with her. I'm
not sure how the Panasonic TZ1 would be. It is closer to her Casio in
size, but more like a G3 with its non-fully-retracting lens and external
lens cap.

1:12 pm - Sunday, April 30, 2006

#16 nick in japan

And... There will be lots of new models, soon, to ponder!

10:16 pm - Sunday, April 30, 2006

#17 Steve Rockwell

It's a tough decision, Gary. I was trying to decide between the TZ1 and the V610 for my wife, and I finally decided on the TZ1. But the V610 has lots of cool features (including its smaller size and bluetooth) that make it really appealing. Based on reviews (I've include links to V610 reviews at the end of this post), I chose the TZ1 for these reasons (in no particular order):

slightly better wide angle range (effective 35mm vs. 38 mm on kodak);

smooth zoom over the entire range (Kodak has a "gap" in zoom between the two lenses);

better battery life--reviews I've read indicate < 150 shots with the Kodak and well over 200 with the Panasonic;

purple fringing seems to be a problem on the Kodak;

image stabilization is better on the Panasonic (TZ1 uses "true" optical image stabilization, while the V610 takes a different approach--its "Anti-Blur System with Advanced Reduction" actually just increases the ISO and adds noise reduction circuitry to clean up the picture);

and I got the TZ1 for $320 at Circuit City, more than $100 less than the V610 (I used the difference to buy a 2G memory card).

Here's the V610 reviews I mentioned:

http://reviews.digitaltrends.com/review3544.html
http://tinyurl.com/zo5de

4:49 pm - Thursday, May 4, 2006

#18 John Ellyssen

Very good and descriptive review. Answered several questions I had.

9:57 pm - Saturday, May 20, 2006

#19 Gary Walker

Great info on these 2 options (TZ1 vs V610), both of which i've been umming and arring over.

However i'm considering a third option, the Ricoh Caplio R4.

It's very compact, has a wide angle, good battery life, but not quite the zoom.

Do you guys have an opinion on this one (i'm sure you do).

7:11 am - Tuesday, May 23, 2006

#20 nick in japan

We may be at the time of new stuff that is finally satisfying our needs and wants. The R4 has some great features too. "IS" is very nice to have when the zoom gets out there quite a way, and the aperture starts kickin in. The reviews from different people about their take, is the ONLY way to go, read, read, read.. then decide.
I am kinda interested in what Kodak will have for their next best "V" model!
Good luck!

7:25 am - Tuesday, May 23, 2006

#21 Gary

Has anybody actually used the R4, I'd like to hold one before i buy, but no camera shops near me stock it.

What does it feel like, is it robust enough to take travelling for a few months.

8:55 pm - Thursday, May 25, 2006

#22 Martin Tubieres

I love this camera. Very competant piece of kit. The only down side for me was losing the charger....I know....but it happens. Trying to replace it was a nightmare...absolutely no dealer had one in stock and as it is a Panasonic piece it was two weeks to order one or three days off the net for a copy. I chose the latter, although it arrived five days later. Meanwhile? I pulled out my trusty Pentax Optio that takes AA batteries and used it. I had bought the Panasonic to replace the Optio (x10 zoom etc) but now am wondering if i made the right choice. At least with the Optio I can always get batteries; so what if it weighs more, the new rechargable AA's hold more than enough power. So for me a strike against the Lumix; otherwise perfect in my book. Pansonic....listen up...use AA's; who really cares about 100g (max) extra weight?

6:52 am - Wednesday, September 26, 2007