Panasonic Lumix DC-TZ90 Review

May 18, 2017 | Amy Davies | |
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Image Quality

All of the sample images in this review were taken using the 20 megapixel Fine JPEG setting, which gives an average image size of around 7Mb.

In good light, the Panasonic Lumix DC-TZ90 is capable of producing some beautiful images. Colours have a good amount of warmth and saturation without going too over the top, while the detail rendered at lower ISOs is impressive.

Although the maximum wide aperture of f/3.5 wouldn’t normally be associated with super shallow depth of field effects, if you use the macro focusing mode and get close to a subject you can get some nice looks.

The 30x optical zoom is great for getting closer to the action, and it’s this which elevates using the camera over and above anything your mobile phone will be capable of. Images taken at the far end of the telephoto zoom can be a little softer than those in the mid-range, but at small sizes the images are still more than good enough.

Image quality appears to be a little better than the TZ80, but it’s still a little disappointing when shooting in lower light conditions. If you use ISO 1600, you’ll see that details start to become a little smudgy while the introduction of noise can be problematic. If your main use for this camera is as a travel one in mainly sunny conditions, you might not be too worried, but if you’re likely to want to use it in a lot of dark conditions, you should think about something with a larger sensor (such as Panasonic’s own TZ100, which has a one-inch sensor).

4K Photo is an innovative system which is useful for extracting stills of fast moving subjects. However, it’s fair to say that it works best with Panasonic’s larger sensor cameras, such as its range of compact system cameras. With the Panasonic Lumix DC-TZ90, even when shooting in bright light, the extracted stills can look a little smudgy.

Noise

There are 8 ISO settings available on the Panasonic Lumix DC-TZ90. Here are some 100% crops which show the noise levels for each ISO setting.

ISO 80 (100% Crop)

ISO 100 (100% Crop)

iso80.jpg iso100.jpg
   

ISO 200 (100% Crop)

ISO 400 (100% Crop)

iso200.jpg iso400.jpg
   

ISO 800 (100% Crop)

ISO 1600 (100% Crop)

iso800.jpg iso1600.jpg
   

ISO 3200 (100% Crop)

 
iso3200.jpg  

Focal Range

The Panasonic Lumix DC-TZ90's 30x zoom lens provides a very versatile focal length of 24-720mm in 35mm terms, as demonstrated below.

24mm

focal_range1.jpg
 

720mm

focal_range2.jpg

Chromatic Aberrations

The Panasonic Lumix DC-TZ90 handled chromatic aberrations well during the review, with just a little purple fringing present around the edges of objects in certain high-contrast situations, as shown in the examples below.

Chromatic Aberrations 1 (100% Crop)

Chromatic Aberrations 2 (100% Crop)

chromatic1.jpg chromatic2.jpg

Macro

The Panasonic Lumix DC-TZ90 offers a Macro setting that allows you to focus on a subject that is 3cms away from the camera when the lens is set to wide-angle.

Macro

macro.jpg

Flash

The flash settings on the Panasonic Lumix DC-TZ90 are Auto, Auto/Red-eye Reduction, Forced On, Slow Sync./Red-eye Reduction, Forced Off. These shots of a white coloured wall were taken at a distance of 1.5m.

Forced Off - Wide Angle (24mm)

Forced On - Wide Angle (24mm)

ISO 64 ISO 64
   

Forced Off - Telephoto (720mm)

Forced On - Telephoto (720mm)

ISO 64 ISO 64

And here are some portrait shots.

Flash On

flash_on.jpg
 

Redeye Reduction

flash_redeye.jpg

Night

The Panasonic Lumix DC-TZ90's maximum shutter speed is 30 seconds, which is great news if you're seriously interested in night photography. The shot below was taken using a shutter speed of 4 seconds at ISO 80. The camera takes the same amount of time again to apply noise reduction, so for example at the 15 second setting the actual exposure takes 30 seconds.

Night

night.jpg

Panorama

The Panasonic Lumix DC-TZ90 can take a panorama shot simply by sweeping the camera from side to side.

Panorama

panorama.jpg