Panasonic Lumix DMC-TZ10 Review

March 10, 2010 | Mark Goldstein | |

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#101 So Close

Hello. does anybody Know if you can turn OFF the GPS feature on this camera. And have it stay remain turned off, even after you turn off and on the camera?

Also I tested a ZS6 and found that it does not seem to get great sunset shots.  The sky seemed a bit gray blue, instead of a nice “pure blue like the Canon took. and then the “sunset colors” only seemed to be orange to yellow and then “overexposed white, down low. Instead of the canons Red, to orange to Yellow down low.
And I just took a shot of some purple tinsle, and some lavender paper, on a different ZS6 (same guts as a ZS7 as far as picture taking goes.)  And the tinsle came out blue instead of purple, or maybe a deep BLUE violet.

does anybody know what is up with the sunsets being NOT RED orange and yellow, and instead being orange yellow and :over exposed white”  with grey blue sky?  on both auto and scene sunset? 

what about purple being “blue”?

And what about having the ability to turn OFF the GPS feature, so it does not drain the battery? and have it Remain Off after the camera is repeatedly turned off and on?

Does that AVCHD LITE have any problem operating or being worked with on older NON apple / PC’s?

Does anybody Know how the ZS7/TZ10 Battery Life and START Up time compares to the ZS6/zs5?

6:07 am - Monday, February 21, 2011

#102 Francis Coppola

It’s sad that most of the posters on this forum don’t how to use this camera properly. It is quite capable, but does have issues shooting video in low light scenarios. Most of the other gripes stated here are due to the user’s incompetence, not the camera’s abilities.

12:48 pm - Sunday, March 20, 2011

#103 Eleanor

Any advice on your settings would be great Francis. The online manual is very frustrating. I did try looking at Flicker photos, but had difficulty finding those shot with a TZ10. I also wanted to buy a TZ7, but where I live they sold the old stock and didn’t get any more in after they were superseeded.

8:11 am - Monday, March 21, 2011

#104 Luís

It’s completely absurd that the manual comes in PDF. No one will go shooting outside, carrying a PC or a laptop to access the camera manual if any questions arise. I contacted Panasonic Portugal that gave me no solution and even were unsympathetic.
Also can not understand why the included CD does not bring a software to edit AVCHD movies, since not all editors can deal with MTS files.

7:01 pm - Friday, May 6, 2011

#105 Hilton

I will never buy a panasonic again .Although I enjoy the pic quality the software complications compared to the simplisty of other cameras is not worth it .Whats more every time I upgrade the software it stuffs up whole computer as there are so many bugs in the software .You only have to speak to other panasonic users and they all agree . Sony,Canon is USER FRIENDLY .PANASONIC is USER ANGRY !!!

9:17 am - Monday, May 16, 2011

#106 Andre

@ Hilton
I totally agree with your comments!!

9:58 am - Monday, May 16, 2011

#107 Han Schmitz (NL)

** General description
The Panasonic Lumix DMC-TZ10 is a top-range travel camera, featuring a 12x, 25-300 mm lens, 14.5-megapixel, image stabilization and quick auto-focus. It has AVCHD video with stereo sound and built-in GPS geo-tagging.
For more description I refer to the Internet.

** Review
The Panasonic Lumix DMC-TZ10 is a nice looking product, with some nice features.
Handling the camera is very pleasant at first. For first use the camera is set in iA(auto) modus and this is also pleasantly to use. Pictures look bright and sharp on the LCD-display. The GPS function tells what interesting buildings are nearby. Very appealing.

Big PLUS is that (sunny) daylight photo’s are nail-sharp. Also video’s are sharp.

On second view however, there are some less pleasant aspects.
Main issues in general, valid for a lot of camera-brands:

1.  The camera I received (ordered via only had 4 obscure (east-european?) documentation-booklets. No English, German, French or Spanish, though these are the languages most used. A BIG miss!
There is a CD with all sorts of languages, but who takes a laptop on a photo-shoot session?

2.  Photo’s in the iAuto-mode were too blue, even when special mode was set to ‘Happy’.
In P-mode with ‘Warm’ setting, photo’s became too red. Probably this was partly due to the white-balance, but without documentation it’s hard to adjust anything.

3.  Low-light and Night pictures are very bad. Blur, noice and unsharp.
Also in Night-scene stabilization seems to fail.

4.  As with many other camera-brands designers have a weird way of thinking.
They make settings-option to silence the (click-)sounds when you turn on the camera or take pictures. But who in the world asked for these sounds, that alerts everyone if you take a snapshot?
Same goes for pre-flash and AF (autofocus) lights.
Sometimes these lights are so strong that everyone turns around, and in militairy environment it could serve as search-lights. Idiot.
It is time designers start using infrared for focussing.
And what about the wind-reduction option. Is there anyone in the world asking for wind-disturbance of their video’s ???

5.  Next issue is video itself. If a manufacturer puts video in, they must make sure it works and works good! Well, it rarely is (as with most brands!).
One realy FOOLISH thing is putting the microphones on top of the camera.
If someone is shooting a video, the subject is in front of the camera. Thát sounds you want to record. By placing the microphones on top, what is closest is the loudest. And the camera-(wo)man is closest. What he/she says is recorded unwanted loud.
Also sounds coming from behind are recorded too loud, suppressing the sounds you do want to record. I consider this a big MISS!
Microphones should be in the front-site of a camera.

6.  AWB (auto white balance).
All camera’s have this, often preset in scenes. Most have the ability to ‘Set’ the white-balance, depending on daylight, clouded, dim-light, in-room, etc. conditions.
To ‘set’ this option, you have to scroll through the menu(‘s), and then focus on a white surface (sheet of paper), and press some button to save the new AWB-setting.
Lots of manual actions for such an important element to get good pictures.
As on one day you can change from daylight, clouded, dim-light, in-room and back several times, then why the hell isn’t there ONE single button on the camera to set this AWB setting?
Manufacturers: please build this in!

7.  Last but not least:
Why are all the manufacturers not capable of creating one UNIFORM format of battery?
Now all brands have their own size and desing of the battery, most almost having the same size but none interchangeable.
A very unpleasant way of unnecessarily letting people pay quite a lot for an ‘accessoire’, instead for a better camera.

Next are the pro’s and cons I found with this Panasonic Lumix DMC-TZ10 camera. Each **-group is valued base 1-10

** Design aspects:  = 6
•  The camera is very thin, good looking, light in weight (as are most camera’s)
•  For bigger hands the camera sometimes is too thin, has too little grip. (Causing cramps).
•  Holding the camera in one hand (often used to make quick pictures) can cause the Setup-button or the Start Film-button being pressed by accident (happened several times)
•  The button to start filming is in a wrong place. As mentioned, the Film-button can be pressed by accident. To zoom in and out when filming, you must hold the camera in a special way, to prevent movements of the camera.
To stop filming, the start/stop button appears to be in a very unplaesant position.
You must look for the small button to stop filming, causing unwanted movement of the camera and over-extended videofilm.
It would have been better if filming was done using the program-selection-wheel and the ‘take picture’ button.

** Technical aspects:  = 6
•  Startup: Fast in operation
•  GPS: Very nice to have. You can see what points of interest arre nearby.
Question is how this can be updated e.g. once a year.
•  Settings:Some settings are not very useful in their standard mode.
- Sound alerts subjects you want to take photo’s of.
- PRE-Flash alerts subjects too by too much light. Can’t this be infrared or something like that?
- Wind during video is always disturbing. Why isn’t reduction ON by default?
•  Battery: is way out of power.
According to Panasonic the battery-power is enough to take over 300 pictures. After 87 pictures and 4 minutes of film the battery was indicating low (? ? ?). After full recharge: same result.
•  SDHC-card: Deleting content
On the camera you can empty your SDHC-card by selecting ‘DELETE ALL’.
This deletes all photo’s and video’s.
Only when shooting new pictures … for photo’s the camera continues the numbering, but for Video it starts numbering at 001 again! Collecting all your video’s of a vacation or an event into one map requires manual adjustment of the file-names and storing in different maps on the computer. Highly irritating.
•  Video: Unpleasant file structure (see at video lateron)

** Photographic results     = 6
•  Daylight photo’s: High quality, sharp, but … see ?

•  Full zoomed pictures show significant blur.
•  Color: The color quality is disappointing.
- in iA-mode - Photo’s are very blue, even when Color-mode is set to ‘Happy’. All life is gone from the pictures.
- in P-mode -  Color-mode set to ‘standard: too blue
- in P-mode -  Color-mode set to ‘Warm’:
This gives photo’s much more according reality, but now they are too Red!
Also, in this mode several automatic features are not available.
To compare, two photo’s are included at the end of the Review.
This might be due to incorrect AWB-settings, but without manual you cannot do much (see documentation)
•  Dimlight and night, without flash: Strongly reducing quality in brightness, sharpness. Huge blur
Night-photo’s (using NIGHT SCENERY settings) aren’t sharp, not even with the camera on a flat solid surface.
It looks as if stabilization is not working for low-light pictures
•  Macro pictures of candy from 20 cm distance is not sharp (iA-mode).

** Video results   = 5
There are people who say you buy a compact camera for taking photo’s, well let those be.
For me it is, that IF video is implemented it must be good. Why else promote it?

•  Daylight video’s are sharp.
The audio is good. Only incidentical wind-sound (but there was little wind during testing), no disturbance when zooming in or out.
But … see Cons
•  The color of the video has the same problem as the color of the pictures.
- in iA-mode - Color-mode is set to ‘Happy’: too blue
- in P-mode -  Color-mode set to ‘Warm’: too Red!
•  Dimlight video: not very sharp, blur
•  AVCHD files
The File storage for video’s is very unpleasant!
On the memory-card the video’s are stored in another file-structure as the pictures.
The structure starts with AVCHD, subfolders AVCHDTN, BDMV, IISVPL (no clue what these are for); BDMV containing subfolders CLIPINF, PLAYLIST, STREAM and two .BDM-files, but still no movie.
STREAM at last contains .MTS video files, requiring specific software for playback.

Why are the video’s not numbered in sequence with the photo-numbering, and stored in the same folder (as many other camera’s do).
•  AVCHD files (2)
After deleting all files from the memory-card, numbering of pictures continues but for Video’s the numbering restarts at 00000! This is extremely irritating.
•  AVCHD files (3)
Playback of the video’s using standard software (VLC media player) in a well equipped laptop shows regularly disturbances. As if the software cannot process the file in time.
Software provided by Panasonic was not capable of playing the AVCHD video’s at all!

Other aspects     = 3
•  Easy to use in iA-mode.
•  Menu understandable in most cases
•  Documentation not delivered.
The camera comes with a series of manuals. But only in some very incurrent East-European lamguages. Not in the language of the country where the camera is bought (in this case Dutch), nor in the most popular languages (English, French, German, Spanish)
For these these is a CD with manuals to store on a PC.
Only people normally don’t carry their PC if they want to take pictures.
Very bad choices by Panasonic.
•  The documentation is awfully bad.
Information on how to make colors warmer is hard to find (you must read the whole document (150 pg’s) to get a small clue on how to change the colors, in this case by ‘white-balance’).
•  Additional software way below minimum value.
It is highly irritating that Panasonic installs their software on a default place, which is precisely NOT the place where I (!) would like to install it.
Also, I wasn’t asked for this software to startup when inserting a SDHC card in my computer. Specially as this software fails to import all necessary files for playback.

Overall result: = 5.2 out of 10

Design aspects:        6
Technical aspects:  6
Photographic results   6
Video results         5
Other aspects         3

9:43 pm - Sunday, May 29, 2011

#108 Paul Edwards

Johan:  You might try downloading VLC Media Player its very good free and plays pretty much anything!

By the way I just read a review in Camera Buyer magazine and ti gave this camera a VERY GOOD review!!

3:20 am - Friday, June 17, 2011

#109 Eamon

This is a great camera though I would like to give one piece of advice regarding the SD memory card you use for the HD video. Make sure you check which class it is. When I first took this on holiday I took a Sandisk class 4 memory card and a Transcend 16GB SDHC Class 10 Memory Card the difference in the quality of the video and performance of the camera were noticably better with the Class 10.

2:51 pm - Friday, July 8, 2011

#110 george

just bought tz10 but it only lets me take two pictures on the camera memory, this cant be right any suggestions

2:31 pm - Saturday, October 8, 2011

#111 Paul Edwards

George:  Of course its correct!  Look at the size of the files you are taking!!!!  Look at the memory size of your unit!!



2:46 pm - Saturday, October 8, 2011

#112 Paul Edwards

Yes I always use class 10 I purchased a 16GB class 10 from for £15 - great value!  (used in Fujifilm HS10)

2:51 pm - Saturday, October 8, 2011

#113 Randomly paying attention

The memory build in to cameras is really just for “sales” and a couple of"emergency back up” Shots.
As In… “oh shoot a maxed out my memory card, and there is the Ultimate picture waiting to be taken, Oh I can use my internal memory and still get it…”  Most, pretty much All Digital Cameras with built in memory are this way.
Also these Panasonic cameras have an option/setting for taking pictures of road maps so you can carry directions with you on your camera.  These are very low resolution/memory.  And I think they are stored in the cameras memory?  Get your self at least a 2 GB class 4 or 6 memory card.  (the “class 2 memory” cards will not work well shooting video.)  Take a look at a 16GB class 10 card.  it wold hold a whole bunch of “vacation shots” and a good amount of video clips.  Save your 2GB memory card to carry for emergency back up.  you can look on the “owners manual” for a listing of how many shots and or video you can hold “Per GB” .

12:26 am - Monday, October 10, 2011

#114 stephanie

i have this camera and i took pictures on it 3 weeks ago! i have turned it on today to view my pictures and i cant find them! there are 11 pics where it says “this motion image cannot be displayed” does anyone one know why???? thanks

8:54 pm - Tuesday, March 20, 2012

#115 Paul Edwards

Stephenie, have a look at Simon Bleadales post on here. Think he had same problem. Maybe your files in Avcd folder or in internal memory. Paul

9:22 pm - Tuesday, March 20, 2012

#116 Rob

I often wonder if people will admit they have bought a lemon. I hold my hands up and say the TZ10 is an expensive hyped up toy and I fell for the hype.
Yes the video is good, but I don’t use video, or GPS (which puts me 40 miles away in a different county)
Now why do I say it’s bad?
A side by side test against an ancient cheap 5mp fuji compact is why.
To eliminate camera shake, in good natural daylight from a window, I mounted them on a tripod, disabled IS (Lumix only), set the self timer and varied the settings lowest ISO on both.
The fuji was crystal clear, no noise at full size.
The TZ10 was soft throughout and iA mode was very noisy even when flash was used.
Such a shame as the design and operations of the camera are very good, but it’s the end result that counts, after 100’s of attempts at every concieveable setting, other than shooting in the brightest of light, this individual camera cannot produce a good image without heavy post processing.

2:33 pm - Saturday, May 5, 2012

#117 kottobahn

Summary I purchased this camera from Costco for a reasonable price after comparing several different manufacturers and deciding this was the superior choice. The camera took great pictures and was easy to use. I was very happy with it. At my daughter’s graduation the camera’s lense began to stop functioning. I could hear the motor turning and trying to retract and extend the lense but the lense wouldn’t respond. I then received an error message on the camera screen stating there was an error and to restart the camera which did not resolve the issue. I called Panasonic and they said it was out of warranty and I could have the camera exchanged for a refurbished one for $180.00 dollars. I will throw this camera in the trash and buy either a canon or a nikon.

7:14 pm - Wednesday, June 13, 2012

#118 Paul Edwards

I don’t see how you can say the TZ range of cameras dosnt take good pictures…...  The link below is to some pix I took with the TZ8 - pretty much same as the other TZ Point & Shoots… Have a look. I have had this camera about a week now. Ill tell you all something else that might surprise you.. the images I have taken here are BETTER then with my canon SX40HS bridge camera!

3:04 pm - Monday, June 25, 2012

#119 Bob

Its not the entire TZ range Paul, just the TZ10.
I asked the Panasonic techs for advice on the problem, and sent identical comparison shots from my 5mp fuji cheapie and the TZ. this is their response

“In regards to the issue you are having, Unfortunately when you increase the pixels from 5M pixels to 12.5M pixels, the noise does increase. This is due to the small size of the CCD sensor. This is the only way to achieve 12X optical zoom in a small camera. You may want to consider looking at a DMC-LX5 or GF series cameras.

TZ series cameras fulfil most peoples needs for a travel zoom camera, giving good picture/video quality with a long zoom range.

A photography enthusiast such as yourself used to a large sensor camera will notice the difference in quality.

Please consider the DMC-GF5 which is a compact interchangeable lens camera, with a Micro 4/3 sensor.”

Unfortunately they will not do a trade in.
The previous TZ cameras and the latest are known to give better results.

5:05 pm - Monday, June 25, 2012

#120 Rob

I asked the Panasonic techs for advice on the problem, and sent identical comparison shots from my 5mp fuji cheapie and the TZ.their replysaid “In regards to the issue you are having, Unfortunately when you increase the pixels from 5M pixels to 12.5M pixels, the noise does increase. This is due to the small size of the CCD sensor. This is the only way to achieve 12X optical zoom in a small camera. You may want to consider looking at a DMC-LX5 or GF series cameras. A photography enthusiast such as yourself used to a large sensor camera will notice the difference in quality. The lx5 would suit you better.

5:07 pm - Monday, June 25, 2012

#121 Tired of the BS

the problem of noise is not specific to the DMC TZ10. 
It is a problem with all of the small sensor, ( read “all” point and shoot cameras)  cameras that Are Overpacked with pixels and no longer can deal with color clarity , contrast, and get Noisy. It is a problem across the board with all manufacturer’s.

These days the it is pretty much certain within the “same qauality lines of cameras”  if it has more pixes. the Worse the picture that is going to be taken/printed from that camera.

They need to work on dropping the megapixels down to Probably no more than 9 megapixes. Possible down to 7 Megapixls.  then should never have considered putting more than 10 megapixels on those tiny little sensors.

Everbody that wants to be able to print a good picture from their “good point and shoot cameras” should write the manufatcures and tell them to nock the megapixels down to 9 MP or 7MP , whatever they need to be to get a Good picture, and print.  and on all cameras that cost over $100 dollars Shoud Have a optical View finder.  I just love trying to take my pictures outdoors, (97% of the pictures I take) “blind”.  And where else are you primarily using a camera that has 12X zoom, besides outdoors…
  Fix the Over pixeled sensors, and reduce the pixel count.  Or we don’t buy any new cameras.
I have the 12 megapixes panasonic I have not printed any pictures from it yet.  But I am worried from what I see on screen that it may not take as good of pictures as my 7 year old or older 6MP Kodax 3x zoom camera. That Is just sad!

And one thing I know for certain, even though it has Twice the megapixels.  The memory it takes up definitely is not twice as much as what the 6MP camera would take for the “same shot”  This has to mean that the 12 MP camera is compressing( “messing up the photo detail) much more then the 6MP kodak.

And what the heck is wroing with the VIDEO on this camera.???  it looks good. but forget about getting it on your computer editing or burnig it on a disc.  Take 15, 30 seconds or a minutes worth of video.. forget about using/viewing it.  It is going to take 15-20 minutes to load/convert that little 30 second clip. What the heck is wrong with that!?

9:26 am - Thursday, June 28, 2012

#122 Adithya

I have owned this camera for more than a year now. Im pretty happy with its performance and I must say its a good one for starters. You can check my photo blog for some of the photos I have taken with this camera.

4:10 pm - Saturday, February 9, 2013

#123 c johnston

I find russell’s comment about targeted morons offensive.Some people who bought this camera only wanted a basic point and shoot,because photography is of limited interest.russel is a pompous ,self-righteous arrogant fool,who needs to take the time to realise he is NOT the be all and end all of cameras,and his remarks themselves show a high level of moronicism.

4:01 am - Saturday, March 29, 2014

#124 Emm


I recently removed my memory card to watch photo’s on the television.  Since I have put it back in the camera it wouldn’t take pictures for a while or would store them in the wrong location. As a very amateur photographer I usually only use the Iauto setting for capturing.  Now when I try to upload my pictures to my PC it says it has the wrong syntax and won’t upload them.  I am clueless - can anyone shed any light on what I am doing wrong?

1:37 pm - Friday, October 30, 2015

Entry Tags

hd video, hd, 3 inch LCD, wide-angle, 720p, 12 megapixel, beginner, manual, travel-zoom, lumix, travel, prosumer, GPS, 25mm, 12x zoom, Panasonic Lumix DMC-TZ10 Review, zs7, dmc-zs7, tz10, dmc-tz10

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