Panasonic Lumix DMC-TZ40 Review

5.0
March 26, 2013 | Mark Goldstein |

Image Quality


All of the sample images in this review were taken using the 18 megapixel Fine JPEG setting, which gives an average image size of around 6.5Mb.

The Panasonic Lumix DMC-TZ40 produced images of very good quality during the review period. The 1/2.33 inch, 18 megapixel MOS sensor used in the Panasonic Lumix DMC-TZ40 produces noise-free images at ISO 100-400, with limited noise and colour desaturation starting to appear at ISO 800. ISO 1600 exhibits quite visible noise, smearing of fine detail and colour desaturation, and ISO 3200 is even noisier, although still usable for small prints. The fastest setting of ISO 6400 is best avoided altogether.

The Panasonic Lumix DMC-TZ40 dealt well with chromatic aberrations, with limited purple fringing effects appearing only in high contrast situations. The built-in flash worked well indoors, with no red-eye and adequate exposure. The night photograph was excellent, with the maximum shutter speed of 15 seconds allowing you to capture plenty of light. Anti-shake is a feature that works very well when hand-holding the camera in low-light conditions or when using the telephoto end of the 20x zoom range.

Macro performance is very good, allowing you to focus as close as 3cms away from the subject. The images were a little soft straight out of the camera at the default sharpening setting and ideally require further sharpening in an application like Adobe Photoshop, or you can change the in-camera setting if you don't like the default results. The Intelligent Resolution feature either makes a standard image look sharper, albeit with some unwanted artefacts appearing, or it digitally increases the 20x optical zoom to 40x, again with a slight loss in quality. The various Creative Effects allow you to easily add a twist to your images.

Noise

There are 7 ISO settings available on the Panasonic Lumix DMC-TZ40. Here are some 100% crops which show the noise levels for each ISO setting.

ISO 100 (100% Crop)

ISO 200 (100% Crop)

   

ISO 400 (100% Crop)

ISO 800 (100% Crop)

   

ISO 1600 (100% Crop)

ISO 3200 (100% Crop)

   

ISO 6400 (100% Crop)

 
 

Sharpening

Here are two 100% crops which have been Saved as Web - Quality 50 in Photoshop. The right-hand image has had some sharpening applied in Photoshop. The out-of-the camera images are a little soft at the default sharpening setting and benefit from some further sharpening in a program like Adobe Photoshop. You can change the in-camera sharpening level via the Picture Adjust menu option.

Original (100% Crop)

Sharpened (100% Crop)

   

Focal Range

The Panasonic Lumix DMC-TZ40's 20x zoom lens provides a versatile focal length of 24-480mm in 35mm terms, as demonstrated below.

24mm

480mm

File Quality

The Panasonic Lumix DMC-TZ40 has 2 different image quality settings available, with Fine being the highest quality option. Here are some 100% crops which show the quality of the various options, with the file size shown in brackets.

18M Fine (6.93Mb) (100% Crop) 18M Normal (3.94Mb) (100% Crop)

Chromatic Aberrations

The Panasonic Lumix DMC-TZ40 handled chromatic aberrations very well during the review, with limited 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)

Macro

The Panasonic Lumix DMC-TZ40 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. The first image shows how close you can get to the subject (in this case a compact flash card). The second image is a 100% crop.

Macro

Macro (100% Crop)

Flash

The flash settings on the Panasonic Lumix DMC-TZ40 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 (480mm)

Forced On - Telephoto (480mm)

ISO 64 ISO 64

And here are some portrait shots. As you can see, neither the Flash On or the Auto/Red-eye Reduction settings caused any red-eye.

Forced On

Forced On (100% Crop)
   

Auto/Red-eye Reduction

Auto/Red-eye Reduction (100% Crop)

Night

The Panasonic Lumix DMC-TZ40's maximum shutter speed is 15 seconds, which is great news if you're seriously interested in night photography. The shot below was taken using a shutter speed of 15 seconds at ISO 100. I've included a 100% crop of the image to show what the quality is like. 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 (100% Crop)

Anti Shake

The Panasonic Lumix DMC-TZ40 has an anti-shake mechanism, which allows you to take sharp photos at slower shutter speeds than other digital cameras. To test this, I took 2 handheld shots of the same subject with the same settings. The first shot was taken with anti shake turned off, the second with it turned on. Here are some 100% crops of the images to show the results. As you can see, with anti shake turned on, the images are much sharper than with anti shake turned off. This feature really does seem to make a difference and could mean capturing a successful, sharp shot or missing the opportunity altogether.

Shutter Speed / Focal Length

Anti Shake Off (100% Crop)

Anti Shake On (100% Crop)

1/4 sec / 24mm
     
1/2 sec / 480mm

Intelligent Resolution

The Intelligent Resolution feature either makes a standard image look like a higher resolution one by processing the contour areas, texture areas and smooth areas individually, or it digitally boosts the zoom magnification from 20x to 40x.

Resolution - Off

Resolution - On

   

i.Zoom Off

i.Zoom On

HDR

The Panasonic Lumix DMC-TZ40's HDR mode combines three pictures taken at different exposures to create one image with greater dynamic range than a single shot.

HDR Off

HDR On

Panoramas

The Panoramic Shot mode allows you to take horizontal or vertical panoramic pictures simply by swivelling the TZ40, joining consecutively shot images together to produce a single panoramic picture.

Creative Controls

The Panasonic Lumix DMC-TZ40 has 14 different creative control options to help spice up your images.

Off

Expressive

   

Retro

High Key

   

Low Key

Sepia

   

Dynamic Monochrome

Impressive Art

   

High Dynamic

Cross Process

   

Toy Effect

Miniature Effect

   

Soft Focus

Star Filter

   

One Point Color

 
 

Color Modes

The Panasonic Lumix DMC-TZ40 has 4 different color mode options.

Standard

Vivid

   

B&W

Sepia

Entry Tags

hd video, hd, 3 inch LCD, 1080p, wide-angle, wi-fi, manual, travel-zoom, travel, touch screen, lumix, 24mm, 10fps, touch, 18 megapixel, nfc, wi fi, 20x zoom, gps, PASM, dmc-tz40, tz40, zs30, dmc-zs30, Panasonic Lumix DMC-TZ40 Review

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