Panasonic Lumix DMC-TZ57 Review

March 18, 2015 | Amy Davies | |

Image Quality

All of the sample images in this review were taken using the 16 megapixel JPEG setting, which gives an average image size of around 7Mb.

Straight from the camera, JPEG images display a good degree of colour, without being overly saturated. It’s lucky that the JPEG images are good as there’s no option to shoot in raw format.

Detail is also pretty nicely resolved by the 16 million pixel sensor. If you choose to examine an image at 100%, it is possible to see some image smoothing and loss of detail in certain sections of the images, but no more than you’re likely to see in other similar specced cameras - the overall impression at standard printing and web sizes is very good.

Overall, the Panasonic Lumix DMC-TZ57’s all purpose metering system does a good job of producing accurate exposures, albeit with a tendency to slightly underexpose in certain conditions. If this happens, you’ll need to add in a touch of exposure compensation, and it’s particularly likely to happen in high contrast conditions.

Pleasingly, the camera’s automatic white balance system produces accurate colours even when faced with artificial lighting conditions. You can change to a more specific white balance setting if you’re noticing warm or yellowish tones under lightbulbs and so on though.

In low light, you can either use the flash or push the sensitivity up. As you move up through the sensitivity range, you will notice some loss of detail and image smoothing if you examine closely, but the good news is that that results in an overall good impression of detail when viewing at normal sizes without too much noise present. At the top sensitivity at ISO 3200, it’s unlikely you’ll be able to make large prints, but it certainly produces useable small images.

It is of course pretty important that a camera that has as one of its key selling points the zoom range performs well at the telephoto end of its optic. Here, at the full 20x stretch of the lens, detail is well retained making it particularly useful for travelling photographers. Although a digital zoom is available, and is handy if you’re really desperate to get closer to the scene, I’d avoid it most of the time as there is a noticeable reduction in detail.

Noise

The Panasonic Lumix DMC-TZ57 has six sensitivity settings available at full resolution, ranging between ISO100 and ISO3200.

ISO 100 (100% Crop)

ISO 200 (100% Crop)

iso100.jpg iso200.jpg
   

ISO 400 (100% Crop)

ISO 800 (100% Crop)

iso400.jpg iso800.jpg
   

ISO 1600 (100% Crop)

ISO 3200 (100% Crop)

iso1600.jpg iso3200.jpg

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)

sharpen1.jpg sharpen1a.jpg
   
sharpen2.jpg sharpen2a.jpg

Focal Range

The Panasonic Lumix DMC-TZ57's 20x zoom lens provides a very versatile focal length of 28-560mm in 35mm terms, as demonstrated below.

28mm 560mm
quality_fine.jpg quality_normal.jpg

File Quality

Two JPEG compression options can be selected: Fine or Normal.

16M Fine (4.85Mb) (100% Crop) 16M Normal (3.98Mb) (100% Crop)
quality_fine.jpg quality_normal.jpg

Chromatic Aberrations

The Panasonic Lumix DMC-TZ57 handled chromatic aberrations well during the review, with some 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 DMC-TZ57 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)

macro1.jpg macro1a.jpg

Flash

The flash settings on the Panasonic Lumix DMC-TZ70 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.

Flash Off - Wide Angle (28mm)

Flash On - Wide Angle (28mm)

ISO 64 ISO 64
   

Flash Off - Telephoto (560mm)

Flash On - Telephoto (560mm)

ISO 64 ISO 64

And here are some portrait shots with the flash off and on.

Flash Off

Flash Off (100% Crop)
flash_off.jpg flash_off1.jpg
   

Flash On

Flash On (100% Crop)
flash_on.jpg flash_on1.jpg

Night

The Panasonic Lumix DMC-TZ57's maximum shutter speed is 60 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 1000. 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)

night1.jpg night1a.jpg

Panorama

In the dedicated Panorama shooting mode, the Panasonic Lumix DMC-TZ57 can automatically create a panorame by simply pressing the shutter button and panning the camera from left to right.

panorama1.jpg