Panasonic Lumix DMC-TZ7 Review

5.0
March 26, 2009 | Mark Goldstein |

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#101 malex

re earlier posts, the sound reproduction on the TZ7/ZS3 is great, but downloading from web/youtube, it is compressed so will not sound as good as camera attached to PC or TV.
After trying a few, the best and easiest video converter from AVCHD to other formats is ‘Free AVCHD Converter’ from http://www.koyotesoft.com, and as its name implies it is free.
Hope this helps.

7:06 am - Friday, June 26, 2009

#102 Brian

TZ7, Has anybody else had any problems with very poor battery life (20 still shots) then need to re-charge? I’ve sent mine back to be tested. Panasonic are telling me that some the memory cards are draining the batteries - however the card i’m using worked fine in my previous camera a TZ5 - it had a fantastic life befor needing to re-charge, so I can’t see the memory card is at fault! ANY COMMENTS ON THIS?

2:52 pm - Friday, June 26, 2009

#103 Declan

I find the LCD on POWER Mode drains the battery more than anything else.

Declan

4:04 pm - Friday, June 26, 2009

#104 Kathy

I’ve just bought the TZ7. But now I seem to be having some doubts about my purchase as I have just discovered the Panasonic Lumix DMC-FT1.

If anyone has compared the two, could you tell me if there is a significant drop in the quality of still images or motion pictures that is sacrificed for the waterproofing? .

Also other than the 25mm wide-angled lens and the 12x Optical zoom, are these the only advantages the TZ7 has over the FT1

I’m a point-and-shoot type of photographer who takes pictures for the purpose of memories more so than perfect quality.

3:43 pm - Sunday, July 5, 2009

#105 Tony

Thanks for all comments made in helping me to decide between the Fuji 200EXR and the Panasonic TZ7. Folk seem to feel the Fuji has real advantages in low-light situations so I’m wondering how well the TZ7 competes in similar situations ie Christmas parties, clubbing etc…my thanks to anyone with constructive straight talking help.

7:49 pm - Sunday, July 5, 2009

#106 Reil Cruz

I’ve already complained about how easy it is to get ZS3’s mode dial displaced. Why can’t Panasonic adopt the best designs from its other models for the higher-end ones?  For instance, the partly hidden mode dial on the FX37 that I bought last year doesn’t get that easily misaligned.

It irritates me that the IA mode on the ZS3 can only provide 16:9 aspect ratio at 2M. I thought Panasonic is promoting that aspect photography. I need to go to normal mode just to get this ratio which I prefer over the 4:3 default of the IA.

2:41 am - Monday, July 6, 2009

#107 Non

Can someone let me know how much video can you record on a full charge without zooming?

I plan to buy the TZ7 and go to a 3 days festival and I’m not sure how many batteries I would need.

Thanks

11:08 am - Tuesday, July 7, 2009

#108 blackdog

I test-drove a ZS3 and found that when zooming in movie mode there was a loud click noise on the movie. Has anyone else experienced that or other noises?

5:19 pm - Tuesday, July 7, 2009

#109 Jorge Lomeli

Hi, i just brought this Panasonic Zs3 Today, well not today, 2 days ago, but i just recived my UPS package tody, so basically i just brought it today :)

I oredered my ZS3 from bhphotovideo, and i dont know if panasonic just fix the loose dial mode wheel or maybe im not too picky, but the dial wheel on my camera seems pretty strong, and i really mean strong. I dont know if this is a new “version” or whatever but im pretty happy with my new Panasonic zs3.

Video in Avchd lite seems AWSOME! in my macbook pro. At first i was unhappy, because the video looks choppy, and lots of artifacts on screen. But then i realized that this was fault of the VLC player codec (by the way, vlc really suck playing avcdh or mts files). I was thinking on returning the camera just because of the video quality i saw ont he screen using vlc player.

The i remembered that Imovie09 can edit or play avchd files. Quickly i opened iMovie09, imported all videos i took from my ZS3, and guess what?..... they look AMAZING!!! Crystal clear! i couldnt be happier with this camera.

16gb sdhc card should go for about 2hours and 20 minutes more less in avchd format super high quality, in motion jpeg for a little more than an hour.

BTW, if you’re like me and use the camera to take lots of videos, you shuold consider buying an extra battery (original from panasonic) because the new firmware 1.2 dosent allow the use of 3rd party batterys. bh sold it for 39 bucks. i already got an extra one.

First day with my camera and so far everything seems great!!!

9:31 pm - Tuesday, July 7, 2009

#110 Kat

Is it true that Panasonic have stopped manufacturing batteries for the TZ6? I really want to get this one instead of the TZ7 but if I can’t get back up batteries then it’s obsolete!!

1:02 am - Friday, July 10, 2009

#111 malex

Kat, the battery for TZ6 is the same as TZ7, so no, the battery will not be obsolete for a very long time.

1:56 pm - Friday, July 10, 2009

#112 Kat

Excellent, thanks Malex.  Would you know if the TZ5 battery is the same?

2:10 pm - Friday, July 10, 2009

#113 steffi

Hi. I’m desperately in need for a good camera, and have read many fabulous reviews about the TZ7. I can live with the cons, but I’d like to ask a question as a newbie in photography. Since this camera takes very high quality picture, does that mean I’m going to have to drastically resize down every single picture I take with TZ7 whenever I upload them on the net (most of the times) instead of printing them (on occasion)? Thanks.

6:57 pm - Sunday, July 12, 2009

#114 Declan

You can take photos at whatever quality you want. Just 3mp if you wish.

11:57 pm - Sunday, July 12, 2009

#115 PS

I just came back from a holiday in sunshine and my new TZ7 has given some amazing results. I have a couple of doubts though. Some pics in the iA mode come with dark faces even in bright sunshine, while some other pics appear bright enough. Also, the battery drains out very quickly if I record a HD video. Reading some of the comments above I feel that the battery problem could be due to my SDHC card which is a class 2 card, but I cant understand the dark faces in day light pics. Has anyone else faced similar problems? Could this has something to do with any settings, or the way I clicking these snaps?

10:09 pm - Wednesday, July 15, 2009

#116 glanglois

I’m afraid I’m confused in the other direction.  I’d like to learn how an SDHC card can drain a battery quickly.  I would think that the power envelope is a part of the SD standard and would not vary dramatically.  If it did vary, I would look to faster cards to draw more power than slower cards.  Any help here would be appreciated.

Faces in bright sunlight can be troublesome.  The worst situation, of course, is one in which you are shooting people against a very bright background, particularly when the faces are in shade.  Face detection and exposure compensation should help with that but perhaps it has its limits. 

When I’ve dealt with that manually, I’ve sometimes found that I have to wash out (way overexpose) the entire background to get the face right. The camera may be trying to find a medium position in which the face is somewhat dark and the background is somewhat lighter than it should be.  May be the best you can get.  You’ll then have to do a bit of image editing to brighten the faces selectivetly.  Easy but time-consuming if there’s a lot of it.

This is the reason that photographers use flash outdoors.  Some people are rather surprised when I mount a whacking great Metz on my SLR when shooting outdoors - given that “there’s all this light!”  That’s the problem - there’s all this light - falling in the wrong place.  The shadows need to be filled in artificially.  See “fill flash”. 

And please let us know if the dark faces show up when you’ve got a bright background.  We may be on to something here.  Like forcing the flash in “A” mode.  I don’t think that you can do that in iA.

10:55 pm - Wednesday, July 15, 2009

#117 PS

glanglois, thanks for your comments. I am not sure about the memory card explanation. I was just referring to the comment (#102) made by Brian above and thought someone could confirm if that is indeed the case. But if you think that is not the case, it might just be the fact that battery does not last long enough with video recording.

11:19 pm - Wednesday, July 15, 2009

#118 malex

#112 Kat, the battery for TZ5 is different, it was a more powerful battery.
#115 & #116 I have found that if you point and shoot at a face against a light background, the camera has registered the brightness around the face as you get camera into position, but if you can, frame shot then point camera down at body or feet of person, then bring camera up to face and take picture, this sets exposure and distance on person and I get better results.
SD card should not drain battery power unless badly damaged, class 2 just means it read info slower than class 4 or 6 but will not drain battery any quicker. When using video mode, if you move camera quickly, the focus and exposure are constantly resetting, which will drain power, try slow steady movements.
Now that you are home, see how long battery lasts if you place camera on table, start video, you may have to restart video every 15 mins as that is limit on European TZ7 movie, compare this to how long battery lasted on holiday.

9:33 am - Sunday, July 19, 2009

#119 PS

Malex, thanks for your comments. Very useful comment on the brightness. Will definitely try that.

11:27 am - Sunday, July 19, 2009

#120 Kike

Hi there! I want to buy a compact camera and very confused because I like both TZ6 and TZ7.

I’d be very grateful if someone could tell me the real differences between those models and what will you buy for these prices.

In Spain: TZ6: EUR240. TZ7: EUR320.

Will you pay 80 EUR more for the TZ7?

Thank you and sorry for my english :-S

9:24 pm - Thursday, July 23, 2009

#121 Marina

Panasonic DMC TZ7 or LX3?

4:07 am - Sunday, July 26, 2009

#122 Declan

These two cameras are made for totally different needs. It would be like asking ‘should I buy a pair of ski boots or nike trainers?’

The TZ7 is for people who want the best point & shoot on the market that can also capture HD video in stereo sound almost as good as any similar priced camcorder. You are getting a lot for the price of this Lumix.

Reading any review of the TZ7 and then reading any review of the LX3 should instantly tell you which one YOU would prefer.

Declan

12:44 pm - Sunday, July 26, 2009

#123 Marina

Thanks Declan. I would prefer the TZ7 if the quality of the images were as good as the LX3. I realise that it is impossible to match DSLR quality but I am looking for a compact that would give the best image quality. I have just tried a Leica C-Lux 3/DMC FX37 and I found it no better than my Canon Ixus 85. I have a Panasonic FZ8. It’s OK but too much noise.

7:34 am - Monday, July 27, 2009

#124 Cesare

Hi Marina,
I own the TZ7 and the FujiF100fd (28/140mm). Frankly as regards the IQ it seems (I repeat : it seems) to me better the Fuji also if the TZ7 offer a more simple SW and the iA . As next month should be available the new Fuji 70EXR (27/270mm) with the sensor EXR (the same of the FujiF200) I wonder if this new camera will be OK for all our needs.

7:52 am - Monday, July 27, 2009

#125 TZ7 Sample Images

Hi again Marina,

The link above is for CameraLabs.com that has some sample images. If you Google Flickr and TZ7 you will also find some owner’s sample pics.

Declan

2:24 pm - Monday, July 27, 2009

#126 ** TZ7 Sample Images Link **

Last link didn’t work - this one should ..

2:27 pm - Monday, July 27, 2009

#127 ** TZ7 Sample Photos Link ** This Works :)

Had to TinyUrl it .. Original too long :)

2:30 pm - Monday, July 27, 2009

#128 Marina

Thanks Declan. I am more than happy with those sample images. I was thinking of getting a used G9 but I prefer having a wide angle lens. I will go for the TZ7.

Marina

4:49 pm - Monday, July 27, 2009

#129 Paul

I’ve had problems with darkness in bright conditions. A light coloured field with trees in the background (sun in the perfect position) produced a beautiful bright field but with almost black looking trees!! My battered old Casion S770 always produced great pics in bright conditions so why would this camera struggle with it?? Spending £260 on a camera only to be asked by people why my trees look almost black is disappointing! Should point out this didn’t happen all the time, possibly the contrast between the light coloured field and darker greens….any ideas anyone?

9:13 pm - Monday, July 27, 2009

#130 David Wilson

I’ve just added one of these to my collection. It’s great, works very well. IQ excellent, de-speckle and USM in Photoshop and you’ve got great pictures. Sole problem is that it eats batteries and the Panasonic one is low capacity. Video is very good. Rear screen cover feels fragile compared to Canon’s G10 and doesn’t appear to have much/any anti-glare coating.

3:16 pm - Tuesday, July 28, 2009

#131 Forrest

Has anyone had any issues with the performance of the zoom on the TZ7? 

I have just purchased the TZ7 and trying it out.  I am finding it difficult to achieve a smooth transition from wide angle to full zoom. The zoom lever has little or no resistance when moved while finding the right zoom position appears to be a very hit and miss affair.  In the early part of the zoom lever’s movement from the mid position there is hardly no zoom and then it rushes up to about 5X (its the same on the way back.

Is this to be expected?

2:24 pm - Saturday, August 1, 2009

#132 glanglois

Zoom, particularly in video, responds slowly at first.  It’s sometimes annoying but I think it’s a design decision - it allows smaller adjustments when first applied, assuming you’re already close and you only want to tweak.  When you make it clear that you want to zoom a great deal, it takes off.

I expect it’s a quite reasonable idea but not implemented as well as it could be.

3:29 pm - Monday, August 3, 2009

#133 Marina

How does the FX500 image quality compare to the TZ7? I am very tempted because the price of the FX500 has dropped to £140 (about 150 Euros).

8:15 am - Tuesday, August 4, 2009

#134 Paul

Just purchased a TZ7 here in Germany. No problems at all with the mode dial at all. Seems like this ‘issue’ has been fixed if it worries you.

9:31 am - Tuesday, August 4, 2009

#135 Robert

It seems the dial mode has improved on recently purchased TZ7 cameras.

Might someone have any idea if Panasonic will fix the dial mode (under warranty) if I return my TZ7 explaining the dial mode is too loose ?

Thank you in advance for your response.
Robert

10:57 am - Tuesday, August 4, 2009

#136 Agnieszka

I have a question about the image stabilisation. How it works in places like churches where light is limited? My old camera has problems for example in St. Peter’s Basilica.

7:53 pm - Tuesday, August 4, 2009

#137 glanglois

I’ve not tried mine at St. Peter’s but I may report back next month about St. Paul’s, London.

Overall, I’ve found the TZ7/ZS3 to be better than prior P&S (Canon A7XX).  It’s hard to compare it to my DSLRs as the Panasonic’s small size and lack of viewfinder make it hard for me to hold it in a very stable manner. 

You may want to look into the small Gorillapod.  It’s of a size to slip into a small pack or a large pocket if needs be and can wrap around almost anything.

If you use it at St. Peter’s, please let us know and post photos someplace!

9:48 pm - Tuesday, August 4, 2009

#138 Adezaak

Have been using the camera since about 3 months now. Overall I am very happy with it. The video does well for normal use. Pictures tend to get noisy in dark conditions though. Picture quality is excellent, significantly better that the Sony compact I used to have before. Although that performed better in dark conditions.
I miss the manual control for night scenes. It does have a night scene mode, but that doesn’t really support night scenes. Tried to take a picture of a moon-lit landscape last night but all I got was a black picture with a light dot somewhere in the sky.
The userfriendlyness is OK but it has some shortcomings: the zoom button is unhandy, too sensitive. The mode dial changes too light, so it’s changed everytime I take the camera out of the pouch. The movie button is easily pressed when not meant to be. And when you want it to film, it’s not always clear if it’s running or not (have missed some shots where I found it was not filming when I thougth I activated it). It shows a red blinking memorycard in the display when it’s active but I found that not to be very clear. The sony had a blinking LED, which did better in my perspective.
Very good feature: it remembers settings per scene-setting. So you can customize your own scene setting and activate it by simply turning the dial. Another good point: changing settings (like flash, or macro) are changed and activated by just a 2-3 clicks. With the Sony it took at least an extra click. So the TZ7 is quick to handle.

2:15 pm - Friday, August 7, 2009

#139 My TZ7 Videos On YouTube

Here’s some vids of shot with my TZ7. The non-HD ones were shot with a Ixus 85 ..

Post back & tell me what yo think.

Hopw the TZ8 or TZ9 fixes the autofocus issues while zooming.

2:39 pm - Friday, August 7, 2009

#140 My TZ7 Videos On YouTube

Be sure and click HD on each Vid by the way as it still says HD at the bottom of the videos even if it’s not in HD ..

2:42 pm - Friday, August 7, 2009

#141 Len

Is there a way to set the flash to default to OFF so that I can be sure it is off when turning the camera on or changing modes without having to check? I like to shoot in environments where flash is inappropriate or intrusive and I hate it when I inadvertently send forth the light.

8:22 pm - Sunday, August 9, 2009

#142 Camera Labs TZ7 Review

Yes :) The TZ7 is a cross between a full SLR and a fully auto like an IXUS .. you can still have it fully automatic but there are tons of settings just not as much as you would have on an SLR with shutter speeds etc.

You still have modes and can set shutter speeds to minium and stuff.

There are quite a few reviews on line. The one above is the best ..

Declan

10:37 pm - Sunday, August 9, 2009

#143 Adezaak

@141: You can force the flash to off in any of your scene modes and the camera will remember this, even when powered off.

1:31 pm - Monday, August 10, 2009

#144 Richard Fox

Finally got the TZ7 yesterday. I was trying out the video option on the camera last night in my sitting room with the lights on and to be honest I was a little disappointed. It looked rather grainy and the sound quality was poor when I played it back on the LCD. Now it could be different if I was playing the same clip on my laptop but I’m not sure. The other thing I noticed was that everytime I moved my camera up towards the lights there was sort of an elongated light streak (best way I can describe it) on playback.
As I bought this camera primarily for concerts, the video samples I had seen on YouTube and elsewhere convinced me that this was the right camera for me but now I’m not sure. Of course it could just be a matter of tinkering around with it a bit.
I’m going to see U2 at Wembley on Saturday and if anyone can suggest what is the best settings for recording video for this concert, then your help would be greatly appreciated. Thanks…

7:00 pm - Thursday, August 13, 2009

#145 Declan

My clips are on the link above ..

I would say first thing is switch off digital zoom. Only use optical as the smooth zooming looks so much better .. too grainy and fast jerky zoom od digital zoom.

Shoot in HD and face focusing with centre metering ..

Takes a while to pick out what’s best . My Beyonce vids show that I shot all three vids with diferent settings.

Post a link here if you do shoot anything though ..

Dec

8:37 pm - Thursday, August 13, 2009

#146 Richard Fox

Thanks for the tips Declan. I’m using my iPod to view this and it won’t let me view the clips. Will definitely check them out and will post my clips at some stage.

7:48 pm - Friday, August 14, 2009

#147 Pat

Till last night, I was sure that the TZ7 was the camera for me. Then someone told me this morning, that the SX 200 IS was a far better camera than the TZ7. This made me check out nearly all the sample images taken these cameras that are on the net. Then, for good measure, I read a few reviews on the SX 200 IS and viewed some YouTube videos on both these cameras. Considering I’m a great Canon fan, and have owned many Canon cameras in the past, I’ve decided that I’ll go ahead and get the TZ7 today. These are the reasons for my decision. Hope I do not regret my decision by the end of today.
- There is no such thing as a perfect camera, so it is up to choose one that suits our needs most and not let the numbers or bells and whistles sway us.
- I want a pocket camera with a long zoom that is capable of taking that once in a lifetime shot. In this respect, the TZ7 wins out. It fits the pocket better, and does not have the bizarre flash pop up every time I switch on the camera.
- I want to use this camera mainly for bird photography, and maybe for some macro shots. My wife might want to use it indoors for some parties etc. Although the Canon in general produces much better images, and would be ideal for these purposes, the fact that the TZ7 can zoom when videoing is a strong point, and I can always use Photoshop to touch up any images taken on the TZ7.
- The SX 200 IS zoom lens is simply too long. Not only will this cause unwanted attention, but is more likely to jam when compared to the shorter zoom lens of the TZ7. I had this problem of the zoom lens jamming with a Canon camera I used previously.
- someone in the SX 200 IS discussion mentioned that the LCD screen cracked for no reason, and that Canon was reluctant to replace the screen. This is exactly what happened to an Ixus model about four years ago. Canon appeared to have corrected the problem then, but it looks like it’s raising its ugly head again.
  So wish me luck folks. I’ll be writing again after I’ve used the TZ7 for a week.

5:06 am - Saturday, August 15, 2009

#148 sparkle bon

can the Panasonic DMC-TZ7 take good night photos?

8:22 pm - Sunday, August 16, 2009

#149 Adezaak

@148: I don’t recommend this camera for that use. First it has a lot of grain when it gets a little dark and second it has no long shuttertime and no good light measurement for nightshots. As I posted before: I tried to take a picture of moonlit landscape but only got a black picture with a white dot (the moon). I don’t know if there are any compacts that can handle this. A SLR certainly would.

10:51 pm - Sunday, August 16, 2009

#150 Marina

I have had the chance to use the TZ7 and the FX500 before deciding which one to buy. Both are excellent cameras and the image quality is excellent on both but I would recommended the FX500 above the TZ7 because of the excellent price. The current price is 144 english pounds.
Neither of these cameras are up to DSLR standards and are both limited in certain situations but if your expectations are not unrealistic then they are both excellent cameras.
I have read many negative reviews about the FX500 but I have found the camera to be excellent if the photograher uses their head and thinks of the best mode for difficult photos. I have changed the settings and have used manual mode many times to obtain an excellent photo. Obviously, you can’t rely on auto point and shoot all the time.
Maybe the TZ7 is more forgiving for most situations but the FX500 is just as good if a little thought is used before taking the photo.
I get more satisfaction from this fact because I have more control on the final results.
I am very impressed with the FX500. There isn’t anythibg better especially at the price of 150 quid. I would highly recommend it. The TZ7 is also excellent but not worth the extra 100 pounds

1:45 pm - Monday, August 17, 2009

#151 malex

#148 & 149 the TZ7 can take good pictures at night, have you tried the ‘scene modes’ and read pages 54 & 56 of operating instructions?  I have had some good results with night shots, but not when set to ‘iA’ mode.
#150 the FX500 is good snapshot camera, but not if you want a long zoom or HD quality video which is why most people choose the TZ7/ZS3.

12:04 pm - Wednesday, August 19, 2009

#152 Marina

Hi Malex. I agree with you. The TZ7 is a perfect camera for those looking for a long zoom and HD video quality. I have no need for these extra features and I decided to go for the FX500.
I also agree that the iA mode is limited. There is no way that it could read and understand all photograpic situations and it will make errors. I think that the photographer should realise this and not be surprised if some of the photos taken with iA mode will not be so good. I try to take the same photo twice. using iA mode and then swithing to another mode.
The scenes mode is excellent and has many options to take good photos. Most people skip and do not take this mode seriously but I can tell you that some of the scenes can produce some excellent photos, especially night shots and self portraits.

12:36 pm - Wednesday, August 19, 2009

#153 AMAR

I am looking for a helpful reply. I am confused between TZ7 and FZ28, though i like FZ28 but I just want to know differnce between HD video recording between them. Is TZ7’s recording quality better than Fz28?
Also I want to know that is FZ28 any occasion camera?
sorry for my English!

7:53 am - Friday, August 21, 2009

#154 Ebrar

guys i m in a real dilemma.i want to buy a digital camera but i m stuck between two cameras :canon SX 200IS and Panasonic LUMIX TZ7.So pleasssse advice me as soon as possible which of the following cameras (mentioned above) should i buy.

10:02 am - Saturday, August 22, 2009

#155 malex

#153 Amar, There is no difference in HD video quality, except for FZ28 longer optical zoom..
The main difference between TZ7 and FZ28 is the TZ7 is designed as a compact camera, meaning you can fit it into a pocket so you can always have it with you,ready to take a snapshot. The FZ28 is a standard SLR size camera and so normally needs to be in a case on a strap around your neck.

3:51 pm - Saturday, August 22, 2009

#156 malex

#154 Ebrar, no one can tell you what camera you should buy, everyone’s taste is different, so the final choice must be yours. Others can only offer you advice from experience.
I had a try of the SX200 alongside the TZ7. The differences I noticed were, the SX is larger, a bit heavier, the flash pops up which I have found in the past is something extra for grit to get into if near the beach or outdoors on a windy day, and can get caught on threads in your pockets/clothing if you do not use a camera case. The HD video is not full HD but near it. The lens(28mm) is not quite as wide angle as the TZ7(25mm). I found the pictures to be about the same between both cameras.

4:04 pm - Saturday, August 22, 2009

#157 AMAR

THANKS MALEX FOR THE REPLY.

4:19 pm - Saturday, August 22, 2009

#158 Amethyst

Hi, I’m about to take the plunge and get my first digital(yep I’m coming out of the 35mm cupboard:)
I like the sound of the T27 but have two concerns and would appreciate any help from those that have the camera
a)how bad is the battery life, it seems to be of some concern for many people…
b)do I need a specefic type of sdhc card for this model?
All info greatfully received:)

11:25 pm - Monday, August 24, 2009

#159 Paul

I don’t know how anyone could have any concerns about the battery life. On my last outing I took 378 pics with plenty to spare! This is good by any standards. No problems at all.

Think any SDHC card would be fine, but a fast one would be necessary for video (especially HD)

8:04 pm - Wednesday, August 26, 2009

#160 Sean

Bud,
You said that ZS3 was available at Costco for $279 which included a 2Gb card, case. Are you sure it is a ZS3, and if so which Costco did you go to?
I would like to buy the ZS3 but I can’t seem to find ZS3’s on Costco’s website nor my local store.
If anyone else has any idea’s please advise.

Thanks in advance.

Sean

7:03 pm - Thursday, August 27, 2009

#161 sundram

Hey guys i am trying to decide between the samsung wb550 and the lumix tz7. Which one do you think has a better image and video quality?

4:30 am - Saturday, August 29, 2009

#162 Bongo

Anyone trying to get rid of this EU-restricted video recording time of 15 minutes? Any hacks?

Will firmware from ZS3 work in TZ7? Is it possible to load that into european model?

I am about to get this amazing unit, but i do not like the EU time limit on TZ7 either NTSC in ZS3 (not to mention the battery charger plug problem).

Allegedly the Hong Kong model works in PAL (read somewhere in internet). Have anyone any experience with that? 

What is the maximum AVCHD recording time on one battery? Daclan said 30 minutes. Any battery sparing modes? switching off lcd possibilities?

I would like to buy this only to record live gigs, so the battery life is crucial.

6:10 pm - Saturday, August 29, 2009

#163 ectasy

lumix dmc tz7 is fantastic camera. be careful to buy in europe because video is limited up to 15 minutes, no more !

3:02 pm - Monday, August 31, 2009

#164 Robert

“For Glare Free LCD screen viewing… “

I am having problems taking pictures in very bright light conditions (the picture in the lcd screen gets difficult to see).

I found an interesting link
http://www.hoodmanusa.com/products.asp?dept=1017
(also see Hoodman HoodLoupe 3.0 Demo Video)

Can anyone comment on this type of accessory ?

9:04 pm - Monday, August 31, 2009

#165 Rob

It seems the dial mode has improved on recently purchased TZ7 cameras.

Might someone have any idea if Panasonic will fix the dial mode (under warranty) if I return my TZ7 explaining the dial mode is too loose ?

9:12 pm - Monday, August 31, 2009

#166 Bongo

For those aware of the 15-minutes video limitation in EU-models: Hong Kong models offered on eBay are limited, too! Just received an email from a HK-based store.

In Europe however the only unlimited TZ7s are the russian ones - they posses english menu, too - but no limitation and PAL TV out.

9:30 pm - Monday, August 31, 2009

#167 Cesare

I own the TZ7 , rally good camera but it’s too big for my shirt pocket so I decided to try the new FujiF70 EXR but the first pics are not so good as expected so now I’m wondering (if I have money enough !!) to buy the “old” “new” Fuki F200 EXR.
Any advice about my choice ?

10:25 am - Tuesday, September 1, 2009

#168 glanglois

Cesare: Find a bigger shirt. 

Are you sure you have the TZ7?  Mine fits all my shirt pockets quite easily although I worry that it may fall out if the shirt pocket is too large.  The camera is fairly heavy and bounces around in a larger pocket.  I’ve had it nearly fall out when I leaned forward. 

Now I keep in it the case that Panasonic sent with the registration.  The magnetic closure isn’t secure enough so I simply stuck a small square of Velcro on each side of the magnetic latch.  Perfect.

Of course that assumes that you will want the camera on your belt, but that’s a different question.

5:19 pm - Tuesday, September 1, 2009

#169 Cesare

Really amusing and good suggestion Glanglois ! For sure I have the TZ7 , trust me , and you are right, my TZ7 fit in my shirt pocket but it’s too heavy for my taste.  Probably it depends of my Summer shirts (light ) or , better, that I remember how was lighter my old FujiF100fd when I was in Eritrea last year (46° in Massawa) .
Anyway i have to say that the TZ7 is a very good camera with more intelligent SW vs the Fuji . but as I do not like to have my camera in a case attached at my belt I rather prefere a small and light camera.

5:30 pm - Tuesday, September 1, 2009

#170 malex

#162 Bongo, be careful, Panasonic are very strict on warranty terms, if anything goes wrong with camera, they will refuse to repair except at high cost. After warranty has expired, if you are brave or very wealthy, then give it a go, as a hack may be around by then. This also applies to European warranty, Panasonic europe will not repair Russian or HK versions of camera.
#164 Robert, I have a hood that I sometimes use on my SLR cameras, they take a while to attach to camera and make it very large, you then have to remove it to fit camera in pocket or case, so defeats the object of using a compact camera, easier to use right hand to hold camera and left hand as a sun shield. Also hold camera close and make sure your body casts a shadow over camera, this makes it easier to see LCD in bright sunlight.

9:07 am - Wednesday, September 2, 2009

#171 Bongo

#170 malex:
I am aware of lacking warranty if the gear is bought outside of the certain market (or hacked). I have lots of gear (mainly musical), which came from US and I did not have any problem with that.

I assume, the good gear will not break - so i don’t need to have warranty at all.

I need no record limitation - that’s the point. Everything else is of lesser value.

8:01 pm - Thursday, September 3, 2009

#172 Timo

Buyed Panasonic. My previous camera is 5 year old Konica Minolta Dimage G400 that has really good picture quality.

Why did’nt anyone say that TZ7 indoor pictures SUCKS! Pictures are grayish, my minolta takes much more vivid and realistic colours with flash. Also that noice! G400 has 4.0 Mpixels and TZ7 10.1, but there is no difference in image details at all because of noise in TZ7 pictures.

I must say I’m disappointed with TZ7 still pictures.

12:12 pm - Monday, September 7, 2009

#173 Lucy

Hi, I’m a complete camera novice, but will be doing a lot of travelling over the next year so want to treat myself to a fairly decent camera. The TZ7 seems like the best bet although I’m seriously concerned about the battery life. At one point, I will be spending 7 days on kilimanjaro and aparently battery life decreases in extreme weather?? Obviously I will have no way of recharging the battery (unless i get a solar charger but no idea what they are like). Does anyone know if this is the best camera for me or would it be better to get a camera that takes standard batteries?? I’m also going on safari, so the zoom is a must have!!! Cheers guys.

12:13 pm - Tuesday, September 8, 2009

#174 malex

#173 Lucy, I would suggest a solar recharger, A camera that takes standard batteries is fine for normal snaps, and where you are near shops to purchase replacements, cameras that use standard batteries (normally 2 x AA), tend to need new batteries daily, if using video and taking plenty of pics. So you will have to buy and carry 14 plus batteries, do not buy cheap £1 shop type batteries, they will only last a couple of hours.
I have a powermonkey charger that I use for my camera, mobile phone, laptop, bluetooth headset, it comes with plugs to fit most electronic items, PSP, Nintendo DS, ipods etc. The powermonkey I think costs about £50 now, but has been useful on many holidays. There are probably many other types of solar chargers that may be cheaper, just make sure whichever you buy has a USB connector.

5:24 pm - Friday, September 11, 2009

#175 iris

what is the nearest paasonic camera with most of the features of the lumixdmc tz7 camera but without the video feature?
i am a beginner and want to buy a good camera at a reasonable price but cant see me using video and would hope for something cheaper.
thanks.

11:45 am - Friday, September 18, 2009

#176 malex

#175 Iris - Nearly all decent compact cameras now come with video, all the way down to mobile phones.
Your best bet, is make a list of what specifications you want on your camera. How much you want to spend, then do an internet or argos catalogue search for cameras with the main specs and compare. Cameras are a personal taste, no one can say what would be the best camera for you, including the man in a camera shop as he wants your money. When you have a short list of cameras, then go to several shops and try them out, or see what cameras your friends and relatives have, and ask to try them.

7:35 pm - Monday, September 21, 2009

#177 Cesare

@175 and @176
Iris : As regards one camera cheaper and close to the TZ7 well, you can look at the TZ6 . I tried and bought the FujiF70EXR that is smaller cheaper with a 27/270mm but the quality is , in my opinion, worst, worst, worst so now I use this camera as a paperweight.
Malex: Very good suggestion I share at 100% your opinion : everyone have personal needs so no one can suggest a perfect choice. For example I start with a small Casio 7Mp, after as old analogic photographer I bought a Canon G7 with all possible manual control (but too big and heavy) after I bought the FujiF100fd (light but only 28/140 mm) so I bought the Panasonic TZ3 (good camera with quite good IQ but slightly too big for my shirt pocket) finally when the TZ7 was announced as a lighter and slighlty smaller of the TZ3 i bought the TZ7 . As my son was last August in Kuala Lumpur for holidays I asked him to buy the FujiF70EXR at only 164 Euro (see my Iris answer for advice) . All this long story to explain that everyone have different needs and , probably, we believe that a new camera can offer us better pictures ( but frankly if we believe that we are wrong !!)

9:33 am - Tuesday, September 22, 2009

#178 jrj073000

If you’ve ever used/like this camera: http://adwido.com/view_content?vkey=fc4b107964d4529b76953226fe1abf0d THIS is a good camera for you.

7:56 pm - Wednesday, September 23, 2009

#179 Richard

Has anyone used the TZ7 for underwater pictures / video clips.
Thinking of using this due to its wide angle lens abilities
any comments appreciated
thanks

Rich

11:48 pm - Sunday, September 27, 2009

#180 cailen

I am def. purchasing this camera in the near future, however i’m wondering if the newest ZS3 edition is preloaded with the 1.2 version of the firmware that doesn’t allow third party batteries. Also is there anything that is lost by not upgrading to 1.2 if it doesn’t come preloaded.

9:01 am - Monday, September 28, 2009

#181 trensamiro

To cailen:

It doesn’t matter if it does come with the 1.2 firmware preloaded. Actually, that’s not likely but even if it does, you can always downgrade (so to speak) the 1.2 firmware back to version 1.1, no problems whatsoever.

Hope that helps.

5:22 pm - Monday, September 28, 2009

#182 Jacques

I do not see a way to register sound only (dictaphone) with the TZ7: do you confirm? (I loved the microphone position on the wheel of my old casio exilim EX Z850. Fine for meetigs…)

10:53 pm - Tuesday, September 29, 2009

#183 malex

#182 Jacques…Go to ‘Audio Dub’, pick a photo and record sound.

#179 Richard..I have an Overboard camera case, I have only used it in the rain with my TZ7, and tested it under a running tap and it seems fine, so I will take it with me on hols. Please do not try camera without underwater case:)

11:44 am - Wednesday, September 30, 2009

#184 Jacques

To malex

Thanks for answer. I understand one can add a short voice memo to a photo. In fact, I would like to record sound during meetings. With the Exilim, it was easy (direct microphone position on the dial) to record during 10 hours non-stop!!! I think the TZ7 has the technology in it, but this possibility is forgotten by Panasonic. Don’t know if they prefer to sell dictaphones apart…

1:51 pm - Wednesday, September 30, 2009

#185 malex

#184 Jacues, I see what you mean, this is a gadget that seems to have disappeared on several new cameras, until this message, I had not realised how short the memo time had become on the TZ7. I popped into my local camera shop and it seems to be similar on several new model cameras apart from Pentax and Ricoh. It seems you will have to carry a digital note taker or dictaphone (more gadgets to lug around).

4:59 pm - Friday, October 2, 2009

#186 Cesare

#184 Jacques. With the TZ7 you can add a 5 second clip just after the shot or 30 second clip when you revise the shot. You are right it seems the sound is not interesting enough. With my old Canon G7 you can register all the time you need (in relation of the SD card) without to add this to a shot. Another “minus” is that -  apart 2 or 3 camera -  you can’t have a remote control that could be very useful for self portrait or for long exposures..

10:03 am - Sunday, October 4, 2009

#187 Peterc

Just bought one of these from Comet and am very impressed at the moment.  Just one comment on the use of alternative batteries.  Mine came with Firmware 1.2 which prevents their use.  However I followed the guidelines at http://icklefrog.co.uk/shop/page/5 and installed version 1.1 instead.  Bought a battery on ebay for under a tenner and it works perfectly

12:01 am - Friday, October 9, 2009

#188 stuart

I’ve just about decided to buy a TZ7 - thanks to all the reviewers in here!! I have one small concern. The review mentions the Shooting Mode dial being extremely loose and says ‘Trust me, you’ll quickly become sick and tired of seeing the message “Mode Dial is not in the proper position” displayed on the LCD screen’.

Have any owners found this to be a real issue??

Thankyou

1:30 pm - Friday, October 9, 2009

#189 glanglois

I’ve an early-production model, purchased in early May, and find that the mode dial is in the wrong spot perhaps once in 20 occasions when I pull the camera from the case.  Maybe a bit more often when I keep the camera in a pocket. 

That’s not what I’d prefer but I’m still well-satisfied with my decision.  I’ve heard that later models were a little stiffer but I cannot vouch for that.

Good luck!

2:29 pm - Friday, October 9, 2009

#190 Mytbyte

I’m looking into buying this camera for its 25p/50p capability a opposed to ALL othger cameras that recorder in 24p or 30p. However after downloading the .mts sample form this review I have serious doubts:

1) It doesn’t look HD nor it runs at 50p (which should be as smooth as a sports broadcast). Is this sample a RAW AVCHD as shot direct from the SDHC card or was it processed afterwards (mediainfo software detects it as being 720@50p)? This is very important because if this is what you get for TZ7 in terms of video, it’s not worth it…colors are correct, exposure too, but it’s neither HD nor 50p so there may be some fishy things going on…

2) YouTube videos of course didn’t provide any revealings that would lead me to conclude that TZ7 can do any better than the sample that can be downloaded here? Can any good soul of an TZ7 owner upload their RAW AVCHD video…

thanks…

12:22 pm - Sunday, October 11, 2009

#191 malex

#190 Mytbyte, You do not mention which video sample you were looking at, some are worse than others. I believe you will never get a good HD result from youtube, as they have probably been converted and compressed to upload and be seen on youtube. Your best option is to go to a camera shop, ask to try the video and look at the result on the shops monitor or take an SD memory card with you, use it to record video then take it home and view on your own monitor(you may have to download an AVCHD codec to view it.

7:39 am - Tuesday, October 13, 2009

#192 Mytbyte

Thank you…

I was referring to the RAW video sample that accompanies this very review: http://www.photographyblog.com/reviews/panasonic_lumix_dmc_tz7_review/conclusion/

I never took youtube as relevant, od course, and indeed do plan to take my SDHC card to the specialized Panasonic shop in hope I will be allowed to make several recordings in different modes - not having great expectations though, because the shops I visited up till now were all very uncooperative (sorry, no battery, sorry cannot do, not allowed etc)...

I live in a country where return policies are virtually non-existent so it’s not possible to try it and return it unless it’s broken :)

7:55 am - Tuesday, October 13, 2009

#193 Mytbyte

Sadly, my fears have been proven to be substantiated - the TZ7 is, despite the AVCHD implementation, in no way comparable to even the cheapest HD camcorders…I recorded a medium-speed pan in the shop today onto my own SDHC card, took it home and concluded that Panasonic is confusing us with the claim of 50p support in the specs…recordings are in 25p, “wrapped” into a 50p stream, probably to make it compatible with other playback devices…so after all my great expectatons, this camera is no different from any compact camera with video recording - it’s just an after-thought…there simply doesn’t seem to be enough processing power ,the reason probably being the price of high speed 50fps processing only found in HD camcorders at double+ the price…

I was also dissapoined with continuous AF during video recording: it went in-and-out of focus constantly during and at the end of zooms, making it no better than Kodak Z950, also one of the rare few compacts that can zoom while recording video…no wonder 99% of compacts do not allow you to zoom while recording :)...

thanks for listening…

8:44 pm - Tuesday, October 13, 2009

#194 cailen

I was wondering in what function I can utilize the 1 to 8 second shutter speed? Is it night scenery? and can I control the amount of time for the shutter, or does the camera decide? Also do I need to be in a scene mode or can I do it in manual?

1:54 am - Friday, October 16, 2009

#195 malex

Cailen, Shutter speed 1sec to 8sec is controlled by the camera, long exposure is set in scene modes, the reason for this is so camera can adjust iso etc.
Shutter speeds 1sec down to 1/250th sec can be controlled in manual mode.

11:35 am - Monday, October 19, 2009

#196 Rene

I bought this camera 4 months ago. My comments:

Good: Wide angle; HD video; zooming when videorecording.

Bad: Purple line in videos; bad contrast performance when subject wearing clear colors (too much light); picture is granulated even in low ISO; poor indoors flash performance; when using flash to correct back light, the flash shows poor performance; poor intelligent function; face recognition show poor performance.

In summary: I prefer my old Canon. Poor performance in general.

11:45 pm - Monday, October 19, 2009

#197 Cesare

#196 - which Canon model are you talking about ?

8:06 am - Tuesday, October 20, 2009

#198 Peter

Dear Friends, I would like to buy a camera for hiking. I need strong zoom capabilities, excellent macro mode and I will often encounter poor light conditions (e.g. in forests or in deep, narrow valleys), though I would like to take detailed, vivid-color pictures (if possible). The video does not matter. After a lot of Net, I decided to buy either the Panasonic TZ7 (ZS3) or Canon SX 200. The manual modes of Canon are magnetic, but I had bad experiences with my former Canons (unnatural colors, patch-like appearance of trees etc). The reviews are confusing concerning the priority in image quality of these products. Have you experience the photo quality under the above mentioned conditions? (Sorry, I will post it to the Canon SX 200 forum as well.) Any help would be highly appreciated!

11:41 am - Tuesday, October 20, 2009

#199 cailen

I realize that the 1-8 second setting occurs in the night scenery mode. However I’m not sure how to utilize it. In very dark settings on the night scenery mode with 1 second minimum shutter set for manual the photo was still taken with a 1/4 shutter speed. Is there anyway to better utilize or ensure the use of longer shutter time?

cheers

8:57 am - Thursday, October 22, 2009

#200 Dominic

I like the look of this camera and the reviews indicate that it is the camera to buy. Problem is i broke my old Casio Exlim a few days ago, i am holidaying in South America so need a new camera as i still have 3 weeks left on my vacation. The bigger problem is that i am currently in Rio De Janeiro and finding a decent place that sells cameras and in particular this camera is proving very difficult. I found one place today but he want R$1350 ($US785) which is pushing what i want to pay.  Does anyone know of a good place in Rio to by a camera or any other options i Have? please help.

Thanks,
Dom

1:20 am - Friday, October 23, 2009

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hd video, 3 inch LCD, compact, 720p, 12 megapixel, beginner, 12x zoom

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