Panasonic Lumix DMC-TZ10 Review Image

Panasonic Lumix DMC-TZ10 Review Image

Mac users, we’re pleased to announce Macphun’s all-in-one photo editor Luminar is now available for just $69£52

with special Valentine Day bonuses (two eBooks, Vivid Wonderland preset pack, & Creative Sky Overlay pack) included for free until February 19.

Use coupon code “PHOTOBLOG” to save another $10 on Luminar.

We rated Luminar as “Highly Recommended”. Visit the Luminar web site to try it for free.

Download Luminar & Try Free »

Introduction

The Lumix DMC-TZ10 (also known as the DMC-ZS7 in the USA) is Panasonic ‘s range-topping travel-zoom camera, featuring a 12x, 25-300mm lens, AVCHD video with stereo sound and built-in GPS geo-tagging. Successor to the TZ7 model, the DMC-TZ10 has a 14.5-megapixel CCD sensor and shoots with up to 12.1-megapixel resolution, reproducing images with the lens set from 25mm to 300mm in any of three aspect ratios – 4:3, 3:2 or 16:9 – while maintaining the same diagonal angle of view. A built-in GPS unit tracks where each photo is taken, automatically embedding the latitude and longitude in the EXIF data. The new Intelligent Resolution function can be used to digitally boost the zoom ratio to 16x without hardly any loss in quality, or to simply make still images and video look better, at least according to Panasonic. The TZ10 also implements a long requested feature for the TZ-series – A, S and M exposure modes for creative photographers, in addition to Intelligent Auto and a variety of scene modes for beginners. 720p HD video recording in the AVCHD or Motion JPEG formats, high-speed and high-performance Venus Engine VI processor, POWER O.I.S. anti-shake system and a 3-inch LCD screen with 460k dots complete the headline specifications. The Panasonic Lumix DMC-TZ10 / ZS7 is available in silver, black, red or blue for £399 / $399.

Ease of Use

The Panasonic Lumix DMC-TZ10 is very similar to its cheaper sibling, the DMC-TZ8, in terms of its design, with the most notable differences being the addition of GPS, stereo sound, a one-touch movie record button and a bigger and higher-resolution LCD screen. At first glance the Panasonic Lumix DMC-TZ10 strikes you as being a little large, elongated and bulky, but it’s actually slightly lighter than the previous TZ7 model. You then have to remind yourself that Panasonic have somehow fitted in a 12x zoom lens, equivalent to 25-300mm on a 35mm camera, which provides a very versatile focal range that will cover every subject from ultra-wide angle landscapes to close-up action shots. Even when set to 300mm, the lens doesn’t extend too far from the front of the TZ10, making it look to all intents and purposes like a “normal” compact camera. This helps to make the DMC-TZ10 great for candid moments, as people assume that you’re using just a standard point and shoot with a much more limited range.

The 25mm focal length, now something of a standard feature on Panasonic compacts, provides an entirely new wide angle of view that can only increase your creativity. You won’t want to go back to a “standard” 35mm zoom after using the 25mm lens on the DMC-TZ10, or even a 28mm one – 3mm at the wide-angle end really does make a big difference. The 12x zoom lens obviously makes this one of the most versatile compacts in terms of focal range, especially as it is coupled with Panasonic’s excellent POWER O.I.S system, which helps to ensure that the majority of photos taken in good light are sharp. The TZ10’s lens isn’t particularly fast at the wide-angle setting with a maximum apertures of f/3.3, but f/4.9 at the 300mm telephoto setting is respectable enough.

The DMC-TZ10 is a well-built camera with a high quality metal body. The design is dominated by the large 12x lens on the front and the large 3 inch LCD screen on the rear. There is no optical viewfinder, which does make the camera a little harder to keep steady at the telephoto end of the zoom than holding it up to your eye. There is only a shiny, smooth handgrip on the front of the TZ10 and a small textured area on the rear, something of a backwards step in my opinion from earlier TZ designs. The TZ10 actually has a 14 megapixel sensor, but only uses 12 megapixels so that it can offer three different aspect ratios – 4:3, 3:2 or 16:9 – without having to change the angle of view. The Multi Aspect mode takes an image in all three aspect ratios simultaneously and lets you choose the best one.

The DMC-TZ10 is well-made overall, although there are a couple of external controls that don’t instill much confidence. The cover for the battery compartment and SD card slot feels a little insubstantial and is locked using a cheap plastic switch. Thankfully Panasonic have addressed the awful Shooting Mode dial of the TZ7, which on the TZ10 has been repositioned to the left of the shutter release button and given a much more positive action that makes it less likely to unexpectedly change position when stored in a pocket or bag. You shouldn’t see the annoying message “Mode Dial is not in the proper position” ever again. As testament to the quality of this camera, the tripod socket is made of metal and positioned directly the middle of the bottom of the camera.

Despite the addition of the new manual shooting modes, the Panasonic Lumix DMC-TZ10 is still not overly complex in terms of the number of external controls that it has. The majority of the 14 controls are clearly labeled and common to most cameras, with the Q.Menu and iA shooting mode being specific to Panasonic and requiring a quick read of the user guide. As mentioned above, there’s a traditional dial on the top of the TZ10 that lets you select the various shooting and scene modes. This dial is a typical feature of SLR cameras, and enables you to quickly change between the various modes. Interestingly there are two Scene modes available, both of which offer exactly the same options, but which can be set independently of each other, allowing a little customization of the camera setup. There’s also a new CUST option that allows you save up to three camera configurations, which is very handy if you often use the camera for different subjects or situations.

Also new is the long-awaited addition of A, S and M exposure modes. The DMC-TZ10 joins the handful of Panasonic compacts to offer advanced controls over exposure, with full manual (M), aperture-priority (A) and shutter-priority (S) modes on offer, which will instantly appeal to the more experienced photographer. The range of apertures on offer is rather limited by the lens (F3.3 – 6.3 at 25mm and F4.9 – 6.3 at 300mm), but the ability to choose from 60 – 1/2000th second shutter speeds and set both the aperture and shutter speed if you wish opens up a lot of creative potential. Sadly there’s no support for the RAW file format, which would really have been the icing on the cake for serious photographers looking for a backup-pocket camera to their DSLR.

Panasonic Lumix DMC-TZ10 Panasonic Lumix DMC-TZ10
Front Rear

The DMC-TZ10 also features Panasonic’s now well-established Intelligent Auto Mode. Panasonic have tried to make things as easy as possible for the complete beginner by providing this shooting mode, which allows you to point and shoot the camera without having to worry about choosing the right mode or settings. Intelligent Auto Mode automatically determines a number of key criteria when taking a picture, including selecting the most appropriate scene mode and ISO speed, and turning face detection (up to 15 faces), image stabilization and quick auto-focus on. Intelligent Exposure increases the exposure only in the under-exposed areas of the image, and Digital Red-eye automatically detects and removes red-eye. Intelligent Exposure can also be turned on in the Normal Picture mode (but strangely not Digital Red-eye).

AF tracking continually tracks a moving subject and keeps it in focus, without you having to hold the shutter button halfway down as on most other cameras. Face Recognition is a fun and genuinely useful new feature, which “remembers” up to 6 registered faces and then always prioritizes the focus and exposure for that person in future pictures. Very useful for group shots where you want your loved ones to be the centre of attention. You can specify the age of the registered subject, stamp the age of the subject onto your photos, change the focus icon for a particular person, and playback only the photos that contain a certain face. The camera will even automatically switch to Baby mode if someone registered as less than 3 years old appears in the frame!

In practice the Intelligent Auto Mode system works very well, with the camera seamlessly choosing the most appropriate combination of settings for the current situation. The 5 available scene modes are Portrait, Landscape, Macro, Night Portrait and Night Scenery, so obviously not all situations are covered by Intelligent Auto Mode, but it does work for the majority of the time. It makes it possible for the less experienced photographer to easily take well-exposed, sharp pictures of people, scenery and close-ups by simply pointing and shooting the camera. If you’re feeling a little down, the new Happy Mode has also been added to Intelligent Auto, as the name suggests it boosts the color, saturation and brightness to give you a warm glow inside (but not a terribly accurate picture).

Completing the top of the camera are the Off/On switch, responsive zoom lever, the tactile shutter button, left and right stereo mics and the GPS receiver. The TZ8 now offers stereo sound, with the left and right mics located to the left of the Mode dial. When used in combination with the new Wind Cut menu option, this makes a real difference to the sound quality in movies – check out the sample movie on the Sample Images page. The DMC-TZ7’s E.Zoom button, which allows you to zoom to the full telephoto focal length at a much faster speed than normal, has unfortunately bitten the dust to make way for the one-touch movie record button. Indeed, this feature has been completely removed from the DMC-TZ10.

GPS is a brand new feature for both the TZ-series and Panasonic cameras, and also one that has slowly but surely been finding its way into digital cameras as the technology has got smaller and cheaper to implement. This potentially allows you to seamlessly geo-tag your photos (latitude and longitude co-ordinates are stored in the EXIF data, plus the local time) and then sort and display them using geo-friendly websites such as Google Earth and Google Maps. The DMC-TZ10 also has a built-in database of over 1/2 million known landmarks around the world, which it uses to try and tag each image if enabled. In addition you can choose which specific information is set for your photos, with Country/Region, State/Prov/County, City/Town and Landmark the available options.

The GPS can be manually turned on or off – when enabled, it continues working even when the camera is switched off. There’s also a special airplane mode which only keeps GPS on when the camera is switched on. The GPS Info option shows you exactly which satellites are being used and importantly when the signal lock was last obtained, with the option of manually updating the positioning process. This last option is important because the DMC-TZ10 has a tendency to keep using an old position if you, say, catch the London tube and travel a few miles underground, in which case it needs to be manually updated. Other than this idiosyncracy, the TZ10’s GPS receiver works a lot better than precious GPS-capable cameras that we’ve reviewed, saving accurate positioning information for most of the images that we shot in built-up central London, making this camera much more useful for urban photographers. The main downside of the TZ10’s GPS is the subsequent drain on battery life, with the camera only managing just over 175 shots with GPS turned on instead of the 300 that it can manage without.

Panasonic Lumix DMC-TZ10 Panasonic Lumix DMC-TZ10
Front GPS Options

Intelligent Resolution is a brand new feature for Panasonic’s 2010 range of compacts. It performs two main functions – it 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 12x to 16x with minimal loss of quality and no reduction in resolution. In both cases, it’s easy tell which image was taken with Intelligent Resolution turned on and which ones with it turned off, particularly if viewing onscreen at 100% magnification, as our test shots on the Image Quality page show. The difference isn’t quite so apparent on a print up to A3 in size, but I’m not convinced enough to recommend it except when you really need the extra reach – it undoubtedly improves on the digital zoom, but not so much that I’d regularly use it.

The dedicated Movie button on the rear of the DMC-TZ10 is inherited from the TZ7 model, and a very useful one at that. As you’d expect, it allows you to start recording a movie with a single push of a button, and then stop recording by pressing the same button – a lot more intuitive than having to select the movie mode then press the shutter button, as on most compacts. The TZ10 can record 720p video at 1280×720 pixels at 30 or 15 fps in either the AVCHD or Motion JPG formats. AVCHD Lite almost doubles the recording time in HD quality compared with Motion JPEG, but software support is currently a bit thin on the ground. Panasonic describe it as the best mode for playing back on a HD TV direct from the camera, and Motion JPEG best for email and playing on a computer.

The dedicated movie button makes it much easier to record a movie, and the various movie options are sensibly stored in an easy to understand Motion Picture menu. Stereo sound is recorded during capture, a big improvement on the rather muffled noises recorded by the TZ8, helped by the wind cut function and audio sampling at 48kHz. You can also use the zoom lens during recording and really make the most of that 25-300mm focal range. On the negative side, you’ll find that the lens zooms more slowly than when shooting a still image, and if you choose continuous auto-focus, areas of the video will be blurred before becoming sharp again as the camera tries to refocus, although this has been improved when compared to the TZ7. The HDMI port allows you to connect the TZ10 to a high-def TV set, but only if you purchase the optional HDMI mini-cable.

The Camera / Play button on the rear of the camera enables you to quickly and easily switch from shooting to playback without also changing the shooting mode. Also on the rear of the camera is the Q.Menu button which provides quick access to most of the principal controls, including ISO speed, image size, image quality and white balance (there are 9 settings in total). You can still access all of these options from the main menu system too. In addition the TZ10 also has a new Exposure button, which in conjunction with the arrow keys on the navigation pad allows you to change the aperture and/or the shutter speed if you’re using the A, S or M shooting modes. This two-button system isn’t the most convenient, but it does avoid making the camera too cluttered.

The very large 3 inch LCD screen is the only way of framing your shots, so if you have to have an optical viewfinder, look elsewhere now, but I found that the 460K pixel, high-resolution screen coped admirably with the majority of lighting conditions, even being nice to use in low-light. There’s a clever function called High Angle, accessible from the Quick Menu, which essentially brightens the LCD screen when the camera is held over your head so that it is perfectly viewable, which is great for shooting over the heads of a crowd. The Intelligent LCD function automatically detects the current lighting conditions and boosts the LCD backlighting by up to 40% when shooting outdoors in bright sunshine, helping to keep the screen visible.

As with all current Panasonic models, the TZ10 has an anti-shake system, on this model the newer POWER O.I.S. variety. Turn it on and the Panasonic Lumix DMC-TZ10 automatically compensates for camera shake, which is a slight blurring of the image that typically occurs at slow shutter speeds when the camera is hand held. There are two different modes, Mode 1 is on all the time including image composition, and Mode 2 is only on when you press the shutter button. An Auto setting is also available if you’re not sure which one to use. Panasonic claim that the POWER O.I.S. system is twice as effective as the older MEGA O.I.S, and while its difficult to make a direct comparison, I found that it does make a noticeable difference, as shown in the examples on the Image Quality page. You don’t notice that the camera is actually doing anything different when anti-shake is turned on, just that you can use slower shutter speeds than normal and still take sharp photos.

Panasonic Lumix DMC-TZ10 Panasonic Lumix DMC-TZ10
Memory Card Slot Battery Compartment

Panasonic also provide a High Sensitivity Mode to help combat the effects of camera shake. When this scene mode is selected, the TZ10 automatically raises the ISO speed up to a maximum of 6400 and therefore allows for a faster shutter speed. This mode allows you to handhold the camera without using the flash and get more natural results, whilst at the same time freezing subject movement more successfully. There are some obvious drawbacks with this special scene mode, principally a significant increase in noise and blurring – Panasonic state that “Pictures may appear slightly grainy due to high sensitivity”. You also need to select the scene mode and therefore have some idea about when it is applicable to your subject.

The Intelligent ISO mode is the third way in which the DMC-TZ10 attempts to avoid subject blur in low-light conditions. The camera automatically sets the appropriate shutter speed AND ISO speed for the subject that you are taking pictures of. So if you’re taking shots of a child indoors, the DMC-TZ10 automatically raises the ISO and in turn the shutter speed to avoid blurring the child’s movement. If the subject is still, then the camera chooses a lower sensitivity and slower shutter speed. It’s a clever idea that works well in practice, with the camera generally choosing an appropriate combination of shutter and ISO speed. You can also limit the maximum ISO speed that the camera can choose, which I’d strongly advise, as ISO 1600 produces very noisy images – ISO 800 is a better maximum setting.

The main menu system on the Panasonic Lumix DMC-TZ10 is straight-forward to use and is accessed by pressing the Menu/Set button in the middle of the navigation pad. There are four menu options, Record, Motion Picture, Travel Mode and Setup. Most of the camera’s main options, such as white balance, image quality, auto-focus mode and ISO speed, are accessed here, so the Record menu has 22 options spread over 5 screens, the Motion Picture menu 5 options over 1 screen, the Travel Mode menu 6 options over 2 screens, and the Setup menu has 23 options spread over 5 screens. As mentioned previously, the addition of the Quick Menu button on the rear of the camera speeds up access to some of the more commonly used options. Due to the large LCD screen and restricting the number of on-screen choices to five, the various options and icons are very clear and legible. If you have never used a digital camera before, or you’re upgrading from a more basic model, reading the easy-to-follow manual before you start is a good idea, especially as a few of the buttons are specific to Panasonic cameras. Thankfully Panasonic have chosen to supply it in printed format, rather than as a PDF on a CD, so you can also carry it with you for easy reference.

The start-up time from turning the Panasonic Lumix DMC-TZ10 on to being ready to take a photo is quite quick at around 2 seconds. Zooming from the widest focal length to the longest is very slow at around 4 seconds, but focusing is quick in good light and the camera achieves focus most of the time indoors or in low-light situations, helped by the focus-assist lamp. Note that the camera does struggle to lock onto the subject at the tele-photo end of the lens in low-light situations. The camera is generally very quick to find focus if you use the 1-point high-speed AF option. It takes about 1 second to store an image, allowing you to keep shooting as they are being recorded onto the memory card – there is no LCD blackout between each image. The Panasonic Lumix DMC-TZ10 has a disappointingly slow Burst mode which enables you to take 2.3 frames per second at the highest JPEG image quality, up to a maximum of 5 images in Standard mode and just 3 images in Fine mode.

Once you have captured a photo, the Panasonic Lumix DMC-TZ10 has a good range of options when it comes to playing, reviewing and managing your images. You can instantly scroll through the images that you have taken, view thumbnails (up to 30 onscreen at the same time and in a special Calendar view), zoom in and out up to 16x magnification, view slideshows, delete, protect, trim, resize, copy and rotate an image. You can also select favourite images, sort images into categories, change an image’s aspect ratio, add a text stamp, add a soundclip and set the print order. Face Recognition plays back only the photos that contain a certain face. Dual Play, which allowed you to compare two images onscreen at the same time, has sadly been removed. The Display button toggles detailed settings information about each picture on and off, such as the ISO rating and aperture / shutter speed, and there is a small histogram available during both shooting and playback. When taking a photo, pressing the Display button toggles between the detailed information, the detailed information plus gridlines to aid composition, and no information at all.

Panasonic Lumix DMC-TZ10 Review Image

Panasonic Lumix DMC-TZ10 Review Image

Mac users, we’re pleased to announce Macphun’s all-in-one photo editor Luminar is now available for just $69£52

with special Valentine Day bonuses (two eBooks, Vivid Wonderland preset pack, & Creative Sky Overlay pack) included for free until February 19.

Use coupon code “PHOTOBLOG” to save another $10 on Luminar.

We rated Luminar as “Highly Recommended”. Visit the Luminar web site to try it for free.

Download Luminar & Try Free »

Image Quality

All of the sample images in this Review were taken using the 12 megapixel Fine JPEG setting, which gives an average image size of around 5.5Mb.

The Panasonic Lumix DMC-TZ10 produced images of very good quality during the review period. The 1/2.33 inch, 12.1 megapixel sensor used in the Panasonic Lumix DMC-TZ10 produces noise-free images at ISO 100 and 200, with ISO 400 also looking good. ISO 800 shows some quite obvious noise and softening of fine detail, and ISO 16000 is even noisier, although still OK for small prints and web images. The Panasonic Lumix DMC-TZ10 dealt extremely 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 60 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 zoom range. Macro performance is good, allowing you to focus as close as 3cms away from the subject. The images were a little soft straight out of the DMC-TZ10 at the default sharpening setting and ideally require some further sharpening in an application like Adobe Photoshop, or you can change the in-camera setting. The new Intelligent Resolution feature either makes a standard image look sharper, albeit with some unwanted artefacts appearing, or it digitally increases the 12x optical zoom to 16x, again with a slight loss in quality.

Noise

There are 6 ISO settings available on the Panasonic Lumix DMC-TZ10. Here are some 100% crops which show the noise levels for each ISO setting.

ISO 80 (100% Crop)

ISO 100 (100% Crop)

   

ISO 200 (100% Crop)

ISO 400 (100% Crop)

   

ISO 800 (100% Crop)

ISO 1600 (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-TZ10’s 12x zoom lens provides a versatile focal length of 25-300mm in 35mm terms, as demonstrated below.

25mm

300mm

File Quality

The Panasonic Lumix DMC-TZ10 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.

12M Fine (4.9Mb) (100% Crop) 12M Normal (2.8Mb) (100% Crop)

Chromatic Aberrations

The Panasonic Lumix DMC-TZ10 handled chromatic aberrations excellently during the review, with very limited purple fringing present around the edges of objects in certain high-contrast situations, as shown in the example below.

Example 1 (100% Crop)

Macro

The Panasonic Lumix DMC-TZ10 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 Shot

100% Crop

Flash

The flash settings on the Panasonic Lumix DMC-TZ10 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 (25mm)

Forced On – Wide Angle (25mm)

ISO 64 ISO 64
   

Forced Off – Telephoto (300mm)

Forced On – Telephoto (300mm)

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-TZ10’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 20 seconds at ISO 80. 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 Shot

Night Shot (100% Crop)

Anti Shake

The Panasonic Lumix DMC-TZ10 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)

1/5 sec / 25mm
1/4 sec / 150mm

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 12x to 16x.

Off

On

   

i.Zoom

 
 
   

Off

i.Zoom

Panasonic Lumix DMC-TZ10 Review Image

Panasonic Lumix DMC-TZ10 Review Image

Mac users, we’re pleased to announce Macphun’s all-in-one photo editor Luminar is now available for just $69£52

with special Valentine Day bonuses (two eBooks, Vivid Wonderland preset pack, & Creative Sky Overlay pack) included for free until February 19.

Use coupon code “PHOTOBLOG” to save another $10 on Luminar.

We rated Luminar as “Highly Recommended”. Visit the Luminar web site to try it for free.

Download Luminar & Try Free »

Sample Images

This is a selection of sample images from the Panasonic Lumix DMC-TZ10 camera, which were all taken using the 12 megapixel Fine JPEG setting. The thumbnails below link to the full-sized versions, which have not been altered in any way.

Sample Movie

This is a sample movie at the quality setting of 1280×720 at 30 frames per second. Please note that this 15 second movie is 24.5Mb in size.

Panasonic Lumix DMC-TZ10 Review Image

Panasonic Lumix DMC-TZ10 Review Image

Mac users, we’re pleased to announce Macphun’s all-in-one photo editor Luminar is now available for just $69£52

with special Valentine Day bonuses (two eBooks, Vivid Wonderland preset pack, & Creative Sky Overlay pack) included for free until February 19.

Use coupon code “PHOTOBLOG” to save another $10 on Luminar.

We rated Luminar as “Highly Recommended”. Visit the Luminar web site to try it for free.

Download Luminar & Try Free »

Product Images

Panasonic Lumix DMC-TZ10

Front of the Camera

 
Panasonic Lumix DMC-TZ10

Front of the Camera / Lens Extended

 
Panasonic Lumix DMC-TZ10

Isometric View

 
Panasonic Lumix DMC-TZ10

Isometric View

 
Panasonic Lumix DMC-TZ10

Rear of the Camera

 
Panasonic Lumix DMC-TZ10

Rear of the Camera / Image Displayed

 
Panasonic Lumix DMC-TZ10

Rear of the Camera / Turned On

 
Panasonic Lumix DMC-TZ10

Rear of the Camera / Main Menu

 
Panasonic Lumix DMC-TZ10

Rear of the Camera / Travel Menu

 

Panasonic Lumix DMC-TZ10

Top of the Camera

 
Panasonic Lumix DMC-TZ10

Bottom of the Camera

 
Panasonic Lumix DMC-TZ10

Side of the Camera

 
Panasonic Lumix DMC-TZ10

Side of the Camera

 
Panasonic Lumix DMC-TZ10

Front of the Camera

 
Panasonic Lumix DMC-TZ10

Front of the Camera

 
Panasonic Lumix DMC-TZ10

Memory Card Slot

 
Panasonic Lumix DMC-TZ10

Battery Compartment

Panasonic Lumix DMC-TZ10 Review Image

Panasonic Lumix DMC-TZ10 Review Image

Mac users, we’re pleased to announce Macphun’s all-in-one photo editor Luminar is now available for just $69£52

with special Valentine Day bonuses (two eBooks, Vivid Wonderland preset pack, & Creative Sky Overlay pack) included for free until February 19.

Use coupon code “PHOTOBLOG” to save another $10 on Luminar.

We rated Luminar as “Highly Recommended”. Visit the Luminar web site to try it for free.

Download Luminar & Try Free »

Specifications

Optics

Camera Effective Pixels 12.1 Megapixels
Sensor Size / Total Pixels / Filter 1/2.33-type / 14.5 Total Megapixels / Primary Color Filter
Aperture F3.3 – 4.9/ Multistage Iris Diaphragm (F3.3 – 6.3 (W) / F4.9 – 6.3 (T))
Optical Zoom 12x
Focal Length f=4.1-49.2mm (25-300mm in 35mm equiv.)
Extra Optical Zoom (EZ) 14.7x (4:3 / 8M), 18.8x (4:3 / 5M), 23.4x (under 3M)
Intelligent Zoom 16x
Lens LEICA DC VARIO-ELMAR / 10 elements in 8 groups / (2 Aspherical Lenses / 3 Aspherical surfaces / 2 ED lenses)
2-Speed Zoom Yes
Optical Image Stabilizer Power O.I.S. (Off / Auto / Mode1 / Mode2)
Digital Zoom 4x / ( Max. 48.0 x combined with Optical Zoom without Extra Optical Zoom ) / (Max. 93.8 x combined with Extra Optical Zoom)
Focusing Area Normal: Wide 50 cm – infinity / Tele 200 cm – infinity / Macro / Intelligent AUTO / Clipboard: Wide 3 cm – infinity / Tele 100cm – infinity
Focus Range Display Yes
AF Assist Lamp Yes
Focus Normal / Macro, Zoom Macro, Quick AF On/Off (On in Intelligent Auto), Continuous AF On/Off, AF Tracking
AF Metering Face / AF Tracking / 11pt / 1pt HS / 1pt / Spot
Shutter Speed Still: 60 – 1/2000 sec / Starry Sky Mode : 15, 30, 60sec.
Shutter Interval approx. 1.0 sec

Panasonic Lumix DMC-TZ10 Review Image

Panasonic Lumix DMC-TZ10 Review Image

Mac users, we’re pleased to announce Macphun’s all-in-one photo editor Luminar is now available for just $69£52

with special Valentine Day bonuses (two eBooks, Vivid Wonderland preset pack, & Creative Sky Overlay pack) included for free until February 19.

Use coupon code “PHOTOBLOG” to save another $10 on Luminar.

We rated Luminar as “Highly Recommended”. Visit the Luminar web site to try it for free.

Download Luminar & Try Free »

Conclusion

The Panasonic Lumix DMC-TZ10 is an excellent travel-zoom camera, with the notable additions of manual shooting modes and GPS tracking sure to continue the TZ success story, albeit at the real expense of a higher price-tag than the previous TZ7 model.

The welcome addition of A, S and M shooting modes is by far the biggest reason to upgrade to this new model, bringing the TZ10 up to speed with several key rivals. Creative photographers will love the extra flexibility, although sadly there’s no RAW mode to really sweeten the deal. Beginners shouldn’t be scared off the TZ10, as Panasonic’s excellent hand-holding Intelligent Auto mode is present and correct. In comparison with its substantially cheaper sibling, the DMC-TZ8, this camera additionally offers GPS tracking, a better LCD screen and AVCHD movies with stereo sound and a HDMI port, all of which are worth paying the extra for.

Thankfully the GPS feature, which has been a little hit-and-miss on previous cameras that we’ve reviewed, works largely as advertised on the TZ10. It’s quick to start-up, stays turned-on even when the camera is turned-off, and even works reliably in built-up areas. The main issues are the need to sometimes manually update the satellite lock and quite a big drain on the battery life, unsurprising given that the GPS is always on by default.

The inevitable marketing-led increase from 10 to 12 megapixels doesn’t make too much real-world difference and thankfully hasn’t come at the expense of image quality, with the TZ10 maintaining similar noise performance as the TZ7 at comparable ISO speeds. I’d be happy to use ISO 100-400 for most photos, with ISO 800 reserved for low-light situations, on a par with most of its main competitors in this category. As with all the recent TZ-series cameras, the 12x zoom lens in particular is a real attraction, providing both an ultra-wide 25mm angle of view and a 300mm telephoto setting that really will cover virtually every photographic situation that you’ll encounter.

The Panasonic Lumix DMC-TZ10 is one of the newest and one of the best travel-zoom cameras available, although it is slightly more expensive on launch and slightly more complicated to use than its popular predecessor. There aren’t too many compact cameras that offer such a compelling combination of size, features, image quality and handling, easily making the TZ10 deserving of our Highly Recommended award.

4.5 stars

Ratings (out of 5)
Design 4.5
Features 5
Ease-of-use 4.5
Image quality 4
Value for money 4

Panasonic Lumix DMC-TZ10 Review Image

Panasonic Lumix DMC-TZ10 Review Image

Mac users, we’re pleased to announce Macphun’s all-in-one photo editor Luminar is now available for just $69£52

with special Valentine Day bonuses (two eBooks, Vivid Wonderland preset pack, & Creative Sky Overlay pack) included for free until February 19.

Use coupon code “PHOTOBLOG” to save another $10 on Luminar.

We rated Luminar as “Highly Recommended”. Visit the Luminar web site to try it for free.

Download Luminar & Try Free »

Main Rivals

Listed below are some of the rivals of the Panasonic Lumix DMC-TZ10.

Canon PowerShot SX200 IS

Canon PowerShot SX200 IS Review thumbnail

The Canon PowerShot SX200 IS is a new 12 megapixel, 12x compact digital camera. Offering a versatile focal range of 28-336mm, 3 inch LCD screen, 720p HD movies, and full range of shooting modes for both beginners and pros alike, the SX200 IS wants to be your do-it-all, take-everywhere pocket companion. But can the Canon PowerShot SX200 IS beat the current travel zoom king, the Panasonic Lumix DMC-TZ7? Read our in-depth review to find out which one deserves a place in your camera bag…

Casio EX-H10

Casio EX-H10 Review thumbnail

The Casio EX-H10 is the latest pretender to the travel-zoom digital camera throne. Offering a 10x, 24-240mm zoom lens, large 3 inch LCD, and 720p HD movies in a pocketable body, the EX H10 is clearly challenging the likes of the Panasonic TZ7 / TZ6, Canon SX200 IS and Sansung WB550. Mark Goldstein discovers if the Casio EX-H10 has what it takes in our World-exclusive review…

Fujifilm FinePix F200EXR

Fujifilm FinePix F200EXR Review thumbnail

The Fujifilm Finepix F200EXR is potentially one of the most revolutionary cameras of 2009. It features Fujifilm’s innocuous sounding EXR technology, which rather cleverly turns the Fuji F200 into three cameras in one. The first EXR mode shoots a high-res 12 megapixel picture, the second takes a 6 megapixel photo with less noise, and the third combines two 6 megapixel images taken at different exposures to capture more dynamic range. Does Fujifilm’s brave attempt to concentrate on image quality rather than more megapixels pay off? Carry on reading our detailed review to find out…

Nikon Coolpix S8000

Nikon Coolpix S8000 Review thumbnail

The second travel-zoom camera that we’re looking at this week is the Nikon Coolpix S8000. Featuring a 10x, 30-300mm lens, 14 megapixel sensor, high-resolution 3-inch screen and 720p HD movies, the Nikon S8000 certainly offers a lot on paper, but how does it shape up in reality? Read the World’s first online Nikon Coolpix S8000 review to find out.

Olympus Mju 9010

Olympus Mju 9010 Review thumbnail

The Olympus mju 9010 (also known as the Stylus 9010) is a brand new travel-zoom compact camera. Offering a 10x, 28-280mm lens in a pocketable body, the mju 9010 also features a 14 megapixel sensor, 2.7 inch LCD screen, 1cm macro mode and 720p HD movie recording. Zoltan Arva-Toth takes a look at the range-topping Olympus mju 9010 in the World’s first online review.

Panasonic Lumix DMC-TZ8

Panasonic Lumix DMC-TZ8 Review thumbnail

Travel-zoom cameras have quickly become a popular sector of the compact market, offering a compelling combination of small size and big zoom. Panasonic’s new budget travel-zoom camera for 2010, the DMC-TZ8 (also known as the DMC-ZS5) is no different, offering a 25-300mm focal range in a camera that can easily fit inside a jacket pocket. Mark Goldstein puts the TZ8 / ZS5 through its paces in the World’s first on-line review…

Ricoh CX3

Ricoh CX3 Review thumbnail

6 months is a long time in the fast-moving world of digital photography – certainly long enough for the Ricoh CX3 to replace its predecessor, anyway. To recap, the CX3 is a compact travel-zoom camera, with a 10.7x lens providing a focal range of 28-300mm, a new back-illuminated 10 megapixel CMOS sensor which promises improved low-light performance, a gorgeous high-res 3 inch LCD screen, and the long-awaited addition of 720p HD movies. The Ricoh CX3 can be yours for £299 – read the World’s First review to find out if it’s worth your attention.

Samsung WB550

Samsung WB550 Review thumbnail

The new Samsung WB550 (also known as the Samsung HZ15W) is the first camera in the World to feature a 24mm ultra wide angle, 10x optical zoom lens. A direct competitor to the Panasonic TZ series of cameras, the 12 megapixel WB550 has some impressive features, including 720p HD movie mode, 3 inch LCD screen, manual shooting mode, and not forgetting that 24-240mm lens. Priced at $329.99 / £299, Gavin Stoker discovers if the Samsung WB550 / HZ15W really can depose the TZ king…

Sony Cyber-shot DSC-H20

Sony Cyber-shot DSC-H20 Review thumbnail

The Sony Cyber-shot DSC-H20 is one of the more affordable super-zoom cameras on the market, offering a 10x zoom lens, 10 megapixel sensor and 3 inch LCD screen. Attractively priced at $280 / £269, the compact Sony DSC-H20 features a full range of creative shooting modes for the advanced amateur, as well as the Intelligent Scene Recognition mode for beginners. There’s also the bonus of 720p HD movie recording for video enthusiasts. Read our expert review to find out if the Sony H20 deserves a place on your super-zoom hit-list.

Panasonic Lumix DMC-TZ10 Review Image

Panasonic Lumix DMC-TZ10 Review Image

Mac users, we’re pleased to announce Macphun’s all-in-one photo editor Luminar is now available for just $69£52

with special Valentine Day bonuses (two eBooks, Vivid Wonderland preset pack, & Creative Sky Overlay pack) included for free until February 19.

Use coupon code “PHOTOBLOG” to save another $10 on Luminar.

We rated Luminar as “Highly Recommended”. Visit the Luminar web site to try it for free.

Download Luminar & Try Free »

Review Roundup

Reviews of the Panasonic Lumix DMC-TZ10 from around the web.

trustedreviews.com »

Just under a year ago I reviewed the Lumix DMC-TZ7, then the latest model in Panasonic’s successful line of long-zoom compact travel cameras. As you can probably tell from the 65 comments, it has been a popular review, as was the Lumix DMC-FZ38). However, we could have a new contender for the most popular camera review, because today I’m taking a look at the TZ7’s successor, the much-anticipated Panasonic Lumix DMC-TZ10.
Read the full review »

Panasonic Lumix DMC-TZ10 Review Image

Panasonic Lumix DMC-TZ10 Review Image

Mac users, we’re pleased to announce Macphun’s all-in-one photo editor Luminar is now available for just $69£52

with special Valentine Day bonuses (two eBooks, Vivid Wonderland preset pack, & Creative Sky Overlay pack) included for free until February 19.

Use coupon code “PHOTOBLOG” to save another $10 on Luminar.

We rated Luminar as “Highly Recommended”. Visit the Luminar web site to try it for free.

Download Luminar & Try Free »

Please enable JavaScript to view the comments powered by Disqus.

SOURCE:http://www.photographyblog.com/reviews/panasonic_lumix_dmc_tz10_review