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Panasonic Lumix DMC-TZ1 Review

August 2006 | By Simon Joinson

The DMC-TZ1, announced in February 2006, takes the successful big zoom formula established with the FZ series of cameras and squeezes it into a much more compact body. The result is the world's smallest optically stabilized 10x zoom camera (on a technical note this was also the world's first use of a retractable lens system with folded optics). Whilst not what you'd call 'pocketable' (unless you have very large pockets), the TZ1 is considerably less bulky than its 'SLR-like' siblings (and their competitors), and, though it offers little in the way of truly manual control, it is packed with features. So does the TZ1 prove that smaller can be better, or is it a case of diminishing returns? Let's find out, starting as usual with the headline features:

  • 5.0 million effective pixels
  • 10x (35-350mm equiv.) Leica DC Vario-Elmarit optical zoom
  • MEGA OIS image stabilization
  • Venus III Engine processor
  • Fast Linear autofocus system
  • High Resolution (270,000 pixel) 2.5-inch LCD
  • Movies up to 840 x 480 pixels (WVGA) @ 30 fps
  • 18 scene modes

Color options

As is the case with most of Panasonic's Lumix models the TZ1 is available in either silver or black (though this may not be the case for every country and / or every retailer).

DMC-TZ1 specifications

Street price • US: $300
• UK: £225
Body Material Metal
Sensor

• 1/2.5 " Type CCD
• 6.37 million pixels total
• 5.0 million effective pixels

Image sizes

• 2560 x 1920
• 2560 x 1712 (3:2)
• 2560 x 1440 (16:9)
• 2048 x 1536
• 2048 x 13606 (3:2)
• 1920 x 1080 (16:9)
• 1600 x 1200
• 1280 x 960
• 640 x 480

Movie clips

• 640 x 480 @ 10 / 30fps
• 320 x 240 @ 10 / 30fps
• 848 x 480 @ 10 / 30fps (16:9)
• recording time depends on Memory Card capacity
• with sound

File formats • JPEG (Exif 2.2)
• DPOF
• QuickTime Motion JPEG
Lens

• 35-350mm equiv
• 10x optical zoom
• Leica DC Vario-Elmarit

Image stabilization MEGA OIS: mode 1 / 2
Conversion lenses None
Digital zoom 4x, up to 40x with optical zoom, up to 50x with extra optical zoom
Focus • Auto Focus system
• Normal / Macro (dial)
• Continuous AF on / off
AF area modes • 1 / 9 point
• 1 / 3 point high speed
• Spot
AF assist lamp Yes
Focus distance • Normal: 40cm-infinity (wide) 200cm-infinity (tele)
• Macro / Simple / Motion: 5cm-infinty (wide) 100cm-infinity (tele)
Metering • Intelligent Multiple
• Center weighted
• Spot
ISO sensitivity • Auto
• ISO 80
• ISO 100
• ISO 200
• ISO 400
• ISO 800
• ISO 800-1600 High Sensitivity Mode
Exposure compensation • +/- 2EV
• 1/3 EV steps
Exposure bracketing • +/- 1/3EV -1EV
• 3 frames
Shutter speed 1/2000 - 8secs
Aperture F2.8-5.0 (2 steps / wide) F4.2-7.1 (2 steps / tele)
Modes

• Auto
• Simple
• Macro
• Scene

Scene modes • Portrait
• Soft Skin
• Scenery
• Sports
• Night Portrait
• Night Scenery
• Self-Portrait
• Food
• Party
• Candle
• Fireworks
• Starry sky
• Beach
• Aerial Photo
• Snow
• High Sensitivity
• Baby 1 / 2
White balance

• Auto
• Daylight
• Cloudy
• Halogen
• White Set
• White balance fine tune (+/- 1500k in 150k steps)

Self timer • 10 or 2 secs
Continuous shooting • 3 / 2fps max 5 images (Standard mode)
• 3 / 2fps max 3 images (Fine mode)
Image parameters Cool, Warm, B&W, Sepia
Flash • Built-in
• Auto
• Auto with red-eye reduction
• Slow synch with red-eye reduction
• Forced on / off
• Range (Auto ISO, wide): 0.3 - 3.7m
• Range (Auto ISO, wide): 1.0 - 2.4m
Viewfinder None
LCD monitor • 2.5-inch TFT LCD
• 207,000 pixels
• Field of view 100%
Connectivity • USB
• DC in
• AV out
Print compliance PictBridge
Storage • 13.4MB internal memory
• SD / MMC compatible
Power • Li-ion battery pack included
• Optional AC adapter
Weight (inc batt) 234 g (7.3 oz)
Dimensions 112 x 58.1 x 40.2 mm (4.41 x 2.29 x 1.58 in)


If you're new to digital photography you may wish to read the Digital Photography Glossary before diving into this article (it may help you understand some of the terms used).

Conclusion / Recommendation / Ratings are based on the opinion of the reviewer, you should read the ENTIRE review before coming to your own conclusions.

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DPReview calibrate their monitors using Color Vision OptiCal at the (fairly well accepted) PC normal gamma 2.2, this means that on our monitors we can make out the difference between all of the (computer generated) grayscale blocks below. We recommend to make the most of this review you should be able to see the difference (at least) between X,Y and Z and ideally A,B and C.

This article is Copyright 2006 Simon Joinson / dpreview.com and the review in part or in whole may NOT be reproduced in any electronic or printed medium without prior permission from the author. For information on reproducing any part of this review (or any images) please contact: Phil Askey

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