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Compared to... Panasonic TZ2

Panasonic chose to use not one, but two models to replace the TZ1, and many potential purchasers will be wondering if - minor spec differences aside - the extra megapixel gives any real benefits. So here's a quick studio comparison of the two at ISO 100, 400 and 1250 (the highest full resolution setting and the highest you can set manually).

Studio scene comparison (@ ISO 100)

  • Panasonic DMC-TZ3: Program AE mode, ISO 100, Default Image Parameters,
    Manual white balance, +0.33 EV compensation

  • Panasonic DMC-TZ2: Program AE mode, ISO 100, Default Image Parameters,
    Manual white balance, +0.33 EV compensation
  • Lighting: Daylight simulation, >98% CRI
Panasonic DMC-TZ3
Panasonic DMC-TZ2
ISO 100, 1/80 sec, F4.4
ISO 100, 1/100 sec, F4.5
3,396 KB JPEG
2,361 KB JPEG

Perhaps unsurprisingly there's little real difference here - the cameras share a lens and processing system, and the difference in resolution is visible, but it isn't great (a couple of hundred pixels horizontally and vertically). Both cameras show mild evidence of noise reduction smearing and if you sharpen them too much the artefacts are pretty obvious.

At the end of the day there's not enough difference in quality here to - on its own - justify the added expense of the TZ3, but the extra features (better screen being the key one) might just swing it.

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