TX1 review (ZS100, TZ100, etc. outside Japan)

Started Feb 21, 2019 | User reviews thread
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Henry Richardson Forum Pro • Posts: 18,392
TX1 review (ZS100, TZ100, etc. outside Japan)

About 5 weeks ago here in Japan I got a new Panasonic TX1 (ZS100, TX100, etc. outside Japan) for $419 and this, finally, feels like the real successor for my wonderful Canon G16. I have been shooting mostly with m4/3 (Olympus PEN-F, E-M10 II, E-M10, E-M5, Panasonic G3) for the last 7 years (and Canon and Sony DSLRs before that and various film cameras before that). But, I have been using various smaller cameras as my carry everywhere camera. Canon G16 (and G15 before that), Sony RX100, Canon S95, etc. I haven't used the G16 for the last couple of years because tech had moved on a lot and I wanted more. I had reluctantly started using my m4/3 Olympus E-M10 II + 14-42mm f3.5-5.6 EZ pancake as my carry everywhere camera. It is bigger/heavier than the G16 and has just a 28-84mm-efl lens, but the EVF is very good, the AF and responsiveness is great, the 16mp files (raw and jpeg) are excellent, wonderful IBIS, and so on. I still really wanted something smaller more along the lines of my G16 though.

The Panasonic TX1 has a great 1" Sony 20mp BSI sensor, 25-250mm f2.8-5.9 lens, EVF, is fast to turn on, fast AF, doesn't have an EVF hump, has a built-in flash, and is very satisfying to use. The TX1 is actually a bit lighter and the size is very similar to the G16:

TX1: 312g, 110 x 65 x 47 mm

G16: 356g, 109 x 76 x 40 mm

Before buying the TX1 I looked at it side-by-side with the TX2 (ZS200) multiple times at stores in Japan, but I decided for my purposes the TX2 at twice the price was not the better choice. The TX2 has a longer zoom range, slower aperture, and a slightly bigger EVF and those are the main differences. Although when switching between them I could see that the TX2 EVF was a little bigger, in real use with the TX1 I don't notice it. It is sufficient for this small camera, IMO.

There is a sort of thumb grip on the back of the TX1. I place my thumb in that notched indentation just beneath the mode dial. The camera is light so I have never felt the camera was not securely in hand. It came with a wriststrap, but I don't like them much so I bought a 1cm wide neckstrap for it.

Panasonic TX1

I have not found the metal surface to be any problem for me at all. The camera is light. I held the TX1 and TX2 several times at stores and played with them so I knew what I was getting. I guess for the TX1 Panasonic went with more a Leica metal look with no rubber grip. In fact, the TX1 is pretty similar looking to the Leica TL2. I do not recall reading any complaints by users and reviewers about the Leica metal styling.

Leica TL2

Here you can see the measurements for noise, dynamic range, tonal range, and color sensitivity of the sensors in the Panasonic TX1, Canon G16, and Olympus PEN-F:


You can see that the TX1 sensor is a pretty big step up from the one in the G16 and just a small step down from the one in the PEN-F.

The TX1 has lots of configuration choices which I like. Overall I am very pleased with it. I have the rear dial set to do exposure compensation and the front dial around the lens sets the aperture when using A mode and does program shift when using P mode.

By the way, when I shoot jpegs I set noise reduction to the minimum -5.

Henry Richardson

Panasonic Lumix DMC-ZS100 (Lumix DMC-TZ100)
20 megapixels • 3 screen • 25 – 250 mm (10×)
Announced: Jan 5, 2016
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