Panasonic Lumix DMC-TZ3 Review
Timing & Performance
We praised the TZ1 for it's generally snappy performance, but were less impressed by the slightly sluggish shutter lag. The good news is that, give or take a few minor differences here and there, the TZ3 offers the same responsiveness but shaves a considerable chunk off the shutter lag too (in this case the 'lag' is actually video lag on the live preview, so you're seeing events a fraction of a second after they occur).
The only slight disappointment is that the startup time has increased by the best part of a second (the lens extends a bit more slowly), but this is more than balanced out by the improved shutter lag, speedy focus and reduced shot to shot time. We did find that the focus slowed down noticeably in low light at the long end of the zoom, and that at the near limit of the focus range there was more hunting than we'd like (macro focus is also a fair bit slower, especially in low light), but in 'normal' use the focus speed is amazing.
All times calculated as an average of three operations. Unless otherwise stated all timings were made on a 3072 x 2304 Fine JPEG image (approx. 3,100 KB per image). The media used for these tests was a 1.0 GB Sandisk Extreme III card.
|Power: Off to Record||2.5|
|Power: Off to Play||Image displayed||1.8|
|Power: Record to Off||All activity ceased||2.1|
|Power: Play to Off||Lens extended||2.2|
|Power: Play to Off||Lens already retracted||1.3|
|Record Review||Image displayed||0.9|
|Mode: Play to Record||Lens already extended||0.8|
|Mode: Record to Play||Lens already extended||1.1|
|Play: Magnify||To full magnification (16x)||~0.9|
|Play: Image to Image||Time to display each saved image||0.5|
|Play: Thumbnail view||3 x 3 thumbnails||0.9*1|
|Zoom from Wide to Tele||28 to 280 mm (10x)||2.7|
|Half-press Lag (Focus time)||Wide angle, High Speed (3 point) Autofocus||~0.3 *2|
|Half-press Lag (Focus time)||Wide angle, High Speed (1 point) Autofocus||~0.2 *2|
|Half-press Lag (Focus time)||Wide angle, 9-point Autofocus||~0.4 *2|
|Half-press Lag (Focus time)||Telephoto, High Speed (3 point) Autofocus||~0.4-0.7 *3|
|Half-press Lag (Focus time)||Telephoto, High Speed (1 point) Autofocus||~0.3-0.6 *3|
|Half-press Lag (Focus time)||Telephoto, 9-point Autofocus||~0.8 *3|
|Pre-focus Lag (S1>S2)||LCD live view (OIS mode 1 or off)||~0.09|
|Pre-focus Lag (S1>S2)||LCD live view (OIS mode 2)||~0.15 *4|
|Full-press Lag (0->S2)||LCD live view, wide angle, High Speed AF||~0.5|
|Off to Shot Taken||LCD live view||~2.8|
|Shot to Shot||Flash off||~1.3|
|Shot to Shot||Flash on ( red eye reduction on / off)||2.5 / 3.0|
|*1||5x5 thumbs takes another 3.0 secs|
|*2||Average figures. In some cases the focus is down as low as 0.15 seconds (high speed modes), if there is any hunting (low light, macro mode) it can stretch to 0.6 seconds (non high speed mode)|
|*3||Telephoto focus speed is generally excellent, with the high speed modes usually working in less than 0.4 seconds. If the focus struggles to find something to lock onto the hunting can stretch to well over 1.5 seconds, though this is rare.|
|*4||As we've seen with previous Lumix models the use of mode 2 image stabilization increases shutter lag - in this case by around 0.06 secs.|
Continuous drive mode
As with all recent Lumix models, the TZ3 has three continuous drive modes; High (H), Low (L) and No Limit (∞) - it's worth noting that the TZ2 doesn't have any continuous shooting modes. In our tests the High mode averaged 3.0 frames per second, but as usual there is a limit to the number of frames you'll get in a burst. The good news is that this figure has risen to a slightly more useful 5 (the TZ1 could only manage 3), irrespective of the file size.
There is a two second or so delay after each burst as the files are written from the buffer onto the card. The Low option offers the same but at 2.2 frames per second. The No Limit option - as its name implies - lets you shoot indefinitely at around 2.1 frames per second, regardless of file size / quality.
File writing / playback performance
The TZ3 is around the average for its class when it comes to reading or writing to the card; a full 7MP / Fine image (3.1 MB) takes around 1.2 seconds to write to the card (~2.4 MB/s), and about 0.5 seconds to display in playback mode.
Battery life has never been one of Panasonic's strong points where ultra compact cameras were concerned, though the Venus III processor seems to help, and the TZ3 offers a small improvement over the TZ1, despite the higher resolution and larger screen. The small 3.7v, 1000mAh rechargeable battery is good for about 270 shots per charge (CIPA standard), which isn't bad for a camera without an optical viewfinder (and is fine for a day's shooting), but isn't exactly class-leading either.
You can pick up a second (non Panasonic) battery for around $20 - I've seen higher capacity ones on offer too, which should extend your number of shots per charge slightly. It's also worth noting that the TZ2 offers slightly better battery life still (300 shots, CIPA standard).
|Moon 99% D55 C14 St-Zénon 20170806 DP by MarioSS|
from Best Picture of the Week
|Reeds on lake by kkardster|
from Abstracts in Nature
|Florence & the Machine by Dutch Newchurch|
from Second chances..
Not sure how to choose your first drone? In this article, the second of a 3-part series, we discuss what factors you should consider when deciding what drone is right for you.
NASA photo editor Joel Kowsky didn't just capture the solar eclipse from his vantage point in Wyoming, he also managed to capture the ISS buzzing across what remained of the sun.
In these videos, talented photographer and filmmaker Daniel DeArco breaks down several tips that will help flash photography newbies start experimenting with artificial light.
Photographer and master potter Steve Irvine makes incredibly intricate, functional ceramic pinhole cameras that look like robots and monsters.
Chinese gimbal manufacturer Gudsen has released a firmware update for its Moza Air that lets you control the direction and angle of the head remotely just by moving a small handlebar-mounted control unit.
Curious how the Sony a9 performs underwater? Our friends at Backscatter took the camera diving off the Baja California coast, to find out how it handled shooting great white sharks.
While most of the DPReview crew put away our cameras and just watched the celestial event, Rishi decided last-minute to hack together a rig and capture a few shots.
Defunct Russian camera maker Zenit is making a comeback, and they're planning to release a full-frame mirrorless camera in 2018.
The days where you're more or less locked into premium or first-party flash units has gone. They're less than $50 now, so there's one less excuse not to get one. Here's our case for adding one to your kit, and a few pointers to get you going.
If you're shooting the solar eclipse here's a hint: don't fry your camera's sensor. Use a proper solar filter that offers at least 16 stops of light filtration, along with UV and IR filtering. More important? Don't look at it unless you've got solar filters. Sensors can be replaced, your retinas can't.
Photographer Rick Wenner recently captured an odd event called the Race of the Gentlemen with a rather odd camera: The Phase One XF IQ3 Achromatic, the world's only 101MP black-and-white digital back.
Buying used is a good way to save some dough, and with the right precautions you can protect yourself from falling victim to a scam.
This two-part video series takes a deep dive into the world of dynamic symmetry and geometric composition, using iconic photographer Henri Cartier-Bresson's brilliant photographs as a guide.
Award-winning photographer Jeremy Cowart tells the moving story behind this drone photograph, captured in the aftermath of the devastating wildfire in Gatlinburg, TN in 2016.
Happy 2017 World Photo Day! We asked everyone on staff at DPReview to share one photo that they took within the last year that makes them jazzed on photography. Here's what we chose.
French President Emmanuel Macron has lodged a legal complaint against a paparazzo who snuck onto the president's private vacation property to take pictures.
Ever wonder what the difference is between compressed, uncompressed and lossless compressed Raw files? Photography Life's Nasim Mansurov breaks it down for you in this informative article.
The oldest known portrait of a US president was just discovered after over a century in storage. It's going up for auction in October, where it's expected to fetch between $150,000 and $250,000.
If you're using the popular Sigma 24-70mm F2.8 Art lens with Sigma's MC-11 converter, listen up: you'll want to update your lens and converter firmware ASAP.
If you've heard it once, you've probably heard it a thousand times: never check in your camera gear when flying. This shattered $11,000 lens is what can happen when you do.
Lensrentals just did its first Cine lens comparison, pitting five top-notch 35mm primes against each other: the Zeiss CP.2 35mm T2.1, Canon CN-E 35mm T1.5, Sigma 35mm T1.5 FF, Rokinon Xeen 35mm T1.5 and Schneider Xenon 35mm T2.1.
A team of Google researchers have found that slightly warping watermarks when embedding them into images can help prevent automatic removal.
You don't have to empty your savings account to take your photography to the next level. These cheap buys cost about $50 or less, and come with outsized benefits for your photography.
Joey L, Dani Diamond, Brandon Woelfel and Jessica Kobeissi go head-to-head in an episode of "4 photographers shoot the same model."
The latest flagship phone from Asus combines a 12MP 1/2.55" Sony IMX362 main sensor with a smaller Sony IMX351 chip for 2x zoom and a background-blurring portrait mode.
The company behind popular photo editor Picktorial 3 just released the X-Pack: a preset package that allows you to add Fuji's in-camera film simulation profiles to your RAF files in post.
Photoshop. GoPro. Every once in a while a product emerges that defines a category. And sometimes, it vanishes just as quickly as it arrived on the scene. This week's Throwback Thursday remembers the Flip, the pocket camcorder everyone had – until they didn't.
The Nokia 8's dual-cam combines the image data from a 13MP RGB sensor and a 13 monochrome chip for better detail, improved dynamic range and lower noise levels.
The company behind retail giant B&H Photo has agreed to pay out $3.2 million in monetary relief and back wages to settle a discrimination and harassment case from 2016.
After a popular Facebook teaser and some studio portrait samples, Godox has finally officially released the Godox A1 smartphone flash and flash trigger. Cheap, versatile and innovative, color us intrigued.