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Thread: Panasonic DMC-TZ20 Hands on review

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    Default Panasonic DMC-TZ20 Hands on review

    Introduction

    This review will be on the Panasonic DMC-TZ20. The last camera I've touched that is related to this camera was years ago, the DMC-TZ7 and it sure has changed a lot.

    This camera features a:
    • 14.1 megapixel sensor


    • 16X optical zoom


    • Leica DC lens


    • Power O.I.S (Optical Image Stabilization)


    • resistive touch 3" screen (Its pressure sensitive rather than being similar to iPhone/pad products


    • 24mm (35mm equiv) wide angle lens


    • 10fps burst shooting


    • GPS


    On the box, it also says it records full HD (1080p) in AVCHD mode and has 3D shooting! Of course for some time now, it features the iA (Intelligent Auto) mode which I find pretty useful in most cases.

    This camera accepts SDXC memory cards which is something I personally think is useful especially since I don't like carrying multiple memory cards when I go overseas.

    The box includes
    • Panasonic DMC-TZ20


    • Power cable and charger


    • battery


    • USB cable to connect to the computer


    • USB to composite cable


    • Wrist strap


    • Stylus


    • Manual


    • CD

    The front


    The back


    The box


    The box closeup



    The stylus
    Last edited by spidey89; 28th May 2011 at 05:49 PM.
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    Default Re: Panasonic DMC-TZ20 Hands on review

    The side where connections are,HDMI and USB


    The top


    The ergonomics are pretty much similar to previous Lumix cameras, similar to a piece of block. The layout is pretty well laid though I personally would prefer a dedicated O.I.S switch.

    As can be seen, the GPS is on the top along with stereo mics. The video mode has been replaced with a video record button which makes recording video faster, however, I personally prefer the record button be on the back rather than the top but that's just me.

    Its quite user friendly. I just flipped through the user manual without really reading into it.

    Below are images testing the Power O.I.S
    Without at 1/4 sec / with IS at 1/4 sec


    I zoomed in quite making the lens somewhat a telephoto lens and that's when the IS really begins to shine. With the O.I.S on, it really helped a lot. I still had to hold and press right despite having the O.I.S otherwise, I'd probably wouldn't be able to handhold and shoot something like that. Getting a relatively sharp image
    Last edited by spidey89; 28th May 2011 at 05:37 PM.
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    Default Re: Panasonic DMC-TZ20 Hands on review

    Below is a series of ISO test images, shot on tripod changing just the ISO with the camera maintaining the exposure for me.

    ISO 100/ ISO 200


    ISO 400/ ISO 800


    ISO 1600


    Personally, without cropping or pixel peeping, its pretty good up to ISO 400. I personally would push up to ISO 800 for that grainy look that I personally love especially when processed to B&W. However, I would be a little conservative shooting at ISO 800 and would not want to be shooting at ISO 1600 especially in colour though.

    The lens is a Leica DC lens with a maximum aperture opening of f3.3 on the wide end and f5.9 on the tele end. When combined with the ISO, it isn't a low light camera but it wasn't built to be one. The iAuto mode, scene modes as well as manual modes cater to a wide variety of individuals.
    Last edited by spidey89; 28th May 2011 at 05:37 PM.
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    Default Re: Panasonic DMC-TZ20 Hands on review

    24mm (35mm equivalent) & Zoomed in, approximately 414mm (35mm equivalent)


    The camera has a pretty impressive zoom range, similar to my DSLR setup, but in a lighter more compact body and using only 1 lens instead of 2. The 21X intelligent zoom is really helpful. The colour rendition from the lens is pleasing but I personally find that the camera produces images a little on the cool side.

    Image on a typical day


    I find that the dynamic range is quite acceptable for a compact camera, though the camera decided to underexpose to retain details in the clouds causing shadow areas to lose quite a bit of detail but probably with a little bit of PP, the details in the shadow areas can still be preserved.

    The image below is just outside my door where the outside is really bright and the inside is just nice.



    As seen, the walls are nicely exposed while the stairs are under and the background over. Panasonic has included a high dynamic mode in its scene modes, pretty similar to art filters or magic filters in other cameras.
    Last edited by spidey89; 28th May 2011 at 05:38 PM.
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    Default Re: Panasonic DMC-TZ20 Hands on review

    Standard


    Art


    Black & white


    While the filter does work, it seems to only work in the shadows and not so much in the highlights. I find it interesting that they have a black and white mode which makes the image somewhat like a low contrast black and white image.

    Other than the high dynamic, Pin Hole and film grain modes are included

    Pin hole / Film Grain


    The last I touched Lumix cameras before the TZ20, there were many common scene modes such as sports, portraits as so on. Included are also a soft skin mode which basically smoothens the skin and a transformation mode. Which transforms the image to make something wider and thinner.

    One thing I really like on this camera is the presence of a panorama assist which shows an overlay guide which helps in the shooting process for stitching later.
    Last edited by spidey89; 28th May 2011 at 05:39 PM.
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    Default Re: Panasonic DMC-TZ20 Hands on review

    Handheld night shot


    The above mode when the camera shoots a burst of image and stitches them in camera when a tripod may not be required but results in a somewhat smudge image. Which I find is an interesting idea.

    Sunset mode

    The sunset mode saturates the image to make the colours more vibrant.

    Starry sky

    The starry sky mode gives a choice of shutter speed of 15, 30 and 60 sec to shoot the night sky which was unsuccessful in my case as it was cloudy when I shot it but it would have worked well in previous experience. It doesn't shoot a specific star like those taken with a telescope, but it takes a starry night. Which is pretty tough here in Singapore considering its hard to find a dark enough spot. But its useful if you go to places where there is little or no lights

    Night scenery

    Night scenery mode is pretty much self explanatory

    There are a bunch of other modes which comes in handy for someone who doesn't know much about photography.

    The manual modes are a little bit restrictive but they're sufficient in most cases.

    Shutter only a maximum of 8 secs and fastest is 1/4000 sec. Aperture starts at f3.3 and ends at f6.3 which is more or less the optimum aperture setting. Setting the aperture and or shutter speed is a little bit of a hassle which requires the user to first press a button named exposure before using the D pad to control the settings. This is however unavoidable as the D pad is used for exposure compensation, flash setting, macro and self timer. It might be me but the word exposure somehow keeps tricking me into thinking its the exposure compensation button.
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    Default Re: Panasonic DMC-TZ20 Hands on review

    Sample Images





    Last edited by spidey89; 28th May 2011 at 05:51 PM.
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    Default Re: Panasonic DMC-TZ20 Hands on review





    Last edited by spidey89; 28th May 2011 at 05:40 PM.
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    Default Re: Panasonic DMC-TZ20 Hands on review





    Last edited by spidey89; 28th May 2011 at 05:40 PM.
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    Default Re: Panasonic DMC-TZ20 Hands on review





    Last edited by spidey89; 28th May 2011 at 05:41 PM.
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    Default Re: Panasonic DMC-TZ20 Hands on review





    Last edited by spidey89; 28th May 2011 at 05:41 PM.
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    Default Re: Panasonic DMC-TZ20 Hands on review





    Last edited by spidey89; 28th May 2011 at 05:41 PM.
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    Default Re: Panasonic DMC-TZ20 Hands on review





    My sample images may not be fantastic, but I hope its helpful to you

    Conclusion
    This camera may have its quirks but its a great compact camera for use on a holiday covering a wide variety of subjects, from landscape to street to portraits. With the iAuto mode, it covers roughly 70% of the shots I did the rest being scene modes or requires some form of manual compensation.

    Details in good light when shooting closeup or macros are amazingly detailed and sharp. One thing that I would really love to see it constant minimum focusing distance when zooming in optically though.

    The 3" screen is big and gives just enough resolution to see. I have a love hate affair with the "touch to shoot" mode of the camera screen. I do like the touch screen for 2 purposes though. One for swiping to show the next picture and the other is after zooming, when I want to shift to another part of the image.

    Camera operation is slow but its a compact so I expect it to work like one and work around the slow operation time but it would be nice if the operation time could be sped up.

    Throughout, I didn't use the stylus as I don't really like using stylus but it would have come in handy in some cases. The screen is not particularly sensitive which I would prefer over the toughness of the screen. I felt that there's an improvement in one aspect of the screen. LCD screens are tough to view in bright sunlight. Panasonic implemented a solution by increasing the brightness of the screen to counter it. But placed it in a unobvious manner. The new way is in the Q.menu which I find is a smart move and I hope to see it in future models.

    10 fps burst, 16X optical zoom, 24mm wide angle coverage, more than enough resolution to print out images, GPS for geo tagging purposes, full HD video recording and an effective O.I.S. I wouldn't hesitate to get this if I didn't have my compact camera already for use on holidays when I'm too lazy to carry my DSLR around with me. Though caution on the battery when GPS is on as the GPS can take up quite a lot of power so do carry spares
    Last edited by spidey89; 28th May 2011 at 05:54 PM.
    A wise man said, "Any available light is good light"

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