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Panasonic Lumix DMC-TZ60 Review

Panasonic Lumix DMC-TZ60 Review - Daniel Bell reviews the Panasonic Lumix DMC-TZ60, a compact premium camera with 30x optical zoom and an 18.1 megapixel MOS sensor.

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Category : Compact Cameras
Product : Panasonic Lumix DMC-TZ60 (ZS40)
Price : £179
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Features
Handling
Performance
Verdict
Specification

Panasonic Lumix TZ60 Black Large (3)

The Panasonic Lumix DMC-TZ60, announced in January 2014, is a premium compact camera which has a 30x optical zoom lens and an 18.1 megapixel high sensitivity MOS sensor amongst a long list of other features, which also includes built-in Wi-Fi. The TZ60 will be available in March 2014 for £349.99. 

Panasonic Lumix TZ60 Black Large (2)

Panasonic Lumix DMC-TZ60 Features

The Panasonic Lumix DMC-TZ60 has a 18.1 megapixel high-sensitivity MOS sensor and a 30x optical zoom lens, which is a 35mm equivalent of 24-720mm. To keep images sharp there is hybrid optical image stabilisation with 5-axis correction. In continuous shooting mode the TZ60 can record up to 6 images at 10fps.

There are a numbers of shooting modes. To make picture taking as easy as possible there is Intelligent Auto mode, which adjusts the camera settings for the detected scene. There are a range of scene modes to pick from, which include HDR and handheld night scene. For full control over your shooting there is full manual control, so you can adjust the shutter speed and / or aperture. For unique picture taking there is the creative control mode - this includes many photo styles such as expressive and impressive art. There is also a panorama shot mode, which automatically stitches pictures together.

The TZ60 comes with built-in Wi-Fi which lets you shoot remotely and transfer images to your tablet or smartphone. Connecting the camera to your smartphone or tablet is made easy via NFC, or if your mobile device isn't compatible, you can connect by scanning a QR code from the camera monitor. You can geotag your images with the built-in GPS. To help composing your images there is a 0.2 inch LVF (Live View Finder) which has a 200k dot resolution, 100% field of view and can be set to display at 60 fps.

Videos are recorded in full 1080p HD with optical zoom available and hybrid OIS working to keep your movies steady, even when shooting handheld.

Panasonic Lumix TZ60 Black Large (6)

Key Features

  • 18.1 megapixel MOS sensor
  • 30x optical zoom lens (24-720mm)
  • Hybrid optical image stabilisation
  • 3.0 inch TFT Screen LCD Display (920K dots)
  • Full manual controls & RAW shooting
  • 0.20 inch LVF (Live View Finder) (200K dots equiv)
  • Built-in Wi-Fi & GPS
  • Full 1080p HD video recording
  • ISO 100-6400
  • 3cm minimum focusing distance
  • 10 fps continuous shooting
  • Panorama mode
Panasonic Lumix TZ60 Black Large (5)

Panasonic Lumix DMC-TZ60 Handling

The Panasonic Lumix DMC-TZ60 has a pocketable body and is remarkably light given it has a 30x optical zoom lens. It has a metal body as well as a rubberised hand grip on the front and rubberised patch on the rear for your thumb - this makes the camera easier to hold steady, ideal when using the zoom.

The LVF has a decent resolution and is bright - ideal for shooting in dark conditions, although people who wear glasses may find it a little small. There is a button on the camera to switch to the LVF. The 3.0 inch screen has an excellent 920k dot resolution and is easy to view in varying lighting conditions.

The top of the camera has a mode dial which has a total of 10 options to choose from. There are also movie record and on / off buttons as well as the zoom rocker and shutter release. Buttons on the rear of the camera include Wi-Fi, playback, delete, display and fn. The fn button can be changed to a number of options, such as metering mode, focus area set, quality and much more. The delete button also gives access to the q. menu where you can change various picture settings such as ISO and white balance.

The rear of the camera also has a d-pad with a rotating wheel which is used for cycling through the menus and changing the aperture and shutter speed when using the manual mode. The d-pad also gives access to exposure compensation, focus, flash, self-timer and continuous shooting. Around the lens is a control wheel - this also allows you to change the aperture and shutter speed.

Panasonic Lumix Dmc Tz60 App Screenshot 5 | Panasonic Lumix Dmc Tz60 App Screenshot 7 | Panasonic Lumix Dmc Tz60 App Screenshot 8 |

To activate the GPS there is an option available via the menu button, when you press this the GPS activates instantly. Connecting to the Wi-Fi is also easy. You need to install the Panasonic Image app on your mobile device. When shooting remotely you can adjust the zoom and change many picture settings.

The TZ60 has an easy to use menu system, which short sentences explaining what each option is for. There is a composition guide included, which is ideal for beginners to photography. Battery life is rated at 300 shots according to CIPA test results, which is excellent, but significant use of the Wi-Fi and GPS will soon see the battery power reduce much quicker.

We took a number of shots to test the camera's responsiveness, from switch on to first photo, shot to shot, focusing speed etc. We take a number of shots and then use the average to ensure accurate and consistent tests, making it easy to compare with other cameras.

Shutter Response   0.125 secs
Wide - Focus / Shutter Response   0.2 secs
Full zoom - Focus / Shutter Response   0.3 secs
Switch on Time to Taking a Photo   1.6 secs
Shot to Shot without Flash - RAW   2.3 secs
Shot to Shot without Flash - JPEG   0.8 secs
Shot to Shot with Flash   2.4 secs
Continuous Shooting 2 fps AF - RAW   2.0 fps
Continuous Shooting 2 fps AF - JPEG   2.0 fps
Continuous Shooting 5 fps AF - RAW   4.3 fps
Continuous Shooting 5 fps AF - JPEG   4.3 fps
Continuous Shooting 10 fps - RAW   7.4 fps
Continuous Shooting 10 fps AF - JPEG   8.8 fps
Continuous Shooting Flash Burst - RAW   0.9 fps
Continuous Shooting Flash Burst - JPEG   1.4 fps
Continuous Shooting 40 fps - JPEG 5   43.8 fps
Continuous Shooting 60 fps - JPEG 2.5   58.5 fps

When shooting in RAW you can expect the camera to operate a little slower than when shooting JPEGS. Shot to shot time is significantly longer and the 10 fps continuous shooting rate drops. The 40 and 60 fps modes only record in JPEG at 5 and 2.5 megapixels respectively.

Panasonic Lumix DMC TZ60 Black (9)

Panasonic Lumix DMC-TZ60 Performance

Additional sample photos and product shots are available in the Equipment Database, where you can add your own review, photos and product ratings.

Panasonic Lumix DMC-TZ60 (ZS40) Sample Photos


Sample Photos - Images are well exposed with excellent colour reproduction. Portraits have good skin tones and are free of red-eye when using the flash. When using the intelligent auto mode in low light, the TZ60 will take a series of shots and combine them into one image to reduce noise, which is how our night scene shot above was taken. There is a HDR mode included within the scene modes which combines three shots at different exposures.

Panasonic Lumix DMC-TZ60 (ZS40) Lens test images


Lens Performance - Image detail is good at both ends of the lens. There is a little purple fringing in contrasting areas, but it is generally kept under control. The lens has a minimum focusing distance of 3cm, this allows you to get really close for an excellent macro shot.

Panasonic Lumix DMC-TZ60 (ZS40) ISO test images


ISO Noise Performance - Noise is low at ISO 100 and continues to be so through ISO 200, 400 and 800. At ISO 1600 images become a little softer, with image quality reducing at ISO 3200. The TZ60 can shoot at ISO 6400 in certain modes, but image size is reduced and quality isn't good.

Panasonic Lumix DMC-TZ60 (ZS40) White-balance test images


White Balance Performance - The Auto White Balance (AWB) performs excellently under both the fluorescent and incandescent lights. The incandescent preset has a slight colour cast when shooting under the incandescent lights. There isn't a fluorescent preset

Panorama | 1/125 sec | f/7.1 | 4.3 mm | ISO 100
Panorama | 1/125 sec | f/7.1 | 4.3 mm | ISO 100

Panorama mode - Panoramas have a decent amount of detail and are very well stitched together.

Panasonic Lumix DMC-TZ60 (ZS40) Digital filters


Digital Filters - There are a number of different options available under creative control mode. We've included examples of each above.

Video - Below is a video recorded in full 1080p HD. Quality is good and the benefit of the hybrid optical image stabilisation can clearly be seen as the recording remains steady, even when zoomed in.



Value For Money

The Panasonic Lumix DMC-TZ60 is available for £349.99. The nearest similar camera is the Sony Cybershot HX50, which also has 30x optical zoom. There are other cameras with similar zoom, but they are much bulkier, fitting into the bridge camera range. There are a number of serious compact cameras available, albeit with less optical zoom. For more information, read our top 10 serious compacts article.

You'll also need to buy a memory card and a case or bag to keep your camera safe and protected - have a look at our complete guide to camera bags.

Panasonic Lumix DMC-TZ60 Verdict

There aren't many pocketable compact cameras that have a 30x optical zoom lens, there is also the Sony Cybershot HX50 which is also a premium compact offering full manual controls. The TZ60 has all the features you'd want from a travel camera and doesn't disappoint in terms of its image quality. When shooting RAW we did find processing times made the camera slower, so only shoot in RAW if you really need to. The LVF is a handy extra that you don't see on many compact cameras and its addition will appeal to many, as there are many photographers who much prefer to compose shots using a viewfinder rather than the screen. Overall, the Panasonic Lumix DMC-TZ60 offers plenty, for a reasonable price.


 
  The Panasonic Lumix DMC-TZ60 is feature packed and offers excellent image quality making it an ideal travel camera.

Panasonic Lumix DMC-TZ60 Pros

Lots of optical zoom in a compact body
Ideal for beginners and advanced photographers
Good resolution screen and LVF
Built-in Wi-Fi and GPS
Lots of shooting modes
Metal body with ample rubber grip
Excellent image quality

Panasonic Lumix DMC-TZ60 Cons

Noise perform is poor at ISO 3200 & ISO 6400
Camera is a little slow shot to shot when shooting RAW
No touch screen

FEATURES  
HANDLING  
PERFORMANCE  
VALUE FOR MONEY  
VERDICT  

Panasonic Lumix DMC-TZ60 (ZS40) Specifications

ManufacturerPanasonic
Lens
Max Aperturef/3.3 - f/6.4
35mm equivalent24mm - 720mm
Optical Zoom30x
Image Sensor
CCD pixels18.1Mp (Megapixels)
Pixels (W)4896
Pixels (H)3672
Sensor TypeLive MOS Sensor
Sensor Size1/2.3inch
Sensor Size (width)No Data
Sensor Size (height)No Data
Aspect Ratio
  • 4:3
  • 16:9
  • 3:2
  • 1:1
LCD Monitor
LCD Monitor3in
Screen resolution460k
Touch ScreenNo
Focusing
Min Focus3cm
Focusing modes
  • Autofocus
  • AF Tracking
  • Centre
Exposure Control
Shutter speeds shortest1/2000sec
Shutter speeds longest4sec
Exp modes
  • Program
  • Aperture-Priority
  • Shutter-Priority
  • Manual
  • Scene modes
Metering
  • Spot
  • ESP Light Metering
  • Centre Spot
ISO sensitivity100 - 6400
White balance
  • Auto
  • Manual
  • Outdoors/Daylight
  • Cloudy
  • Incandescent
  • Shade
Exposure Comp+/-2
Shooting Options
Continuous shooting10fps
Video
Movie modeYes
Video Resolution
  • 1920x1080
Video FPS50p
Stereo SoundYes
Optical Zoom with VideoYes
Other Features
Image StabilisationYes
Interface
HDMIYes
USBUSB 2
Wi-FiYes
Storage
Card Type
  • SD
  • SDHC
  • SDXC
File Type
  • JPG
  • RAW
  • RAW + JPG
Power Source
Battery TypeLithium Ion
CIPA Rating300
Box Contents
Box ContentsNo Data
Dimensions
Weight240g
Width110.6mm
Height64.3mm
Depth34.4mm

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Comments


I have one of these, based on great reviews, and have a problem. Immediately it is switched on, GPS is blank, as expected. Then, until it gets a GPS location, it records utter garbage:
GPS information: -
GPSVersionID - 2.3.0.0
GPSLatitudeRef - N
GPSLatitude - 17056881 51 12.15 (17056881.853375)
GPSLongitudeRef - E
GPSLongitude - 17056881 51 12.15 (17056881.853375)
GPSTimeStamp - 0 0 0
GPSDateStamp - 0000:00:00

One it has a GPS lock , it records lat and long, but not height.

On several occasions, it has recorded good GPS data, then a few seconds (9 in one case) later taking another photo of the same thing, has recorded garbage, then another few seconds later, recorded good GPS.

It crashes my DAM, iMatch.

Is it an isolated problem or a design fault?

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Regrettably after several attempts, the response from Panasonic is that this is what to expect.Sad

Quote: Thank you for your reply.

In response, I would like to mention that, in the period before acquiring the complete GPS location information, the unit will record partial information, not yet decrypted by the camera completely, reaching the results you have described in our previous correspondence.

In order to get no GPS info on files whatsoever, keep the GPS off. In order to get complete GPS info, the unit must synchronise with the satellites and update the location information data (which, as you already know takes about 2-5 minutes).

Kind Regards,

Hi there,

I'm writing you to help me with some advice due to I'm stuck between two cameras and you may help!
I'm considering the Sony HX50V/60V or the Panasonic Lumix TZ60.
The main use i would give them is to carry them with me when travelling and to get with the better image quality possible the best shots getting also closer to all far details. That is the main reason for the 30x.
I have read good and bad reviews of both cameras, and now I'm stuck and really not knwing with side to choose. The panasonic or the Sony.
Regarding the Panasonic, i'd like the thing about control ring, and the slim body aginst sony. (but design of the sony is better). But I have read also that Image quality on Panasonic is not as good as it should be, even having the leica lens, and that suffers of some dark due to the aperture. Also that low lights pictures and with iso over 800 begin to be really bad.
About the sony, i think desing it 's better, specially for the rubber grip, and feels much solid. Picture quality is pretty good with the sony g lens (even thought do not know if is equal to the Leica ones of panasonic) and battery has a long life compared to Panasonic.

I know both are great cameras, but I'm considering to get the better image and both of them seem a good option.

Which one would you recommend me?

Thanks!

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