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 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.
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
3cm minimum focusing distance
10 fps continuous shooting
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.
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.
Wide - Focus / Shutter Response
Full zoom - Focus / Shutter Response
Switch on Time to Taking a Photo
Shot to Shot without Flash - RAW
Shot to Shot without Flash - JPEG
Shot to Shot with Flash
Continuous Shooting 2 fps AF - RAW
Continuous Shooting 2 fps AF - JPEG
Continuous Shooting 5 fps AF - RAW
Continuous Shooting 5 fps AF - JPEG
Continuous Shooting 10 fps - RAW
Continuous Shooting 10 fps AF - JPEG
Continuous Shooting Flash Burst - RAW
Continuous Shooting Flash Burst - JPEG
Continuous Shooting 40 fps - JPEG 5
Continuous Shooting 60 fps - JPEG 2.5
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 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 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.
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