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Panasonic Lumix DMC-TZ40 Review

The pocketable Panasonic Lumix DMC-TZ40 has a 20x optical zoom lens and built-in Wi-Fi. Daniel Bell reviews.

| Panasonic Lumix TZ40 in Compact Cameras
Panasonic Lumix DMC-TZ40 Review: Panasonic Lumix TZ40

The Panasonic Lumix DMC-TZ40 was announced in January 2013 and is a travel zoom camera with 20x optical zoom and built-in Wi-Fi. It is available in black, white, silver and red for £309.99.

Panasonic Lumix DMC-TZ40 Review: Panasonic Lumix TZ40

Panasonic Lumix DMC-TZ40 Features

The Panasonic Lumix DMC-TZ40 has an 18.1 megapixel high sensitivity MOS sensor which can shoot at up to 10 fps. The lens has 20x optical zoom, a 35mm equivalent of 24-480mm which can be extended to 40x with Intelligent Zoom. To keep your images sharp there is Hybrid OIS and level shots detects the horizontal line and keeps your images straight even then the camera is tilted.

The TZ40 has built-in Wi-Fi and NFC (Near Field Communication) which allows the camera to connect to a smartphone / tablet by simply placing them near to each other. The Panasonic Image App allows you to share pictures from the camera to your mobile device and control the camera remotely via Wi-Fi. There is also GPS to geotag your images.

When shooting you can use iAuto mode, this automatically adjusts the camera settings for the detected the scene. There are also full manual controls as well as a range of scene modes, creative control modes and panoramas.

Videos are recorded in full 1080p HD. The optical zoom is available during recording as its the Hybrid OIS. You can record high-speed videos at 100 fps in HD quality.

Panasonic Lumix DMC-TZ40 Review: Panasonic Lumix TZ40

Key Features

  • 18.1 megapixel high sensitivity MOS Sensor
  • 20x optical zoom lens (35mm equiv: 24-480mm)
  • Hybrid OIS+ (Optical Image Stabiliser Plus) and Level Shot
  • 3.0 inch 920k touch screen
  • Built-in Wi-Fi and NFC (Near Field Communication)
  • Built-in GPS
  • Full 1080p HD video recording
  • ISO 100 - 3200
  • 3cm minimum focusing distance
  • 10 fps continuous shooting
  • HDR mode
  • Panorama mode
Panasonic Lumix DMC-TZ40 Review: Panasonic Lumix TZ40

Panasonic Lumix DMC-TZ40 Handling

The Panasonic Lumix DMC-TZ40 has a compact metal body which is small enough to carry in your pocket. It has a substantial rubber grip on the front with a dotted area on the rear for your thumb. There is a mode dial on the top alongside the zoom rocker, shutter release, on / off switch and movie record button.

There are a number of buttons on the rear. There is a W-Fi button which takes you straight to the Wi-Fi options. The exposure / map button has two uses. When in S/A/M the exposure button lets you change the shutter and aperture settings, when in playback it allows you to access the maps feature. Also on the rear are the playback, display and buttons as well as a d-pad for cycling through the menus.

The rest of the rear is filled with the 3 inch touch screen, it has an excellent resolution at 910k dots and can be used to select the focus point, release the shutter and control the zoom. The TZ40 has a well laid out menu system which is easy to navigate. The button lets you change the settings for the particular mode you are in, such as ISO, white-balance etc.

Panasonic Lumix DMC-TZ40 Review: Panasonic Lumix Dmc Tz40 Screenshot 3 Panasonic Lumix DMC-TZ40 Review: Panasonic Lumix Dmc Tz40 Screenshot 4
Panasonic Lumix DMC-TZ40 Review: Panasonic Lumix Dmc Tz40 App Screenshot 2 Panasonic Lumix DMC-TZ40 Review: Panasonic Lumix Dmc Tz40 App Screenshot 4 Panasonic Lumix DMC-TZ40 Review: Panasonic Lumix Dmc Tz40 App Screenshot 6

With the Panasonic Image app installed on your mobile device you can transfer your images from the camera and also use the device as a remote release. You can change the zoom, set the focus point, release the shutter and change the exposure via the app.

Battery life is rated at a respectable 300 shots according to CIPA test results. 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   0.2 secs
Wide - Focus / Shutter Response   0.3 secs
Full zoom - Focus / Shutter Response   0.55 secs
Switch on Time to Taking a Photo   1.55 secs
Shot to Shot without Flash   0.85 secs
Shot to Shot with Flash   1.15 secs
Continuous Shooting - 2 fps AF-continuous   1.94 fps
Continuous Shooting - 5 fps AF-continuous   4.30 fps
Continuous Shooting - 10 fps AF-single   8.88 fps
Continuous Shooting - 40 fps AF-single   40.08 fps
Continuous Shooting - 60 fps AF-single   57.45 fps
Continuous Shooting - Flash burst   1.94 fps

The 2, 5 and 10 fps continuous shooting modes all record in full 18.1 resolution, with the 40 fps mode recording at 5 megapixels, 60 fps mode recording at 2.5 megapixels and flash burst limited to 3 megapixels, but does slow after 5 shots.

Panasonic Lumix DMC-TZ40 Review: Panasonic Lumix TZ40

Panasonic Lumix DMC-TZ40 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 TZ40 (ZS30) Sample Photos

Sample Photos - The TZ40 takes images which are colourful and well exposed. Portraits have good skin tones and are free of red-eye. The HDR mode automatically combines images and doesn't require a tripod, to help bring out the detail in the shadows and highlights.

Panasonic Lumix TZ40 (ZS30) Lens test images

Lens Performance - Detail is decent at both ends of the lens, although purple fringing and chromatic aberration can been seen in contrasting areas when you view the images a full size. The lens has a minimum focusing distance of 3cm which allows for impressive macro shots to be taken.

Panasonic Lumix TZ40 (ZS30) ISO test images

ISO Noise Performance - Noise is low at ISO 100 and 200, with a very small amount appearing at ISO 400. There is a slight increase at ISO 800, which causes a very slight softening of the images. Noise increases at ISO 1600, reducing image quality slightly. Lots of detail is lost at ISO 3200, with soft images with a smudged appearance produced.

Panasonic Lumix TZ40 (ZS30) White-balance test images

White Balance Performance - The auto white balance (AWB) performs well under the incandescent lights, as does the incandescent preset. The AWB also takes a good picture under the fluorescent lighting, there isn't a fluorescent preset on the TZ40, but that's OK because you won't need one.

Panasonic Lumix DMC-TZ40 Review: Panorama | 1/125 sec | f/6.3 | 4.3 mm | ISO 100
Panorama | 1/125 sec | f/6.3 | 4.3 mm | ISO 100

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

Panasonic Lumix TZ40 (ZS30) Digital filters

Digital Filters - To help you take unique and creative pictures, the TZ40 has a range of colour modes and creative control modes, with a number of examples above.

Video - Below is a video recorded in full 1080p HD. Quality is good, you can also use the optical zoom during recording, an example of which can be seen on the ePHOTOzine Youtube page.

Value For Money

The Panasonic Lumix DMC-TZ40 is available for around at £309.99. Other pocketable cameras with 20x optical zoom to consider are the Canon Powershot SX240 / SX260 HS for £149.99 / £184.99, Sony Cybershot HX20V for £218.50, Nikon Coolpix S9500 at £252.66, Fujifilm FinePix F900 at £309.99 and Sony Cybershot DSC-WX300 is available for £280.00. There are many cameras now available with Wi-Fi, if this is the feature which attracts you the most there is the Panasonic Lumix DMC-SZ5 at £79.99 and Nikon Coolpix S800c at £222.70. There are also Wi-Fi memory cards from Transcend and Eye-Fi.

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-TZ40 Verdict

The Panasonic Lumix DMC-TZ40 has all the features needed to justify its travel zoom tag. It offers ample optical zoom, great for landscapes and distance objects, as well as built-in Wi-Fi and GPS, all in a pocketable body. It's a little on the expensive side, so some of the cheaper options may be more appealing, but the features and image quality certainly make it worth the money.

  Panasonic Lumix DMC-TZ40 Review:
  The Panasonic Lumix DMC-TZ40 has all the features for a travel zoom and delivers good image quality.

Panasonic Lumix DMC-TZ40 Pros

Good picture quality
Built-in Wi-Fi and GPS
Up to 10 fps continuous shooting
Plenty of zoom in a compact body
Decent battery life
Excellent auto white balance performance

Panasonic Lumix DMC-TZ40 Cons

Can't shoot in RAW
A little on the expensive side
Purple fringing and chromatic aberration visible


Panasonic Lumix TZ40 (ZS30) Specifications

Max Aperturef/3.3 - f/6.4
35mm equivalent24mm - 480mm
Optical Zoom20x
Image Sensor
Pixels18.1Mp (Megapixels)
Pixels (W)4896
Pixels (H)3672
Sensor TypeLive MOS Sensor
Sensor Size1/2.3
Sensor Size (width)No Data
Sensor Size (height)No Data
Aspect Ratio
  • 4:3
  • 3:2
  • 16:9
  • 1:1
LCD Monitor
LCD Monitor3in
Screen resolution920k
Touch ScreenYes
Min Focus3cm
Focusing modes
  • Autofocus
  • Spot
  • Face Detection
  • AF Tracking
  • Multi
  • Centre
  • Zoom macro
  • Touch AF
Exposure Control
Shutter speeds shortest1/2000sec
Shutter speeds longest30sec
Bulb modeNo Data
Exp modes
  • Program
  • Aperture-Priority
  • Shutter-Priority
  • Manual
  • Scene modes
  • Centre-weighted - Average
  • Multi Pattern
  • Spot
ISO sensitivity100 - 6400
White balance
  • Auto
  • Manual
  • Outdoors/Daylight
  • Cloudy
  • Incandescent
  • Shade
Exposure Comp+/-2
Shooting Options
Continuous shooting10fps
Movie modeYes
Video Resolution
  • 1920x1080 FullHD
Video FPS50p
Stereo SoundYes
Optical Zoom with VideoYes
Other Features
Image StabilisationYes
Card Type
  • SD
  • SDHC
  • SDXC
File Type
  • JPG
Power Source
Battery TypeLithium-Ion
Battery Life (CIPA rating)300shots
Box Contents
Box ContentsNo Data

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Photographs taken using the Panasonic Lumix TZ40

Durham Castle and Cathedral from the Bridge over the River WearBlack-Eyed Susan (Rudbeckia Hirta - Marmalade)A Dunnock in a Rose BushUllswater in the Lake DistrictThe Jurassic Cliffs at Sidmouth Under a Gloomy SkyThe Estuary of the River Exe at Exmouth in Devon.View of Distant Mountains in North WalesThe Marina at PorthmadogThe Estuary at Porthmadog, North Wales.Llandudno, North WalesCalendulaA View Near SnowdoniaAfon Glaslyn - Gwynedd in North-West WalesHoneysuckleAllium

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