Panasonic Lumix TZ100 ZS100 Review

We review the new Panasonic Lumix TZ100 (ZS100) with a 1inch CMOS sensor, and 10x optical zoom lens, it offers a unique combination of zoom and pocketable body.


|  Panasonic Lumix TZ100 in Compact Cameras
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Panasonic Lumix TZ100 Silver (8)

Panasonic's new TZ100 is a serious compact camera with a larger than normal 1inch BSI CMOS sensor, as featured in the FZ1000. The camera is designed to fit in the pocket, whilst offering a large zoom, with a 10x optical zoom lens equivalent to 25-250mm in 35mm terms, and a bright f/2.8 aperture at the wide-angle end of the lens.

The Panasonic Lumix TZ100 is designed to give the highest image qualilty possible in a Travel Zoom camera that can fit in your pocket.

Panasonic Lumix TZ100 (ZS100) Features

Panasonic Lumix TZ100 Silver (2)

The TZ100 is slightly larger than the TZ80 and TZ70, sitting at the top of the travel zoom market, and as a premium travel-zoom camera, it is designed to give excellent image quality, thanks to the larger than normal 20 megapixel 1inch BSI CMOS sensor.

The Panasonic Lumix TZ100 offers full manual controls, in-camera raw processing, a Leica 10x optical zoom lens, and high-speed continuous shooting, making it a high-quality alternative, when you don't want to take a mirrorless CSC or DSLR camera with you. The TZ100 features a metal body that is available in black or silver, with the silver model featuring red details. There is also a matching leather case to go with each colour of camera.

If you're looking at the Panasonic Lumix TZ100, then it's most likely that you want high image quality, as well as high optical zoom, along with 4K video recording, and Panasonic offer a number of cameras with either a large optical zoom, or a larger sensor, with 4K video, and here we look at the different features available: 

TZ80 TZ100 FZ1000 (Bridge) LX100
18mp (1/2.3inch) 20mp (1inch) 20mp (1inch) 12.8mp (Micro Four Thirds)
30x optical zoom lens 10x optical zoom lens 16x optical zoom lens 3.1x
3inch touch-screen 3inch touch-screen 3inch tilting (not touch) 3inch screen (not touch)
EVF (1160K) EVF (1166k dot) EVF (2,359k dot) EVF (2.7m dot)
Wi-Fi Wi-Fi Wi-Fi Wi-Fi
4K video (and photo) 4K video (and photo) 4K video (and photo) 4K video (and photo)
320 shot battery life 300 shots 360 shots 300 shots
£320 £549 £569 £499

 

The Leica 10x optical zoom lens is the equivalent of 25-250mm in 35mm terms, and the lens can focus on subjects 5cm from the front of the lens in macro mode. The camera will shoot at up to 10fps at full resolution, or alternatively at 30fps when using the 4K photo mode. The 4K photo mode has a number of different continuous shooting options designed to help you capture the precise moment, 4K burst, 4K burst (start/stop), and 4K pre-burst. After shooting in 4K photo mode, you can then choose which photos you want to extract or save as 8 megapixel JPEG images. The camera also features Panasonic's Post Focus feature that takes a number of shots at different focus points, letting you refocus after you've taken the shot, similar (but not the same) to the Lytro Illum.

There are numerous shooting modes, including full manual controls, intelligent auto modes, creative effects, numerous scene modes, as well as manual movie recording, which records up to 4K (UHD) video at 30fps with stereo sound. The camera has built-in Wi-Fi for remote control and transfer of images, and the back of the camera features both a 3inch touch-screen, as well as a small electronic viewfinder. 

Panasonic Lumix TZ100 Silver (3)

Key Features

  • 20 megapixel 1inch CMOS sensor (same as FZ1000)
  • 10x optical zoom lens, f/2.8-5.9 LEICA ASPH, 25-250mm
  • Power Optical Image Stabilisation (OIS)
  • Venus engine, DFD, Control ring
  • 3inch touch screen, 1040k, touch pad AF
  • ISO125 to ISO12800 extends to ISO80, ISO100 to ISO25600
  • Electronic ViewFinder (EVF), 1166k dot, eye-sensor (same as TZ70)
  • Video (4K) - 4K photo, video, post focus, 5-axis Hybrid OIS
  • 4K photo button to make it easy to switch between modes
  • 4K full HD panning, zooming, fullHD from 4K, in camera
  • In camera raw development 
  • Low-light focus, manual focus, peaking
  • Wi-Fi, passwordless WIFI, QR Code (no NFC)
  • 10fps continuous shooting, 5fps with C-AF
  • Highlight / shadow adjustment
  • 5cm macro focus
  • 300 shot battery life

Panasonic Lumix TZ100 (ZS100) Handling

Panasonic Lumix TZ100 Silver (4)

The Panasonic Lumix TZ100 has a solid metal body, and with a mechanical on/off switch on top, rather than an on/off button, it feels like a well-built and premium compact camera. There is a command wheel on the top right of the camera, and in front of that is the video record button and zoom rocker, with shutter-release button in the middle. The camera we reviewed was provided in the black / silver combination with red detailing, which is different to the more normal black cameras you see, and the colour scheme may or may not be to your liking. 

On the front of the camera there is a shaped area to provide some grip for your hand, although the lack of rubber or textured area for additional grip is disappointing, and the same is true on the back of the camera, with there being no texture or rubber grip for your thumb. In fact, we often found that due to the design of the camera, and there being no recess for your thumb, it was quite easy to accidentally set the focus point to the top right of the screen with your thumb. There are a number of customizable function buttons on the camera, and you can also customise on-screen function buttons. 

There is a control ring surrounding the lens on the front of the camera, and the lens protrudes quite noticeably from the front of the camera, making it quite bulky for a "pocket zoom" camera, but we found that it was still possible to fit the camera into regular jean pockets, although if you're a fan of skinny jeans you may have much less success as it's definitely larger than most other pocket or travel zoom cameras. 

The screen is bright and clear, and generally easy to use in bright outdoor conditions, and using the touch-screen you can set the focus point to any area of the screen. The electronic viewfinder (EVF) is quite small but does have an eye-detection sensor, so that it will automatically switch to the EVF when you hold it up to your eye. The resolution is good, and it can provide a good alternative to using the screen when needed. It also features dioptre adjustment. When using the EVF you can use the touch-screen to move the focus position, although you can switch this feature off if you want. 

Panasonic Lumix TZ100 Silver (5)

Menus - The menus are clearly laid out, with different sections for the different options, whether, photo, playback, video, setup etc, and the camera has built-in help to explain each option. You can also use the touch-screen to navigate the menus. There is also the Q.Menu button, which brings up some of the most common options on screen making it quicker to change settings without having to go into the menus. The 4-way controller also gives quick access to a number of settings including exposure compensation, white balance, focus, and continuous shooting / drive modes. 

Wi-Fi features - With built-in Wi-Fi you can connect the camera to your smartphone, and using the Panasonic Image App (available for Android and iOS) you can remotely control and shoot with the camera, transfer images, add geotag GPS location data to shots, record a snap movie as well as create a photo collage. When shooting using the app, you can use the touch-screen of your smartphone to set the focus point, and you can change a wide number of options and settings without having to touch the camera. 

Panasonic Lumix TZ100 Silver (6)

Battery life - Battery life is rated at 300 shots according to Panasonic / CIPA test results, or less when using the electronic viewfinder (EVF), which is average for a compact camera. You can charge the camera using a MicroUSB cable, which nearly all Android smartphones use, making it easy to find somewhere to charge the camera. 


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Photographs taken using the Panasonic Lumix TZ100

Gotta Love NatureBee in a flower.Rockin' this townIn the spotlightJust like EddieSuburban mist.Couple on the beach.Man studies glass of wine.Stood 'ere like a couple of bananasDior 4Spitfire Mk.VcOldsmobileAtlantisMercury Comet

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Comments


dannyr 9 46 United Kingdom
1 Apr 2016 1:54PM
Did you photoshop the red line and grey bit as a April fools?

Stick an expensive looking wooden grip on it and sell it to Hasselblad

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BHSnapper 10 14 United Kingdom
13 Apr 2016 5:14PM
Looks an excellent performer - my two gripes are that there isn't a hot shoe for flash and the macro could get in a lot closer... My FZ1000 has both so will stick to that for now.
StrayCat 15 19.1k 3 Canada
25 May 2016 5:02PM
I use the 400mm end of the FZ1000 the majority of the time, so the focal length of this camera falls a bit short. However, I like what they've managed to squeeze into this fairly small package.
brownargus 11 85 England
26 Aug 2016 9:32PM
I have recently acquired a Lumix TZ100 as a daily carry-about camera instead of my Nikon D7000. I am impressed with its range of features even though I havenít managed to investigate all of them yet. Whilst it is a little larger and heavier than many compact zoom cameras, it is easily pocketable. However, in use, because of the absence of textured grip points and a fear of dropping the camera, it is advisable to use the wrist strap provided (or a better quality one - I use a Peak Design Cuff which is excellent though the anchor straps are too thick to go through the lugs on the camera body which are too small anyway). I am particularly impressed by its macro performance and the 20 MP sensor to allow some cropping if necessary without too much loss of definition. In purchasing the camera, I was looking for a pocketable compact with a larger sensor and 10x zoom and this camera fits the bill perfectly. Minus points: the very large 400+ page manual is only available as a PDF download and the lack of textured grip points for holding the camera securely. Plus points: Image quality, macro performance, touch screen, clear menu system. Highly recommended.

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