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Panasonic Lumix DC-TZ95 (SZ80) Review

Panasonic Lumix TZ95 Review - Panasonic's latest travel zoom, the TZ95 offers some subtle updates, including a larger electronic viewfinder and built-in Bluetooth. Could this be the best travel zoom yet?

| Panasonic Lumix DC-TZ95 in Compact Cameras

Panasonic Lumix DC-TZ95 (SZ80) Review: Panasonic Lumix TZ95 (1)

Quick Verdict

The Panasonic Lumix TZ95 takes an already good travel zoom camera, and improves the electronic viewfinder to give a larger view with a higher resolution. There's built-in Bluetooth, and the 30x optical zoom lens gives good results. Video is also rather impressive, with high quality 4K UHD video recording, and plenty of options. Image quality is generally good, with good colour and decent results in good weather, although noise can become a problem in low-light. 

+ Pros

  • Tilting 3inch touch-screen
  • Excellent 4K UHD video
  • 4K Photo (at 30fps)
  • Improved electronic viewfinder
  • Improved white balance options
  • 30x optical zoom lens
  • Wi-Fi and Bluetooth built-in
  • Packed full of useful features
  • Good battery life

- Cons

  • Easy to cover flash accidentally*
  • Easy to accidentally switch the camera on and off*
  • Small sensor and high megapixels results in noise in images


Panasonic Lumix DC-TZ95 (SZ80) Review: Panasonic Lumix TZ95 (16)

The Panasonic Lumix TZ95 is the updated version of the TZ90. Following the saying "If it ain't broken, don't fix it" the TZ95 has been introduced with minimal changes, carrying over many of the same features as the previous camera. The main changes include an updated electronic viewfinder with a higher resolution and a larger magnification, as well as the inclusion of Bluetooth. Like the TZ90 there's a tilting touch-screen, a 20-megapixel sensor, and a Leica branded 30x optical zoom lens.  

Panasonic Lumix TZ95 (ZS80) Features

Panasonic Lumix DC-TZ95 (SZ80) Review: Panasonic Lumix TZ95 (3)


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Visually you'll be hard-pressed to spot the difference between the TZ90 and the new TZ95, however, the top plate is now missing the speckled paint of the TZ90, and looks more utilitarian (and square) in design. The rear thumb grip has been updated slightly, and there's a slight but insignificant difference in size and weight, we're only talking about 1.5mm taller, and 0.4mm thicker. It's also 6g heavier. 

The main differences to be found are the inclusion of Bluetooth, and the higher resolution electronic viewfinder (EVF), with the TZ95 offering a slightly larger 0.21inch LVF with 2330K dots, and 0.53x magnification, compared to 0.20inch LVF with 1166K dots, and 0.46x magnification on the TZ90. Apparently, there's also a TZ96 and TZ97, with 2x digital zoom, instead of 4x digital zoom. 

The Leica branded 30x optical zoom lens offers a zoom range from 24mm to 720mm (equivalent), and there is a 20-megapixel 1/2.3inch BSI CMOS sensor, a tilting 3inch touch-screen. The electronic viewfinder (EVF) has eye-detection and dioptre correction. 

There's a range of shooting modes including P, A, S, M modes, giving you full manual controls, as well as raw recording. iA (iAuto / intelligent Auto) automatically detects the scene and selects the best settings for you. Creative Filters are available, with 22 different effects possible when taking still photos. Scene modes are available with 24 different scenes to choose from, with guides advising how to get the best results. 

Macro focus lets you focus on subjects 3cm away from the front of the lens, and hybrid 5-axis image stabilisation helps keep shots and video steady in low light or when using a lot of optical zoom. The ISO range extends from ISO80 up to ISO6400, and the camera can shoot at 10fps at the full resolution of 20 megapixels.

Panasonic Lumix DC-TZ95 (SZ80) Review: Panasonic Lumix TZ95 P4170074

The Panasonic Lumix DMC-TZ95 is known as the ZS80 in America and some other countries. 

4K video lets you record 3840x2160 (UHD) resolution video, four times the resolution of FullHD video, and the camera has stereo microphones built-in. 4K photo lets you shoot at 30fps, and then select which photos to save as 8-megapixel images. There are a number of burst modes to help you get the best out of this mode, and there's a 4K photo/post focus button on the camera to give quick access. Post-focus uses the 4K photo technology to let you set the focus point after taking the photo, and focus stacking will combine all images to create images with more of the photo in focus. 

Compared to the nearest competition, the Canon Powershot SX740 HS, the Nikon Coolpix A1000 and Sony Cyber-shot HX99.

Canon Powershot SX740 Nikon Coolpix A1000 Panasonic Lumix TZ95 Sony Cyber-shot HX99
20mp 16mp 20mp 18mp
40x 35x 30x 30x
4K video 4K video 4K video 4K video
3inch tilting 3inch tilting touch 3inch tilting touch 3inch tilting touch
- EVF EVF (0.53x) Pop-up EVF (0.5x)
10fps continuous 10fps 10fps 10fps
Wi-Fi, NFC, Bluetooth Wi-Fi, Bluetooth Wi-Fi Wi-Fi, NFC, Bluetooth
265 shots (normal)* 250 shots 380 shots (screen) 370 shots 
299g 330g 328g 242g

* ECO mode extends this to 370 shots

Wi-Fi and low power Bluetooth v4.2 is included. 

Panasonic Lumix DC-TZ95 (SZ80) Review: Panasonic Lumix TZ95 (6)

Key Features

  • 20megapixel 1/2.3inch BSI CMOS sensor
  • 30x optical zoom lens, f/3.3-6.4, 24-720mm equivalent
  • 5-axis Hybrid image stabilisation 
  • 3inch tilting touch-screen, 1040K dots
  • EVF: with eye-detection, 2330K dots, 0.53x magnification
  • 10fps continuous shooting speed
  • 4K photo - shoots 8mp photos at 30fps
  • Wi-Fi, Bluetooth connectivity
  • 4K UHD 30fps video
  • ISO80 to ISO6400
  • 3cm macro focus
  • Available in black, or silver

Panasonic Lumix TZ95 (ZS80) Handling

Panasonic Lumix DC-TZ95 (SZ80) Review: Panasonic Lumix TZ95 (5)

The Panasonic Lumix TZ95 is every so slightly larger than the TZ90, and every so slightly heavier, however, the difference is so subtle you're unlikely to notice unless you start measuring and weighing the two cameras. The TZ95, like the TZ90, is quite bulky, and whilst it will fit into jeans pockets, the camera will be much happier in a jacket pocket. 

The Panasonic features a metal front, and plastic rear and top. The front grip provides a good area to hold the camera, helping keep the camera steady when shooting. The camera feels well-built, with a solid hinge on the screen.

The top features a mode dial, zoom control, shutter release button, power button and video record button. We found it fairly easy to accidentally press the power button by mistake. The position of the flash means you need to be careful not to accidentally cover it. 

The Fn / Function buttons can be customised, with a total of 4 physical customisable Fn buttons available on the back of the camera. With the touch-screen you can set up another 5 function buttons, giving a total of 9 customisable function buttons. There's a new "zoom assist" button so that you can quickly zoom out (and back in) if you lose the subject you're trying to photograph. 

The electronic viewfinder (EVF) is still quite small but fairly clear, with a good resolution, and the improvement in size over the TZ90 is quite noticeable. When using the EVF you can use the touchscreen to move the focus position, although if you are using your left eye you need to be careful that your nose doesn't touch the screen and change the focus position. You can switch this feature off if you want. The EVF surround is made of plastic, and there is no soft coating or rubber surround to be found here.

Screen quality is excellent with a gapless design, with good colour and a clear display. It's also possible to view the screen outdoors in bright sunlight. You can use the touchscreen to set the focus point, right into the very corners of the frame. Face/eye detection is particularly useful when taking photos of people, with the camera correctly focusing on the subject's eyes. You can also tilt the screen forwards for selfies and group shots.

Panasonic Lumix DC-TZ95 (SZ80) Review: Panasonic Lumix TZ95 (13)

Menus – The Panasonic Lumix menus are very clear and well laid out with built-in help to make it easier to understand what the options are for without having to look at the manual. The video options have their own section, which makes it much easier to know where you are and what settings you're changing. You can also browse the menus with the touch screen and the camera is very responsive and quick when you use the touchscreen. 

Using Wi-Fi you can connect your smartphone to the camera, and with the Panasonic Image App which is 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 touchscreen of your smartphone to set the focus point, and you can change a wide number of options and settings without having to reach for the camera. Bluetooth can be used to transfer images, using less power than with Wi-Fi. 

Panasonic Lumix DC-TZ95 (SZ80) Review: Panasonic Lumix TZ95 (7)

Battery life - Battery life is rated at 380 shots according to Panasonic / CIPA test results when using the rear screen, or 250 shots when using the EVF. The camera's battery can be charged using a standard MicroUSB cable, and a wall to USB charger is included in the box. The camera uses the same battery as the previous model. 

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Photographs taken using the Panasonic Lumix DC-TZ95

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StartedWithABrownie127 Avatar
Micro USB! How quaint and old fashioned. In 2019 it should be usb c.
At least it isn't a proprietary connector like my TZ60 - but it is still different to my phone and tablet.
What would be really useful in your reviews is if you could compare to a version that users might be upgrading from. Is the picture quality improved from mine? Is it better enough or do I keep using mine till it breaks? Is the battery the same (I have spares)? This has Bluetooth and WiFi but is it actually more usable than the WiFi on mine?
joshwa Avatar
joshwa Plus
13 927 1 United Kingdom
30 Apr 2019 3:57PM
Hi "StartedwithaBrownie127"

We have mentioned the TZ90, and TZ70 in the review, however, I think there's got to be a limit to how many previous cameras we can mention (otherwise we would never finish the reviews). However, the ISO speed shots and the white balance test shots are always taken under the same lighting conditions, so you can easily compare results from the different cameras.

The TZ60 and TZ70 use the same battery, but the battery was changed with the TZ80, with this battery still used in the TZ90 and TZ95. Bluetooth makes it easier to transfer images, however the app used is still the same, so there most likely won't be much difference between them. Hope this helps.

alant1 Avatar
alant1 12 14 United Kingdom
1 May 2019 12:21PM
No info on if weatherproof or if it can take GPS from phone. Both important I feel for a travel camera.
Agree with StartedWithABrownie, Micro usb, poor.
joshwa Avatar
joshwa Plus
13 927 1 United Kingdom
1 May 2019 2:09PM
Hi Alan,

From the review: "Using Wi-Fi you can connect your smartphone to the camera, and with the Panasonic Image App which is 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."

Unfortunately the camera is not weatherproof, like the other travel zoom cameras mentioned in the review.

Hope this helps
StartedWithABrownie127 Avatar
Hi JOsh
Thanks for your comment, and I do appreciate that you cannot cover all versions in comparison. It is just frustrating when considering an upgrade, not being able to easily compare. (I was reading on an android tablet).

@ alant1 My TZ60 has integral GPS tagging, and I am loathe to go back to manually tagging. Reading the manual for the more recent TZ80, ImageApp seems a dreadful way of tagging - it eats your phone's battery. If you are out and about for a day, I would love to know from someone who has actually used it how good it is, how practical it is, and how it impacts on the battery of both devices. I imagine that when the camera is off, it drops the bluetooth, and takes a while to reconnect when switched back on. I can imagine getting half way through a day and realising you haven't turned it on.

Also - note online manual for the Image App
alant1 Avatar
alant1 12 14 United Kingdom
3 May 2019 2:36AM
hi StartedWithABrownie and Joshwa
Sorry I missed the bit in the review about the WiFi.
With respect to GPS tagging I had a (still have) a Sony HX9V with built in GPS but I found the GPS so slow that I could not be sure a shot would have the location tagged. I thought a phone based system whilst entailing more steps would be better.
The GPS is always on in my mobile phone.
I purchased a Panasonic TZ100 and loaded the app on my phone which at the time of purchase was a Sony. All worked flawlessly and the phone battery was not a problem possibly because I used to run the phone powered as my navigation system on my bike.
Unfortunately that phone was stolen forcing me to pick another phone, a Huawei P20Pro.
This phone has a huge battery, so big I don't power it on a full days of navigation but I do have some compatibility issues between the phone and the app which I am yet to feel confident have been solved. I find it interesting that the Panasonic image app has not been tested / approved for Android versions newer than 8.
I hope this compatibility issue can be solved but in critical times when I really want the shot to be GPS tagged I use a 3rd party app called Geotag photos Pro 2. More work but works flawlessly.
StartedWithABrownie127 Avatar
My Samsung Note 9 is on Android 9, and the ImageApp works as it has for years.

I've just watched a couple of videos on Youtube. My goodness but using a phone to log location is a pain.

Over Wi-Fi, you have to connect the phone to the camera, sync the time, set the App to geotagging. Then you can close the wifi link to the camera, but you must keep the app running on your phone. That means you will need to find it in the Battery menu and prevent the phone from automatically closing it when not in use.
Once you get back from the day's shoot, you have to copy across the file and sync the times into the images.
(I also found that using time sync lost summer time on my camera, so it became an hour wrong! I hadn't set summer time in the main menu.)

More modern cameras have bluetooth, so it is "easier". Hah! You only need to connect the camera to the phone at the outset, and enable logging. While the camera is ON and the App is running in the background of the phone and the phone has a GPS lock, it maintains the bluetooth link and any photo taken is immediately tagged. It the camera is turned off and on again, which is usually how it works, it takes 40 seconds or more to re-establish that link and lock! By that time you have probably taken your photo and turned the camera off again.

NB I tried inserting the links using the menu, but the forum system is weird. Initially it previewed with one link. I added the second at the end, and preview hid the first link. BUT it made the whole of the text a huge clickable link - of the first link, whilst showing the second. I tried posting and it was the same. I deleted the post, tried again and could not get the first link to show at all as a link.
Having merely pasted the links as text, they show in the preview as links. All that time wasted becasue I tried to do it right!
DizLiz Avatar
DizLiz 3
5 Feb 2020 10:12AM
Does the hybrid 5-axis image stabilisation make a difference? I want to buy either the 90 or 95. Tend to have shaky hands so wondering if it would be worth the price difference to get the 95?
GianMarcoTavazzani Avatar
The link to the TZ70 redirects wrongly to the TZ90
StartedWithABrownie127 Avatar
After nearly a year, I now hardly use the TZ95. I mourn the breakage of my TZ60, an excellent camera even if the GPS took a little time to catch. Trying to use the TZ95 phone link for location tagging was just too much of a pain. The photo quality was no better than the TZ60. The TZ95 is also significantly bigger so it doesn't sit in a pocket easily, so I'm less likely to be carrying it. It turns on accidentally when I'm pulling it out and catch the on /off button - something I didn't do before. I've no idea what is in that bulk of any use. The battery is smaller and battery life shorter - even without GPS. The lens is the same. I feel it has been an utter waste of money.
There were partial improvements : The fold out screen was sort of useful for flowers at ground level , but not bright enough and only folds one way. The small viewfinder has better quality but still far too small and doesn't cover the full image you're taking.

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