Product Type: Panasonic digital cameras
Newest Review: ... NB* When this camera came out it was awarded a host of prizes including: the TIPA "Best Superzoom Digital Camera" award and ... more
Lumix Panasonic... nearly 5 years on...
Panasonic Lumix DMC-TZ3
Member Name: xisorosix
Panasonic Lumix DMC-TZ3
Advantages: Great camera!
I purchased this abroad in the summer of 2007 and remember paying around £200 for it. Before that I'd used disposables or film cameras. The camera was pretty new having only been announced at the end of January of the same year. I was a complete noob and didn't know much about cameras, viewing this one that the sales assistant was trying to sell to me with great scepticism. I finally bought it and soon used it very regularly, I also got the extra surprise of receiving some freebies with purchase: lovely camera case, wipes, miniature tripod...
It has a lovely Leica lens with the camera being one of the best zoom cameras back then for this size at 10x optical zoom, combined with a wide angle lens of 28mm. The screen size is absolutely lovely and takes up most of the space at the back of the camera being at around 6 x 4.5cm. The camera is extremely compact and not very bulky at, I make it, 10.5 x 5.5 x 3.5 cm at the thickest points. It's also pretty portable at 232g and it fits into all my bags with no problems - I like to take photos regularly!
The sensor resolution is 7.2 megapixels which is up from the previous 2 models in this line, the TZ1 AND TZ2. There is also nice features such as the image stabiliser and the ability to take videos of 840 x 480 pixels quality at 30 frames a second. The sound quality is also pretty good and I've been satisfied when playing back clips including one from a piano concert. I wouldn't have minded if the camera couldn't take video clips, since it's already very good.
I also like the built in lens cover that is really slick - it protects the lens and opens up fluidly whenever you want to take a photo. The pictures are displayed in a really nice and clear way - you can click through the dates very quickly to find specific photos you took and then choose to view these sets of photos in various sizes alongside each other in grid form; this makes it super easy to find the picture you're looking for. Despite having it for such a long time, there are still some functions that I don't really use such as the white balance adjustment function. Like other similar cameras you can pick different modes by just using the dial at the top e.g. flash, portrait mode, night scenery mode, sports mode, fireworks mode etc.. There are also several other modes that I don't use.
It's pretty intuitive to use with the zoom button located where the camera button is. The dial is pretty self explanatory and the other buttons are labelled in a non-confusing way. The camera can also shoot continuously for 3 frames/sec or 2 frames/sec which has been really handy when you think you might just miss something! Another handy feature which is great for group photos, or if you like taking pictures of yourself, is the timer mode which gives you either a 10 seconds interval to get everyone into position, or a 2 seconds interval.
The battery life is fairly good with one charge lasting me around 2 weeks at a time where I'll either sporadically take the camera out when a photo opportunity arises, or use it for a few hours at a time when I go for long trips. The charging time is over an hour, so when I'm in a rush I'll only manage to get a quarter of the full charge (around 20 minutes) - this has been good enough for a day trip when used wisely!
The camera is available in three colours: blue, black and silver. I have the silver version and it looks pretty good apart from the scratches on the metal in the lens area since I managed to drop it a few times from about a metre... painful... the camera has still performed like normal although I have noticed that the lens takes longer to come out/retract back into the casing which can be annoying when you REALLY want to take a picture quickly. The metal body of the camera has no doubt offered really good protection overall though.
I used to transfer photos via a USB cable connected to the camera and this could take forever, with the risk of me knocking the camera by accident... thankfully I bought an SD card reader for around £1 (I've reviewed this) which worked like a dream and is doing very well still.
I definitely think this is a brilliant camera even if it's 5 years ago since it was first announced. I will only buy a new camera to replace this when it is really on its last legs, but at present apart from the lens retraction being slow, it's working perfectly and I have no complaints.
NB* When this camera came out it was awarded a host of prizes including: the TIPA "Best Superzoom Digital Camera" award and the EISA "European Compact Camera" award in 2007.
Summary: A really, really good camera!
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