Product Type: Panasonic digital cameras
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Panasonic Lumix TZ6, Versatile compact with great image quality
Panasonic Lumix DMC-TZ6
Member Name: potoroo99
Panasonic Lumix DMC-TZ6
Date: 19/09/09, updated on 19/09/09 (378 review reads)
Advantages: Fantastic little camera with 12 x zoom & 10.1MP
Disadvantages: No HD movie mode, not cheap
The Panasonic Lumix TZ6 is a great little camera that I have used to compliment my large DSLR (a Nikon D90 I have also reviewed), which is too big and expensive to be taken everywhere.
The TZ6 is compact camera with 10.1 MP, which is plenty of pixels for all but the larger prints and harshest crops. This means that in normal conditions there will never be pixelation, in fact too many megapixels squashed onto a sensor can actually reduce the image quality. The most important feature of this camera is the 12x zoom, 25mm wide angle, Leica lens. Leica is a quality brand, and this lens is no exception, it produces quality images and the lens slides out of the camera quickly and smoothly. There is no lens cap, but slide across covers, as in most other digital compacts.
For such a versatile camera, it is extremely compact at 2.35" x 4.07" x 1.29" and weighing only about 0.45 lbs - it is basically a lens attached to an LCD screen. This size is very useful as it can be easily kept in a small bag or coat pocket,and is robust enough to be carried around all day, so you never miss a shot. The 2.7 inch LCD screen is large enough to browse pictures and bright enough to easily compose images.There are some disadvantages to this small size as the camera does not have space for a viewfinder, which can be difficult in very bright conditions, but actually does not really bother me. The other aspect of the design that could be improved is the buttons - they are very small, and even though this camera is very compact, there is plenty of room for bigger buttons that would be easier to use.
Ease of Use
This camera is very easy to use as everything can be set to automatic, there is a simple on off switch and a camera / playback mode switch along with a standard dial to select for different modes. The dial allows you to select auto mode, movie mode, scene mode (where you choose and appropriate scene from the menu), my scene mode and intelligent auto. I ave never actually used the 'my scene' mode, but it allows your to preset some setting and then quickly access them without having to go through menus. The mode I use most of the time is intelligent auto, this mode lets the camera decide which scene mode is appropriate, automatically switching between scene like portrait, landscape and macro. The camera actually shows you a little symbol for the mode it has chosen in the corner of the screen so you can go into a different mode if you disagree, but I haven't had to do this.
There are very few other 12 x zoom compacts (I can only think of the Canon PowerShot SX200 IS), so the Panasonic Lumix TZ range pretty much has the market to itself. The TZ6 has the advantage over the TZ5 with and extra 1 megapixel and 2 x zoom, as well as a slightly different styling. As far as I have seen the TZ6 is not that much more expensive than the TZ5, so I found it worth getting the newer model. The TZ7 is the most recent release in the series and is almost exactly the same as the TZ6 both with 10.1 MP and 12x zoom - having seen them together in a shop, they look like carbon copies. The main difference on the TZ7 is the new HD movie mode, which is a feature I would like, but I can't justify spending a significant amount extra for this one feature, as still image quality is the most important aspect for me. The only other improvement I can find on theTZ7isaslightly better LCD screen, but I don't think this is worth shelling out for.
There are many cheaper digital compacts on the market, but not with the amazing image quality and zoom of the Panasonic TZ range. If movie mode is not particularly important to you, I think that the TZ6 (with image quality equal to the latest model) is the best compromise between price and features.
Summary: Not much competetion the TZ6 is better than TZ5 and cheaper than TZ7, a worthy purchase.
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