Product Type: Panasonic digital cameras
Newest Review: ... even when in a very loud environment (e.g. at a concert). This camera features Panasonic's 'Power O.I.S' (Optical Image Stabilisation) wh... more
Still a great travel zoom pocket cam!
Panasonic Lumix DMC-TZ8
Member Name: Anewfoundglory82
Panasonic Lumix DMC-TZ8
Advantages: Very versatile, good quality lens, 12x zoom, good macro mode, manual control
Disadvantages: Only works with rechargeable battery, noise is a problem above ISO400.
This is my current pocket camera of choice, which I use in combination with, and in addition to, my Nikon D3100 DSLR and my iPhone 4S. The Panasonic TZ8 offers a good mix of features in a convenient, compact body. The lens is very versatile, allowing for 3cm Macro shots (with a macro zoom feature for getting extra close!) and all the way from 25mm wideangle, to 300mm telephoto using the 12x zoom. This is a very useful and usable focal range, allowing you to shoot anything from insect close-ups, to Lion's faces while on safari, or birds in the trees.
The JPEG images produced by the camera are of good quality. Obviously they are not on a par with a DSLR, but as compacts go, the results are very good. Shots are sharp, well saturated and free from noise when taken outdoors. Indoors, noise becomes a problem in photos when using any ISO above 400.
The TZ8 offers a great deal of manual control, with full PASM modes (Program, Aperture priority, Shutter priority and Manual). It is very useful to have this amount of control in a compact, as it allows you to do more with the camera, get more creative and learn about what different modes mean, which can be useful in the future if/when you decide to upgrade to a System camera or DSLR.
The HD video recording mode is easy to operate and works well, delivering sharp, smooth HD video with good quality audio. In fact, the audio quality is very good on this camera, as it seems to record acceptable and clear audio even when in a very loud environment (e.g. at a concert).
This camera features Panasonic's 'Power O.I.S' (Optical Image Stabilisation) which helps you to achieve sharp, focussed images even when the camera is shaking slightly. It also helps keep your video recordings smooth. It works well in my experience and images are sharper as a result.
The battery life is great with this camera, and is the rechargeable type. I like rechargeable batteries in cameras, but it's always useful when they allow conventional batteries to be used instead. Unfortunately the TZ8 does not work with regular batteries, so you may want to consider buying a spare battery so you can always have a charged camera ready for use, instead of waiting for the battery to charge again before you can continue shooting.
The TZ8's rear display is 2.7" and is clear and bright. I prefer the 3" display of the TZ10, but the TZ8 model is that bit cheaper, so it's up to you whether you think the GPS and larger screen make it worth the extra cash for the TZ10 over this model.
To sum up: The TZ8 is a great compact zoom camera. It offers a brilliantly versatile lens in a compact and solid body. The camera is great for anything from insect macro's, to wide landscapes and telephoto shots of birds and wildlife. Images are sharp, good quality and well saturated, with noise only becoming a problem with dark shots and an ISO of over 400. Having the ability to manually control everything is a bonus, and something that many compact cameras in this price bracket do not allow.
Summary: If you can find one in stock for under £120, buy it! Great camera for the money
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