By August 31, 2009

Panasonic Lumix TZ6 Review

I reviewed the Lumix FX500 and I must say that I was impressed. Now I have the Lumix TZ6 from Panasonic’s ‘Super Zoom’ category to check out. Hopefully it will impress us as much as the other cameras in the Lumix range have.

TZ6 The Panasonic Lumix TZ6

 

What’s in the box?

  • Panasonic Lumix TZ6 camera
  • Battery (3.6V 895mAh 3.3Wh Li-on)
  • Mains charger
  • USB cable (proprietary connection to camera)
  • Composite AV cable (proprietary connection to camera)
  • CD (software and drivers)
  • Manual

For more information check out Matt’s Panasonic Lumix TZ6 Unboxing Video

 

Panasonic Lumix TZ6 specification:

  • Zoom: 12x optical
  • Resolution: 10Mp
  • Sensor size: 1/2.5in
  • Sensor type: CCD
  • Max. image size: 3648×2736
  • File type: JPEG
  • Sensitivity: ISO80-1600 (ISO6400 in High Sensitivity mode)
  • Media type: SD/SDHC, built-in
  • Focus types: Normal, macro, continuous AF, Tracking AF, Quick AF
  • Normal focusing: 50cm-infinity
  • Close focusing: 3cm-200cm
  • Metering types: Intelligent Multi, centre-weighted, spot
  • Exposure compensation: +/- 2EV in 1/3 step increments
  • Shutter speed: 8-1/2000sec (max. 60sec in Starry Night mode)
  • Flash: Built-in, 0.6-5.3m (Wide at ISO Auto), 1.0-3.6m (Telephoto at ISO Auto)
  • Monitor: 2.7in TFT LCD (230,000dot)
  • Interface: USB 2.0
  • Power: Li-Ion battery
  • Size: 103.3×59.6×32.8mm
  • Weight: 206g (excl. battery and card)

 

General:

FRONT – On the front of the camera is the flash, the lens and the AF lamp

TZ6_front Panasonic Lumix TZ6 – front view

 

TOP – from the left, the four holes is where the speaker is located and the next set of holes is where the microphone is. Next is the on/of switch. The the zoom slider can be seen next with the shutter button located in the middle of it. Lastly is the mode dial.

TZ6_top Panasonic Lumix TZ6 – top view

 

BOTTOM – The battery and SD card compartment can be seen in this picture. There is also a standard tripod hole.

TZ6_bottom Panasonic Lumix TZ6 – bottom view

 

CONNECTIONS – This side view shows the single proprietary connection. The wrist strap loop can also be seen here.

TZ6_connector Panasonic Lumix TZ6 – connections view

 

BACK – The 2.7 inch screen is shown here. At the top left is the switch to change between record and playback modes. Below this are the navigation keys for the menu. When in record mode these also work as shortcut keys to the self timer, exposure compensation setting, flash settings and auto focus. At the bottom is the display button which changes the on screen display in both record and playback modes, and the last button is a quick menu button in record mode and a delete button in playback mode.

TZ6_back Panasonic Lumix TZ6 – back view

 

 

Highlights:

  • High quality 10.1MP
  • Video recording quality is good (and the zoom also works with this)
  • Easy to use

Lowlights:

  • Chunky build – not aesthetically pleasing as many other Lumix cameras
  • Mode dial turns too easily

 

Review:

I was somewhat disappointed when I first saw the Panasonic Lumix TZ6 as it’s not one of Panasonic’s nicest looking Lumix cameras. I suppose I was expecting a more sleek and compact design as it is after all, a compact camera. But then, I had to remind myself that the TZ6 is part of the ‘Super Zoom’ category and not the ‘Stylish Compact’ category.

The Lumix TZ6 is available in this silver colour and also black.

TZ6_3 The Panasonic Lumix TZ6

 

The camera switches on and is ready to take pictures pretty quickly. This is quite a good point as some cameras can take a while from being switched on to being ready to take a photo.

The iA mode which has been featured in the Lumix range makes the camera do all the fine tuning for you (ie. exposure, aperture, white balance, auto focus (AF) tracking, etc.) Definitely a great feature as it makes it such a simple point-and-shoot camera.

The LCD screen is clear and bright, and at 2.7 inches it’s a nice generous size to use as a view finder and for reviewing your photos on.

The normal mode (next to the iA mode on the dial) is a basic auto mode which will adjust some setting such as AF and exposure. You can also take photos with your own custom settings which means a bit more work has to be done in order to take the best picture. I generally don’t use manual settings on compact cameras as I find it too fiddly and time consuming as you have to go into menus in order to change all the settings. You’ll probably miss the shot you wanted or your friends will get fed up of standing there waiting for the picture to be taken if you’re using this mode!

It’s a 10.1 MP camera and the lens is great! It’s a Leica-branded lens with a 12X zoom. This is the equivalent of a 25mm-300mm range. For those who aren’t so familiar with different zoom lens sizes I took these photos to show illustrate how good this zoom lens is!

P1010121 Wide angle (zoomed right out) – the blue outline in the picture shows the area I zoomed in on for the next picture.

P1010122 Taken using 12x zoom. Pretty good zoom huh!

 

Of course, the two photos above are of distant subjects. Here is a macro shot to show you the detail that the TZ6 captures.

P1010083

I’ve reduced the size of these photos to put onto tracyandmatt.co.uk so the quality has also been reduced. The original photos show off the Lumix TZ6’s high quality capability. The detail that it has captured is brilliant.

The video recording mode on the camera records at the following specifications:

[4:3]VGA: 640 x 480 pixels, 30fps (Motion JPEG) QVGA: 320 x 240 pixels, 30 fps (Motion JPEG)

[16:9]WVGA: 848 x 480 pixels, 30 fps (Motion JPEG)

The quality of video is pretty good. What’s even more impressive is that you can also use the zoom! The movement is steady when zooming in an out. The microphone which is located on the top of the camera seems to pick up sound quite well and the inbuilt speaker (again, on the top) means you can play back your videos on the camera. It doesn’t offer HD recording but is definitely a good lower end video recorder.

There was one thing that annoyed me about the camera. The mode dial seems too easy to turn. Sounds silly I know, but it didn’t seem to stay locked in place. You could touch it quite lightly and it would move. This became annoying if you put it down, or in your pocket. The next time you wanted to use the camera you couldn’t just switch it on quickly and take a picture. The dial would have made its way round to where there were no modes! Never mind.

 

Conclusion:

The Panasonic Lumix TZ6 is a brilliant Zoom camera. The picture quality is brilliant and it takes pretty good video footage too. Being able to use the zoom when recording video is a definite plus.

I thought at first that the camera was a bit bulky but I’ve changed my mind. It’s a camera with and amazing zoom. If it was a SLR camera the lens would be pretty big so Panasonic have done well to fit it all nicely into the TZ6.

Over all The Lumix TZ6 has impressed me.

 

 

Reviewed by: Emma

Posted in: Reviews

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