Panasonic Lumix DMC-TZ3
- Sharp pictures, low noise, O.I.S and intelligent ISO work very well, big zoom
- Some fringing towards edges, very noticeable barrel distortion
The image stabilisation technologies combined with the large zoom and above average image quality make the TZ3 a great compact camera, particularly for travelers.
Price$ 769.00 (AUD)
Panasonic's latest range of cameras contains several interesting and innovative models and one of the key entries is the Lumix DMC-TZ3. Billed as a 'travel camera', it packs in a great bundle of features for the roaming photographer, including a 10x zoom in a relatively compact package, along with both optical image stabilisation and intelligent ISO sensitivity. The only issue we had was some very noticeable barrel distortion, and slight colour inaccuracy.
The TZ3's 7.2 megapixel sensor performed well in most of our tests. Imatest awarded it a score of 1701 in its sharpness test, which is a brilliant result for a camera in this class. This was reflected in our shots, which exhibited great clarity and sharp, defined details. There was some fringing towards the edges of our shots, but this can be attributed to chromatic aberration, for which Imatest gave the TZ3 a score of .098%. This too is a strong result, slightly below what we see on most compacts. There was a small amount of haloing in areas of high contrast, but it wasn't serious, and the fringing we spotted won't have any noticeable impact unless you're making fairly hefty enlargements.
Our test shots did however reveal one other issue; extremely prominent barrel distortion. Our charts towards the edge of the picture were noticeable distorted and curved, as if they were being pulled out of the shot. This doesn't have an impact on the subject in the centre of the photo, but you'll notice it on any background elements around the rim of your pictures. We rarely encounter barrel distortion this prominent, and it was the one area where this camera really disappointed.
In our noise test, the TZ3 performed well, with Imatest giving it a score of .61% at ISO 100. This is a great result, and our shots showed little in the way of visible image noise at this level. Furthermore, this camera scaled well with higher sensitivities, producing usable photographs all the way up to ISO 800; a rarity from most compact cameras.
Its colour results weren't quite as impressive, but were instead about average, with an Imatest score of 8.44 in the colourcheck test. Everything looked a little oversaturated, with no single colour noticeably worse than others. Most good compacts score between 6 and 8 in this test, so the TZ3 is only just shy of being excellent.
While its picture quality is fairly good overall, where the TZ3 really stands out is its features. With its gigantic 10x zoom and dual optical and ISO image stabilisation technologies, it is an ideal camera for those who regularly take photos outdoors or on the run. Panasonic's O.I.S has always been one of the best optical stabilizations on the market and by adding Intelligent ISO they have only improved it. Intelligent ISO, when turned on, will automatically adjust the ISO sensitivity and shutter speed if it detects movement in the picture, in an attempt to capture a clearer picture. In our tests it worked wonderfully. Pictures out of a light plane window, with everything rocking backwards and forwards, turned out crisp and sharp. If you regularly find yourself snapping hasty, blurred pictures then this may be the camera for you.
Aside from these technologies, the TZ3 is a fairly traditional Panasonic camera. It's got all the usual bells and whistles, including ISO sensitivities up to 1250, white balance presets with a custom mode and a variety of spot and metering modes. The burst mode is excellent, operating at three frames per second and offering 21 scene modes, which should keep novice users happy. The interface is fairly well laid out, with all the key imaging options available at the top, within plain view.
Panasonic has stuck with their traditional control mechanism, which includes a five-way directional pad and a function wheel on top. It works well, and everything is within easy reach. The design is another area where Panasonic has really done a great job with this model. It is quite chunky by compact camera standards, but the fact that they have managed to cram a 10x optical zoom lens into a body this size is really impressive. It is definitely one of the smallest ultra-zoom models on the market.
Overall this is a great package. We were disappointed by the barrel distortion, but the crisp, clear pictures combined with multiple forms of image stabilisation make this a fantastic camera, particularly for travelers.
Join the newsletter!
Most Popular Reviews
- 1 Panasonic Ultra HD OLED TV Review
- 2 D-Link Omna 180 Cam HD DSH-C310 review
- 3 Oppo A77 smartphone: Full in-depth review
- 4 Huawei GR5 phone: Full, in-depth review
- 5 Ring Video Doorbell review
Latest News Articles
- Sony’s New RX10 IV combines Fast AF and 24 FPS continuous shooting with 24-600mm F2.4-F4 Zoom Lens
- Sony announces Australian availability for new waterproof RX0 action-camera
- Panasonic Announces LUMIX DC-GH5 Firmware Update Service
- Boom: SanDisk just dropped the world's largest SD card
- Camera app makers tap into RAW power with iOS, and look forward to dual lenses
PCW Evaluation Team
The print quality also does not disappoint, it’s clear, bold, doesn’t smudge and the text is perfectly sized.
The Huddle Board’s built in program; Sharp Touch Viewing software allows us to easily manipulate and edit our documents (jpegs and PDFs) all at the same time on the dashboard.
The biggest perks for me would be that it comes with easy to use and comprehensive programs that make the collaboration process a whole lot more intuitive and organic
I rate the printer as a 5 out of 5 stars as it has been able to fit seamlessly into my busy and mobile lifestyle.
It’s perfect for mobile workers. Just take it out — it’s small enough to sit anywhere — turn it on, load a sheet of paper, and start printing.
The HP OfficeJet 250 Mobile Printer is a great device that fits perfectly into my fast paced and mobile lifestyle. My first impression of the printer itself was how incredibly compact and sleek the device was.
- LG G6 Plus: Full, in-depth review
- First Look: The Evil Within 2
- Huawei Y5 (2017)
- Which flagship TV is best? Sony 4K HDR Bravia 2016 versus LG 4K HDR OLED 2016
- 10 Blu-ray movies / Best looking Blu-ray movies
- FTSocial Media Executive / Specialist (Facebook) - Online PokerNSW
- CCTRIM Support OfficerVIC
- CCService Management AnalystNSW
- FTCustomer Service RepresentativeOther
- FTSenior Consultant - DevOpsOther
- CCGuidewire Business Analyst - Brisbane basedNSW
- TPBA Enterprise ProgramVIC
- FTData Center EngineerOther
- FTBig Data EngineerOther
- FTSenior Software Developer - Java/J2EE/Micro servicesOther
- FTETL & SQL Data AnalystOther
- FTData Specialist (SSIS, CRM)ACT
- CCProject Manager - Go to Market programVIC
- TPSenior Project ManagerQLD
- CCUX DesignerVIC
- FTFront End Developer with UX designOther
- FTDigital Marketing ExecutiveOther
- TPQlik DeveloperQLD
- TPSenior Business AnalystNSW
- CCSystem AdministratorNSW
- CCSharepoint DeveloperWA
- CCIP Network EngineerNSW
- FTMEAN Stack DeveloperACT
- CCLinux & Windows Systems Engineer - BrisbaneQLD