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92 of 92 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Excellent all rounder - with latest firmware
We bought this a couple of weeks ago to provide a smaller alternative to our Nikon D40X DLSR. Our criteria were fast response time, SDHC and small size. Looking around, we found the DMC-TZ5 and the 10x zoom and HD video sealed it for us.

We took it home and the pictures were OK, but the auto zoom didn't lock at times. A quick google search later and we found...
Published on 9 July 2008 by D. Ward

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80 of 81 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars Good, but with several compromises
I was looking to upgrade my ultra-compact Pentax Optio S6, which was an okay camera, but simply 2 years old and falling behind the curve.

I prioritized getting a compact, if not ultra-compact, form factor, good zoom and a nice screen - and so after much research I chose the Panasonic Lumiz TZ5, which has all of the above, and even include the ability to record...
Published on 16 Jun 2008 by Anders H. Nissen


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92 of 92 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Excellent all rounder - with latest firmware, 9 July 2008
By 
D. Ward (UK) - See all my reviews
(REAL NAME)   
This review is from: Panasonic DMCTZ5 Digital Camera - Black (9.1MP, 10x Optical Zoom) 3.0" LCD (Electronics)
We bought this a couple of weeks ago to provide a smaller alternative to our Nikon D40X DLSR. Our criteria were fast response time, SDHC and small size. Looking around, we found the DMC-TZ5 and the 10x zoom and HD video sealed it for us.

We took it home and the pictures were OK, but the auto zoom didn't lock at times. A quick google search later and we found v1.2 of the firmware from Panasonic, after a quick flash the camera is transformed.

It records decent video (With sound being recorded at 5m away!) and will suffice for 85-90% of your needs. My main gripe is the tendency to switch red-eye on and/or change the picture setting in iA mode which sometimes means that you will sometimes miss pictures of the kids running. This can be resolved by switching to Normal mode and having a play (I recommend setting ISO Max400 and auto flash without redeye for best results) but this is a great camera which will do most of what you will want/need for family pics and outside.

In short, there are better cameras for image better, but few better for having everything in one package - the Nikon is not the normal camera we use anymore and that should say something! :)
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387 of 390 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars My review of the Panasonic Lumix TZ5, 8 May 2008
By 
A. Moseley "Francotori" (S. London) - See all my reviews
(REAL NAME)   
This was my 'upgrade' to a now very low spec 3.1 mp Pentax Optio. To say it bluntly I was impresssed from the moment I switched it on. The TZ5, the supersceded model to the TZ3 carries a 'winning formula' from its predesessor. The TZ5 is difficult to flaw, the camera is very easy to use. I was whizzing around the options within minutes and the settings are very clear and understandable. One of my favourite features has to be the e.zoom button by the shot button. From the 1st press of this button the camera goes straight to a 10x optical zoom without having to do it using the manual control along the ring of the shoot button. This e.zoom button allows you to capture somthing in the distances with ease and speed, whether a passing celebrity or wildlife. Press the button again and it will go to a 17x digital zoom also very impressive given the overall distance you are trying to achieve taking these shots with 3 mp. The stability on this camera is also very impressive, it makes you think why ever need a tripod for a digital?

With regards to the picture quality, the 9 mega pixels along with the auto 'iso' sensitivity produces images which will give some SLRs a run for thier money. This is in my opinion the ideal travel camera, when you are abroad its ideal when compared to an SLR or semi-SLRs in terms of its 'carryibility' and ease of use. What is also equally impressive is the qaulity of the screen, very clear and vibrant, this will play back your images and video clips in good qaulity for you to admire. For a novice photographer this is definately a good starting platform, this camera will in my opinion inspire the user to take creative shots that will fail to dissapoint.

The battery life is equally impressive, capable of taking up to around 300 shots on one charge the camera is truly flawless for a compact it simply has to be one of the best out there. Despite the size being larger than some of the slimmer competitors on the market, a majority do not in my opinion pack as much of a punch as this will.

I have not used the video but with this being the only compact on the market so far with recording and play back facilities at 720p, I consider this to be more than sufficient to capture your movies where ever you are. The Lumix series are overall very impressive and this has to be one of its front runners.

Overall I rate the TZ5 5 *****
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39 of 39 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Not bad, not perfect., 18 Oct 2008
Verified Purchase(What is this?)
This review is from: Panasonic DMCTZ5 Digital Camera - Black (9.1MP, 10x Optical Zoom) 3.0" LCD (Electronics)
The bad:

Nothing major thankfully, but....
The movies (all resolutions inc HiDef) are recorded in Apple MOV format, not Windows AVI, so not so many dvd players or tvs with card readers can play them nor can much standard PC software edit them. Apple's free "quick time" can PLAY them. Mac users should be happy I imagine.

The wrist strap has a hard-platic end piece that can "clink" against the camera case and be picked up when recording sound (yeah, picky I know).

Very thin lens iris cover. I think this is common to many compact cameras, but for one that otherwise feels good and "solid" in it's build quality, this is really lacking. I'm almost tempted to find a proper lens cover for it.

There are varying opinions on the net about it's low light performance. I would say that a lens that starts at F3.3 at 28mm is never going to be the best in low light. There are other (admittedly dearer) Lumix cameras that are better specced for that purpose.

If you buy an SDHC card, make sure it is "fast" enough. A cheap SD or SDHC card will make this feel like a "slow" camera. Not all class 6 cards are the same!

ALSO if you buy an SDHC card - and this may seem obvious - it won't work in a standard SD card reader. You'll need an SDHC card reader, or put up with using the USB connection between camera and PC. SDHC card readers can be had cheaply enough though.

The good:

Generally feels well built. Nice "proper" on/off, record/play and other buttons on the back. Proper hinged door concealing the USB and other connections (not one of those rubber things that never fits snugly again after being used a few times). Really good 3" LCD screen, though sometimes the photos look better on it than they do on your PC.

10x optical zoom, extendable to about 16 times optical if you drop the resolution (don't ask me how, but that's what the manual says). In effect, you're getting about a 28-280mm lens!

YOU CAN TAKE PHOTOS IN 3:2 FORMAT! YAY! No more getting the edges of your pics chopped off at the printers as 3:2 = 35mm Film scale like cameras from the olden days (LOL).

You can extract 2mb stills out of your 720p HD video clips (just press the shutter button whilst playing back your movie and it lets you save a still or group of consecutive stills on the memory card). On a sunny day, 2mb is fine for a 6x4" print.

In summary: Will probably last a bit longer than some cameras I have owned. Image quality fine. Built quality appears good. About right for the money. Am I a little underwhelmed after all the reaserch I put in before buying this camera? Slightly, but then maybe I should stop trying to pretend (as an ex SLR user), that a compact camera will ever match up to an SLR standard.
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38 of 38 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Panasonic DMC TZ5, 25 Sep 2008
By 
Mark Shenton - See all my reviews
(REAL NAME)   
This review is from: Panasonic DMCTZ5 Digital Camera - Black (9.1MP, 10x Optical Zoom) 3.0" LCD (Electronics)
I have been searching for a new camera for the last couple of weeks, since selling my trusty Panasonic DMC FZ5.

I had seen the tv adverts for the TZ5 but didn't want to jump in and buy it without researching other makes.

Close runners were the Sony W300 and the Canon Ixus 960.

I was a little concerned after reading some of the reviews on here that maybe it wasn't as good as it seemed!

So what tipped me in favour of this, none of the others could quite match the features on the Panasonic and after placing an order and purchasing this I believe I have made the right decision.

The camera is not as bulky as I had imagined it would be, it is quite a nice compact size and doesn't seem to be too heavy, have taken a couple of trial photos and quality seems good so far.

The menu and features are easy to use and set up and the intelligent auto is very good.

I also purchased the Lowe Pro Ridge 20 case, think that was a mistake as it is a very tight fit getting the camera in.

I wouldn't hesitate in recommending this camera to others, if you do purchase also buy the larger memory card (8GB or greater) if you have the camera on the highest setting 9MP you will soon run out of space if you are snap happy like me!
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132 of 134 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Great all round camera, 9 Aug 2008
This review is from: Panasonic DMCTZ5 Digital Camera - Black (9.1MP, 10x Optical Zoom) 3.0" LCD (Electronics)
I bought this after owning/using several other cameras. I wanted something smallish I could carry around that would give me enough versatility to allow the SLR to stay at home.

In the shop it was up against the Canon G9. I took some pictures with both and the one that required the least effort to get a good shot was the TZ5.

The winning factors were:

Very good image stabilization
Excellent lens and zoom range
Great screen
Good build quality
Easy to use

What's not so good is:

Sound in movie mode is poor, but useable. Just use a camcorder. Most digital cameras record at 30FPS, UK TV is 25 FPS. So they give slighly jerky playback anyway. But they do look good on a PC. TZ5 looks as good as any I've seen, but as far as I know of all the cameras I've ever used only the Fuji F50 played back at the correct frames per second.
No RAW mode. It wasn't important to me.
No manual control (apart from exposure compensation). However, that wasn't important to me either.

For people who view images at 100%, it can be a bit too noisy above ISO400. But that could apply to almost any non-SLR. I've taken a lot of pictures with it and I've had far more keepers than with my 350D. But if I were to compare the best 350D photos with the best TZ5 at 100%, the 350D would win.

Somebody else compared it to the Fuji F30. The Fuji F30 was fantastic, but they don't make them anymore. The Fuji F50 is also very good, go with it if you want something smaller and cheaper (only in price, build is very similar), but you lose out in terms of wide angle (starts at 36mm) and zoom (only 3x).

Don't bother looking at megapixels. Once you get above 6 it doesn't really matter.

Finally, a note on the zoom. What sold it to me was 28mm, but now I've used it for a while, the 200mm plus range is a real bonus. The picture seems to be good right through the range too.

I feel like I made the right choice.
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80 of 81 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars Good, but with several compromises, 16 Jun 2008
By 
Anders H. Nissen (Denmark) - See all my reviews
(REAL NAME)   
This review is from: Panasonic DMCTZ5 Digital Camera - Black (9.1MP, 10x Optical Zoom) 3.0" LCD (Electronics)
I was looking to upgrade my ultra-compact Pentax Optio S6, which was an okay camera, but simply 2 years old and falling behind the curve.

I prioritized getting a compact, if not ultra-compact, form factor, good zoom and a nice screen - and so after much research I chose the Panasonic Lumiz TZ5, which has all of the above, and even include the ability to record video in 720p HD.

And I must say that for a relatively compact travel cam, the TZ5 isn't too shabby. I love the 10x optical zoom, the large, sharp and brilliant 460K 3-inch TFT, and the Intelligent Auto mode is pretty good at guessing what I want to shoot.

However, a few cautious words:
The autofocus sometimes has to hunt quite a bit, especially at high zooms.
A lot of images are rather soft - actually very soft in low light situations.
The video quality isn't all that spectacular in real life, and the audio is quite noisy.

So - if I hadn't been stupid and thrown out all the packaging, I might consider returning it and go for the Canon G9 instead. It's larger and somewhat heavier, but has more manual control, higher quality images and a beautiful video mode. Or possibly just go ultra-compact again with an Ixus or the Fujufilm f50fd or something.

That said, I'm fairly sure I'll be happy with the TZ5's features and the fact that it is very easy and quick to use, as well as the above mentioned factors - and you could, too - I just want to make sure you've thought it all through, pros and cons alike...
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24 of 24 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Excellent camera, 25 Sep 2008
This review is from: Panasonic DMCTZ5 Digital Camera - Black (9.1MP, 10x Optical Zoom) 3.0" LCD (Electronics)
First of all, excellent service from Amazon. Ordered on Sunday and delivered Tuesday.

The Panasonic TZ5 is a pretty unique camera. It is quite small and pocketable, the pictures make it look bigger than it is. Whilst this is not unusual, the 10x zoom lens is. You just don't think you can get a lens of this size in a package this small.

Performance of the camera is good. The camera powers on quickly, considering the size of the lens, and is ready to take a picture as soon as the lens is extended.

The lens is very good. It is a Leica lens with a range of 28-280mm. At the wide angle, there is only minimal barrel distortion and at the telephoto end, minimal pin cushioning.

The pictures produced by the TZ5 are very good. One has to remember that this is a compact camera and it does suffer from packing 9mp onto a small CCD.

If you want a pocket size camera with a big zoom, this is your only choice. Great flexibility in a small package.
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111 of 114 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Panasonic DMC TZ5EB, 5 April 2008
By 
B. Tetley "Brian T" (Loughborough, UK) - See all my reviews
(REAL NAME)   
Verified Purchase(What is this?)
This review is from: Panasonic DMCTZ5 Digital Camera - Black (9.1MP, 10x Optical Zoom) 3.0" LCD (Electronics)
This is my 2nd Panasonic digital Camera (6th overall, including Canon G3). My first is the LX1 which takes brilliant pictures, but I wanted a longer zoom. I ordered the TZ5 from Amazon and it was delivered 2 days early, which made me happy to start with.
The camera is very easy to use as the menus have been improved dramatically. It is extremely easy to carry around and use. It starts in no time and with the IA mode selected it takes brilliant high quality pictures in most conditions.
The 10X optical zoom is every thing I was looking for and the picture stabilisation helps get very sharp picturs on maximum zoom. For those looking for more zoom you can boost it electronically if needed.
For a long zoom digital camera that sits easy in the pocket, I am very pleased with the quality pictures I get.
I must admit I haven't tried the HD movie feature yet.
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44 of 45 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars An excellent camera, 17 July 2008
By 
R D. Napoli "Roblon" (London) - See all my reviews
(REAL NAME)   
This review is from: Panasonic DMCTZ5 Digital Camera - Black (9.1MP, 10x Optical Zoom) 3.0" LCD (Electronics)
This is perhaps the best compact camera I have owned (and I am familiar with the Sony, Nikon, Olympus and Pentax types). While there are more compact cameras on the market, this is a very elegant and functional one. Pictures tend to be of a very high quality indeed and the power of the zoom is just incredible. It feels good in your hands and its commands are very simple and intuitive. The range of shooting possibilities is really great (that is if you are one of those who prefer setting the camera themselves rather than relying on the automatic controls that, in this camera, are just very simple and effective). Excellent screen. Among other things, the camera allows you to zoom as you film (though the noise of the zoom can be heard, as you consequently watch the film but it is not a problem for me). My only reservation is about the position of the microphone, which is placed on the top left hand corner of the camera - you have to be careful not to put hand/fingers on it, lest you block the sound recording. Highly recommended!!!
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35 of 36 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Greatest Compact Camera, 9 July 2008
By 
Mr. D. Rowlinson (Telford, UK) - See all my reviews
(REAL NAME)   
This review is from: Panasonic DMCTZ5 Digital Camera - Black (9.1MP, 10x Optical Zoom) 3.0" LCD (Electronics)
Everything about this camera is brilliant. I took a long time searching for a compact camera which was as good as an SLR and this is definately it. The 10 times optical zoom is unrivaled by any other compact and with 9.1 megapixels its capable of taking excellent quality images. The large 3 inch screen enables you to see clearly what you're veiwing and examine in detail pictures you've recorded. The controls can be very easy and take excellent images on the IA (inteligent auto) mode but absolutely everything can be changed and adapted to suit more experienced users. The camera's face detection can easily pick out people and also changes to a block system to take pics of items and things that aren't faces. The camera also has settings for two children, pets and holidays where once on their setting will record the name and the date on which it was taken.
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