787 of 807 people found the following review helpful
This, the TZ40, is the latest iteration of Panasonic's top of the range travel zoom camera. I am writing this review having owned the Panasonic Lumix TZ20, TZ30 and now the TZ40. I've also used the Canon 260HS a fair bit which is comparable. Where relevant I'll try and highlight the changes from the TZ30 which is still available. This camera is positioned in a very tough sector of the market and competitors from other brands include the new Canon SX280HS, Samsung WB850F and Sony DSC-WX300 plus there are also offerings from Nikon, Olympus and Fuji. However, I think this Panasonic TZ40 offers an unbeatable combination of image quality, usability, features and build amongst compact cameras.
As I see it these are the pros and cons of the Panasonic Lumix TZ40:
- Picture quality - the results speak for themselves. I use point and shoot (IA mode) 90% of the time and the images are extremely realistic and sharp (and that's not just my view). Of course, a larger format camera like a DSLR will do better but the results have to be seen in the context of the size and cost of this camera.
- The TZ40 has a new 18.1MP sensor with improved processing designed to deliver better low light pictures. In my opinion there is an improvement in picture detail over the TZ30 overall, and, in low light the picture does not noticeably deteriorate until you reach over ISO 800 (and, in small size, the quality is reasonable until you reach ISO 1600).
- Start-up is very fast indeed and battery life is good (although, see my comment about GPS/WiFi below).
- The 3" touch display is excellent and the resolution has increased from 460K to 920K pixels - you can control so much using it. For example, I love the fact that you can now select a focus point by simply tapping on the touch screen.
- The autofocus is very quick and the focus lock is excellent.
- The GPS is improved in terms of fix time and detail as now it also makes use of the GLONASS Satellite System. The TZ40 also sports a digital compass and electronic level guide which helps ensure you get the horizon straight.
- The image stabilisation has always been good on this series of camera (a necessity with a 20x zoom), but it is noticeably improved on the TZ40.
- There are a huge range of scene modes and effects etc. plus you can now use the digital filters in panorama mode.
- HD video quality is excellent (as well as the stereo sound) and support has increased considerably for the AVCHD format in editing software etc. (You can also record in MP4 format).
- Near Field Communication (NFC) for the transfer of pictures works very effectively.
- There's a new approach to avoiding being stuck in playback mode when you want to take a shot - you press the playback button to view your pictures, but, as soon as you press the shutter halfway, the camera reverts to shooting mode.
- Transfer of pictures via WiFi could be more straightforward - it works okay but you have to use a "Lumix Lifestyle Account" rather than your own email account.
- There's no RAW mode, which, given the quality of images the camera can capture is a pity.
- Like all cameras with GPS and Wifi, when switched on, the functions do reduce the battery life.
- Nothing else I'm aware of.
- The price of this new camera is about £50 less than the TZ30 was last year at launch.
- The dimensions of the TZ40 are slightly different to the TZ30 and TZ35 - the TZ40 being a shade wider but a whisker slimmer. By any measure it is a truly pocketable camera weighing in at less than 200g including the battery/SD card. Plus, you really can shoot a steady picture with just one hand thanks to the good ergonomics.
In summary, the Panasonic TZ40 takes excellent pictures, the 20x zoom makes it ideal for travellers, it sports a huge range of automatic and manual setting options as well as many other features including GPS, WiFi and NFC. Taking account of the size and cost of this camera, in my opinion, it doesn't come much better than this! Recommended.
12 of 12 people found the following review helpful
○ The latest firmware update (ver1.3)is available from panasonic.jp/support/global/cs/dsc/download/TZ40_TZ41_ZS30/index.html
○ For firmware updates check this site periodically just in case, as it will be the first site to show it: panasonic.jp/support/global/cs/dsc/download/
Having owned the compact TZ series cameras since the TZ8, I have generally noticed incremental improvements on previous models, yet not necessarily in the image quality department. In fact, in some cases there was a degradation in this regard, which was made up for by the inclusion of features like gps etc.
I find that the TZ40 is still an evolutionary upgrade over the TZ30, with the inclusion of Wi-Fi, NFC and the lovely 920K 3 inch display. The bump in pixels from 14 to 18 megapixels seems to be more of a marketing tactic, yet nowadays many are aware of the drawbacks of cramming pixels into such a tiny 1/2.3" sensor. This usually results in more noisy pictures, yet I have to point out that Panasonic somehow managed to get away with it, and the pictures from the TZ40 are outstanding.
○ Great image quality
○ Bright 3inch 920,000 pixel screen, great for sunny days
○ Wi-Fi: Connection History and Favorites list make it easy to find previous settings.
○ NFC: Near Field Communication works a treat when the Panasonic app is running on Android device
○ 20X zoom in a compact body offering better image stabilisation
○ Better GPS implementation. The camera remembers where it was last switched off. Further improved by firmware updates Ver 1.1 and Ver 1.2
○ The sensor seems to perform better in low light when compared to TZ30
○ Manual controls
○ High dynamic range (HDR). This option is great to see shadow detail
○ Very good video footage
○ iOS app works a treat for controlling certain camera features
- Wi-Fi : long winded procedure to set up (Yet once set the connection history makes it easy to track previous settings)
- Still no RAW capture
- ON/OFF switch is now a button (I personally prefer the TZ30's power switch)
Given the functionality vs the price of the TZ40, its really hard not to highly recommend it!
It is a perfect all rounder, and ideally suited for the traveller wanting lovely photos and a large zoom in a lightweight, compact body.
124 of 129 people found the following review helpful
on 8 November 2013
Ordered Saturday, arrived Monday so great service from Amazon.
My TZ40 is to upgrade from my excellent TZ8 that has done 4 years of sterling service. I was attracted by the TZ40's increased zoom and newer anti-shake with image de-blurr.
The camera can take one snap on its ludicrous small internal memory. It comes without any SD card and no battery charger. It will need at least an 8 Gig card I have bought a 32 Gig) The camera is charged via an adapter and very short USB cable that you have to plug into the body port on the camera. This may well in time cause wear and the USB cable is too short to fit to most house wall sockets and have the camera in a safe place for charging. This penny pinching is very frustrating. All my other 3 Panasonic cameras came with longer USB cables and proper battery chargers.
The red camera looks the business and starts up quickly in about two seconds. The extended lens sticks out more than on the TZ8 and it takes a noticeably longer time to retract when the camera switches off and this needs to be remembered or I will be stuffing it into my pocket while it is still moving.
The menus have been improved and all the photography menus I find well designed and intuitive. As for the WIFI and GPS menus - more later but intuitive? Well no!!
The colour balance on intelligent auto mode is much better than the TZ8 with warmer colours and many shots requiring no lighting adjustments in Photoshop Elements.
The large zoom is very smooth and even at 20x plus another 20 with izoom set it is possible to get an in focus hand held shot with minimal blurring. Lens anti shake stabalisation is much better than on the TZ8. The colour noise on the TZ40 is noticeably less than on the TZ8 but does show up even in bright light (especially on backlit shots) when the zoom is at maximum.
The intelligent auto mode takes several shots when it detects back-lit scenes and seems to decide on this approach quiet often and the single composite result is probably better than I could achieve on my own. However, the processing time for this is noticeable and prevents a quick next shot.
The touch screen may well be the bees knees for some but I find it hard to use as it detracts from compositioning brainpower. Not the screen's fault but mine. I find I do have to remember to switch the touch screen shutter off or I take photos of my feet, the sky and everything in between at random while carrying the camera in hand.
The panorama setting is great and will save me hours in Elements. It has a habit of cutting off (not recording) the last bit as I pan. so I have had to get used to its scope which is about three usual 16:9 frames.
The macro close up mode is the best I have had on any camera. The level gauge, which I use all the time is essential for me and again it will be goodby to leveling sloping shops in my photo editor.
The video quality in both HD and MP4 is excellent and playback on my HDTV via memory stick is superb.
So as a Camera I could not be more pleased.
However the WIFI is just a joke, connections having to be set up for every eventuality separately and most being very hit and miss. In fact its so much bother each time with no expectation of a successful result that I have all but given up on it. The NFC function did eventually work. This is where you touch the camera against a NFC device such as the Nexus 7 to transfer pictures. However both have to be on and the tablet has to be running Panasonic's Image App which you have to download. If its not running but just downloaded you are directed to the web to download it again. Once set up and working remote control of the basic photo processes like shutter and zoom of the camera is possible.
WIFI transfer of files is time consuming to set up and usually in my experience fails so this is a function I will not be using.
The GPS function is also very non intuitive and the maps supplied which have to be loaded onto the camera take up 4 Gig of card space just for Europe and N America so I had to buy a large capacity card if I am to record any decent length video.
I expect I will usually have the GPS and WIFI switched off in use.
TZ40 bad points
No supplied SD card
Tiny internal memory
No separate battery charger
Extremely short USB cable
WIFI mostly too complicated and file transfers fail
GPS cumbersome for the dubious benefit of being reminded where you took a photo
TZ40 Good Points
Intelligent Auto point and shoot mode superb
Good colour balance
Leveling tool a godsend!
Not yet tested
Program, Aperture priority, Shutter priority and manual modes but I expect these to be fine.
189 of 199 people found the following review helpful
on 10 April 2013
Only used the camera for two weeks and I am already totally impressed by its performance. I have bought Panasonic compacts for many years and was very pleased with the brand. However, my last camera was a Sony DSCHX9VB bought in Sept. 2011 due to the better sensor compared to the Panasonic at the time. The TZ40s sensor is so much better in low light than even the Sony and surpasses that camera in so many other departments. It is smaller and faster than any previous camera I have used; the zoom range is just incredible in such a small camera. Being able to use my iPad as a remote and downloading photos using wifi are real bonuses. I haven't been able to explore all of the cameras features yet but at the moment I cannot fault it.
I am not really into all the technical stuff, I just want good quick photos. If you want a point and shoot camera with added features you really should consider this camera.
89 of 94 people found the following review helpful
on 11 July 2013
I bought 2 of these, one for myself and one as a present for one of my daughters.
I researched to death many cameras, sites and reviews and was a little worried of some purist's views of poor quality for this model, but I have to say I can't really fault the image quality for a compact.
This has replaced a 2 year old Sony wx7 that tended to over saturate and had too few manual and creative controls.
This is my first lumix camera so need time to learn the menus and quirks of the features.
Very fast and accurate focussing, however as with just about any compact this will suffer in low lig ht.
Unbelievable zoom for a compact. Can't figure where the lens comes from, seems to extend beyond the expected size.
Quick menu gives useful access to common features.
Intelligent auto mode is the most accurate I have encountered and seems to home in on the right option most times and very quickly.
Creative control. Great range of control plus a number of clever image effects that give interesting results to sae post processing for immediate effects.
Amazing range of burst shot options including with flash an focus.
720 video at 100 fps is great fun.
Wifi remote viewfinder is excellent although a little fiddly. Not sure that this is lumix issue, more likely just the process of wifi connectivity taking a few seconds each time.
Great to see dedicated video button on the top of the camera. More natural and easy to use. Sony and many others have video button on the back, top right which makes it difficult to press without shaking camera.
Superb panoramic mode. Best I have used.
Nice grip on front of camera makes it easy to hold and stabilise.
Fast startup, particularly compared to my Sony and especially for video.
Half shutter press a little imprecise, or maybe I just need to get used to it. Time will tell.
The combinations of features and different modes is perplexing and not easy to remember. I.e. what features are available in which modes.
Features such as burst setting are set for each camera mode, so if you use multiple modes then you have to re engage feature for each mode, then unset them all. There may be a way around this, not figured out yet, or I may need to think through the mode needed more first!
Charge time is a little slow at over 3 hours, but rated at 300 shots, so may not be too much of an issue.
I really don't understand the need for so many pixels. I would prefer better quality at 12 mpel.
Touch screen more of a gimmick and I find myself taking pictures in error with touch shutter. I may disable this feature.
Cant yet find a way to change the default wifi key.
Lens a little slow with f3.3 at widest aperture.
With hindsight, would I have still bought this? Yes definately, positives outweigh any negatives which are really me just nitpicking rather than real issues.
I will be giving this a thorough workout on holiday soon, so will update the review with more feedback.
Thought I would add more having used the camera for a number of months now including hundreds of shots during the summer holiday.
First really noticeable feature over any other camera I have had is the amazing zoom. Especially in good light where the increased f stop at the high end doesn't impact so much on image quality.
Next is the brilliant panorama capability. So much easier to capture a good panoramic picture than with previous cameras
The panasonic image app is a bit gimmicky, but works well once you realise that you need to connect to the SSID of the camera to do remote control, I don't think the control works over another wifi zone.
Biggest frustration is still the fact that features are specific to each mode of operation, so need to be set and unset in each mode. It's easy to forget that burst mode could be on for programmed mode if you have been using intelligent auto etc.
I loaded the extra maps, but can't see any real practical use or benefit, but gps feature is good and will really be useful when looking back at pictures some years ahead I suspect.
Intelligent auto is pretty good at getting the right settings if you are happy to let it.
I disabled the touch shutter after taking too many pictures of the floor. The only touch screen features of real use are the touch focus and flicking between images in replay mode. For every thing else just use the buttons.
I don't believe there is a perfect camera out there, although everyone has a different view of what that would look like so it's a near impossible ask of any camera manufacturer until they launch a customisable software load. ( listen up Panasonic, this would be a real USP )
Still a great choice and one that I would make again so I am convinced it is the best travel super zoom on the market.
72 of 77 people found the following review helpful
on 26 April 2013
For ages I convinced myself I could get by with a smartphone for point and shoot and a bridge camera for proper photos. Except the bridge camera is so heavy and big it rarely ever comes out and the phone only really takes good pictures if the lighting is right.
This camera provides a fantastic level of zoom for something so small and light. The photos are very good on the iauto setting and I rarely need to edit them on the PC anymore. There's plenty of manual settings and a lot of extras such as:
* up to 100 fps video at HD and 200 fps video at VGA for some great sloooowwwmoooo playback
* HDR photo option
* remote control with your android/iphone including controlling the zoom - set up a tripod and you can get some great photos of the whole family or some of the more shy wildlife that visits the garden
* up to 30 second exposure for night-time shots - eerily bright photos with the moon light!
* smart tracking focus that can follow objects about
* GPS and map - not really used these though.
Sure you could buy a bigger camera with more zoom, but this is one that you are actually likely to carry around with you. I'd seriously consider this if you are looking for a new camera.
This camera does very well on automagical settings but with so many manual options available it's a great way to learn to take better photos yourself.
145 of 156 people found the following review helpful
on 19 June 2013
I (like many others) was researching cameras for a while before buying the TZ40.
I bought the TZ40 on the good reviews, then worried when i saw the bad customer ones cropping up. Having just been on holiday and used the camera, in bright sunlight, near pitch black and low light i can say im impressed!
Ok so some of the pictures arent 100% perfect, but most are great. I have only ever bought cheap cameras, point and shoot, but i wanted to try and get those "professional" looking photos myself, this camera actually made it possible! I only played quickly but managed to get pictures with great colors and sharpness, even some of the shots where the subject is in focus and the background blurred. I'm not saying you cant get these shots from other cameras, but after uploading from holiday i was quite impressed. A simple picture of a family friend reading, with a flag in the background, i managed to completely blur the friends face, while getting a sharp picture of the flag all with a few clicks in fact one might have been with intelligent auto, literally zoom and click! On the PC this looked great to me. All done in camera, no editing.
Im yet to understand it all, but i have started experimenting out of auto mode, and this camera allows you to go fully manual, ill need to do a bit of research but my pictures are coming out well. There are forums around where people use this camera and show some stunning pictures (although they are probably a bit more experienced than me!)
Night handheld mode blew me away...if i were to take a pic on my old camera from a rooftop of a lit pool by night, it would go very dark with a bit of blue in the pool, this one was stunning, it looked how i saw it! Ok so it was a little blurred but for literally clicking the button , the colors amazed me!
Wifi and the other features, while a little fiddly are helpful and i have used it , but after a while it may wear off a little!
Im not saying this is the best camera ever or in its class, just an honest review of how i found the camera, like i say its not 100% perfect, some pictures didnt come out the best ever but most are very good, especially as its just one click for a lot of them!
Hope this helps
42 of 45 people found the following review helpful
on 25 July 2013
Disappointed with the poor quality photos you get from your iPhone ? Might be handy for the odd snap, but if you want a picture to frame, especially in low light, the iPhone will always disappoint. This camera is the answer. Pin sharp photos, even in low light on the automatic setting, which is good because all the scene options melt my middle aged brain. Love it to bits. Works superbly with the iOS app, so easy to use, can't rant on enough about how good this camera and apple products work together. Message to all you middle aged technophobes out there. Leave this camera on the automatic setting, snap away and just enjoy the results !
154 of 167 people found the following review helpful
on 27 April 2013
This is my third Panasonic compact camera and I still use my TZ10 as its so good. This on the other hand has blown me away with just how good it is. I am a serious camera enthusiast with Canon and Nikon DSLRs with a massive array of excellent lenses. I got this compact today and just had to get out and about. I went to Lough Erne in Northern Ireland and took some shots on Intelligent Auto setting using colour and monochrome. I was shocked at how good this camera really is. Its sharp, its quiet, its so neat and compact but with a Leica Lens you will not go wrong. This camera has some pretty neat gadgets like a digital spirit level, GPS and wi fi. Some are gimicks like a compass however this camera is a wonderful tool in my arsenal of cameras. It's wonderfully light and easily held. The intelligent auto setting really does work. I love the Panasonic TZ range of compacts. My TZ10 is now 3 years old and still takes amazingly clear pictures. If you are going on holiday and weight or bulk is an issue then take the TZ40 as it will out perform most cameras and not let you down. Am going to leave my DSLRs at home on my next weekend break to Poland. This is a marvellous camera ans should last for years. Panasonic have made a classic one here.
3 of 3 people found the following review helpful
on 4 August 2014
Awesome camera for holiday snaps and excellent HD video - What I loved about this compact is that it has awesome functions and ease of use - My background is in DSLRs and big HD video cameras, but it was impractical for me to take the two on holiday so I checked out some reviews and brought this.
While there were some issues in transferring videos to the laptop these were minor and could be resolved easily with a bit of research.
Things you may want to know about this lovely gadget: The HD video quality is excellent - Slow Motion video looks really smart and also you can play around with the settings to your hearts content. You can also remote operate this camera from your smartphone or tablet - which is amazingly useful for me as I shoot videos about food for my website and this has some great settings to do that. Allowing me to operate machinery while the camera is on a stand and use a tablet to control it. While the remote operating functions aren't as in depth as on the camera, they are many and highly functional and will help serve you get the perfect little videos and shots that you want with more ease.
If you are thinking of getting this do make sure you get a nice little bag/case for it and also an SD card that holds at least 32gb. I also brought a spare battery and battery charger for this as I did use this thing to the max. Also the screen is very reflective so if you do go somewhere sunny you are going to have problems viewing what you are shooting so make sure you get a screen overlay/protector for it which will reduce the reflection.