on 23 May 2014
I'm.just an ordinary lady who wanted a point and shoot camera that has a good zoom facility and one where I can see what I am shooting at even in strong sunlight and for me, this ticks all the boxes. I bought it just before a trip to Majorca, and even though I selected this camera partly because it has a viewfinder, I only used that once as the screen display is visible even in strong sunlight. It is small enough to slip into my handbag and carry all day without feeling the weight, unlike various SLR cameras, and produces very good results.
I particularly like the ability to take video without having to faff about with the settings (it has a dedicated button next to the ordinary shutter release, but not so near that the two can get confused), and the panorama setting is a great feature.
The zoom is excellent, and although it doesn't shout about anti shake, I was able to walk and talk whilst taking videos without any loss of picture quality even on moderate zoom.
The controls are very iintuitive and I was able to use it very effectively without having to wade through the manual first, a great bonus for impatient or busy people.
All things considered, I find it to be a great little camera and although I thought twice about spending that amount of money on a camera, I am very pleased that I did.
I have just got my TZ60 having had both a TZ40 and TZ30 before that. These are my first impressions of this new camera and I will add to this review as I get to know it better but for those who might be considering one now here are my early thoughts -
- Picture quality is good in the context of a pocket travel camera in reasonable light conditions and at lower ISOs (eg. below 800).
- Auto focus seems quick especially in better light and at lower zoom lengths.
- The TZ60 shoots in RAW (the TZ40 didn't) as well as JPEG.
- Video quality is good plus you can zoom during shooting - video can be shot in HD 1080 P or I.
- The TZ60 looks and feels like an enthusiast camera with its lens control ring and an electronic viewfinder featuring dioptre adjustment.
- Effective ergonomics - it's easy to hold, operate and the menu system and controls are well designed.
- Good quality LCD display which is readable even in quite sunny light.
- Lots of manual options as well as an effective auto mode with many pre-programmed scene modes and filters plus HDR etc.
- The 30X zoom brings things closer, although, it doesn't seem 1/3 more powerful than the TZ40, but image stabilisation is good even at 30x zoom and I understand the system has been developed further since the TZ40.
- The GPS seems quicker to find a fix plus WiFi and NFC work well and have been refined a bit since the TZ40.
- Burst mode seems fast.
- Battery life is good at around 250-300 shots. (See the "con" below about charging though).
- Because of the small sensor, in reduced light and at higher ISO settings pictures can get noisy, but show me a comparable camera where this isn't true. The sensor is, I believe, the same as in the TZ40.
- The TZ60 has no touch screen facility like the TZ40 - this is something you might miss if you're used to it.
- You have to manually switch between the LCD display and electronic viewfinder - there's no automatic sensor.
- The electronic viewfinder is very usable and nice to have, but resolution could be higher. The practical implication of this is that a picture might appear in focus through the viewfinder but put it on your computer and you could be disappointed. However, bear in mind most cameras of this type don't have a viewfinder facility at all.
- The TZ60 is slightly bulkier than the TZ40 but not significantly so.
- Battery charging can only take place in camera as there's no external charger - the camera can't be used during charging.
Finally, although, it's not strictly about the camera itself ....
- Panasonic and other camera makers should learn to get a matching case out at the same time as a new camera is launched - I have a friend who won't buy a new camera unless a case is available.
In summary, this is a well designed and equipped travel camera. The TZ60 will deliver very reasonable results under a wide range of conditions and satisfy most people. Because it is effectively a "Jack of Many Trades" there are some compromises, primarily, in the area of low light performance and related picture noise levels, but, as I've said, this issue only becomes intrusive in fairly low light and at higher ISO settings. Overall, this camera is a crowd pleaser, well made, straightforward to use with many options available and capable of delivering some nice results - I like it a lot. Recommended.
I've used quite a few of the TZ models and other maker's compact zooms over the years. So was quite keen to try this new TZ mostly because it adds something all the others lacked, a viewfinder (electronic)
Now it's here it is welcomed, there were times just using a rear LCD in harsh light wasn't ideal.
My quick fire pros and cons list
+ First TZ with a viewfinder built in, it's a 0.20" 200,000 dot EVF. Nothing amazing either size or resolution wise, but useful to have in tricky lighting
+ Decent quality 30x 24-720mm (equivalent 35mm) zoom lens. Lens speed is f3.3- f6.4 which is ok for normal use, take note for low light shooting though
+ Build quality is respectable feels solid enough (though previous TZ's were a bit better here)
+ Good image quality from the camera which uses a 1/2.3 sensor. Also you can shoot raw too (don't expect big sensor IQ though)
+ Built-in Wi-Fi & GPS, GPS locking was quite quick and I had no problems in actual field use
+ Does a fairly decent macro/close up min focus of 3cm
+ Manual controls including Program, Aperture/Shutter priority and lots of scene modes as well as custom settings that can be stored on the main control dial
+ Good performance from the AF which has an assist light which comes on in low light, AF is generally quite fast and locks on reliably, video AF holds focus well even when zooming in and out which is nice to see, video quality is pretty good too
+ OIS lens stabilisation works well around 3 stops or so maybe a touch more
+ Metering performed well in a variety of situations from low light to harsh contrasty lighting, quite consistent and predictable
+ Long exposures possible up to 15 or 30 seconds (with the Starry Sky mode) handy for night scene tripod shooters
+ Has a focus peaking mode (for manual focus) and focus magnify using the ring at the base of the lens, but this is quite slow responding to turns (focus by wire) Focus ring can also be customised for other functions
+ Easy to use, logical control layout, and menu system
+ Has some faster burst modes for action shooting, I don't really use these much on cameras like the TZ60 up to 10fps you can get maybe useful for catching kids playing. Raw does slow the camera and burst rate down though (worth picking up a decent speed card)
+ LCD is sharp and clear even in most lighting conditions, nice 920K dot resolution
- Live view finder (EVF) has no sensor so you have to switch between the LCD and EVF with a button (bit of a shame)
- Lens is quite good across the range but drops off a touch at the top telephoto level (still quite usable though) Corners are ok but could be a bit sharper at full wide angle
- Battery life is around 250 shots real world sometimes a tad more, GPS will drain the battery more, worth getting a spare for holiday/travelling
- Low light performance is average for a compact with a non fast lens and this sensor size, above ISO 1600 too much quality is lost, pretty much in line with offerings from various makers here. You can get ok smaller prints at ISO 1600 but stick to 800 or below, ideally ISO 400 max
- Small built in memory (12MB), not really a big deal as cards are so cheap now, but as memory is so inexpensive you wonder why makers don't put a bit more in camera (say 256MB) to get you out of trouble in a pinch
- No touch-screen controls, doesn't bother me much but there are times "touch to focus" or quick settings via the LCD could be useful. With no sensor for the EVF I suspect that's one reason
- I felt the grip was ok but the TZ 40 had a larger one (personal taste on this)
- Dynamic range pretty good for a compact, but not up to the Fuji models I've tried
- Not the best place for a built in flash, you have to be careful you don't cover it with your fingers
- You have to charge the battery in camera via USB, not a huge deal if you travel but would be nice to have a wall charger AND the choice to charge in camera
As per usual with Panasonic you get a ton of scene modes and filters to play with, quite a bit of customisation of the camera too.
Compared to the TZ40 you lose the touch screen controls, but gain a 30x zoom v a 20x zoom on that model. You also get raw and the built in EVF on the TZ60. It's a shame the EVF isn't a bit better usable but could be bigger and higher resolution.
It's a toss up what you prefer, I'm glad Panasonic added the EVF it's a step in the right direction, even though you have to use the button to switch between the screen, it's not that big or high res it's usable with decent refresh rates.
The TZ range has been around for a while and I've used most of the models over the years, this is a decent step up in some respects, but as with all smaller sensor cameras there is no comparison between a small sensor with 18mp and a much bigger sensor, as long as you trim your expectations you'll be happy enough with the camera.
Hard to say if TZ40 users should update (in some ways this is an update, in others a step back ie non touch), if you're happy enough with the 20x zoom (which is probably good enough for most) then stick with that model, if you're looking for a new super-zoom to take on holiday the Panasonic will serve you well as a travel camera.
Image quality is quite good, but not outstanding. Smearing is evident once you hit ISO 400, not enough to ruin your prints but with the mottled watercolour effect quite obvious (raw can help here). Some CA is present in harsh contrast at the edges, not unusual by any means. Sharpness falls off a bit at the longer end of the zoom. As long as you don't pixel peep and keep the ISO levels down where possible (OIS works very well) you should be happy with this.
Overall 4 stars from me, 5 indicates near perfection and few cameras are worthy of that. The TZ-60 packs quite a lot into a compact package, with some compromises, but the majority of users will be quite happy with the camera. A nice camera and worth checking out, but do look around at alternatives esp if you don't need such a big zoom range, some of the premium compacts with faster lenses and larger sensors ultimately do have better image quality.
on 18 April 2014
I have the TZ30, which I thought was good. But this is an excellent step up. The viewfinder gives you that extra option in bright sunlight (we took the camera to Dubai as a test) and the extra zoom is well worth it.
Of course it has all the normal TZ features - so you won't go wrong with whatever you decide.
on 7 June 2014
This feels like a solid well made camera. The menus are easy to navigate and largely produce the results you would expect. I have tried shooting in all modes and although I have only checked the results on screen they appear very good and I have no reason to believe that printed pictures would not be up to the standard claimed. I like being able to shoot in RAW format if required although the codec for the Panasonic format seems to be hard to come by as far as the popular image editing tools is concerned. The electronic viewfinder is very useful for framing some shots even at the low resolution available. The wifi set up to link to my phone was easy and works well.
Why not 5 stars then? I don't like having to charge the battery in camera, The location of the flash means that stray fat fingers can sometimes obscure it and the location of the video button beside the on/off switch means that I have recorded a few unintended movie files. These are minor irritations however on what so far looks like a very worthwhile camera.
At times I've really really wanted to give this camera a three star rating, but I just got back from holiday, looked at my photos and have to admit I'm impressed. The good ones are nice and crisp with good colours.
My wife has a Lumix LX5 that looks very similar to this TZ60 and has given us many years of excellent service so I thought I couldn't go far wrong getting myself this camera as it seemed to be an updated version - but this was a very wrong decision that I wish I'd spent more time over.
The big difference is the lens - the TZ60 has an absolutely massive zoom range up to 30X which gets you very close to distant subjects. It also focuses down to 3cm away so you can take pictures of very small things. But - and this is a big but - while the LX5 has a maximum aperture of F2, this TZ60 has a maximum of 3.3 - this means that you need more available light unless you're happy to use a flash, which personally I am not. It means you end up with a number of blurred pictures when the LX5 would give you a crisper image in low light.
The TZ60 has a couple of other features that didn't impress me - the GPS simply used up the battery faster so I quickly turned it off - I have a pretty good recall of where I've taken my photos.
And the WI-FI and Bluetooth feature made me feel quite suicidal. How can Panasonic make such a simple feature so hard to set up? It's all about what you can't do - not about what you can. I have to admit that it's nice to see the image the camera can see on my Android phone, but because this relies on WI-FI it's not a feature that makes you excited to use it at every opportunity. Of course you could take a WI-FI cloud on holiday with you, but why on earth should you have to?
Finally, why does Panasonic insist on using a unique plug to charge the battery? On our LX5 you get a separate battery charger. Forget it when you go on holiday and you're in trouble. With the TZ60 you theoretically just need the cable, but it looks so much like any other USB cable that it's easy to mislay or confuse with another cable, and then you're in trouble. Added to this, there are two sockets on the TZ60 - a micro HDMI socket, and the power charging USB socket. Weirdly you can ram the power plug into your HDMI socket. Does it damage it? I guess I'll find out the text time I try and plug a micro HDMI lead into the camera. It was only after I plugged the lead into the wrong hole that I noticed that on the underside of the little flap on the camera it actually says what each socket is for - in small black letters on a black background.
on 24 May 2015
Very good results. This was bought to replace an older model and for me it just gets better & better. So far, flawless performance & results - the only issues being down to my framing of some shots (not as good as it could be). This camera is one of the best point & shoot compacts you can get, with plenty of manual adjustments for the more serious amateur. Personally, I am quite happy to shoot what I see and let the camera deal with the light & shutter speed. The camera has a Leica lens, that folds neatly away behind a protective sliding cover when the camera is off. The lens will go out to 30x in optical mode and there is even a focusing ring that allows 'fine tuning'.
Colours and detail are excellent, certainly for me the best to date, it being virtually impossible to take a blurry shot unless for depth of field or 'arty' work), either from being out of focus or due to shaky hands etc - the camera's 'Intelligent Auto' mode takes care of just about everything. You can even put a horizon line into the excellent rear display, which ensures that you keep things straight. Also, there is an electronic viewfinder, not common on many compacts these days and you can choose the level of information that you want to to see.
The wifi facility is very easy to use and once set using the Panasonic Image app for your smartphone, images can be easily transferred for onward sharing on social media. Used with a class 10 SDHC memory card, shot formation is very quick and it is possible to take multiple frames in either single or continuous mode, with clear sharp results.
In manual mode, it is possible to increase the ISO speed to 800 & beyond, which allows for good images even in low light, which I prefer to using flash. For me, flash kills the depth of the image and obviously causes reflection issues in areas where there are reflective surfaces. I haven't used all of the manual or program functions myself but those I have work out fine.
Whilst the camera is ' pocket-sized', it weighs a bit more than most other compacts I have use but given what has been packed into such a small space, I am not surprised.
All in all, for me an excellent buy. Not sure what extra benefits the TZ70 might confer but the TZ60 does it for me and is pretty foolproof.
on 12 December 2014
I've had a few of these now, the last being the TZ40. Was looking forward to this camera as I mainly take action shots and wanted the extra zoom. Disappointed though as the burst feature is rubbish, the TZ40 was so much better capturing more frames per second, this camera misses out a lot of the action. The zoom is great, until it's full out and then it's very unsteady so hard to focus or keep track on object esp if it's a moving subject, so this is not good, even when videoing. Portraits and general photos are good quality, although indoor photos are not good, no matter which flash option you select.
I use my cameras every day and been using this one now for just over a month and already regretting not just getting another TZ40! The less zoom on the TZ40 would be a small sacrifice to lose when considering the many good photos and action shots I am missing out on now using the TZ60. It's also very slow at getting your photos processed if you want to go back and start deleting shots you have just taken....very frustrating.
on 8 December 2015
Really pleased with this camera. The zoom is amazing, as is picture & video quality. How good is the zoom? Check out my picture of the moon. Says it all really :)
on 24 December 2014
Not a photographic buff but was fed up with lag on my Olympus FE 5020. The Panasonic is larger and more costly but so much better, all-round. I can now take pics of my grandson before he moves! Have only used the Intelligent auto mode as of yet, but it delivers at all light levels. Purchased a 32GB SD card as the internal storage is very small. Recently took some great photos at an O2 concert with differing light and zoom levels. Great quality photos achieved with the fantastic zoom, with no noticeable shake. Also recently went to Brugge and took some great photos with quite low light levels. Very easy to navigate around the menu and will investigate other settings in the future. Managed to link up the Wifi with my android tablet and can easily transfer photos to it and my Google Drive storage. Can't seem to connect it with my Win 7 laptop though, through my Home Network. Some more investigation required there. Haven't got any NFC devices so cannot comment on that facility. Battery life is good and quick and easy to charge without removing the battery. Also received a £30 Cashback from Panasonic. Bonus! Highly recommended.