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Customer Review

326 of 334 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Great value TZ with a "selfie" flip screen, 29 April 2014
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This review is from: Panasonic Lumix DMC-TZ55EB-K Compact Digital Camera - Black (16.0MP, 20x Optical Zoom, High Sensitivity MOS Sensor) 3 inch LCD (New for 2014) (Camera)
Having reviewed the TZ-60 recently the TZ55 is an interesting alternative at a lower price point, so I just had to get hold of one to test. Comparing both it's clear whilst the TZ-60 does have more features, the 55 has most of what you probably want at a much nicer price
It shares more with the older TZ40 than it does with the TZ-60 similar size and shape and the same 20x zoom as the TZ40 model

The main differences between the models are:
- TZ-55 has a flip out 180 degree LCD, both the TZ60 and TZ40 have a fixed LCD
- TZ-55 does not have GPS built in and it has a lower 460k LCD (TZ60 has an EVF viewfinder)
- No raw on the TZ-55 just jpeg, and no AVCHD video just MPEG-4 (25fps) but it's full HD though mono sound
- It's got a 16mp MOS sensor rather than the 18mp of the others, and it shares the TZ-40's 24-480mm equivalent 20x lens

There are some more differences but I'll do a quick fire pros and cons

Pros:
+ Useful "selfie" flip out 180 degree monitor (and unique panoramic "selfie" shot mode!)
+ Good image quality in most situations, though lower light levels/high ISO I'd try to keep it at ISO 800 or under
+ Nice build quality feels well put together and LCD hinge feels fairly strong
+ 24-480mm zoom lens 20x not as big as the 60's but still mighty handy
+ You do have wifi which is useful for image transfer or remote control via a tablet/smart phone
+ Full manual controls and Intelligent Auto, P, A, S, M modes as well as custom positions on the dial to save settings
+ Max shutter speed of 30 seconds in starry sky mode (useful for longer exposures)
+ Fairly decent AF performance in stills and video (not super fast but acceptable), AF holds focus well even zooming
+ LCD is quite clear 460k is still pretty good, but could be brighter
+ Battery life is fairly decent about 300-320 shots get a spare for travelling though
+ Mostly well featured usual exposure compensation, scene modes and lots of creative filters (soft focus, toy, miniature etc) has a fast 10fps shooting mode too

Cons:
- No GPS or NFC, start up is a tad slow
- Jpeg only no raw
- MP4 video rather than AVCHD, 25fps max (rather than the 60's 50fps HD mode)
- Mono sound
- No touch screen
- Tiltable LCD does add a bit more size to the camera depth, screen contrast/brightness could be improved
- Dynamic range could be better, can tend to clip highlights so adjust the metering EV to compensate
- Low light performance isn't amazing noise control is a bit heavy handed (lens speed slower and small sensor) I'd stick to ISO 400/800 max though for flash shots it's ok

**Note** I borrowed this camera for a few days from a friend who purchased it so I could write a review. I have no relationship with any camera maker and I do not get free cameras to review (one review has suggested this)

If you compare it to the older TZ-40 then you lose the GPS, touch screen control, lower screen resolution, and the AVCHD/stereo sound is gone. In most other ways it's very similar to that model. The lens is not Leica branded, but the arrangement between Leica and Panasonic is a long running affair similar to Sony and Zeiss (they license the name for selected products, there is a design element and QC aspect too.). The optical performance of the lens is pretty good for a camera costing this price so I see the lack of name badge a non issue.

You do gain the rather interesting flip out LCD. I did try it and it's not just a gimmick, there are practical uses such as making a video recording on a tripod for example. The "selfie panoramic mode" is just the same as the normal panoramic follow the on screen markers and sweep the camera across to create your own "group selfie" shot ;-)

It's quite fun even if it sounds a bit corny.
Image quality wise its par for the course with most superzoom compacts decent enough in good light but don't expect miracles or premium compact IQ (these cameras have larger sensors), as with most compacts the rated megapixel number doesn't really bare out real world. The TZ-60 does have raw though which probably isn't something most users will miss in this price range. If you don't need the flip out LCD or the big zoom range the LX-7 (or Fuji X10/20) is a good choice esp for low light shooting.

The TZ-55 has most of the bits you would want on a good compact travel super zoom. The TZ60 does offer more no question, but the price difference is there, (do check the differences between the models though) It is nice to have the EVF on the TZ-60, but some won't use it much.

If you have a TZ-40 unless you are desperate for the flip out LCD I'd stick with that. On the other hand if you can live with mono sound, and a few less features the TZ-55 is a really good value camera that have quite a lot going for it. Pretty good image quality, decent battery life, 20x zoom is still quite a lot, lots of fun filters and modes for experimenting, manual controls if you need them. For the asking price it's a bit of a steal really. It's a perfect fun and versatile camera that's ideal for taking on a holiday or general use. I am not into selfies much, but you can't help but have a blast with this the group pano selfie is something special on it's own. Having fun is half of what matters when you take photos you capture your memories and events, and whilst this can be a more serious camera with lots of room to experiment and modes to play with, it brought a smile to everyone's face who tried it.

Not perfect speed and IQ could be improved, but well priced and one of the better more affordable super zoom models on the market
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Showing 1-10 of 22 posts in this discussion
Initial post: 1 May 2014 20:34:28 BDT
Last edited by the author on 2 May 2014 07:02:50 BDT
Christof says:
Thank you. Perfect round up of the 3 cameras. The better video, stereo sound, gps and price means I'm prop ably going for the older TZ-40.

:thumbsup:

In reply to an earlier post on 1 May 2014 20:48:21 BDT
Mr Baz says:
Ok thanks for that.
If you need the stereo sound and gps then the 40 is a good price now. Shame they couldn't put this in but I expect they wanted to keep some distance between the models. They're all good solid buys though.

In reply to an earlier post on 2 May 2014 07:01:59 BDT
Christof says:
In fact, I think I've decided on the LX7 now. Better lens, low light and video quality at the sacrifice of zoom and other features. So many cameras to choose from!

Again, thanks for an amazing roundup, it really helped me get things straight in my head.

In reply to an earlier post on 2 May 2014 09:46:49 BDT
Mr Baz says:
No problem the LX-7 is a bit of a steal right now and makes a good choice esp for lower light shooting (much faster lens)
You're right there are lots of choices, this is better suited as a general/family/hoiday camera.

Posted on 2 May 2014 10:17:28 BDT
Mike Mac says:
Excellent, comprehensive review. Thank you for your efforts. I'll stick with the TZ40, I think.

Posted on 9 May 2014 14:19:32 BDT
Great review thank you. I've been looking for a decent compact camera at around the £200, for use when I don't want to carry my DSLR around all day or for travelling light. TZ55 is now on my shortlist of 5.

In reply to an earlier post on 9 May 2014 14:31:42 BDT
Interesting post on the TZ55 as one of 5 similar cameras. What are your other 4 that are also worth considering?

Posted on 11 May 2014 15:27:12 BDT
DI says:
Great review from someone who obviously knows what he is talking about ! From someone who doesn't, I wanted a new compact camera for our summer holiday this year and have been looking at the TZ55 for a couple of weeks. I would certainly not be buying it for the 'selfie' option, but that said I do like the idea of taking a couple of family shots without needing to accost a poor unsuspecting local or the very busy waiter. I think I am sold given the deal I am looking at comes with a spare battery and case, the only other one I was considering was the Nikon Coolpix S6600 but you haven't reviewed that one !

In reply to an earlier post on 11 May 2014 16:43:54 BDT
Mr Baz says:
Hi DI I have not used the Nikon so can't really comment on how good it is (there are some reviews online though have a look). I think for your needs the TZ-55 is a good choice and the price is very reasonable really, hence the positive review. The selfie screen is quite fun, you will use it more than you think!

In reply to an earlier post on 11 May 2014 17:12:22 BDT
Last edited by the author on 11 May 2014 19:47:47 BDT
DI says:
Thanks so much, now ordered and looking forward to using. All the best.
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