Customer Review

412 of 416 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Possibly the best compact camera currently on the market..., 28 Oct 2010
This review is from: Panasonic Lumix TZ10 Digital Camera - Black (12.1MP, 12x Optical Zoom) 3.0 inch LCD (Electronics)
Having spent many weeks doing much research regarding my next camera purchase, I finally settled on the Lumix TZ10 a few weeks ago. I'm very glad that I did.

Firstly, let me start with my requirements. I wanted a camera that first and foremost took quality still photos and HD video. Beyond that, I wanted manual control over shutter speed and exposure for creative photography, plus a wide angle lens. All of this I ideally wanted in a compact camera that would still fit in your pocket.

The Lumix TZ10 ticked all the boxes and after reading exceptionally favourable professional reviews online I took the plunge.

I can now safely say that I am delighted with this camera. The intelligent auto mode generally works well if you don't want to fiddle too much with the other settings, and the dedicated one touch record button enables HD recording instantly.
Most people already know this, but bear in mind that the camera does not ship with an SDHC card or a HDMI mini cable. You will have to purchase both of these separately. I strongly recommend a card with "class 6" speed or later or you will find any HD videos "jerky" on playback.

Image quality is excellent all round (the 16x intelligent zoom also makes great use of the dreaded digital zoom) and surprisingly so for a compact, is still very good in low light. There are an abundance of scene modes to choose from if you wish, plus the ability to select and store your own presets using the mode dial.
You also get the choice of three different aspect ratios, 4:3, 16:9 and 3:2. Taking photos is 16:9 widescreen resolution will of course mean the absence of those annoying black bars down the side when viewing on a widescreen TV!

Remember as well that you can set up face recognition for up to six people. This means the camera will remember their names when they appear in the shot and will give them focus priority.

Regarding the mode dial, it's great to see Panasonic have include the P, A, S, and M modes. These stand for:

Program Mode
Aperture Priority Mode
Shutter Priority Mode
Manual Exposure Mode

Now if you are not familiar with any advanced photography, then I suggest you leave the camera on intelligent auto mode.
However, if you've spent the money then it would be nice to know how to use these modes to your advantage.
I won't go into the detail here, but you can find plenty of tutorials online regarding them and they are easy to understand. Plus it's fun to learn and try, so give them a go! You will open up a whole new world of creative opportunity which will help you utilise this cameras full potential.

HD video is recorded at 720p 30fps and the quality is exceptional. Panasonic have included two stereo microphones and the sound quality is excellent.
However, please be aware of the following:

1) The built in wind cut feature helps cut down wind noise from outside recordings but does not eliminate it completely. Please also note that this option is not available in intelligent auto mode.
2) The zoom motor noise can be heard on playback occasionally. I find that it is generally masked by the ambient noise but if you are recording indoors and use the zoom then you will hear the motor on playback.
3) If you have brought a European model, the maximum amount of recording time you will be permitted in one go is 29m 59s. This is because of tax laws which stipulate that any camera that records longer than this must be sold as a camcorder instead.

All of these minor points do not detract from the excellent video capability overall.

Beyond that, the other headline feature is the inclusion of a GPS receiver. (Global Positioning System)
This automatically records your location into the EXIF data of each photograph. Generally speaking it works well; the camera takes roughly one minute to locate itself and will display the location on screen.
Sometimes it isn't always exactly accurate, it will display a location from it's built in database of 500,000 locations. If you're not happy with the location description, you can always manually overtype it.
It is a handy and useful feature for geotagging photos, but it has an inevitable strain on battery life. For this reason, I generally find that I turn it off; if you intend to heavily use the GPS then purchasing an additional battery is essential.

In summary, I strongly recommend the Lumix TZ10. The still image quality and HD video are both excellent. It is a superb camera loaded with advanced features.
Just remember to factor in the additional accessories required, plus a tripod for creative photography and a decent quality case. The last thing you want to do is damage it.

One final point, Panasonic have released a firmware update to version 1.2. It can be downloaded directly from the Panasonic website and increases performance.

Added 28.1.11

For those of you considering this camera, please be advised that Panasonic have recently announced this model's successor, appropriately called the Lumix TZ20.

Due for commercial sale in March, new features include an 14 megapixel MOS sensor, 16 x optical zoom, touchscreen control, full HD movies and an updated GPS with a database of over 1 million world landmarks.

Professional reviews are yet to be released but the camera looks identical to the TZ10. It'll be slightly more expensive, but if it performs as well as this one then Panasonic will have another compact winner on their hands.
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Tracked by 3 customers

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Showing 31-40 of 42 posts in this discussion
In reply to an earlier post on 7 Jun 2011 08:14:17 BDT
The USA equivalent of the TZ-10 is a ZS-7, and COSTCO last month were doing them for $200 (130) including a case and 2GB card so I grabbed one while I was in the States. So far I'm very pleased. IA generally gets it right and image quality is spot on.

In reply to an earlier post on 7 Jun 2011 08:48:53 BDT
Hi There,

I'm glad you are finding the TZ10 or ZS7 an enjoyable camera. Bargains can generally be had on it now and it's been superceded by the TZ20, or ZS10.

Posted on 17 Jun 2011 11:18:39 BDT
Last edited by the author on 17 Jun 2011 11:43:10 BDT
Mr. A. Joul says:
Be grateful for your help/advice, ive baught this camera, was attracetd to being able to record video and take stills ( i have a baby daughter). My operating system is XP (windows 98), i only seem able to run video through the software provided, and not through windows photogallery or windows media player with both saying they dont support this file. I dont like the software provided as its not easy to combine and move files (you end up with millions of files if you dont do this especially with kids) also the program wont let me open files containing photos taken with my camera phone (wanting to shut down and send an error report (Nokia 6300), so would rather carry on with windows (had no problems till now). Ive read on the reviews that windows 7 supports this type of file (AVCHD) does this mean i should upgrade to windows 7? Im not very computer literate im affraid so any advice would have to be on a "simple" level!, im an nurse not a techy!, cheers in anticipation, mike, ps just noticed ive asked for your help before!, also maybe im being thick as two short planks but can you only video in landscape?, guess this seems obvious!

In reply to an earlier post on 17 Jun 2011 11:33:14 BDT
Hi Mike,

Your computer must be very old, as you mention two different versions of Microsoft windows, XP and 98 are seperate.
Either way, the TZ10 records in AVCHD lite which is a reasonably new format which older versions of windows will not recognise. in order to play back the media files on the PC you need to install a program called windows media player classic, it can be downloaded for free if you perform a google search.
Otherwise, record in Motion jpeg, which will play back easier on a PC.

You should be able to install windows media player classic on a xp pc, but probably not a windows 98 one.

I would strongly recommend upgrading your PC though. I'm actually a computer engineer by trade and a new desktop or laptop would probably set you back around the 400 mark for a budget model.
All new machines will be running windows 7, so will work just fine.

Another great way to play back the media files is to purchase a HDMI mini cable. They are as cheap as chips here on amazon and providing you have a HDTV you plug one end into the camera and the other end into the TV, you can then view your photos and videos in stunning HD on your TV.

If combining video files though is your intention, then you will need a new PC or laptop. Specialist software can be brought reasonably cheaply to help you transform your home video clips into one larger video file.
Best of luck.

In reply to an earlier post on 19 Jun 2011 19:54:10 BDT
Mr. A. Joul says:
Think i will install windows 7(operating system currently xp professional), think this will only (!) cost 70 (i have windows media player but dont think its the classic version), when i then go to play my videos on windows 7, do i just click on the video and it starts playing?, would much prefer this method as have had problems with panasonic software as mentioned, thanks for you assistance, regards mike

In reply to an earlier post on 19 Jun 2011 22:53:28 BDT
You will have to right click the media files and select "open with" in order to select a compatible avchd player.
Windows media player won't play them.
If you get stuck just head over to google and do a search.
Upgrading your os to windows 7 from xp may cause some issues, try downloading the upgrade advisor from Microsoft in order to help you.

In reply to an earlier post on 21 Jun 2011 11:43:06 BDT
Last edited by the author on 21 Jun 2011 11:43:30 BDT
Mr. A. Joul says:
I think the question i really need to ask (finally) having been playing around, is, "does windows 7 recognise the video file on your camera so that you can download it onto your computer (without the panasonic software installed), store it and then play it with another programme?" I ask this because the other night I downloaded an alternative programme, splash lite, which plays the video files. So i thought i would wipe off the panasonic software as im unlikely to use it, prefering windows for the moment, but having done this, when i then attached the camera it recognised photos but did not identify any videos on the camera (despite several being on it), will windows 7 sort this problem?, if not i will just have to reinstall panasonics software i guess which isnt a problem, but if theres a better alternative, anyway im probably doing your head in!, give me a ventilator or a dialysis machine and im away, computers, not so hot, or confident i guess. Just want a file with videos of my daughter in, which is easy to play, regards mike.

In reply to an earlier post on 21 Jun 2011 21:44:46 BDT
Last edited by the author on 21 Jun 2011 21:48:54 BDT
I'm glad to try and help you Mike.
I'm not sure that the windows operating system is your problem here, it's more I think the understanding of the technology involved.
I have just downloaded and installed splash lite, it plays all the AVCHD video files perfectly.

Let me explain how I do it. Firstly, it's important to understand that the camera does not store the photos and videos in the same place on the memory card.
The video files are in the "PRIVATE" folder followed by "AVCHD" then "BDMV" and then finally "STREAM."
They will be called 00001, 00002 etc.
I then copy these files from the card to the c drive and then open them using splash lite.
Splash lite may recognise them directly from the camera, but you're going to have to tell it exactly where the video files are located.

You should be able to do that on windows xp. I use windows vista and it's fine, it'll also definately work on windows 7.
Try that, if your computer has a memory card slot then put the memory card directly in here and locate the files manually. (windows will provide a pop up window asking what you want to do)
Then copy them off into another folder and you can browse them at your leisure.

Posted on 29 Aug 2011 22:46:03 BDT
Just_Lily says:
Wow, what a great review and very helpful too. At the moment, Im confuse which camera to buy. Would you mind helping me to decide which camera I should go for?

My main goal is to take photos and videos of my baby boy. He is 17 months old. Usually I use my smartphone to take his pictures, BUT it's sooo difficult to get a good shot of him, because he keep moving about (babies) and the result will be smear or blur (out of focus). It only works if I use my Canon DSLR camera (using Automode or Sport mode), and the image quality is outstanding, seldom blur or out of focus.

But it's not practical becoz of the size of the camera and sometimes the precious moment already gone before I manage to lugging this out from the camera bag and open the lens cap. So I'm looking for a compact camera, which has smart auto mode setting, so I can just take a quick snap shot photo of my baby, and produce a stunning result too.

I've looked some compact cameras here on Amazon, and they are: Panasonic TZ10, TZ20, Sony HX9, Canon S95, Panasonic Lumix LX3, Panasonic LX5. They all have 4 or 5 ratings! I really have no idea which one to choose. I was quite drawn to Sony HX9 becoz of the great video recording, but the image quality is just "ok", no where near my Canon DSLR (judging from the people's photos on Amazon).

Please share your opinion and advice.

Thanks and Regards

In reply to an earlier post on 30 Aug 2011 09:31:49 BDT
Hi,

Thanks for your comment, I will certainly try and help you. The real thing to consider here is what type of compact camera you are really looking for. The TZ10 is a decent all rounder, although the TZ20 is the newer model. Both take excellent pictures in auto mode and the HD video mode is excellent too.

The Lumix LX3 & LX5 are essentially compact versions of SLR cameras, they have larger sensors for better image quality and these models will perform in a similar fashion to your existing Canon DSLR.

I personally find the autofocus on the TZ10 very good, I reckon you'd be fine with that for taking photos of your young baby.

The other thing to do is to do a google search for the model numbers, for example "Panasonic Lumix TZ20 review" You will find that lots of professional companies have reviewed the models in question and you may find them helpful.

I can't really pass comment on the Sony and the Canon as I am not familiar with them, I've used Panasonic's for some time now and I'm yet to be disappointed.

Regards,
Nick

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