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Panasonic Lumix TZ7 Digital Camera - Black (10.1MP, 12x Optical Zoom) 3.0 inch LCD
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- Serial Shot Mode
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|Shipping||—||FREE Shipping||FREE Shipping||FREE Shipping||FREE Shipping||FREE Shipping|
|Sold By||Available from these sellers||Amazon.co.uk||Amazon.co.uk||Prime Communications||Amazon.co.uk||Amazon.co.uk|
|Display Size||3 inches||2.7 inches||3 inches||2.7 inches||3 inches||2.7 inches|
|Effective Still Resolution||10.1 megapixels||20.5 megapixels||16||20.1 megapixels||12.1||20.1|
|Has Image Stabilization||Yes||Yes||Yes||Yes||—||Yes|
|Item Dimensions||10.33 x 3.28 x 5.96 cm||9.5 x 5.8 x 2.4 cm||10.79 x 3.21 x 5.99 cm||5.23 x 2.23 x 9.31 cm||11.07 x 3.44 x 6.46 cm||2.08 x 9.68 x 5.55 cm|
|Item Weight||206 grams||130 grams||223 grams||122 grams||243 grams||109 grams|
|Max Focal Length||300 mm||40||480 mm||36 mm||720 mm||23 mm|
|Min Focal Length||25 mm||5||24 mm||4.5 mm||24 mm||4.6 mm|
|Optical Sensor Resolution||10.1 megapixels||20 megapixels||17.5||20.1 megapixels||12||20.1 megapixels|
|Removable Memory||Secure Digital card; MultiMediaCard||Secure Digital card||Secure Digital card; Secure Digital card||—||—||Memory Stick; Secure Digital card|
|Special Feature||Serial Shot Mode||—||Shutter Priority; Aperture Priority||—||—||Serial Shot Mode|
Colour Name: Black
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TZ7 records HD movies (1280 x 720-pixels) in AVCHD Lite, which lets you shoot beautiful HD video with almost twice the recording time compared to the conventional Motion JPEG. Optical zoom can be used when shooting motion images. TZ7 is also the world's first compact camera to feature Dolby® Digital Stereo Creator, which records dynamic, true-to-life audio that brings out the power of the HD video. The wind cut function minimises distracting sound from the background during audio recording.TZ7 is also the world's first compact camera to feature Dolby® Digital Stereo Creator, which records dynamic, true-to-life audio that brings out the power of the HD video. The wind cut function minimises distracting sound from the background during audio recording.
Intelligent Auto Mode Features
Depending on the Panasonic Lumix model, iA mode uses up to six bundled technologies working perfectly together to provide the best possible shooting results every time.
Face Recognition registers your favourite friends and family members and will optimize the focus and exposure on your favourite persons. You also have the ability to playback photos by person, and add date, name, age along with adding descriptions to your photos.
AF Tracking then follows the selected subject throughout the frame, keeping them in focus – an excellent way to follow children, pets and other moving objects!
No more under or over exposed shots! Intelligent Exposure corrects the parts of the image that are too dark or too bright, so images come out as naturally as you see them.
Gyrosensors detect hand-shake and the Optical Image Stabiliser lens shifts to compensate, helping prevent hand-shake blur. This system is completely optical – it does not affect the CCD or image processing – so you get sharp, clear images without deterioration. Choose from two modes: Mode 1 remains ON at all times for continuous compensation. Mode 2 starts working as soon as the shutter is released to achieve a greater effect.
Intelligent ISO Control
With Intelligent ISO Control, your Lumix camera can adjust the ISO sensitivity if the subject moves as the shot is taken thereby preventing blurriness of the photo.
Intelligent Scene Selector
The Intelligent Scene Selector automatically selects whichever of five scene modes - Macro, Portrait, Scenery, Night Portrait, and Night Scenery – best suits your shooting situation.
Lumix Digital Still Cameras take a WIDE view
Although the difference between 35mm and 25mm equivalent lenses may not sound like a lot, the 25mm wide angle lens can capture a subject or scene with more than a two times wider frame from the same perspective as a conventional 35mm camera can achieve. This extra range is especially useful when you are indoors where you can be restricted in your movements by walls, corners, or furniture trying to take a photo of the family or friends, or when you want to capture a much wider landscape.
12x Optical Zoom
Since distant objects do not conveniently come to you, Panasonic has equipped its digital still cameras with a high Optical Zoom. For example, the modern Lumix TZ Series features a 12x Optical Zoom Leica DC lens (equivalent to 25-300mm on a conventional 35mm film camera) and enables you to zoom in or out magnifying distant subjects with ease.
Extra Optical Zoom
Many cameras complement their optical zoom ratio with digital zoom, where a portion of an image is ‘blown-up’ digitally to give the effect of a higher zoom. However, images taken with digital zoom become highly pixilated as they are merely digitally processed images rather than images delivered by a true optical zoom.
Aware of this factor, Panasonic has now introduced ‘Extra Optical Zoom’ to its Lumix camera line-up. Extra Optical Zoom cleverly enables you to extend the optical zoom ratio with less image-quality deterioration compared to digital zoom. This function provides additional magnification, extending the zoom power by using the centre part of the CCD; compared with conventional digital zoom functions that directly enlarge the image data, it provides better image quality.
Be easily connected with Lumix
Showing your photos and movies has never been as easy as with the new line of Panasonic Lumix cameras. All Lumix models record wide-screen, 16:9, Full HD images. These images are breathtaking when displayed on an HDTV, like a Panasonic Viera, which manages about four times the data of a standard definition TV. With a Lumix digital still camera, you can enjoy a whole new style of HDTV viewing with family and friends, bringing your pictures and movies to life on an impressive large Viera flat screen Full HD TV. Slideshows and home movie viewings are sure to impress everyone via HDMI and SD card technologies, which offer a quick and convenient means of connecting a Lumix camera with other compatible Panasonic devices.
Easy HDMI connection
HDMI allows you to connect a Lumix camera to a Full HD flat screen TV, like a Panasonic Viera TV, to display your photos and videos in full vibrant detail. Viera Link gives you access and control of a Lumix camera, customising the playback of your photos and movie clips, in HD stereo sound.
Connect without cables
SD Memory Cards offer the simplest way to experience HD photos and movie clips. Simply take the SD Memory Card out of the Lumix camera and slip it into the TV SD card slot of a Viera TV, and you are ready to view bright, vivid images that perfectly fit the 16:9 screen of a Panasonic flat screen HDTV, for example. SD Memory Cards provide you with an easy and flexible way to transfer your images so you can spend more time enjoying your recorded memories than dealing with cables and connection devices.
Venus Engine IV Image Processor
Venus Engine IV is the latest advanced multi-task image-processing engine processor for LUMIX cameras. They provide significantly increased performance of the camera while consuming less power than the previous Venus Engine. Venus IV suppresses noise without lowering resolution, to produce beautiful images. This engine also features low energy consumption despite its high performance.
Quick Reaction and Start Up Time - faster than the blink of an eye
Improvements to Venus Engine IV and various camera components have led to a considerable reduction in shutter release time lags down to a super-short 0.005 seconds and continuous shooting speeds up to 8 frames per second.
High Sensitivity Mode
When using the High Sensitivity mode, you can capture clear images even in dim lighting, as the built-in flash reaches as far as 24 meters. The Venus Engine IV lets you set the maximum sensitivity in seven steps from ISO 80 to ISO 3200 for 10.1 megapixels full-resolution shooting. In addition to providing active shots blur-free with indoor lighting, you get great photos in nearly total darkness.
Venus Engine IV
The Venus Engine IV gives even higher-quality images through using even more advanced signal processing. This new engine also offers a number of other improvements, including more accurate detection, better correction and Intelligent ISO Control functions. This new engine supports today's new camera and imaging technologies, and works with the large, 1/1.72-inch high-resolution CCD. It responds quickly and saves power even at full 14.7 megapixels resolution, providing an image rich in colour and depth.
Venus IV further raises image quality by refining the signal processing process through adding two more circuits. These circuits effectively reduce only the low-frequency noise which turns out to be noticeable as chromatic noise, because resolution decreases if the high-frequency noise is reduced as well.
Enhanced Subject-Motion Detection Circuitry
In Lumix models equipped with the Venus Engine IV, the motion detection in the Intelligent ISO Control function has been further enhanced to suppress motion blur even more effectively, so you still get sharp and clear photos of your family on the move, even in dim indoor light.
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Rev Paul Addison
The LCD screen has broken twice, without it receiving any rough handling (I have treated the camera with care). The first time it broke I had it repaired free of charge by an approved agent. It broke again the other day whilst it was in my coat pocket. I have had to send it away again for another repair.
The 'Mode' dial is located in completely the wrong position. It is located where you would expect the shutter release button to be. This means that when removing it from its case, the dial catches and changes position. When trying to quickly get my camera out to take a quick photo, I often find the setting has changed and I miss the shot I want.
Also, when feeling for the shutter button, my finger has to reach across the mode dial which is extremely annoying. I see with the newer TZ10 camera, Panasonic have corrected this issue.
This is a real shame as the camera takes fantastic photos and the metal body makes it feel solid.
I plan to sell my TZ7 soon for the reasons above.
Photo quality is impressive at normal viewing resolutions, and colour is pretty lifelike under most lighting conditions. Viewing the photos at 100% zoom (i.e. 1:1 image to computer screen pixel sizing) a fair amount of graininess is evident, particularly on long zoom shots. It's about on par with my old Pentax Optio SV in this regard, the design of which is three years older. I haven't had the opportunity to compare with a newer camera, but I'd have expected things to have moved on in this regard.
HD video is best described as 'awesome' from a camera of this size, and the sound is pretty good too. To think that I initially spent more on a no-name branded HD DV camera - I must have been mad. The zoom can be used while recording, though it's very slow. Presumably this is to keep lens motor noise down, but it has the added benefit of zooms being subtle on playback, rather than 'in your face.' The raw HD video files are a bit of a pig to play back without the bundled software, which in turn won't run on my netbook due to the screen resolution. Re-coding to AVI seems to be the best solution. It is possible to upload the HD video directly to YouTube to be viewed on-line in HD, but you'd better have fast broadband. It has been taking me the best part of an hour each to upload 3 minute clips. My only real complaint about the video recording mode is that it would have been nice to be able to snap a still without breaking the recording, and this doesn't seem to be possible.
Back to stills: Intelligent Auto mode generally works well - I've set it some nasty challenges, such as a backlit ornament on a windowsill, and it has done an admirable job. It also flicks in and out of macro mode quite transparently. My only complaint is that there are times when I'd be inclined to use fill-in flash, but the camera decides otherwise. What's more, you can't even enable forced flash in IA mode, so I'll probably end up dedicating one of the scene memory modes to fill-in flash portrait pictures.
Battery life is somewhere between poor and appalling, though perhaps that's because I've been taking lots of video and have the anti-shake turned on. I'd say that a spare battery is essential, which means that a camera case that can accommodate a spare battery is too. I haven't run it flat yet, but I have managed to get it from 3 bars (full) down to 1 in the space of about 20 photos and 15 minutes of video. Perhaps the battery will improve with use. Lithiums do tend to take a few cycles to get up to full capacity.
One minor niggle is face recognition. Firstly, I'm sure that I read that you could program it to recognise up to 15 people when the limit seems to be 6. Secondly, it has a tendency to confuse the two people that I've actually programmed into it so far. Thirdly, it only seems to hold this information internally. I was hoping that it would be stored in the EXIF data of the image so that I could use it to index my photo database, but I had no such luck. It's not a great loss, but I'd got rather excited about the potential of this, only to discover that it isn't really worth having.
Another niggle is the EV bracketing range. I've been known to tinker with HDR photography, and my old Pentax offered bracketing of +/-2EV. While the TZ7 will allow you to manually adjust the EV up to 2 points each way, the auto bracketing is limited to +/-1EV. I've yet to try HDR with it, so I'm not sure how badly this will affect the results. Lack of aperture/shutter priority and full manual modes could also be annoying in certain circumstances. It looks like I may have to hang onto the Pentax for HDR and experimenting with depth of field etc.
All in all, a great buy at the £180ish that it's currently on offer at, as long as you're looking for a 'point and shoot' camera and you can deal with the ill-considered placement of some of the controls. If you prefer your controls to be in sensible places, or want the extra features, then consider splashing out the extra on the TZ10. If you want better manual control over the various settings, then perhaps the TZ range is not the right place to be looking.
Quick edit to add a couple of notes:
I've since read that the TZ10 does have manual and priority modes, making it a much more attractive proposition if you want to go beyond 'point and shoot.'
I've also discovered that the face recognition name tags are stored in the EXIF data after all, and it's my photo database software (ThumbsPlus 7) that isn't recognising them.
I need not have worried as the operation was easy to pick up on. The Intelligent Auto setting is truly amazing - allowing you to take any type of picture from extreme close up to landscape with the camera deciding on the correct settings for the picture. The results are stunning and the colour looks spot on. (I took a really close up picture of a brightly coloured caterpillar on my first day and it is one of the most amazing pictures I have ever taken) The large LCD sreen is great. The zoom has astounded me - compared to my previous digital cameras, the quality of zoom subjects is really good even close to the limit.
There are a number of different settings if you want to over-ride the auto settings but for the majority of the time the camera knows best and unless you are a pro, I think the camera gives more than enough different setting options.
It feels good, it looks good, the battery life is impressive, the picture quality is staggering and overall I cannot fault a single thing. So glad I bought it. Excellent next day delivery from Amazon and well packaged too.