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Customer Review

414 of 418 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 (Camera)
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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Showing 1-10 of 42 posts in this discussion
Initial post: 7 Nov 2010 13:17:27 GMT
This was a great review and one which I found very helpful. I like the way you use layman terms without being overly technical - which can be off-putting for a technophobe like me. I value your opinion and was wondering if you could provide your views and comment about picture quality in low light surroundings/settings. Thanks in advance.

In reply to an earlier post on 8 Nov 2010 12:57:04 GMT
Hello Carina,

I'm very glad you found my review helpful. As a general rule, compact cameras struggle in low light. The Lumix TZ10 is probably the best in its class though, helped by the ability to manually control settings such as the ISO.

When shooting in low light, you really need the ISO to be as low as possible. Anything higher than 400 and "grain" will start creeping into the image. (ISO number is how sensitive the camera is to light)

With the TZ10 you can set a maximum ISO setting so that the camera cannot go above it, helping with night photography.

I recently took this camera to a rock concert, I was stood very far away from the stage but I took some decent images.

Another good way to find images is to go to www.flickr.com and search for the Lumix TZ10. Loads of photos will come up from people who have uploaded their images to this website.

The concert environment is a very tricky one for any camera, copy this link into your browser and you can see a select of images taken with a TZ10 in this very same environment.

http://www.flickr.com/search/?w=all&q=TZ10+concert&m=text

Regards,
Nick

Posted on 9 Nov 2010 13:03:41 GMT
mike says:
Thanks for the review, thinking of getting this camera, as price seems very good now, a long time since done any photography, but had manual before and a canon ixus, which i have given to my daughters mum so that there are some pics of my daughter (she didnt have camera). Would now like a good camera so i can take my own pics of her, and others when im out. Which camera case do you recommend and im not sure i understand SDHC and mini cable and why standard kit not as good, sorry if im a bit thick!

In reply to an earlier post on 10 Nov 2010 11:11:17 GMT
All of the accessories that you need can be brought here on amazon.

You don't need to buy the official Panasonic accessories, they are expensive.
I brought a cheap case:

http://www.amazon.co.uk/Panasonic-Black-Original-front-pocket/dp/B003X25ORQ/ref=cm_cr-mr-title

A HDMI mini cable

Wired--up HDMI Mini to HDMI Male 1.8m Cable - Black

A spare battery

Lig0sh - PANASONIC DMWBCG10e / DMW-BCG10E / DMW-BCG10 / DMW BCG10e Compatible Digital Camera Battery For Panasonic DMC-TZ6 / DMCTZ6 / DMC-TZ7 / DMCTZ7 / DMC-TZ8 / DMCTZ8 / DMC-TZ9 / DMCTZ9 / DMC-TZ10 / DMCTZ10 / DMC-TZ18 / DMCTZ18 / DMC-TZ20 / DMCTZ20 / DMC-TZ65 / DMCTZ65 / DMC-ZR1 / DMCZR1 / DMC-ZR3 / DMCZR3 / DMC-ZS1 / DMCZS1 / DMC-ZS3 / DMCZS3 / DMC-ZS5 / DMCZS5 / DMC-ZS6 / DMCZS6 / DMC-ZS7 / DMCZS7 / DMC-ZS8 / DMCZS8 / DMC-ZS10 / DMCZS10 / DMC-ZX1 / DMCZX1 / DMC-ZX3 / DMCZX3 / (PLEASE NOTE THIS PRODUCT HAS LATEST CHIP INSTALLED NOW WORKS WITH FIRMWARE (1.1 , 1.2 , 1.3 and 1.4) ID SECURED

A tripod

Joby Gorillapod Original - Black

A SDHC card

Transcend 8GB Premium SDHC Class 10 Memory Card

All work perfectly!

Posted on 10 Nov 2010 16:26:06 GMT
S. says:
Thanks for your excellent review and the really useful feedback that you have directly provided to others. I will be using the links you have suggested to get the peripherals. Happy snapping :-)

In reply to an earlier post on 11 Nov 2010 09:38:56 GMT
Thank you, I'm glad you found my review helpful.

In reply to an earlier post on 15 Nov 2010 12:15:20 GMT
mike says:
Thanks for advice, got it in post today, battery on charge, will have a play on next days off, best of luck, regards mike

Posted on 25 Nov 2010 10:57:56 GMT
C Jobber says:
Thanks for the great review - I was wondering if you have to remove the battery to charge? thanks =)

In reply to an earlier post on 26 Nov 2010 11:15:33 GMT
yes you do, Panasonic include a battery charger with a mains adaptor.
I don't believe it can be charged any other way.

Posted on 8 Jan 2011 01:16:06 GMT
The Zodiac says:
I'm very pleased to have come across your very helpful review. I had a Cannon Ixus 800 before but sadly it gave up the ghost. I loved the camera, but would now like the Lumix, partly because of the Leica lense. Did you consider the TZ8 during your research? If so, what made you choose the TZ10 instead and what was your general opinion of the TZ8? Which aspect of the TZ10 would you miss or do you think is well worth the extra money over the TZ8. I would really value your comment. Thanks in advance.
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