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Pansonic Lumix DMC-TZ6 review

Our Rating :
Price when reviewed : 210
inc VAT

Specifications

1/2.5in 10.0-megapixel sensor, 12.0x zoom (25-300mm equivalent), 206g

http://www.bristolcameras.co.uk

Along with the TZ7, Panasonic’s TZ6 comes top of the group in the design stakes.

The aluminium body is smart, compact and seems durable. The controls are well laid out, with a Quick Menu giving access to key settings. The only flaw is that the mode dial isn’t stiff enough and is too easily rotated when in transit. This led to regular onscreen warnings that it was not in the proper position when we switched it on. Still, it didn’t rotate by accident while in use, so this is just a minor irritation.

Fitting a 12x zoom lens in such a small camera is a remarkable achievement, and it’s even more impressive considering how sharp and free from distortions and chromatic aberrations the photos are. The 25-300mm focal length range means that this camera is equally well equipped for wide-angle and telephoto photography. Noise-reduction processing sacrificed some detail at anything above ISO 200, although ISO 400 shots looked fine and ISO 800 shots were passable when shrunk to fit a computer screen or when making 6x4in prints.

When we compared low-light photos from the six ultra-zoom cameras in this test, first place was too close to call between this, the TZ7 and Sony’s H20. Automatic exposures were nearly always perfectly judged, and although there’s no manual exposure control, exposure compensation is within easy reach.

Our only real criticism of the TZ6 is that its video is recorded at 848×460 rather than the increasingly common 1,280×720 pixels. This is clearly a deliberate move to attract buyers to the more expensive TZ7, but lots of other models, including the budget Samsung WB500, capture 720p video. The TZ6’s videos were still excellent, though, with responsive autofocus, working optical zoom, a smooth, sharp image and clear soundtrack.

The TZ6 leaves the luxury features to the more expensive TZ7, but with a fantastic lens, reliably excellent photos, responsive performance and a smart design, this is an excellent camera at a very reasonable price.

Basic Specifications

Rating *****
CCD effective megapixels 10.0 megapixels
CCD size 1/2.5in
Viewfinder none
LCD screen size 2.7in
LCD screen resolution 230,000 pixels
Optical zoom 12.0x
Zoom 35mm equivalent 25-300mm
Image stabilisation optical, lens based
Maximum image resolution 3,648×2,736
Maximum movie resolution 848×480
Movie frame rate at max quality 30fps
File formats JPEG; QuickTime (M-JPEG)

Physical

Memory slot SDHC
Mermory supplied 40MB internal
Battery type 3.6V 895mAh Li-ion
Battery Life (tested) 320 shots
Connectivity USB, AV
Body material aluminium
Accessories USB and AV cables
Weight 206g
Size 60x103x33mm

Buying Information

Price £210
Supplier http://www.bristolcameras.co.uk
Details www.panasonic.co.uk

Camera Controls

Exposure modes auto
Shutter speed auto
Aperture range auto
ISO range (at full resolution) 80 to 1600
Exposure compensation +/-2 EV
White balance auto, 4 presets, manual
Additional image controls none
Manual focus No
Closest macro focus 3cm
Auto-focus modes multi, centre, tracking, face detect
Metering modes multi, centre-weighted, centre, face detect
Flash auto, forced, suppressed, slow synchro, red-eye reduction
Drive modes single, continuous, self-timer

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