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Pansonic Lumix DMC-TZ6 review

Ben Pitt
23 Jun 2009
Expert Reviews Best Buy Logo
Our Rating 
Price when reviewed 
210
inc VAT

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Specifications

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

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 848x460 rather than the increasingly common 1,280x720 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 megapixels10.0 megapixels
CCD size1/2.5in
Viewfindernone
LCD screen size2.7in
LCD screen resolution230,000 pixels
Optical zoom12.0x
Zoom 35mm equivalent25-300mm
Image stabilisationoptical, lens based
Maximum image resolution3,648x2,736
Maximum movie resolution848x480
Movie frame rate at max quality30fps
File formatsJPEG; QuickTime (M-JPEG)

Physical

Memory slotSDHC
Mermory supplied40MB internal
Battery type3.6V 895mAh Li-ion
Battery Life (tested)320 shots
ConnectivityUSB, AV
Body materialaluminium
AccessoriesUSB and AV cables
Weight206g
Size60x103x33mm

Buying Information

Price£210
Supplierhttp://www.bristolcameras.co.uk
Detailswww.panasonic.co.uk

Camera Controls

Exposure modesauto
Shutter speedauto
Aperture rangeauto
ISO range (at full resolution)80 to 1600
Exposure compensation+/-2 EV
White balanceauto, 4 presets, manual
Additional image controlsnone
Manual focusNo
Closest macro focus3cm
Auto-focus modesmulti, centre, tracking, face detect
Metering modesmulti, centre-weighted, centre, face detect
Flashauto, forced, suppressed, slow synchro, red-eye reduction
Drive modessingle, continuous, self-timer

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