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Panasonic Lumix DMC-TZ10 review

Panasonic Lumix DMC-TZ10
Our Rating :
Price when reviewed : £270
inc VAT

Excellent video quality is the highlight but photo quality is disappointing considering the high price


1/2.33in 12.0-megapixel sensor, 12.0x zoom (25-300mm equivalent), 218g

Panasonic invented the compact ultra-zoom concept with the TZ1 back in 2006, and the TZ range has picked up a string of glowing reviews since then. There are currently two models to choose from. Both the TZ8 and TZ10 have the same lens and sensor, but the pricier TZ10 also has a GPS radio, a larger, higher-resolution screen and a HDMI output. Plus, it records its 720p videos in AVCHD rather than Motion JPEG format.

The GPS radio is used to tag both photos and videos, but it took 45 minutes to calculate our position and failed to update again for the following 15 minutes. The 3in, 460,000-dot screen is more impressive, although various rival cameras go even further with 921,000-dot screens.

The main benefit of AVCHD over Motion JPEG is smaller file sizes, but we were surprised to find that there was better noise reduction applied to AVCHD clips. The TZ10’s video mode also benefits from silent lens motors, responsive autofocus and a high-quality soundtrack, making this a viable alternative to a dedicated video camera for casual use.

As with the Samsung WB650, the TZ10’s lens focuses light on a 12-megapixel central area of the 14-megapixel sensor, which helps to keep the lens dimensions down. The downside is that this camera has the high noise levels of a 14-megapixel compact, but without the benefit of this huge resolution.

Even so, sharp focus from the lens and expertly judged automatic exposures produced a string of excellent photos. However, aggressive noise reduction was evident throughout our test shots. Even in bright light, subtle textures such as skin and grass lacked definition.

Meanwhile, attempts to extend the 12x zoom to 16x using digital processing fell short of Panasonic’s grand claims, and resulted in blocky artefacts, especially on diagonal lines at higher ISO speeds.

The Panasonic TZ8 is a better choice than the TZ10, but the Samsung WB650 is better still, matching the TZ10 for features, beating it for image quality and costing less in the process.

Basic Specifications

Rating ****
CCD effective megapixels 12.0 megapixels
CCD size 1/2.33in
Viewfinder none
Viewfinder magnification, coverage N/A
LCD screen size 3.0in
LCD screen resolution 460,000 pixels
Articulated screen No
Live view Yes
Optical zoom 12.0x
Zoom 35mm equivalent 25-300mm
Image stabilisation optical, lens based
Maximum image resolution 4,000×3,000
Maximum movie resolution 1280×720
Movie frame rate at max quality 25fps
File formats JPEG; AVCHD Lite, QuickTime (M-JPEG)


Memory slot SDXC
Mermory supplied 15MB internal
Battery type Li-ion
Battery Life (tested) 300 shots
Connectivity USB, AV, mini HDMI
HDMI output resolution 1080i, 720p, 576p
Body material aluminium
Lens mount N/A
Focal length multiplier N/A
Kit lens model name N/A
Accessories USB and AV cables
Weight 218g
Size 60x103x33mm

Buying Information

Warranty one-year RTB
Price £270

Camera Controls

Exposure modes program, shutter priority, aperture priority, manual
Shutter speed 60 to 1/2,000 seconds
Aperture range f/3.3-6.3 (wide), f/4.9-6.3 (tele)
ISO range (at full resolution) 80 to 1600
Exposure compensation +/-2 EV
White balance auto, 4 presets, manual
Additional image controls Intelligent Exposure, Intelligent Resolution, aspect ratio, contrast, saturation, sharpness, noise reduction
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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