Saturday, January 20, 2007

The best compact superzoom in the world?

Before heading off down under last month I decided to treat myself and replace my ageing Pentax Optio S4 (which has an erratic flash, a dead USB port and a failing zoom) with something a bit more fit for purpose. Top of my list of priorities was a decent zoom. The problem was that I didn't want the bulk (or the expense) of an digital SLR like the highly rated Canon EOS and Nikon D series but I couldn't find a compact camera with an optical zoom to write home about. That was until I stumbled upon the Panasonic Lumix DMC-TZ1. Boasting a 10x optical zoom (equivalent to a focal length of 35-350mm) the DMC-TZ1 is still only 4cm deep. This is due to the application of "folded optics technology" which allows the zooming to occur horizontally within the camera. Factor in Panasonic's Mega O.I.S. (Optical Image Stabilizer) technology, a Leica lens, a 2.5 inch LCD display, a High Sensitivity mode with a fastest speed of ISO 1600 and a widescreen (16:9) option and the decision was made. I ordered the DMC-TZ1 from for a bargainous £158.75 (it's £299.99 from Panasonic's own eshop) and have been delighted with the results. I won't write a full review of the camera as that's been done by far more knowledgeable folk than me. What I will do is post some photos from my trip which give an idea of how the DMC-TZ1 performs in real-world conditions.

Macro mode:

Widescreen mode:

Optical zoom:

Fireworks mode:

Capturing movement:


Anonymous said...

As a Lumix convert when luck steered me to the LX2 en route to India in early 2006, I can only agree that Panasonic have got this spot on. The Leica lens helps, of course. Portraits and skin tones can be fantastic!

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