Panasonic Lumix DMC-TZ4 Review

By Movable Type Admin

Review posted 4/24/2008


Introduction & Physical Views


Click to take a QuickTime VR tour of the Panasonic Lumix DMC-TZ4
Click on the Lumix TZ4 to take a 360° tour


The 8.1-megapixel TZ4, joins the TZ5 in Panasonic's TZ series offerings for 2008. These models pack a 28mm wide-angle, 10X optical zoom Leica DC lens in a compact design, ideal for the active user needing a versatile camera. By combining a 28mm wide-angle lens with the 10x optical zoom - consumers are empowered to take expanded shots, both wide and far. Adding to these feature-rich digital cameras, Panasonic also expands its Intelligent Auto technologies with new Intelligent Exposure and Digital Red-eye Correction. The TZ4 also has the ability to take 1920 x 1080 pixel High Definition-ready photos that perfectly fit a wide-screen (16:9) HDTV. Also, with the newly added HD component output capability, users can also connect the TZ models to an HDTV and watch a slideshow complete with mood appropriate music.

Also new to the TZ4 and the TZ5 is the Venus Engine IV, Panasonic's new high-performance image processing LSI. The Venus Engine IV produces higher-quality pictures than its predecessor, the Venus Engine III, by using a more advanced signal processing system. The new Venus Engine IV also improves noise reduction, elevates the detection accuracy and corrective effects in both MEGA O.I.S. and Intelligent ISO and reduces the shutter release time lag. Both models also incorporate Intelligent LCD, which detects the lighting condition and controls the brightness level of the LCD in 11 fine steps, to offer optimal clarity in any situation, whether dark or light; indoors or outdoors. With a newly developed 460,000-dot high resolution in the TZ5's 3.0-inch LCD and 230,000-dot in the TZ4's 2.5-inch LCD, photos can be easily viewed on the display, regardless of the shooting environment.

With the addition of Intelligent Exposure and Digital Red-eye Correction, Panasonic's Advanced Intelligent Auto mode consists of seven intuitive technologies, all which are specifically designed to help make photo-taking an enjoyable and seamless process unnoticed by the consumer - helping them to take clear photos. When in Advanced Intelligent Auto mode, the following technologies all operate automatically; the consumer does not need to change any settings:

  • Intelligent Exposure - With this new feature, photos will no longer be under- or over-exposed. Instead, the TZ5 and TZ4, instantly analyze the framed image and adjusts the brightness in areas that are too dark because of dim lighting, backlighting or the use of the flash. The camera will automatically adjust the brightness accordingly.
  • Digital Red-eye Correction*- This feature helps to eliminate the red-eye problem that sometimes results when taking flash shots at the night. Incorporated into the built-in flash, the camera emits a small preliminary flash before the main flash, detects red-eye and will digitally correct it.
  • MEGA O.I.S. - Gyrosensors detect hand-shake and the lens system shifts to compensate, helping to prevent hand-shake from creating a blurry image.
  • Intelligent ISO - With Intelligent ISO, the TZ4 and TZ5 can determine if the photo subject is moving and change the ISO setting and shutter speed accordingly, thus giving a blur-free photo.
  • Intelligent Scene Selector - Intelligent Scene Selector senses the ambient conditions, recognizes the shooting environment and will automatically select the appropriate scene mode from: Scenery, Portrait, Macro, Night Portrait or Night Scenery mode. This intuitive technology, helps the consumer use the most common scene modes that are built into the camera, but often go unused, without making any manual adjustments.
  • Face Detection - Panasonic's Face Detection detects faces anywhere in the frame and automatically chooses the optimal focus and exposure settings so portraits come out clear and crisp. Detecting up to 15 faces, Panasonic's Face Detection can even track a face if the subject is moving.
  • Continuous AF - The Continuous AF (auto focus) system maintains focus on the subject even without pressing a shutter button halfway, thus minimizing the AF time.



Major DMC-TZ4 Features:

  • 8.1-megapixel effective CCD for images up to 3264x2448 pixels
  • Leica DC Vario-Elmarit Lens 10x "Wide" optical zoom, covering 28-280mm (35mm equivalent)
  • MEGA O.I.S. (Optical image stabilization) system
  • Intelligent Exposure and Digital Red-eye Correction
  • 9-point AF system with focus-assist lamp
  • 2.5-inch TFT color monitor with (230k pixels)
  • Program AE, Macro, Intelligent AUTO + 21 scene modes
  • Burst (3fps @ 8M; 10fps @ 2M) and AE bracketing capture modes
  • 640x480/320x240 (4:3) or 848x480 (16:9) QuickTime movies, 30fps or 10fps with audio
  • Shutter speeds from 1/2000 to 8 seconds
  • Built-in flash with auto, fill, slow synchro and red-eye reduction modes
  • TTL Auto White Balance, 5 presets and custom set
  • 27MB of internal memory plus SD/SDHC/MMC memory card slot
  • Optional DMW-MCTZ5 Underwater "Marine" Case
  • Plug-n-Play USB, Mass Storage compliant
  • PictBridge Direct-Print compatible
  • Powered by a 3.7v 1000mAh Lithium-ion Battery Pack


The Lumix DMC-TZ4 is available now in black or silver finish with a suggested retail price of US$299.95, and ships with Battery Charger, Battery Pack, Battery Carrying Case, AV & USB Cables, Strap, CD-ROM.


Physical Views

Panasonic Lumix DMC-TZ4

Panasonic Lumix DMC-TZ4

Panasonic Lumix DMC-TZ4 Panasonic Lumix DMC-TZ4

Panasonic Lumix DMC-TZ4

Panasonic Lumix DMC-TZ4



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Features & Controls





Lumix DMC-TZ4 Specifications

Camera Type Super Zoom
KEY FEATURES .
Camera Effective Pixels 8.1 Megapixels
Optical Image Stabilizer MEGA O.I.S. (Mode 1/Mode 2)
Optical Zoom 10x
Image Sensor 1/2.5", 8.32 Total Megapixels CCD, Primary Color Filter
Extra Optical Zoom 4:3 Aspect Ratio: 12.8x for 5 Mega, 15.9x for 3 Mega, 2 Mega, 0.3 Mega
3:2 Aspect Ratio: 12.8x for 4.5 Mega, 15.9x for 2.5 Mega
16:9 Aspect Ratio: 12.8x for 3.5 Mega, 15.9x for 2 Mega
Digital Zoom> 1 4x
(Max. 40.0x combined with Optical Zoom without Extra Optical Zoom)
(Max. 63.6x combined with Extra Optical Zoom)
Focal Length f=4.6-46mm (35mm equiv: 28-280mm)
Lens Leica DC Vario-Elmar
Aperture Range Wide: F3.3 / F8.0 (2 steps)
Tele: F4.9 / F11 (2 steps)
PERFORMANCE FEATURES .
Conversion Lens Compatibility No
Focusing Area Normal: Wide 50cm/ Tele 200cm - infinity
Macro / Intelligent AUTO / Clipboard : Wide 5cm / Max 200cm / Tele 100cm - infinity
AF Metering Face / 1-point/ 1-point high speed/ 3-point high speed/ 9-point/ Spot
Focus Normal / Macro, Quick AF On/Off, Continuous AF On/Off
AF Assist Lamp Yes
ISO Sensitivity Auto /100 / 200 / 400 / 800 / 1600 (High Sensitivity Mode : Auto(1600 - 6400) )
White Balance Auto / Daylight / Cloudy / Shade / Halogen / White Set / White Balance Adjustment (+10steps, except for auto set) (Selectable at Portrait, Soft Skin, Self-Portrait, Sports, Baby, Pet, High Sensitivity, and High-speed Burst mode)
Exposure Program AE
Exposure Compensation 1/3 EV Step, ± 2 EV
Backlight Compensation Yes (at Intelligent AUTO mode)
Auto Bracketing (AE) +/- 1/3 EV ~ 1EV step, 3 frames
Light Metering Intelligent Multiple / Center-weighted / Spot
Dedicated Button/Mode Switch Dedicated Button: Macro
Mode Switch: Shooting, Playback
Shooting Mode (Mode Dial)/Rec. Mode Dial: Normal Picture, Motion Picture, Intelligent AUTO, Clipboard
Scene Modes SCN 1&2 (Portrait, Soft Skin, Scenery, Sports, Night Portrait, Night Scenery, Self-Portrait, Food, Party, Candle Light, Fireworks, Starry Sky, Beach, Aerial Photo, Snow, High Sensitivity, Baby 1&2, Underwater, Sunset, Pet, Hi-Speed Burst)
Advanced Scene Mode No
Shutter Speed/Shutter System 8 - 1/2,000 sec.
Starry Sky Mode: 15, 30, 60 sec.
Self Timer 10 seconds / 2 seconds
Auto Review 1sec, 3sec, Zoom, Hold
Review No
Picture Adjustment No
Color Effect Mode No
Color Mode Standard/Vivid/Cool/Warm/Natural/Black & White/Sepia
Recording Format Still Image: JPEG (design rule for camera file system, based on Exif 2.21 standard), DPOF Corresponding
Image with audio: JPEG (design rule for camera file system, based on Exif 2.21 standard)+ QuickTime
Motion Picture: QuickTime Motion JPEG
Image Quality Fine/Standard
RECORDING IMAGE SIZE (Pixels) .
4:3 Aspect Ratio (Still Image) 3264 x 2448
2560 x 1920
2048 x 1536
1600 x 1200
640 x 480
3:2 Aspect Ratio (Still Image) 3264 x 2176
2560 x 1712
2048 x 1360
16:9 Aspect Ratio (Still Image) 3264 x 1840
2560 x 1440
1920 x 1080
Motion Image (4:3 Aspect Ratio) 640 x 480, 320 x 240
30 fps, 10fps
Motion Image (16:9 Aspect Ratio) 848 x 480 pixels - 30 fps, 10 fps
CONVENIENCE FEATURES .
Burst Shooting Mode Full-Resolution Image, 3 frames/sec Max. 7 images (Standard Mode), Max 4 images (Fine Mode) High-speed Burst Mode: approx. 10 frames/sec (recorded in 2M for 4:3, 2.5M for 3:2, 2M for 16:9)
Unlimited Consecutive Shooting 2 Yes
Intelligent Exposure Yes
Digital Red Eye Correction No
Easy Zoom/Zoom Resume/Motion Zoom Yes/Yes/Yes
Still Image Recording with Audio 5 seconds
Audio Dubbing Maximum of 10 Seconds
Real-time Histograms Yes
Composition Guide Lines Yes (2 patterns)
Built-in Memory approx. 27MB
Scene Mode Help Screen Yes
Auto Angle Detection Yes
Flip Animation No
Travel Date/World Time Yes/Yes
Title Edit Yes
Text Stamp/Date Stamp Yes/Yes
STANDARD FEATURES .
Built-in Flash Type/Mode Auto, Auto/Red-eye Reduction, Forced On, Slow Sync./Red-eye Reduction, Forced Off
0.6-6.3m (Wide/ISO Auto), 0.3-3.1m (Tele/ISO Auto)
External Flash No
Viewfinder No
LCD Monitor 2.5" Diagonal Polycrystalline TFT LCD Display (230K dots)
Field of View : approx. 100%
AUTO Power LCD mode, Power LCD mode, High angle mode
Playback Mode 30 & 12-thumbnail display, Calendar Display, Zoomed Playback (16x max.), Playback of Favorite Pictures, Category Playback, Slide Show, Image Rotation, Resizing, Trimming, Protection, Aspect Conv. DPOF Print Setting
OSD Language English, German, French, Spanish, Italian, Japanese
Recording Media Built-in Memory
SD Memory Card
SDHC Memory Card
MultiMediaCard
Microphone Yes
Speaker Yes
Interface DC Input, AV Output (NTSC/PAL), HD AV Output (Component), USB
Direct Print PictBridge
Color Silver
Power Supply Lithium-ion Battery Pack (3.7V, 1000 mAh)(Included)
AC Adaptor (Input: 110-240V AC)(Optional)
Battery Life 3 Up to 300 pictures (CIPA Standard)
ACCESSORIES .
Included Software PhotofunStudio -viewer-, ArcSoft® MediaImpression™, ArcSoft® Panorama Maker™, QuickTime, Adobe Reader, USB Driver
Standard Accessories Battery Charger, Battery Pack, Battery Carrying Case, AV & USB Cables, Strap, CD-ROM
SPECIFICATIONS .
Dimensions (H x W x D) 2.33'' x 4.06'' x 1.43''
Weight 0.46 lbs

Footnotes

1   As digital magnification increases, resolution significantly decreases.

2   Number of shots may vary depending on memory card size, battery power, picture size, and compression. The consecutive shooting speed varies depending on the memory card or the built-in memory.

3   Shooting conditions: 73.4°F with 50% humidity;LCD On; Using an SD Memory Card; Starting to shoot 30 seconds after turning on the power; Shooting once every 30 seconds with the flash in full operation for every other shot; Changing the zoom setting from telephoto to wide, or wide to telephoto, for each shot; Temporarily turning the power off after each 10 shots (long enough to lower the battery temperature. For DMC-LC1: Shooting once every 30 seconds, flash in operation for every shot, 77°F(25°C) ambient temperature.

(Specifications as provided by the manufacturer.)




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