Panasonic Lumix DMC-TZ50 Review
By Movable Type Admin
Features & Controls
The all-glass aspherical Lumix DC VARIO ELMARIT 10x zoom lens is equivalent to a 28-280mm zoom on a 35mm camera. It has a maximum aperture of F3.3 to F4.9. This lens is comprised of 11 Elements in 9 Groups (3 Aspherical Lenses/4 Aspherical Surfaces, and 1 ED Lens). No lens cap is needed, a built-in shutter protects the lens once it is retraced into the body when the camera is powered down.
The MEGA Optical Image Stabilizer has a built-in gyro-sensor that detects any hand movement and relays a signal to a tiny microcomputer inside the camera, which instantly calculates the compensation needed. A linear motor then shifts the Optical Image Stabilizer lens as necessary to guide incoming light from the image straight to the CCD. The MEGA OIS has two modes of operation:
Mode 2 - The stabilizer is only activated when the shutter release is pressed. There is a greater stabilizing effect in this mode.
The TTL contrast-detect auto focus system has a working range of:
Users may choose from selectable AF settings. In addition to the 9-point and 1-point normal speed, the
TZ50 can be set to 3-point high-speed, 1-point high-speed, Face or Spot autofocus. These "high-speed"
settings nearly eliminate the AF lag that often occurs with high-magnification zoom shots.
The built-in speedlight features Auto, Auto/Red-eye reduction, Slow-sync/Red-eye, Forced On (Fill) and Forced
Off modes. The working flash range using ISO Auto is: Approx. 1.97 - 17.4 feet (0.6 - 5.3m) Wide, 3.3 - 11.8
feet (1.0 - 3.6m) Tele.
The 3.0-inch color LCD has 460,000 pixels of resolution and it's used for framing, reviewing stored images
and navigating the menu system. This is a high-quality "Intelligent" LCD, which detects the lighting
condition and adjusts brightness (11 steps) accordingly. There is no optical viewfinder.
Top right is the Record/Play mode switch. Next is the 4-way selector, in Record mode
pressing "Right" toggles the flash mode, "Up" adjusts exposure compensation, "Left" activates the Self-timer and
press "Down" to enable Macro focus mode. In Playback mode the 4-way selector is used to select images and of
course in both record and play modes it is used to navigate the menu screens. The MENU / SET button calls up
and dismisses the menu system and accepts selections. The DISPLAY button toggles the amount of overlay
information is shown on the LCD. The Q.MENU button gives you access to the shortcut menu in record
mode, and acts as the image delete option in playback mode.
Controls on the top: At the left you can see the built-in microphone and speaker. Next is the Mode Dial (see list below), Power Off/on switch, shutter release with the zoom control ring mounted around it (acts as the Index and Magnify options in playback mode), and lastly is the E.Zoom (Easy Zoom) button.
The Mode Dial has positions for:
Intelligent Auto - Uses seven distinct technologies to provide beginners with great photos
Camera icon - The "Normal" Program AE point-n-shoot mode
SCN - Portrait, Soft Skin, Self Portrait, Scenery, Sports, Night Portrait, Night Scenery, Food, Party, Candle Light, Baby 1 & 2, Pet, Sunset, High Sensitivity, Hi-Speed Burst, Starry Sky, Fireworks, Beach, Snow, Aerial Photo, Underwater, Multi Aspect.
Movie - Capture motion JPEG with audio, length is limited only to available memory (max. 2GB clip size)
Clipboard mode - Capture photo "memos" of maps, timetables, train schedules etc. These are saved in a separate folder than normal images so they can be easily distinguished from one another.
Wi-Fi - Connect wirelessly (IEEE802.11b and IEEE802.11g) to a local network or T-Mobile's HotSpot internet service to upload and share images.
The center port handles USB 2.0 (High-speed) connectivity, it is Mass Storage compliant and also supports the PictBridge direct-print standard. This is the AV Out port, which sends the Audio/Video signal to a television set via the supplied A/V cables. The video format is user selectable for NTSC or PAL standard.
At the bottom is the DC IN port for using an optional AC power adapter or external battery pack.
Still images and movie clips are stored on 50MB of internal memory or optional removable SD/SDHC/MMC memory
cards. Shown here with a speedy and spacious OCZ Class 6 4GB SDHC card.
The DMC-TZ50 is powered by a proprietary 3.7v 1000mAh Lithium-ion battery pack that is charged in the handy
AC charger. It has fold away prongs which make it travel friendly. Panasonic claims a fully charged pack will
allow you to take up to 300 photos (using CIPA standards.)
Panasonic also offers a underwater case. The DMW-MCTZ5 Marine Case for Lumix DMC-TZ50/DMC-TZ5/DMC-TZ4 digital cameras, will allow you to use either model to depths of up to 131 feet (40 meters).
Continue on to the
Recording Modes & Menus
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