Panasonic Lumix DMC-TZ4 Review

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Features & Controls

Panasonic Lumix DMC-TZ4

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 gyrosensor 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 1 - The stabilizer operates continuously and assists during composition.

    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:
Normal: 1.64 feet (50cm) Wide, 6.56 feet (200cm) Telephoto - Infinity
Macro: 0.16 feet (5 cm) Wide, 3.28 (100cm) telephoto - Infinity

Users may choose from selectable AF settings. In addition to the 9-point and 1-point normal speed, the TZ4 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.

Panasonic Lumix DMC-TZ4

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 - 20.7 feet (0.6 - 6.3m) Wide, 0.98 - 10.2 feet (0.3 - 3.1m) Tele.

Panasonic Lumix DMC-TZ4

The 2.5-inch color LCD has 230,000 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.

Panasonic Lumix DMC-TZ4 Controls on the back:

Top right is the Record/Play mode switch. Next is the 4-way selector, in Record mode pressing up 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.

Panasonic Lumix DMC-TZ4

Controls on the top: At the left you can see the built-in microphone and speaker. Next is the 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 five distinct technologies to provide beginners with great photos

    Camera icon - The "Normal" Program AE point-n-shoot mode

    SCN1 - 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.

    SCN2 - Offers the same modes as above. Having two positions allows you to quickly bring up often used scene modes.

    Movie - Capture motion JPEG with audio, length is limited only to available memory

    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.

Panasonic Lumix DMC-TZ4

Hidden beneath a small door on the right hand side, are three I/O ports. At the top is the HD output for use with the optional DMW-HDC2 HD Component Cable.

The center port handles USB 2.0 (Full speed) connectivity, which it is Mass Storage compliant and also supports the PictBridge direct-print standard. It's also 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.

An optional AC power adapter or external battery pack can be connected to the 3V DC IN port.

Panasonic Lumix DMC-TZ4

Still images and movie clips are stored on 27MB of internal memory or optional removable SD/SDHC/MMC memory cards. Shown here with a speedy and spacious OCZ Class 6 4GB SDHC card.

Panasonic Lumix DMC-TZ4

The DMC-TZ4 can be 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 Lumix DMC-TZ4

Panasonic also offers a underwater case. The DMW-MCTZ5 Marine Case for Lumix DMC-TZ4/DMC-TZ5 digital cameras, will allow you to use either model to depths of up to 131 feet (40 meters).

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