Panasonic Lumix DMC-TZ3 Review

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Features & Controls

Panasonic Lumix DMC-TZ3

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 (2m) Telephoto - Infinity
Macro: 0.16 feet (5 cm) Wide, 3.28 (1m) telephoto - Infinity

Users may choose from selectable AF settings. In addition to the 9-point and 1-point normal speed, the TZ3 can be set to 3-point high-speed, 1-point high-speed or Spot autofocus. These settings nearly eliminate the AF lag that often occurs with high-magnification zoom shots.

Panasonic Lumix DMC-TZ3

The built-in speedlight features Auto, Auto Red-eye reduction, Slow-sync Red-eye, Fill and Forced Off modes. The working flash range is: Approx. 1.97 feet (60cm) to 13.8 feet (4.2m) at wide angle ISO Auto.

Panasonic Lumix DMC-TZ3

The 3.0-inch color LCD has 230,000 pixels of resolution and it's used for framing, reviewing stored images and navigating the menu system. There is no optical viewfinder.

Panasonic Lumix DMC-TZ3 Controls on the back:

The 4-way selector in Record mode toggles the flash mode when pressed "Right." When pressed "Up" it adjusts exposure compensation. Press "Left" to activate the Self-timer and press "Down" to use the Quick Review mode to examine the last image captured. 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 FUNCtion button gives you access to the FUNC shortcut menu in record mode, and acts as the image delete option in playback mode.

Panasonic Lumix DMC-TZ3

Controls on the top include the Mode dial, combination shutter release and zoom control ring, MEGA O.I.S button, and power switch. The zoom ring is used in playback to enlarge the image or display an index page. The button to the right of the shutter release enables the Extended optical zoom option. You can also see the built-in microphone and speaker.

The Mode Dial has positions for:

    SCN1 - Portrait, Soft Skin, Self Portrait, Scenery, Sports, Night Portrait, Night Scenery, Food, Party, Candle Light, Baby 1 & 2, Pet, Sunset, High Sensitivity, 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.

    heart icon - Simple mode for beginners, minimal menu choices

    Play - Playback of still images, movie or audio notes

    i - Intelligent ISO mode

    Camera icon - The normal Program AE point-n-shoot mode

    Flower icon - Macro focus mode for closeup photography

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

    Print mode - Choose print settings when connected to a compatible printer

    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-TZ3

The Digital I/O 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-TZ3

Still images and movie clips are stored on 12.7MB of internal memory or optional removable SD/SDHC/MMC memory cards.The DMC-TZ3 can be powered by a proprietary 3.7v 1000mAh Lithium-ion battery pack that is charged in the handy DE-A45 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 270 photos (using CIPA standards.)

Approximate Storage Capacities

Panasonic Lumix DMC-TZ3

Panasonic Lumix DMC-TZ3

Panasonic Lumix DMC-TZ3

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