Over the past couple of weeks I had the unfortunate experience of noisy zoom / autofocus issues with this camera.
I returned the camera, but found the clips I recorded just after unboxing it.
After raising the issue, so perhaps Gordon may incorporate a noise level component to his reviews (yea, right, like he doesn't have enough to do.) I went ahead and put my money where my mouth is and did a quick video study of the noise levels while zooming.
I've uploaded it to youtube in 720P format here: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=l4zLINEf46M
Below is a brief text transcript of the video study:
Panasonic Lumix DMC TZ7/ZS3 Noise Study: Zoom/Autofocus Noise v1 [720P]
Noise Study: Zoom / Autofocus (Informal)
Conditions: Quite Room
Part 1: Normal Audio
Part 2: Audio Enhanced by 12db
Date: March 4, 2010
1. Room Ambiance
2. Zoom Starts
3. Zoom Stops
4. Room Ambiance
The clips are played back in various manners to illustrate the entire spectrum of noise generated by the zoom motor in the camera.
There are two parts. Part 1 plays back the clip(s) with no audio enhancement, dragged strait to the timeline.
Because the audio may be too low to here on normal computer speakers, Part 2 repeats the clip sequence with a 12 db enhancement to the audio track.
1. Enhancing audio level by 12db equally
enhances the ambiance as well.
2. This was done for practical reasons
for playback on regular speakers.
3. Zoom lever release noise remarkable.
4. Zoom noise may be drowned out by
traditional outdoor ambiance.
5. Zoom noise may be noticable under quiet
conditions such as a personal one-on-one
interview, or other quiet room setting.