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PostPosted: Tue Jan 26, 2010 6:00 am 
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Joined: Tue Nov 08, 2005 3:32 pm
Posts: 9978
Location: Queenstown, New Zealand

Panasonic Lumix DMC-TZ10 / ZS7 review!

Today Panasonic announced the latest model in its enormously popular travel zoom series. The new Lumix TZ10 (or ZS7 as it's known in North America) is the successor to the best-selling Lumix TZ7 / ZS3 and inherits the 12x optical zoom and compact body of its predecessor, but enhances a number of the shooting modes along with squeezing-in a GPS receiver to pinpoint the locations of your shots and ensure the clock is always telling the right time.


Last edited by Gordon Laing on Mon Mar 15, 2010 6:51 am, edited 2 times in total.

 Post subject:
PostPosted: Tue Jan 26, 2010 11:51 am 
Oh what-this could be the one for me!!! I wonder when it will become available here in Australia-thinking thinking!

 Post subject:
PostPosted: Tue Jan 26, 2010 12:39 pm 
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Joined: Sun May 25, 2008 12:48 pm
Posts: 8087
Location: UK
Definitely interesting feature set, as I've been considering replacing my ultra-compact with something with more zoom. It will be an interesting battle between this and the HX5, although I think I'm leaning slightly towards this on paper spec. Looking forward to the review :)

Canon DSLRs: 7D2, 7D1, 5D2, 1D, 600D, 450D full spectrum, 300D IR mod
Lenses: EF 35/2, 85/1.8, 135/2+SF, 70-300L, 100-400L, 100L, MP-E 65, EF-S 10-18, 15-85
3rd party: Zeiss 2/50 makro, Samyang 8mm fisheye, Sigma 50/1.4A, 150 macro, 120-300 f/2.8 OS
Compacts: Sony HX9V, Fuji X100.

 Post subject:
PostPosted: Wed Jan 27, 2010 9:30 pm 
Well, I just had to register to say...Aaaaaarrrrggghhhh!!!

This is what I was looking for to replace my old S45. PASM. PASM!!!!! I bought the TZ7 on the recommendation of this site (as well as other user reviews etc.) It's a great camera, but I do miss the ability to fiddle about with aperture/shutter settings, and I'm not sure I've entirely mastered the TZ7's intelligent ISO/exposure settings just yet. Low light is particularly duff. That said, it's probably user incompetence. :?

Well, that's it for my first post. Does anyone want a used TZ7? Or should I just attempt to persuade SWMBO that what I really need is a 7D?

BTW thanks for a great site, Gordon - informative, useful, and enjoyable. I must have been reading your stuff in PCW since about 1993, and was particularly miffed to see the mag disappear. Anyways, off-topic here, so feel free to punt this post into a more appropriate place!


 Post subject:
PostPosted: Thu Jan 28, 2010 10:55 pm 
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Joined: Tue Nov 08, 2005 3:32 pm
Posts: 9978
Location: Queenstown, New Zealand
Hi W.E, it's always nice to welcome a former reader of PCW (did you see my obituary for it under the computer hardware tab?)

It's always annoying when you've bought a camera only to see a new model come out soon afterwards, but Panasonic has been fairly regular with the versions of the TZ which have been announced pretty much every January.

If it's any consolation, the TZ10 / ZS7 won't be out for a couple of months yet and when it does, it will be pricier than the TZ7. I should also add that aperture priority is of limited use on a compact due to their inherently large depth-of-field, so you won't be missing out on being able to easily blur bakcgrounds for instance.

The TZ7 remains a superb compact and one I'd continue to recommend! Have fun with it!

 Post subject:
PostPosted: Thu Jan 28, 2010 10:59 pm 
My hat down, Gordon

Owner of a tz7, i fell in love with the new tz10 before its announcement, in the first place for PASM, second with the hope of low lights performances improvement.
Now the extra pixels choice of Panasonic cooled my passion.
tz10 samples from panasonic website seem to confirm that they didn't make the right choice. Luminance and chromatic noise seem raised to me even at low ISO.

Greetings from Italy ... and sorry for my poor english

 Post subject:
PostPosted: Thu Jan 28, 2010 11:45 pm 
Hi Gordon, yes I've just had a look at the PCW obit - some interesting stuff in there - a great pity things went the way they did.

I'm extremely happy with the TZ7 - I think I just need some 'quality time' with it to fully explore its potential. I am sorely tempted by the TZ10 though, the addition of manual control gives it that little edge for me.

However, I know from my S45 that manual isn't everything, and I was frustrated quite often by the lens not being good enough to support the flexibility of the controls - and I know that's one of the compromises in a compact camera!

I think it's time to invest in a DSLR - just need to convince The Boss!

Apologies for straying off-topic again - back to the TZ10: looking forward to the review!


 Post subject: LCD quality issue?
PostPosted: Sat Jan 30, 2010 1:33 am 
Gordon, do you know if this latest model has the same LCD design as the ZS3...seems there are a lot of complaints about the lcd screen cracking for no reason with that one.

 Post subject:
PostPosted: Sat Jan 30, 2010 4:32 pm 
Well, my own TZ7 is only four months old. While these features sound exciting, I personally do not care much for a (battery draining) GPS. The only thing I'm missing is longer battery life but that's not really such a marketable feature for compacts I guess. Not sure if this announcement wasn't a bit early as it may cause some head scratching for a few owners of the TZ7.

PostPosted: Wed Feb 10, 2010 8:34 pm 
Gordon - what a great job you do!

Many folks out there are considering one of these for shooting holiday movies:

+ Panasonic Lumix DMC-TZ10 / ZS7
+ Canon PowerShot SX210 IS
+ Sony Cyber-shot DSC-HX5V

I would greatly appreciate if you can make it possible to download your test source movie file for a limited time.

I am working with Sony Vegas using my Canon HV-30 and rendering it out for different purposes, BD, Vimeo, mp4 playing from the server etc.

The post processing might differ a little bit between this cameras but the end result, the final quality of the production is what I will remember when I am looking back.

Thanks once again for the excellent reviews you do.


PostPosted: Sun Feb 28, 2010 12:32 pm 
Zoom, AF and Unlimited during Video - With or Without?
That is the standard when I select a PNS.

I don't care how good it is, if it ventures in the video recording world, and doesn't allow you ro AF, zoom, and unlimited video (decide when to end your shot/scene) then there is something wrong with the design, and therefore something wrong with the vision of the manufacturer's design team

(Unless they are making cameras for my 3year old, which I must say, would be useful to be able to preset the record time just to avoid the situation when the camera is left in record mode and/or for learning curves).

Sorry, but that is the bottom line.

If anyone asks me about which camera to get, the first thing I talk about (if it does video) is if the video recording process will allow the user to (in order of importance):

1) Autofocus during the recording:

Autofocusing during recording, that is the autofocus ability of the camera to automatically adjust focus during panning, tilting, reframing of the shot.

2) Zooming:

Some cameras will allow autofocus, but prevent the user from zooming during the clip - again, a major PITA. So when little Johning runs towards you from over by the X-mas tree, and shows you the new gift, your either stuck at 5x zoom, or, wide open.

3) Recording Time:

Lastly, about the recording time - some earlier cameras did 30 seconds, and on for limiting the recording time of the clip, for what ever reason.

But any prohibitions on the time it takes you to capture the scene is just plain - well. Stupid to use a stupid word.

I will honor the 5 minute limitation on Nikon's high end D3s, and D300s video capable SLR's.

If you can afford to buy these cameras, and shoot video with them, then your scenes are not rambling on and on and on for more than 15-30 seconds at a time - In otherwords, your editing as you go.

By editing as you go I mean -

(i.e., Start recording as subject pulls up in the drive way, stop when the car comes to a complete stop. Next, start recording as the subject begins to exit vehicle, stop recording as the subject finishing exiting the vehicle, and so on).

So, instead of one long rambling video clip of the entire drive up, exit vehicle, then walk to the house. There are nicely - pre-edited separate clips which can be readily isolated back on the computer, archived, and then incorporated where needed on the video timeline.

Not to mention the reduced file size per clip - and then reduced memory requirement, and processor time to manage the clip when it is referenced during the editing process.


--- Look forward to your review.

EDIT - Mike, I've edited out your web address as it's advertising on your first post and the link goes to a site which sells motorbikes. Please read our forum guidelines in the general section.

 Post subject: TZ10 vs. FZ35?
PostPosted: Thu Mar 04, 2010 2:43 pm 
Hi Gordon and everyone else,

First of all, congrats, Gordon, on your detailed reviews - they are extremely informative. Unfortunately, I won't be able to make good by buying through your partner dealerships, as the South African Post Office has a less-than-ideal reputation for things "going missing".

Here's my question.

My old Fuji Finepix S5100 (5500) was stolen, and I'm in the market either for a bridge camera or a compact superzoom.

After reading Gordon's reviews of the Panasonic Lumix DMC-FZ35 and a few rivals, I was basically sold on the FZ35 - that is, until I saw the release of the TZ10, shown here in this thread.

Now that the TZ10 has PASM-modes, unlike its predecessor, there is really very little else that I could wish for. Granted, the lens is not as bright or has such a wide zoom range or minimum focus distance (3 cm macro as opposed to 1 cm) as on the FZ35, but all in all, the TZ10 seems like a brilliant package.

The problem is: I'm not sure when it will be available here in South Africa, and at what price. I need a camera quite urgently, as my son is starting to walk, and I don't want to miss that...

Do you have any idea at what price the TZ10 will be pitched, relative to the FZ35?

My other question would be whether the GPS facility (which I really don't need) could be de-activated to save batteries?

Basically, I'd be interested to read everyone's opinion on the question: what's really still between the compact superzoom and the bridge camera, and at what cost? If the TZ10 is coming so close to the FZ35, would I be buying an outdated camera (or concept) in the FZ35?

Regards from South Africa,

 Post subject: Choice
PostPosted: Thu Mar 04, 2010 5:00 pm 
Mark, Hi.
I think that 1st of all you need to establish what kind of zoom capability you
are after. If you intend using the camera to do the "Kruger Park" or wildlife
thing, probably best to go for the higher 18x of the FZ38. If you want
something smaller and more compact and can manage with the 12x zoom,
the TZ10 should be OK..... but bear in mind that the FZ38 has been tried
and tested and comes highly rated. The TZ10 is simply too new for any
serious comment. Also it is currently unavailable in SA... and probably will
be for some time I think.
The FZ38 was only available in SA since about Sept/Oct 2009 .... and will
probably be replaced (in Japan / USA) in about July/August 2010 by
another model... but who knows. If it is, look to about October 2010
for availability in SA.
Either way, these cameras come with Leica lenses... which in my opinion
really have an exceptional track record.

 Post subject:
PostPosted: Thu Mar 04, 2010 8:13 pm 
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Joined: Tue Nov 08, 2005 3:32 pm
Posts: 9978
Location: Queenstown, New Zealand
Hi Mark, welcome on-board.

I agree with everything dbnnet has said, and I'm not sure how the prices work out in SA, but you can see relative prices for both cameras in USD using the reviews and preview on this site.

PS - if you'd like to support us but can't shop through any of our partner stores, there's still the option of a paypal donation on the partner page!

 Post subject:
PostPosted: Thu Mar 04, 2010 8:51 pm 
Hi Gordon and Durbsnet :wink:

Many thanks for the replies.

Indeed, I am an avid (amateur) birder and hiker, and like to take nature shots. My Fuji was often working on its zoom extremes (about 28 and 280 mm, if I remember correctly...) and sometimes I wished that I had a bit more zoom. In this sense, the FZ35 would be a "nice to have" for me.

And I agree - there are few cameras for which I've seen so many unreservedly positive (raving!) reviews as for the FZ35...

Methinks I'll do the deal on the FZ35. (And perhaps pop Gordan a dollar or two via Paypal. :) )


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