Support Cameralabs by shopping at my partner stores or buying me a coffee!
Buy me a coffee!

Follow my RSS feed at Camera Labs RSS Feed
  Latest camera reviews

Lumix G80 / G85
Olympus OMD EM1 II
Sony RX10 Mark III
Sony RX100 Mark V
Nikon COOLPIX B700
Sony A6500
Lumix FZ2000 / FZ2500
Nikon COOLPIX B500
Lumix LX10 / LX15
Fujifilm XT2
Nikon D3400
Canon EOS 5D Mark IV
Ricoh GR II
Canon G7X Mark II
Canon SX720 HS
Canon EOS 80D
Olympus TG Tracker
Nikon D500 review
Canon EOS 1300D / T6
Lumix GX80 / GX85
Fujifilm X-Pro2
Fujifilm X70
Lumix TZ80 ZS60
Sony A6300
Canon PowerShot G5X
Lumix TZ100 ZS100
Sony A7s Mark II
Sony RX10 II
Lumix FZ330 / FZ300
Sony RX100 IV
Canon G9X
Fujifilm XT10
Nikon COOLPIX L840
Canon SX530 HS
Olympus OMD EM10 II
Canon SX410 IS
Panasonic Lumix GX8
Olympus TOUGH TG860
Sony A7r Mark II
Canon PowerShot D30
Olympus TOUGH TG4
Canon PowerShot G3X
Canon EOS 5Ds
Nikon COOLPIX S9900
Sony HX90V
Canon EOS T6s 760D
Panasonic Lumix G7
Panasonic Lumix SZ8
Canon EOS M3
Olympus EPL7
Samsung NX3000
Panasonic Lumix GM5
Nikon D5500
Panasonic Lumix GF7
Olympus OMD EM5 II
Nikon COOLPIX S9700
Canon SX710 HS
Panasonic TZ70 / ZS50
Sony Alpha A7 Mark II
Canon EOS 7D Mark II
Fujifilm X100T
Nikon COOLPIX S3600
Sony Alpha A5100
Sigma DP1 Quattro
Sony Cyber-shot W830
Nikon COOLPIX L830
Nikon D750
Canon SX400 IS
Sony Cyber-shot H400
Panasonic Lumix LX100
Canon SX60 HS
Canon ELPH 340 IXUS 265
Canon G7X
Nikon COOLPIX P530
Canon SX520 HS
Canon G1 X Mark II
Panasonic Lumix FZ1000
Panasonic TZ60 / ZS40
Sony RX100 III review
Sony A3000 review
Canon EOS 1200D T5
Sony WX350
Nikon P600
Sony Alpha A5000
Sony Cyber-shot HX400V
Panasonic Lumix GH4
Panasonic TS5 FT5
Sony Alpha A6000
Canon SX700 HS
Canon SX600 HS
Olympus TOUGH TG2
Nikon AW1
Nikon D3300
Fujifilm XT1
Olympus STYLUS 1
Sony Cyber-shot RX10
Olympus OMD EM1
Panasonic Lumix GM1
Nikon D610
Sony Alpha A7
Nikon D5300
Canon PowerShot A2500
Sony Alpha A7r
Canon ELPH 130 IXUS 140
Nikon COOLPIX P520
Nikon COOLPIX L820
Canon PowerShot S120
Panasonic Lumix GX7
Canon SX510 HS
Canon PowerShot G16
Fujifilm X20
Panasonic FZ70 / FZ72
Canon EOS 70D
Sony RX100 II
Canon ELPH 330 IXUS 255
Panasonic Lumix GF6
Fujifilm XM1
Olympus EP5
Panasonic Lumix LF1
Panasonic TZ35 / ZS25
Olympus XZ2
Sony HX300
Panasonic Lumix G6
Sony HX50V
Fujifilm X100S
Canon SX280 HS
Canon EOS SL1 / 100D
Panasonic TZ40 / ZS30
Nikon D7100
Fujifilm X-E1
Canon EOS 6D
Nikon D5200
Panasonic Lumix GH3
Canon PowerShot S110
Panasonic Lumix G5
Sony NEX-6
Panasonic Lumix FZ200
Canon PowerShot SX50 HS
Nikon COOLPIX P7700
Olympus E-PL5
Canon EOS M
Panasonic TS20 / FT20
Canon PowerShot G15
Nikon D600
Nikon COOLPIX L810
Canon PowerShot D20
Sony RX100
Panasonic Lumix LX7
Canon SX500 IS
Fujifilm HS30 EXR
Sony HX200V
Panasonic FZ60 / FZ62
Canon 520HS / 500HS
Canon 110HS / 125HS
Nikon D800
Canon EOS T4i / 650D
Canon PowerShot A3400
Panasonic ZS15 / TZ25
Olympus E-M5
Nikon D3200
Fujifilm X-Pro1
Canon PowerShot A2300
Canon SX240 / SX260
Samsung NX200
Sony Alpha SLT-A77
Canon EOS 5D Mark III
Panasonic ZS20 / TZ30
Canon PowerShot G1 X
Sony NEX-7
Panasonic GX1
Olympus E-PM1
Nikon V1
Sony NEX-5N
Canon EOS T3 / 1100D
Canon EOS 600D / T3i
Nikon D7000
Canon EOS 60D
Canon EOS 550D / T2i
Canon EOS 7D

All camera reviews
  Best Buys: our top models
  Best Canon lens
Best Nikon lens
Best Sony lens
Best budget DSLR
Best mid-range DSLR
Best semi-pro DSLR
Best point and shoot
Best superzoom
Best camera accessories

Camera Labs Forum

Any questions, comments or a great tip to share? Join my Camera forum and let everyone know!
  DSLR Tips

Panasonic Lumix DMC-TZ3 Gordon Laing, May 2007

More Features : Lenses and OIS / Screen and menus / Sensor and processing

Panasonic Lumix DMC-TZ3 sensor and files

The Panasonic Lumix TZ3 may record images with 7.2 Megapixel resolution, thereby offering an additional two over its predecessor, but it’s actually equipped with an 8.5 Megapixel sensor measuring 1/2.35in. This larger sensor allows the TZ3 to capture images with the full lens coverage regardless of the aspect ratio.

Normally if you’re using a camera with a 4:3 shaped sensor and switch to a wider aspect ratio, the camera would simply crop strips from the top and bottom, thereby both reducing the resolution and the angle of view. Not so with the TZ3 which maintains its 7.2 Megapixel resolution on both the 4:3 and 3:2 aspect images and its angle of view on 4:3, 3:2 and wide 16:9 images.

So you’ll still enjoy 28mm wide angle coverage regardless of the aspect ratio. We have an example of this below showing three shots taken from the same spot at 28mm using each of the aspect ratios: from left to right, 4:3, 3:2 and 16:9. The thing to notice is while the wider aspect ratios capture less vertically, they capture more horizontally, thereby maintaining the angle of view.

Panasonic TZ3 aspect ratios at 28mm: from left - 4:3, 3:2, 16:9

Set to 4:3 or 3:2 aspect ratio, the TZ3 records 7.2 Megapixel images with a maximum size of 3072 x 2304 pixels or 3216 x 2144 pixels respectively. Set to 16:9 mode the resolution drops slightly to 6 Megapixels, delivering maximum images of 3328 x 1872 pixels. Lower resolutions for each aspect ratio are also available.

Panasonic Lumix DMC-TZ3 - resolution menu Panasonic Lumix DMC-TZ3 - quality menu

Two JPEG compression settings are available: Fine and Standard, with Fine images at the 7.2 Megapixel 4:3 mode typically measuring around 3MB each. There’s no RAW option.

The TZ3 actually has slightly less built-in memory than its predecessor: 12.7MB versus 14MB, but neither are sufficient for more than a couple of shots in the best quality anyway, so you should budget for a memory card straightaway. The TZ3 can take SD or MMC cards and supports the SDHC standard for capacities beyond 2GB; SD or SDHC are required for the movie mode.

Support this site by price checking below

Panasonic Lumix TZ3 - silver

Panasonic Lumix DMC-TZ3 exposure and creative options

The Panasonic Lumix TZ3 has shutter speeds from 1/2000 to 8 seconds (up to 60 seconds in a Scene preset) and two aperture settings at its disposal, although there’s little or no means to manually adjust them. By carefully choosing one of the 21 Scene presets and adjusting exposure compensation though you can actually achieve a wide range of creative results.

Panasonic Lumix DMC-TZ3 - scene preset menu

The 21 scene presets, now presented across two pages, consist of Portrait, Soft skin, Self Portrait, Scenery, Sports, Night portrait, Night scenery, Food, Party, Candle light, Baby 1, Baby 2, Pet, Sunset and High Sensitivity on the first page, followed by Starry sky, Fireworks, Beach, Snow, Aerial photo and Underwater on the second.

It’s possible to use some of these to ‘trick’ the TZ3 into using preferred apertures or shutter speeds – for example, Portrait mode will select a small depth of field, while Sports will opt for a fast shutter speed. The Starry sky preset also allows surprisingly long exposures for a compact, offering the choice of 15, 30 or 60 seconds.

Panasonic Lumix DMC-TZ3 - sensitivity menu Panasonic Lumix DMC-TZ3 - ISO limit menu Panasonic Lumix DMC-TZ3 - intelligent ISO menu

The TZ3’s sensitivity ranges between 100 and 1250 ISO, with an ambitious 3200 ISO mode when set to the High Sensitivity preset; unsurprisingly at higher sensitivities the image quality suffers as can be seen in our results pages.

New to the TZ3’s mode dial is an Intelligent ISO setting which detects motion in the frame and can automatically increase the ISO to provide a sufficiently quick shutter speed to freeze it. In practice this works quite well and you can also set an upper limit for the ISO to maintain reasonable quality.

Panasonic Lumix DMC-TZ3 - clipboard Panasonic Lumix DMC-TZ3 - white balance

Another new mode for the TZ3 is Clipboard, which captures basic 1 or 2 Megapixel images and stores them in the built-in memory. The idea is to use these for grabbing quick shots of maps or timetables and to have them to hand even if you swap the memory card. It’s a neat idea and arguably more convenient to turn the mode dial than temporarily select a lower resolution to achieve the same effect.

White balance can be set to Automatic, Daylight, Cloudy, Shade, Tungsten or a custom preset calculated by taking a reading from a specific subject.

Panasonic Lumix DMC-TZ3 video mode

With the main mode dial set to the filmstrip icon you can record video clips in the Quicktime Motion JPEG format. The TZ3 can record in conventional 4:3 or widescreen 16:9 aspect ratios and at either 10 or 30fps.

Panasonic Lumix DMC-TZ3 - movie mode

Set to 4:3 the video resolution is either VGA 640x480 pixels or QVGA 320x240 pixels, while at 16:9 the TZ3 records a genuine widescreen WVGA mode of 848x480 pixels. Video recording is not supported on MMC memory cards – you’ll need to use SD cards or the built-in memory. Note if you are using the built-in memory though, the video resolution is fixed at 320x240 pixels.

Unlike the earlier TZ1, the optical zoom can’t be used during filming, although stabilisation using Mode 1 is available. You’re looking at about 1.3MB per second of widescreen video at 30fps. The video quality, like other Panasonic cameras, is very good with only a little tearing visible when panning. It’s also nice to switch the TV output aspect ratio to 16:9 and output anamorphic video ready to be stretched out to fill a widescreen TV.

Panasonic Lumix DMC-TZ3 handling

The Panasonic Lumix TZ3 starts-up in about 1.3 seconds, which is a little slower than its predecessor due to the lens now having to extend. The new model feels good in operation though, focusing quickly and responding promptly to the shutter release. When fully zoomed-in, the TZ3 inevitably takes a moment to snap into focus which can be annoying if you’re photographing a constantly moving child or animal, but that’s par for the course with most compacts.

Panasonic Lumix DMC-TZ3 - burst menu

Like its predecessor, the TZ3 has several continuous shooting options: High, Low and Infinity. Set to its fastest ‘High’ mode, it can take up to five best-quality frames at a quoted rate of 3fps. Set to Infinity, it’ll keep taking shots while there’s memory remaining, although the quoted rate falls to around 2fps.

In tests with a SanDisk Ultra II 1GB SD card we set the TZ3 to High mode and fired-off the five frames in just over two seconds, corresponding to a rate of around 2.3fps. Set to Infinity mode the TZ3 indeed seemed happy to keep shooting; we timed 20 frames in nine seconds, corresponding to a rate of just over 2fps.

Panasonic Lumix TZ3 features

Lenses and OIS / Screen and menus / Sensor and processing

If you found this review useful, please support us by shopping below!
All words, images, videos and layout, copyright 2005-2017 Gordon Laing. May not be used without permission.

/ Best Cameras / Camera reviews / Supporting Camera Labs