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Panasonic Lumix DMC-TZ20 / ZS10 Gordon Laing, March 2011
 

Panasonic Lumix DMC-TZ20 / ZS10 video samples

The following videos were filmed with a Panasonic Lumix DMC-TZ20 / ZS10. The Lumix TZ20 / ZS10 used its best-quality 1080i AVCHD mode; our sample came from a PAL region, so the videos are encoded at 50i.

Registered members of Vimeo can download the original files by clicking the links below each window; these take you to the Vimeo page where the video is hosted and the link to download the actual file can be found under the 'About this video' section in the lower right.



Panasonic Lumix DMC-TZ20 / ZS10 sample video 1: Outdoors, handheld panning and zoom
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Our first clip was a handheld pan and zoom with the Lumix TZ20 / ZS10, and as always we started by filming bright reflections on the rippling water. On the previous TZ10 / ZS7, saturated highlight areas like these would cause undesirable vertical streaking - a problem which faces all cameras sporting CCD sensors. With the new TZ20 / ZS10 though, it's no longer a problem thanks to its CMOS sensor. Before even looking at the image quality, this will be considered by many to be a major upgrade, as the earlier TZ10 / ZS7 was frequently plagued by vertical streaks, spoiling many clips.

Moving onto the rest of the video, the jump to 1080i resolution delivers a large and detailed image, and the camera's stabilisation does a good job of ironing-out most wobbles. Towards the end of the clip we zoomed all the way in and panned around the scene. During this section, you'll see the image jump back and forth a little - while some of this is due to panning with optical stabilisation, most is down to the operator's own camera-shake. Note, we found the TZ20 / ZS10's Active stabilisation mode actually delivered worse results in this respect, but your mileage may vary depending on your type of shake. If you have a steadier hand, the results can look great.

We had Continuous AF enabled for this and the other clips, and the TZ20 / ZS10 does a good job at keeping the image sharp during pans and zooms. It drifts a little from time to time, but not significantly. We also filmed a similar sequence moments later using the 720p Motion JPEG mode - you can view it and download the original version at Lumix TZ20 / ZS10 Motion JPEG sample.

 

Panasonic Lumix DMC-TZ20 / ZS10 sample video 2: Outdoors, tripod-mounted zoom
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For our second clip, above, we mounted the TZ20 / ZS10 to a tripod to test its full zoom range, and this time we enabled i.Zoom in the Intelligent Resolution section of the main recording menu. This extends the 16x optical zoom to a digitally-enhanced 21x range.

The camera does a great job of transitioning between the optical and digital zoom, maintaining the speed and minimising any gap between them; indeed if you're not really paying attention you may not even notice the join, but the clue is a very brief pause almost at the end of the zoom.

During the zoom, the camera has to refocus and the TZ20 / ZS10 again does a good job. There's a little visible drifting, but it's better than many cameras we've seen. The bottom line is any drifting is quickly corrected for a sharp image.

Arguably the biggest problem with this clip is the image shifting a little while the camera zooms in and out. It becomes more obvious when mounted on a tripod and can be distracting. Clearly it's a compromise of packing a big zoom range into a small body. As such, it's more forgiving to film zooms with the camera handheld where any wobbles can hide the shifting effect.


Panasonic Lumix DMC-TZ20 / ZS10 sample video 3: Indoors, dim light, handheld pan
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For our final clip, above, we tried the Lumix TZ20 / ZS10 in the dim environment of a bar. Interestingly, when set to any of the PASM modes, this clip was consistently underexposed, even with the ISO set to a high value or automatic; it was as if the camera had a safety ceiling for video sensitivity beyond which it couldn't increase the gain any further. The solution here was to set the camera to Intelligent Auto, after which any clips were filmed at the desired brightness.

Unfortunately, the clip itself suffers from a high degree of noise and processing artefacts which mar it for full-screen playback. On the upside though, the TZ20 / ZS10 keeps the focus in check, with little if any drifting to worry about. And towards the end where the brightly backlit window comes into view, there's none of the vertical streaking which plagued its predecessor.

 

 

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