|Panasonic Lumix TZ1 - Leica DC Vario Elmarit lens
The Panasonic Lumix TZ1's casing feels well made and has a prominent grip. The camera feels good in your hand and can be operated manually without any problems. Most of the front of the camera is taken up by the 10x optical Leica DC Vario-Elmarit lens that occupies a prominent position. The Leica lens has a brightness of f/2.8 (W) - f/4.2 (T) and a range of 35-350 mm (equivalent to a 35mm camera). Just off-centre, to the left of the attractive lens, we see the inbuilt flash. To the right of the lens is a clear orange LED that serves as an AF assistance illuminator or as an indicator for the self-timer. The detail of an aluminium coloured edge in the hand grip gives the design some extra allure.
Panasonic Lumix DMC TZ1 - Camera housing
The right side, if looking from the front, has a beautifully crafted lid that conceals the USB and A/V interface and the power supply connection. The flap is of the same outstanding quality as the casing and shuts perfectly. On the opposite side, the hand grip has a silver coloured edge with a connection for the wrist strap. If we inspect the bottom of the Panasonic TZ1 camera we can see that the (plastic) tripod connection has been placed right in the corner. If you place the camera on a tripod it will be out of balance, but you can change the flash memory card or battery without having to disconnect the camera. It is unlikely that you will really use a tripod anyway, partly due to the MEGA O.I.S. image stabilization system. In the other corner there is a compartment for the Lithium Ion battery and Secure Digital memory card.
Panasonic DMC-TZ1 camera - Buttons
The top of the Panasonic Lumix TZ1 is beautifully made and has aluminium coloured strip containing various buttons and functions. The on/off switch is not a button, but a small slide which activates the camera. A small button with a waving hand located directly above gives access to a very important feature in the camera; the optical image stabilizer. The prominent shutter release lies just under your finger and the zoom ring around the button swiftly operates the optical zoom. Just off-centre is the command dial on which the camera's main functions have been placed. The minuscule holes to the left of the dial are the inbuilt speaker and microphone.
|Panasonic Lumix DMC-TZ1 - Multi-control button
The back of the camera is the part that photographers look at most often. When we looked at the back of the Panasonic Lumix TZ1, we noticed that there were very few buttons; a multi-control button and two separate buttons next to the screen. In the middle of the multi-control button, there is a button for activating the menu and confirming any changes to a setting. Around it are buttons for functions like flash settings, reproduction of saved pictures or a self-timer. The trash can and serial shot function are taken care of with a separate button, and reproduction on the screen and display function by another button. The limited number of buttons make the Panasonic TZ easy to navigate and will not scare off beginners. However, it also means that you will have to activate the menu more often to make changes.
Panasonic Lumix TZ1 - 2.5 inch LCD monitor
Most of the back is taken up by the 2.5 inch screen. Nowadays, no self-respecting manufacturer would dare come up with anything smaller and it is a good format for taking photographs. Not least because the Panasonic Lumix DMC-TZ1 has not been given an optical viewfinder as it would have been impossible to combine with the 10x optical zoom. The LCD screen has a resolution of 207,000 pixels and a beautiful clear picture. Thanks to the rapid refresh rate, the screen is a perfectly adequate replacement for the optical viewfinder and means that you are not bothered by a flickering picture. One rather handy function is the High Angle mode which enables you to hold the camera above your head at an extreme angle and still be able to decide the composition via the screen. The only disadvantage to not having a viewfinder is when you are taking photographs in bright sunlight as using the screen is always a bit tricky under such circumstances.