|Panasonic TZ3 - 10x optical Leica DC Vario Elmar lens
The housing of the Panasonic Lumix TZ3 feels solid and it has nicely curved corners. The camera has a small handgrip, somewhat less apparent than the one we see on its predecessor the TZ1. Still it is not affecting the stability which is also the result of the camera's weight, not too light (the Panasonic TZ3 weighs approximately 250 grams, battery included) which offers a perfect hand-fit. The front is mainly dominated by the 10x optical Leica DC Vario Elmar lens. The optical zoom lens offers a range of 28-280mm and a bright of f/3.3 - /4.9; a tad less bright compared to its predecessor. Left of the Leica lens we find the built-in flash and on the far right of the lens a bright shining orange LED serving as AF assist lamp or indicator for the self-timer.
Panasonic DMC TZ3 - USB & Tripod connection
The right side of the camera contains a nicely finished cover hiding the USB 2.0 Full Speed (slow version), the A/V interface and the A/C power adapter. The cover is of good quality, just like the housing, and covers the interfaces neatly. The other side of the camera is bare and does not contain any functionality. Turning the Panasonic TZ3 camera upside down we detect a universal plastic tripod connection in the corner. When placing the camera on a mini tripod, the camera will not be in balance. There is an advantage to it because you do not have to disconnect the camera from the tripod when changing batteries or memory cards. The other corner of the bottom is taken up by the battery and memory card compartment.
|Panasonic Lumix DMC TZ3 digital camera
Panasonic left the topside of the Panasonic Lumix DMC-TZ3 untouched. Like its predecessor the topside is neatly finished with an aluminum stripe that contains various buttons and functions. The on/off switch in any case is not a button, but a tiny slide that lets you activate or deactivate the camera. Straight above it a small button, containing a 'weaving hand' is placed, that hides an extremely important part of the camera: the optical image stabilizer. The obvious shutter release button feels comfy underneath your fingertip and the zoom ring around the button operates the optical zoom with easy. Placed off-centre we find the command dial carrying the main functions of the camera. The amount of functions is clearly enhanced compared with the Lumix TZ1. The tiny openings left of the wheel, are a built-in speaker and a microphone.
Panasonic DMC-TZ3 - 3-inch LCD monitor
The screen's super large format on the back of the Panasonic Lumix TZ3 is the first thing that strikes you when turning the camera's back towards you. A nice improvement compared to its predecessor. Not only its size increased, so did the resolution that went from 207.000 to 230.000 pixels. Other than that the amount of buttons remained the same but the buttons were moved slightly to different positions. A so-called multi-controller and two separate buttons are placed alongside the camera's monitor. The centre of the multi-controller contains the button for activating the camera's menu or to confirm a setting. The waste bin and the FUNC function are operated by the one button and rendition of the monitor or the monitor function by the other. Minimised is the right word to describe the control centre of the camera.