|When we look at its predecessor, the TZ3, the concept of the Traveler Zoom seems to be final. That is to say; of course improvements can still be made and some features could be refined. So in that way, the Panasonic Lumix DMC-TZ5 succeeded. The software is intelligent and the automation of the functionality has been processed to an extreme. This all adds to the concept; the user's ease increases and for the TZ5 it also means more user-friendliness. The experienced photographer however, will get a bit bored and he will likely prefer the LX series, which offer a lot more manual settings.|
|9 Megapixel Panasonic digital camera
Not only did Panasonic carry out a refinement; they went along with the Megapixelrace, unfortunately. This popular race is still a hot topic despite the growing call of various media, and also from the side of active (amateur) photographers. The marketing, however, seems deaf and continues to fall into the trap of upgrading the pixel amount. To make things clear: Panasonic are not the only ones going along with the race, nearly everybody within the camera industry is to blame.
ISO values of the Panasonic TZ5
The increase from 7 to 9 Megapixels of resolution results in more details in the picture. From testing, it turns out that the ingenious optical zoom construction as it is applied in the Traveler Zoom series, really is capable of processing a resolution this high. This means that the photographer benefits from it. However, with the increase of resolution, noise will increase accordingly, especially at higher ISO. The test results from our DIWA lab show that the signal/noise ratio is reasonably under control up to and including 400 ISO. Regrettably, from 800 ISO the quality drops drastically and noticeably. I'd like Panasonic to do something about getting noise at high ISO settings under control.
Panasonic DMC-TZ5 noise reduction
I have to make a critical remark about the noise reduction too. Although the Panasonic Lumix TZ5 activates the noise reduction on a less frequent base, the image quality still suffers from it. Especially at high ISO settings, too much loss of detail is visible, particularly in the dark areas. Since there is absolutely no doubt about the high quality of the lens, we think it is due to the algorithms Panasonic use to get the noise ratio, among other things, under control.
Superb optical zoom lens
The optical lens quality of the Panasonic Lumix TZ5 is excellent. Although the extreme automation of the camera makes it difficult to measure the different apertures, we can only come to one conclusion: the optical zoom lens is of superb quality. In wide angle we measured a tiny distortion whilst the telephoto hardly suffers from any distortion. Vignetting is hardly present, well done! The dynamic range is excellent up to and including ISO 400 and is superb at ISO 800 to end well at ISO 1600.
|Record HD Videos with the TZ5
The Panasonic TZ5 features an enhanced video capture function. High Definition is also gradually breaking through on compact cameras. The TZ5 allows for video capture in HD resolution of 1280x270 pixels with 30 fps in 16:9 format. It is also possible to use the optical zoom while filming - however, this is carried out very slowly and focussing gets affected quite a bit; it will make you decide to leave the optical zoom for what it is. The quality of the HD capture is excellent, also thanks to the increased resolution, and moreover thanks to the effect of the optical image stabilization that functions during filming.
Automatic & manual white balance
The white balance of the Panasonic Lumix DMC-TZ5 offers just a few setting possibilities. Although the auto white balance works effectively outdoors; indoors it is rather poor when shooting in fluorescent and incandescent circumstances. A solution is to switch to a manual white balance which is effective but less user-friendly as you'd expect from a consumer compact camera. Panasonic ought to improve this. When the white balance is manually decided, the incandescent light gets filtered extremely well resulting in a neutral picture.