Panasonic Lumix TZ3 Traveler Zoom digital camera
The Panasonic Lumix DMC-TZ3 is already the third camera on line in the Traveler Zoom series. And one must admit that Panasonic made it an ideal combination. Sufficiently compact for carrying with you at all times, equipped with a large optical range and besides that equipped with a real wide angle and the MEGA O.I.S. image stabilizer. The Panasonic TZ3 is therefore a true all-round compact camera offering user's ease in a compact way. One who wants to simply take pictures without a lot of trouble or manual settings will find the TZ3 the perfect tool. The photographer wanting to continue performing his DSLR artwork in a compact manner will be somewhat disappointed, although the available scene settings offer many possibilities.
Panasonic Lumix DMC TZ3 - 3" LCD monitor
Personally I was already very impressed by the first Panasonic TZ1 camera, but the Lumix TZ3 with its luxurious size monitor (3-inch) and equipped with the new wide angle, once again lifts the Traveler Zoom series to a higher level. I am very curious to see if Panasonic is courageous enough to take another step and equip the TZ series with features like manual settings such as aperture and shutter priority and a hot shoe for an external flash. That way a top all-round camera would be created that will appeal very much to the amateur as well as the semi-pro and professional photographer. Suggesting a Panasonic Lumix TZ5 here….
Panasonic Lumix TZ3 - Leica optical zoom lens
The Leica optical zoom lens is proof of an incredibly well carried out development technique that enabled fitting it into a compact housing like the Panasonic Lumix TZ3 camera. An innovative design enabled keeping the zoom lens this compact. Often the quality suffers from this but not in the case of the Leica lens that really keeps up and offers great performance. Only slight distortion is visible in wide angle and in telephoto range we find some soft sharpness. The sharpness and colour rendering in general are great and we can ascertain the fact that the Leica lens and the Panasonic TZ3 are an excellent combination.
Panasonic DMC-TZ3 - Venus Engine III image processor
The Venus Engine III image processor we find on the Panasonic DMC TZ3 obviously adds to the speed in which the camera processes the images and in the way the camera can be operated. An additional important item is the fast navigation of the menu and the well-organized structure of it. Even more when we activate the straightforward and uncomplicated Simple mode.
Panasonic Lumix DMC-TZ3 - ISO values
Although the Panasonic Lumix TZ3 does perform excellently in practice and the MEGA O.I.S. image stabilizer does offer a lot of ease, we still see some challenge for Panasonic. This concerns the digital noise at ISO values of 400 and higher. This noise remains provocative and challenging. The high sensitivity scene offers a good solution for evening photography, but the quality unfortunately does decrease. MEGA O.I.S. offers an effective solution and in practice high ISO is not used too often. Still there is room for improvement of the pixel quality at high ISO.
Panasonic TZ3 - Winner among Megazoom cameras!
For myself I must say that I enjoyed using the Panasonic Lumix TZ3 in practice. The improvements compared with its predecessor are obvious. The most striking feature being the 28mm wide angle of course. The compact size, the MEGA O.I.S. image stabilizer and the large optical range together form an ideal combination for this camera carrying the title of Traveler Zoom. The Panasonic TZ3 offers a lot of ease and adds to effortless picture taking which is just what you expect and want from a handy compact camera. The camera is not perfect; the high ISO is still an obstacle for many manufactures and Panasonic is one of them. But in general there are so many plusses that the high ISO may be considered a minor detail. The Panasonic Lumix TZ3 is a winner among the Megazoom cameras and obviously entitled to carry the name of Traveler Zoom!
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Panasonic Lumix DMC-TZ3 - Secure Digital memory card
Increasing the resolution to 7 Megapixels obviously means an increase of the file size again. The highest quality pictures of the Panasonic Lumix DMC-TZ3 will generate a file size of around 3.5MB. So it takes around 350MB to make one hundred pictures which is an amount that seems average on a weekend out or a short break. Therefore I would suggest equipping the camera with a minimum of 512MB storage capacity or rather 1 or 2GB. The price should not be a problem anymore. The price per MB has dropped considerably and will not be an obstacle for most consumers to purchase a memory card of at least 512MB.
Considering 1 GB of storage capacity:
Resolution 3072x2304 - 4:3 - Fine - JPEG - 270 pictures
Resolution 3072x2304 - 4:3 - Standard - JPEG - 504 pictures
Resolution 2816x2112 - 4:3 - Fine - JPEG - 320 pictures
Resolution 2816x2112 - 4:3 - Standard - JPEG - 640 pictures
Resolution 2560x1920 - 4:3 - Fine - JPEG - 390 pictures
Resolution 2560x1920 - 4:3 - Standard - JPEG - 770 pictures
Resolution 2048x1536 - 4:3 - Fine - JPEG - 600 pictures
Resolution 2048x1536 - 4:3 - Standard - JPEG - 1180 pictures
Resolution 1600x1200 - 4:3 - Fine - JPEG - 970 pictures
Resolution 1600x1200 - 4:3 - Standard - JPEG - 1880 pictures
Resolution 1280x960 - 4:3 - Fine - JPEG - 1470 pictures
Resolution 1280x960 - 4:3 - Standard - JPEG - 2740 pictures
Resolution 640x480 - 4:3 - Fine - JPEG - 4640 pictures
Resolution 640x480 - 4:3 - Standard - JPEG - 7550 pictures
Resolution 3216x2144 - 3:2 - Fine - JPEG - 280 pictures
Resolution 3216x2144 - 3:2 - Standard - JPEG - 550 pictures
Resolution 2976x1984 - 3:2 - Fine - JPEG - 320 pictures
Resolution 2976x1984 - 3:2 - Standard - JPEG - 640 pictures
Resolution 2560x1712 - 3:2 - Fine - JPEG - 440 pictures
Resolution 2560x1712 - 3:2 - Standard - JPEG - 860 pictures
Resolution 2048x1360 - 3: 2 - Fine - JPEG - 680 pictures
Resolution 2048x1360 - 3:2 Standard - JPEG - 1310 pictures
Resolution 3328x1872 - 16:9 - Fine - JPEG - 310 pictures
Resolution 3328x1872 - 16:9 - Standard - JPEG - 610 pictures
Resolution 3072x1728 - 16:9 - Fine - JPEG - 360 pictures
Resolution 3072x1728 - 16:9 - Standard - JPEG - 710 pictures
Resolution 2560x1440 - 16:9 - Fine - JPEG - 520 pictures
Resolution 2560x1440 - 16:9 - Standard - JPEG - 1020 pictures
Resolution 1920x1080 - 16:9 - Fine - JPEG - 910 pictures
Resolution 1920x1080 - 16:9 - Standard - JPEG - 1720 pictures
Video VGA - 30fps - 11 min
Video VGA - 10fps - 32 min 50 sec
Video QVGA - 30fps - 32 min 50 sec
Video QVGA - 10fps - 1 hour 35 min
Video 16:9 - 30fps - 9 min 20 sec
Video 16:9 - 10fps - 28 min 10 sec