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Panasonic Lumix DMC-TZ30 review

A luxury 14MP travel compact with a 20x Leica lens and GPS

Our Verdict

For

  • Massive zoom range
  • Extensive features
  • Decent touchscreen
  • Build quality

Against

  • No raw capture
  • Battery life
  • Noise suppression at mid to high ISOs

As well as sharing similar specs, the Panasonic Lumix TZ30 is a dead ringer for its predecessor. It's an attractive, solid camera that's fractionally smaller than the TZ20.

Build quality is exemplary. With its far-ranging zoom and GPS, the Panasonic TZ30 is a camera designed with the needs of travel photographers in mind - and it feels like a compact that will shrug off the hustle and bumps of travelling, too.

Panasonic Lumix DMC-TZ30 review

Like the Panasonic TZ20, a 3-inch touchscreen gives you access to the camera's controls during shooting and playback.

Panasonic clearly understands that touchscreens aren't for everyone, and the camera comes with the familiar spread of conventional switches and buttons as well.

Panasonic Lumix DMC-TZ30 review

The controls on the rear of the camera are identical to the TZ20's, save for a slightly redesigned four-way control pad and an Exposure button that now gives direct access to the GPS map during playback, in addition to enabling exposure adjustments while shooting.

In terms of responsiveness, the touchscreen doesn't quite cut it. Although you can shift the focus point, fire the shutter and adjust the zoom, it frequently requires firm pressure or more than one tap to do so.

Panasonic Lumix DMC-TZ30 review

During image review, the Panasonic Lumix TZ30's touchscreen feels more efficient, allowing you to swipe through your photo collection swiftly.

In fact, the camera's pretty swift all round. We clocked the start-up times at around two seconds - not bad when you consider the size of the zoom that needs to extend from the casing.

Panasonic Lumix DMC-TZ30 review

Zooming from the widest focal length to the longest took around three seconds, an improvement over the TZ20's performance.

The speed of autofocus acquisition is of particular note. It really impresses at the widest 24mm setting, although lock-on speed does slow as you hit the telephoto extremes of the zoom. It's still brisk when compared to other superzooms, though.

Panasonic Lumix DMC-TZ30 review

In terms of continuous shooting, the 5fps burst mode is more useful than the 10fps mode, since it enables continuous focusing between frames. Go to 10fps or higher, and the focus is fixed on the first frame.

However, even with continuous focus, the camera struggled to keep up with moderate action during our test. Using the 5fps mode, we averaged between 15 and 18 JPEGs before shooting speed stuttered, too, although the memory card's speed will play a factor here.

Tech Specs

Product TypeCompact Camera
Battery Size SupportedProprietary Battery Size
Green CompliantYes
Maximum Video Resolution1920 x 1080
TouchscreenYes
Effective Camera Resolution14.1 Megapixel
GPSYes
USBYes
Wide AngleYes
PictBridgeYes
Product FamilyLumix
Image StabilizationOptical
ColourRed
Optical Zoom20x
Digital Zoom4x
Brand NamePanasonic
FeaturesContinuous Shooting Mode, Self-timer, Face Detection
Screen Size7.6 cm (3")
Video FormatsQuickTime Motion JPEG, AVCHD, MP4
Viewfinder TypeNo
Weight (Approximate)184 g
Green Compliance Certificate/AuthorityRoHS
Flash Memory Capacity12 MB
Minimum Focus Distance30 mm
Maximum Image Resolution4320 x 3240
Maximum Frame Rate220 fps
Number of Batteries Supported1
Battery Built-inNo
Battery RechargeableYes
Battery IncludedYes
Display Screen TypeLCD
Image Sensor TypeMOS
Total Camera Resolution15.3 Megapixel
HDMIYes
HD Movie ModeYes
Memory Card SupportedSecure Digital (SD) Card, Secure Digital High Capacity (SDHC) Card, Secure Digital Extended Capacity (SDXC)
Height58.9 mm
Width104.9 mm
Depth28.2 mm
Focal Length4.30 mm to 86 mm
Image FormatsJPEG, MPO
Flash ModesAuto Flash, Flash ON, Flash OFF, Slow Sync, Red-eye Reduction
Focus ModesAuto
ManufacturerPanasonic
Product ModelDMC-TZ30
Product NameLumix DMC-TZ30 Compact Camera
Product LineLumix
Aspect Ratio16:9
Manufacturer Part NumberDMCTZ30EBR
Manufacturer Website Addresshttp://www.panasonic.co.uk
Marketing Information

Super Zoom Camera TZ30 - Featuring 20x Optical Zoom, 50p Full HD Video Recording and Built-in GPS Function

The DMC-TZ30 incorporates a 20x optical zoom LEICA DC lens from 24mm ultra wide-angle (35mm camera equivalent: 24-480mm), featuring Nano Surface Coating technology that minimizes ghosts and flaring. The new lens system makes the unit's overall length short to fit in the compact body despite its versatile zoom range. The 20x optical zoom increases its power to 40x equivalent with the Intelligent Zoom. This is an extensive zoom function using digital zoom with minimum deterioration of image quality thanks to the Intelligent Resolution technology.

The 14.1-megapixel MOS sensor boasts high speed signal output and high sensitivity image recording for making many advanced features possible. This enables the camera to record 10 fps in full resolution, and full HD video. The excellent S/N ratio of MOS sensor and the Intelligent Noise Reduction system in the Venus Engine makes both photos and videos shot at any sensitivity level from low to high with outstanding clearness. The DMC-TZ30 also boasts approx. 0.1 sec Light Speed AF that helps catching even the most fleeting photo opportunities.

Battery Life260 Shot
Package Contents
  • Lumix DMC-TZ30 Compact Camera
  • Battery Pack
  • AC Adaptor
  • USB Cable
  • Hand Strap
  • DVD (Map Included)
Display Resolution460000 Pixel
Limited Warranty1 Year
Built-in DevicesMicrophone, Speaker