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Panasonic TZ20 review

With its 24-384mm focal range, is this the ultimate travel compact?

Our Verdict

For

  • Incredible focal range
  • The touchscreen is brilliant in playback and Touch AF mode
  • More manual control

Against

  • Lack of raw capture
  • Touchscreen seemed rather pointless for zooming or pressing shutter in capture mode

Panasonic TZ20 Review: Build quality and handling

The Panasonic TZ20 comes in roughly the same package as its predecessor.

Measuring 104.9 x 57.6 x 33.4mm, it's just over 1mm wider and slightly under 1mm deeper than the TZ10, and at 219g with the battery and memory card, it's virtually the same weight.

The main change to the TZ20 body design is that the one-touch video button now sits on top of the camera next to the shutter button, rather than on the back next to the button for changing Exposure settings, as on the TZ10.

This seems a minor change, but in effect it feels more natural pressing the video button on top with my index finger, than using my thumb on the back where I might also inadvertently press the Exposure button.

Panasonic tz20 review
Panasonic tz20 review

As someone who shoots a lot of street photography, the Panasonic TZ20 fit nicely in my hand in every manner of shooting. It's slim enough to cradle, yet substantial enough to balance on knees or rock walls at longer shutter speeds.

A more prominent, textured thumb grip on the back of the camera also proved surprisingly useful for shooting one-handed or from the hip; however, its placement next to the playback mode switch feels slightly inconvenient.

Generally, though, the button placement feels simple and uncluttered. You won't need a manual to ascertain which does what, with the possible exception of the Q.Menu button on the bottom of the back.

This handy little button provides quick access to 9 of the most commonly used controls, such as ISO and White Balance, letting you avoid the menu system altogether.

Like the Panasonic TZ20 external design, ease of use is also the theme internally. Pressing the menu button takes you immediately to four sub-folders of controls: Record, Motion Picture, Setup and GPS. Only two of these (Record and Motion Picture) will you find that you use with any frequency, and they are as quick and clear as could be.

Once you've made a control selection, either hit the cancel button to backtrack out through each menu, or simply press the shutter button to go back to record mode.

It's also worth noting that the TZ20 lens comes with Panasonic's new Nano Surface Coating, which seemed to help reduce ghosting and flare when shooting into direct sunlight.

Overall in design the Panasonic TZ20 seemed like the Matt Damon of cameras: pretty to look at, but tough enough to handle a wide range of jobs – a great everyman's camera.

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 AngleNo
PictBridgeYes
Product FamilyLumix TZ
Image StabilizationOptical
ColourBlack
Optical Zoom16x
Digital Zoom4x
Brand NamePanasonic
FeaturesFace Detection, Continuous Shooting Mode, Aperture Priority
Screen Size7.6 cm (3")
Video FormatsQuickTime Motion JPEG
Viewfinder TypeNo
Weight (Approximate)197 g
Green Compliance Certificate/AuthorityREACH
Flash Memory Capacity18 MB
Minimum Focus Distance30 mm
Maximum Image Resolution4320 x 3240
Maximum Frame Rate50 fps
Number of Batteries Supported1
Battery Built-inNo
Battery RechargeableYes
Battery IncludedYes
Display Screen TypeLCD
Image Sensor TypeCMOS
Total Camera Resolution15.1 Megapixel
HDMIYes
HD Movie ModeYes
Memory Card SupportedSecure Digital (SD) Card, Secure Digital High Capacity (SDHC) Card, Secure Digital Extended Capacity (SDXC)
Height57.6 mm
Width104.9 mm
Depth33.4 mm
Autofocus Points23
Product SeriesTZ
Focal Length4.30 mm to 68.80 mm
Image FormatsJPEG
Flash ModesAuto Flash, Flash OFF, Flash ON, Slow Sync, Red-eye Reduction
Focus ModesAuto
ManufacturerPanasonic
Product ModelDMC-TZ20
Product NameLumix DMC-TZ20 Compact Camera
Product LineLumix
Aspect Ratio16:9
Manufacturer Part NumberDMC-TZ20EB-K
Manufacturer Website Addresshttp://www.panasonic.co.uk
Marketing Information

The DMC-TZ20 features a 24mm ultra wide-angle 16x optical zoom LEICA DC lens(35mm camera equivalent: 24-384mm), including Nano Surface Coating technology which dramatically reduces ghost and flare. The 16x optical zoom is also available in movie recording. The 24mm wide-angle lens captures approx. 213% larger viewing space compared to a normal 35mm lens. The 14.1-megapixel MOS sensor enables to shoot 10 fps in full resolution. The Venus Engine FHD, featuring Intelligent Resolution technology and 21x Intelligent Zoom, is also incorporated.

Battery Life260 Shot
Package Contents
  • Lumix DMC-TZ20 Compact Camera
  • Battery Charger
  • Battery Pack
  • AC Cable
  • AV Cable
  • Stylus Pen
  • USB Cable
  • AC Cable
  • Hand Strap
  • CD-ROM
Limited Warranty1 Year
Built-in DevicesMicrophone, Speaker