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Panasonic TZ40 review

Travel compact camera gets an upgrade - but how does it fare?

Our Verdict

For

  • Good zoom length
  • Touchscreen
  • Digital filters
  • GPS and Wi-Fi

Against

  • No raw capture
  • Wi-Fi functions could be better

Panasonic has replaced its flagship travel compact camera, the Panasonic TZ30 (known as the Panasonic ZS20 in the US) with the Panasonic TZ40 - called the Panasonic ZS30 in the US.

The new Lumix TZ40 shares a few of the same specifications as its predecessor, most notably the same 20x Leica optical zoom lens. This covers a 35mm equivalent focal length of 24-480mm.

Read our hands on review of the Panasonic TZ60 which replaces the TZ40

It has a new 18.1 million pixel high sensitivity MOS sensor and a new Venus processing engine that has been designed specifically with improving low-light images in mind. Power Optical Image Stabilisation (OIS) is also said to have been improved, working to correct accidental movement around five axes to enable sharper images in low light and at telephoto focal lengths.

Panasonic TZ40 review

The Panasonic Lumix DMC-TZ40 also has built-in Wi-Fi, and interestingly also comes with a Near Field Communications (NFC) chip. This enables connections between other NFC devices - such as smartphones or tablets - merely by touching them together, rather than having to follow a series of steps, searching for the correct network and so on.

Although NFC is a growing technology, it's yet to be taken up by Apple, and as such you won't find it in iPhones and iPads. The Samsung Galaxy S4 and other big selling smartphones, however, do have this feature. It's widely rumoured that the iPhone 5S will include it as well.

Whether you have an NFC device or not, the camera can be paired with a smartphone to act as a remote device and to share images remotely. Like the Panasonic TZ30, the Panasonic TZ40 also has GPS technology built in, with Panasonic also adding GLONASS, the Russian equivalent, for improved coverage.

Panasonic TZ40 review

As with the Panasonic TZ30, the Panasonic TZ40 has a resistive touchscreen, but its resolution has been boosted to 920,000 dots, from the previous 460,000 dots. The new screen is also "multi-touch" sensitive, meaning you can use gestures, such as pinch to zoom to magnify images and swiping to browse through shots in playback mode.

The Panasonic TZ40 is designed to be an advanced camera, and as such it has a full range of fully manual and semi-automatic modes. It doesn't have the capability to record in raw format, though.

Keen to appeal to as wide a range of photographers as possible, Panasonic has also included a number of creative functions, including digital art filters, which are now available - for the first time - in conjunction with panoramic images.

Panasonic TZ40 review

As you'd expect, fully automatic and scene modes are also available.

The Panasonic TZ40/Panasonic ZS30 is priced at £329/US$399/AU$499. With its long focal length and range of advanced functions, it goes head to head with the likes of the Sony Cyber-Shot HX30V, Samsung WB850F and Canon PowerShot SX260 HS.

At the same time as the Panasonic TZ40 launched, the company also announced the Panasonic TZ35. This is basically a pared down version of the Panasonic TZ40, featuring the optical zoom but no touchscreen or GPS, and with a lower resolution (16.1 million pixel) sensor.

Tech Specs

Product TypeCompact Camera
Battery Size SupportedProprietary Battery Size
Green CompliantYes
Maximum Video Resolution1920 x 1080
TouchscreenYes
Effective Camera Resolution18.1 Megapixel
GPSYes
USBYes
Wide AngleYes
PictBridgeYes
Product FamilyLumix TZ
Image StabilizationOptical
ColourWhite
Optical Zoom20x
Digital Zoom4x
Brand NamePanasonic
FeaturesFace Detection, Live View, Orientation Sensor, Continuous Shooting Mode, Noise Reduction
Screen Size7.6 cm (3")
Video FormatsMP4, AVCHD
Viewfinder TypeNo
Weight (Approximate)172.4 g
Green Compliance Certificate/AuthorityREACH
Flash Memory Capacity12 MB
Minimum Focus Distance30 mm
Maximum Image Resolution4896 x 3672
Maximum Frame Rate220 fps
Number of Batteries Supported1
Battery Built-inNo
Battery RechargeableYes
Battery IncludedYes
Display Screen TypeLCD
Image Sensor TypeMOS
Total Camera Resolution18.9 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
Width108.2 mm
Depth27.7 mm
Autofocus Points23
Product SeriesTZ
Focal Length4.30 mm to 86 mm
Image FormatsJPEG, MPO
Focus ModesAuto
ManufacturerPanasonic
Product ModelDMC-TZ40
Product NameDMC-TZ40 Digital Camera
Product LineLumix
Aspect Ratio16:9
Manufacturer Part NumberDMC-TZ40EB-W
Manufacturer Website Addresshttp://www.panasonic.co.uk
Marketing Information

Super Zoom Camera TZ40 - Featuring 20x Super Zoom, Wi-Fi®, NFC (Near Field Communication) Technology, and GPS in an Ultra Compact Body

The DMC-TZ40 incorporates 24mm ultra wide-angle 20x optical zoom LEICA DC VARIO-ELMAR lens (35mm camera equivalent: 24-480mm), which is outstanding in class for its quality and versatility. Thanks to the Intelligent Resolution technology, the Intelligent 40x Zoom is available with minimum deterioration of picture quality even combining the digital zoom. The Panasonic's black box technology Nano Surface Coating is applied for stunning clarity with minimum flare and ghost. The zoom functions are also available in the video recording.

The 18.1-megapixel High Sensitivity MOS sensor is newly integrated in the DMC-TZ40 to realize both high quality image recording and high speed signal processing. Newly adopted Wavelet NR (Noise Reduction) in the Venus Engine and Edge Smoothing NR enable capturing high sensitivity image with reduced noise and smooth edges even at high ISO settings. The high speed digital signal output technology realizes high speed consecutive shooting at 10 fps in full resolution with mechanical shutter and the Light Speed AF.

The DMC-TZ40 integrates Wi-Fi® connectivity and NFC technology. NFC lets users connect the camera with a smartphone/tablet by just placing them nearby and follow the simple guidance. With "Panasonic Image App", users can enjoy remote shooting easy SNS upload, and Instant Transfer, which allows the camera to automatically transfer data to the designated electronic devices. Transferring data to PC is available via wireless access point (router) at home. The Wi-Fi Direct™ allows direct playback of images on some of the DLNA-compliant VIERA HDTV.

The DMC-TZ40 can record full HD 1,920 x 1,080 videos with stunning smoothness at 50p in AVCHD Progressive and 25p in MP4 format. The POWER O.I.S. is upgraded with an inclusion of HYBRID O.I.S.+ for video recording with 5-axis correction that detects and effectively compensates for the camera's 5 types of movement. Newly added Level Shot detects the horizontal line and keep it even if the camera is tilted. In addition, the high speed video at 100fps in HD quality is available.

Battery Life300 Shot
Package Contents
  • DMC-TZ40 Digital Camera
  • Battery Pack
  • AC Adaptor
  • USB Cable
  • Hand Strap
  • Software DVD-ROM
Display Resolution920000 Pixel
Limited Warranty1 Year
Built-in DevicesMicrophone, Speaker