Every year, Panasonic updates its range of travel cameras with two top-of-the-line models. In 2012, it is thewith all the bells and whistles, and the scaled-back version is the TZ25. If you're looking for a dependable travel camera that's relatively pocketable, and can live without features like a GPS, then the TZ25 is definitely a top camera to consider.
Design and features
More so than previous generations, the TZ25 misses out on some of the big selling points of the TZ range, including GPS, a touchscreen and a longer zoom. Despite this, the TZ25 is no slouch, sporting a 16x optical zoom with 32x intelligent zoom, as well as the same 24mm wide-angle Leica-branded lens as the TZ30 with a maximum aperture range of f/3.3-5.9.
Behind the lens is a 12.1-megapixel MOS sensor and image processor combination, which helps the TZ25 achieve some snappy continuous shooting metrics, and makes it easy for the in-camera HDR mode to snap three photos in quick succession without too much trouble.
The TZ25 comes with a mode dial at the top of the camera, which spans the range from program, aperture and shutter priority, as well as manual exposure modes. Intelligent automatic is also provided for anyone who simply wants to point and shoot. There are also creative controls available, which range from sepia-like effects to a toy camera emulator, plus scene modes and a dedicated 3D photo mode.
A demonstration of the filters on the TZ25.
Controls are all within easy reach, and the TZ25 makes one-handed shooting a cinch. There's an instant-on record button, which starts video recording in whatever mode you are in at the time. An exposure button at the rear of the camera alters between the common shooting adjustments, like shutter speed and aperture, when in the appropriate modes. Connectivity is provided via one mini HDMI port and proprietary mini USB.
The 3-inch screen at the rear of the camera is nice and bright, although it can be a struggle to see in direct sunlight. Like earlier Panasonic cameras, the TZ25 comes with the reliable Power OIS image-stabilisation system.
General shooting metrics (in seconds)
- Start-up to first shot
- JPEG shot-to-shot
- Shutter lag
- 188.8.131.52Sony Cyber-shot DSC-HX9V
- 20.80.3Panasonic Lumix DMC-TZ30
- 184.108.40.206Panasonic Lumix DMC-TZ25
- 220.127.116.11Canon PowerShot SX260 HS
(Shorter bars indicate better performance)
Continuous shooting speed (in frames per second)
- 7.6Sony Cyber-shot DSC-HX9V
- 4.1Panasonic Lumix DMC-TZ30
- 4Panasonic Lumix DMC-TZ25
- 2.5Canon PowerShot SX260 HS
(Longer bars indicate better performance)
The TZ25 has a number of continuous shooting modes that change how quickly the camera is able to snap images in burst mode. It can take images at 2fps or 5fps with autofocus, or 10fps, 40fps or 60fps without autofocus, although, for the last two, the resolution of the output photo is reduced.
Unfortunately, like other cameras that advertise their speed, the TZ25's stated 10fps is only in theory; the camera can't actually hit that as it stops to process shots after four frames.
The TZ25 delivers excellent images in almost all shooting situations, and makes it intuitive and easy enough for just about anyone to get a good shot. Thanks to the built-in features, like intelligent auto, as well as the in-camera HDR mode and creative filters, the TZ25 is always a fun and reliable workhorse to have around. Colours are bright and punchy without being oversaturated, and the lens is mostly sharp from edge to edge.
A comparison of the in-camera HDR mode.