Panasonic Lumix DMC-TZ3 review: Panasonic Lumix DMC-TZ3

  • 1
  • 2
  • 3
  • 4
MSRP: $299.95
Compare These
3.5 stars

CNET Editors' Rating

The Good Wide, powerful lens with little distortion; quick performance.

The Bad No manual exposure controls; tiny buttons; no stop-motion movie mode.

The Bottom Line Though it leaves out one fun, little shooting mode, the Panasonic DMC-TZ3 improves upon its predecessor in nearly every way.

7.0 Overall
  • Design 7.0
  • Features 8.0
  • Performance 7.0
  • Image quality 6.0

Last year, Panasonic released the Lumix DMC-TZ1. The chunky, little 5-megapixel camera contained a 10x zoom lens that let it fit snugly into the compact, high-zoom snapshot camera niche. It didn't exactly wow us, and we gave the camera a less than stellar rating. Now Panasonic has released the Lumix DMC-TZ3, taking the TZ1's basic design and improving nearly every aspect of it.

The DMC-TZ3 looks almost identical to the DMC-TZ1, sharing its predecessor's chunky 9-ounce frame, its prominent lens, the tasteful gold-and-silver Leica accent, and a straightforward, minimalist control scheme. I readily accessed the camera's buttons with just my right hand for one-handed shooting, though they were a little smaller than I would have liked. If you're not careful, you may end up hitting the wrong button, especially when using the four-way multicontroller.

Much like the DMC-TZ1, the DMC-TZ3's lens remains the camera's most notable feature. The camera's 28mm-to-280mm-equivalent, f/3.3-to-f/4.6, 10x optical, Leica zoom lens can handle both wide and close-up shots, a distinct improvement over its predecessor. Most high-zoom cameras, including the TZ1, use 35mm or narrower lenses, so the TZ3's 28mm wide-angle lens gives it a definite edge when pulling back to take a shot. Panasonic included its Mega OIS optical image stabilization on the TZ3, a vital inclusion for any high-zoom camera.

The DMC-TZ3 also uses a 3-inch LCD screen, notably larger than the DMC-TZ1's 2.5-inch display. The camera misses one minor feature its little brother had: the TZ3 doesn't have the TZ1's nifty stop-motion Flip Animation movie node. Beyond this minor mode omission, however, the TZ3 either retains or improves upon all of the TZ1's features. Unfortunately, like its predecessor, the TZ3 also lacks any significant manual exposure controls.

Editors' Top PicksSee All

  • Canon PowerShot SX600 HS

    Starting at: $58.99
    3.5 stars

    With its 18x zoom lens, simple straightforward automatic shooting, and built-in Wi-Fi,...

  • Nikon D3300

    Starting at: $496.95
    3.5 stars

    The company's latest entry-level model delivers the speed and photo quality you expect...

  • Samsung NX1

    Starting at: $1,297.99
    4 stars

    Fast, sturdy, well-designed and with excellent photo quality, the Samsung NX1 hits all...

  • Nikon D750

    Starting at: $1,459.00
    4 stars

    With an almost perfect combination of photo quality, features and performance for the...

 

Discuss: Panasonic Lumix DMC-TZ3 (Black)

Conversation powered by Livefyre