Panasonic Lumix DMC-TZ7 review:

Panasonic Lumix DMC-TZ7

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Typical Price: £280.00
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4.5 stars

CNET Editors' Rating

4.5 stars 8 user reviews

The Good Build and finish; handling and controls; stills quality; movie quality; 12x zoom and super-wideangle lens.

The Bad Slow zooming and AF in movie mode.

The Bottom Line Panasonic's Lumix DMC-TZ7 is a better camera than the TZ6, so why have we given it a slightly lower score? Because, although the TZ7's movie mode is great, the AF and zoom need to be quicker. But hey, you're getting a top-quality, 12x super-wideangle superzoom and HD movies all in camera that fits in your pocket -- amazing

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8.8 Overall

The Panasonic Lumix DMC-TZ7 offers the same still image resolution as the incredible Panasonic Lumix DMC-TZ6, but throws in a bigger screen and an HD movie mode, which shoots in the ultra-efficient AVCHD format. At around £280, the TZ7 is about £60 more than the TZ6, so is it worth the extra?

We raved about the TZ6's lens quality, versatility and build quality, and the TZ7 is essentially the same camera. It's compact -- for a superzoom – and nicely finished with great controls. The Q menu -- short for quick -- is especially handy, calling up a set of drop-down menus at the top of the screen for quickly adjusting the ISO, picture and movie size, white balance, aspect ratio and more.

There's some barrel distortion at wider focal lengths, but you expect that with any zoom. It's sharp across the frame, though, and holds up well at maximum zoom where most tend to struggle (click to enlarge)

There are some key differences between the TZ6 and TZ7, though. Namely, round the back, there's a 76mm (3-inch) LCD with 460,000 pixels. That's double the resolution offered by most of the TZ7's rivals and a useful step up from the TZ6, too.

Less obvious is the change in the sensor. Like the TZ6, the TZ7 shoots 10-megapixel stills, but it actually uses a 12-megapixel sensor to accommodate the widescreen HD movie mode. Maybe the sensor has made a difference or maybe Panasonic has tweaked the image processing, but the TZ7's results look sharper than the TZ6's snaps. When you combine that with the excellent lens, low distortion and lack of chromatic aberration, you've got one of the best-performing compacts on the market -- and that's even without the movie mode.

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