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Panasonic Lumix DMC-TZ25 Digital Camera Review

panasonic20120827da.jpgDigital Camera Review by: Keith Parsons


The Panasonic Lumix TZ25 is one of two Panasonic high end travel compact cameras, alongside the TZ30. Boasting a 16x zoom lens (24-384mm 35mm equiv.) and full HD video it is a well specced workhorse of a camera that still retains its travel status with its small size.

There are a few slight differences between the TZ25 and the TZ30, most notably the price. Whilst the TZ25 has a slightly lesser amount of zoom, a slightly smaller sensor and only mono sound recording in video mode it more than handles the rigours of travel on its on accord.

 

Appearance & Functionality


At first glance there is nothing remarkable about the Lumix TZ25 although on closer inspection you will notice it is a strongly built camera body. A moulded section on the right hand side allows for better grip and the camera has a slight thickness to it allowing it to be held quite comfortably. The included wrist strap is a must for travel though as you can dangle the camera without the risk of dropping it or having it stolen.

panasonic20120827db.jpgThe camera follows the quite standard pattern of allowing the screen to occupy the left hand side of the rear panel and then the majority of the navigational buttons left to occupy the right. A couple of the buttons do appear to be slightly small especially for my larger hands although nothing unmanageable. The top panel contains most of the shooting buttons with the zoom being controlled from a push switch around the shutter button. There is also a separate button to record video with, which is clearly defined in red, a great touch as it allows quick access to video shooting.

The Lumix TZ25s menus are divided into a main menu and a quick menu. The main menu allows for customisation of the cameras many features as well as some more behind the scenes setup options. There is also a quick menu which contains a number of adjustable shooting options that is accessed by the 'Q.Menu' button on the back panel. It is a good idea to separate these settings as it allows fast access to options like ISO sensitivity, white balance, picture size etc.

A mode dial is found on the top of the camera that allows access to the cameras numerous modes. It is nice to see that Aperture and Shutter priority have been included alongside a Manual mode as too often these important modes are overlooked for excess art filters or auto options. Though that said the Lumix TZ25 packs those in as well with Scene modes and the Panasonic designed Intelligent Auto which are both great. Of the available scene modes the most useful might perhaps be sunset or panorama. However there a few included in the mix like Food for example which is subtitled “for taking pictures of food” that I can honestly see little benefit in.

There is also a 3D mode included in the Lumix TZ25 which I am not entirely convinced of, due largely to not owning a 3D TV myself so I have no way to actually test the mode out, although there lies the problem. Unless you have the means to view images the mode is useless and really you would want to focus on getting great 2D images instead

Battery life is fairly good in the Lumix TZ25 and it is rated at around 260 shots, which is quite large when compared to a number of its competitors. This is a major plus as if it is being used in travel then the last thing you wan to worry about is constant battery failure. With travel in mind Panasonic have adapted their charging technology to just a wall plug that goes straight into the camera minimising the need for a bulky charger.

There are a number of other plusses for the Lumix TZ25 including its mini HDMI output so you can watch videos straight on a HD TV. There is also a built in flash and face recognition focussing to ensure portrait images are always sharp.

 

Image Quality


panasonic20120827dc.jpgThe Lumix TZ25 uses a 12.1 megapixel live MOS sensor. Image quality from the camera is fairly decent although noise does become apparent fairly early on and when the camera is pushed over 800ISO it becomes quite prevalent.

The sensor is able to push right up to 3200ISO, so if you desperately need to get that shot in quite dark circumstances you are at least able to. The cameras auto white balance is fairly accurate though via the cameras quick menu you are able to change to all of the usual pre set options like tungsten or fluorescent for example which will result in even more accurate white balance.

 

View street test images on our Facebook page

 

Lens Quality


The lens on the Lumix TZ25 is described as a super zoom and this is fairly true as it weighs in with a hefty 16X digital zoom (or 24-384mm 35mm equiv.). There is an additional 32X “intelligent zoom” which is really just a fancy name for digital zoom. The quality in this zoom range becomes decreased due to losing sensor size the further you zoom.

The 16X optical zoom is ample and will allow the user the freedom to pretty much photograph anything at any particular distance. Well perhaps not an animal 1km away though it certainly will cover you for zooming into most sports or taking wider group portraits.


The lens has a fairly small aperture range from F3.3-F6.3 though this is not really a problem as images appear fairly sharp throughout the range with little noticeable change in depth of field. Macro mode is also possible with an impressive minimal focus range of 3cm.

 

LCD


panasonic20120827dd.jpgThe 3” 460,000 dot LCD screen is quite good in terms of the detail it is able to show as well as the level of contrast. The 3” size will be plenty large enough for most eyes and will allow for decent image playback.

Impressively Panasonic have taken note of consumers complaints towards viewing LCD screens in full sunlight by adding a number of preset brightness levels. There is even one for full sun which does as good a job as is possible of showing the screen under bright conditions. A high angle option is also included for when holding the camera above your head to shoot.

 

Video


The Panasonic Lumix DMC-TZ25 shoots video in Panasonic's favoured AVCHD format which does allow the recording length to be extended to close to double that of the industry standard MPEG. Though the video I shot in 1080i rather than 1080p and then suffers from a few minor rolling shutter issues with certain subjects though honestly it will only be visible to some and is a minor issue.

Quality weighs in at 1920x1080 Full HD which is now pretty standard in this area of the market. The ability to use the cameras optical zoom whilst recording is a big plus although the video is let down by the lack of a stereo mic.

 

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Conclusion


The Panasonic Lumix DMC-TZ25 is a sturdily built good quality travel camera. With its lens offering up a large 16x optical zoom it really is the sort of camera that you would put in your pocket on your next trip.

The sheer number of scene and art filters that can be applied to your images will keep those who like to tinker happy but the ability to just flick it onto auto and fire off a well exposed and sharp image will appeal to almost anyone shopping in this category. I doubt anybody could find a good reason to be disappointed if they bought the Lumix TZ25, especially at its street price ofunder $370.

 

Accessories Used During Testing:

SanDisk Extreme 30MB/s SD Card 

Tamrac Evolution Zoom 16 / 5715 Bag

 

Recommended Retailer:

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View / Buy The Panasonic Lumix TZ25

 

Appearance rating 3.5 stars
Functionality rating 4 stars
Image quality
4 stars
Video quality
3.5 stars
Lens quality
3.5 stars
LCD screen (Rear)
4 stars
Value for money 4 star
Street Price
$369.95
SPACER.GIF  
Effective Pixels 12.1 megapixels
Sensor Type
1/2.3-type High Sensitivity MOS Sensor / 12.8 Total Megapixels / Primary Color Filter
Image Sizes 21 sizes / 4 ratios
Lens f=4.3 - 68.8mm (24 - 384mm in 35mm equiv.) / (27 - 432mm in 35mm equiv. in video recording)
Lens Mount
-
Resolution Settings: Stills [1:1] 2992x2992 (9M)
2448x2448 (6M EZ)
1920x1920 (3.5M EZ)
1536x1536 (2.5M EZ)
480x480 (0.2M EZ
[4:3] 4000x3000 (12M)
3264x2448 (8M EZ)
2560x1920 (5M EZ)
2048X1536 (3M EZ)
1600x1200 (2M EZ)
640x480 (0.3M EZ)
[3:2] 4000x2672 (10.5M)
3264x2176 (7M EZ)
2560x1712 (4.5M EZ)
2048x1360 (2.5M EZ)
640x424 (0.3M EZ)
[16:9] 4000x2248 (9M)
3264x1840 (6M EZ)
2560x1440 (3.5M EZ)
1920x1080 (2M EZ)
640x360 (0.2M EZ)
Resolution Settings: Video [HD Video] 1920 x 1080 pixels, 50i (FSH: 17Mbps / AVCHD) (Sensor output is 25p)
1280 x 720 pixels, 50p (SH: 17Mbps / AVCHD) (Sensor output is 25p)
1920 x 1080 pixels, 25 fps (FHD: 20Mbps / MP4)
1280 x 720 pixels, 25 fps (HD: 10Mbps / MP4)
[STD Video] 640 x 480 pixels, 25 fps (VGA: 4Mbps / MP4)
GPS No
Face Detection Yes
Manual Focus No
Auto Focus Yes
Aperture Priority Yes
Shutter Priority
Yes
Shutter Speeds 15 - 1/4000 sec
ISO Auto / i.ISO / 100 / 200 / 400 / 800 / 1600 / 3200 / High Sensitivity mode (ISO 1600-6400)
LCD Monitor 7.5cm(3.0") TFT LCD Display (460K dots) / Field of View : approx. 100% / AUTO Power LCD mode, Power LCD mode, High Angle mode
Viewfinder -
Flash Auto, Auto/Red-eye Reduction, Forced On, Slow Sync./Red-eye Reduction, Forced Off, / 0.6 - 6.4m (Wide/ISO Auto), 1.0 - 3.5m (Tele/ISO Auto)
Hot Shoe No
White Balance Auto / Daylight / Cloudy / Shade / Incandescent / White Set / White Balance Adjustment
Self Timer 2 seconds or 10 seconds
Stills Format/s
JPEG
3D Format/s
MPO
Video Format/s MP4
Video Recording Time/s 29 Minutes / 4GB
Storage Type - External SD, SDHC, SDXC memory cards
Storage Type - Internal
70MB
Connectivity miniHDMI, AV Output (PAL/NTSC), USB2.0 High speed
Power Source AC Adaptor (Input: 110-240V AC)(Included, connect with USB cable, playback only)
Battery Options Li-ion Battery Pack (3.6V, Minimum: 895mAh)
Battery Life -
Dimensions 104.9mm (W) x 57.6mm (H) x 33.4mm (D)
Weight 185g (including battery and memory card)
















 


 

 

About Panasonic

 

Panasonic Australia is a proud member of the Australian corporate community. With long standing links to local manufacturing and with hundreds of employees, Panasonic Australia is committed to fostering good relationships with consumers, businesses and governments alike.

 

On both a Local and International basis Panasonic is deploying long term strategies related to stable economic growth, responsible use of resources and being friendly to the environment.

 

The pages contained within the 'About Us' area will give you an insight into how Panasonic Australia operates and an overview of our companies history.

 

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