DigitalCameraReview.com
Panasonic Lumix DMC-TZ3 Digital Camera Hands On First Thoughts
by Ben Stafford -  4/11/2007

While I did get to play with a Panasonic Lumix DMC-TZ3 out in the desert during PMA, I finally managed to get my hands on another one to run through the paces of a full review. I was eager to see the latest model from the TZ series since I enjoyed the TZ1 when I reviewed it last August. The TZ3 is a 7.2 megapixel compact camera that has a stabilized, wide angle, 10x optical zoom lens and a 3 inch LCD. We'll be publishing our full review soon, so just wanted to give you a heads-up with our first impressions of the camera.

panasonic Lumix dmc-tz3
(view large image)

 

In addition to a resolution bump from the TZ1, Panasonic has also upgraded the processing engine to a Venus Engine III that promises better noise reduction and better image processing. Another new feature is Intelligent ISO control, which attempts to counteract subject movement by increasing the sensitivity (ISO) setting, but only when movement is detected. Otherwise, ISO is kept as low as possible for better quality images. Another small, but very welcome detail is that there is a built-in lens cover on the TZ3 - the TZ1 had a pop-off lens cap that is less than desirable for the typical user of this camera.

The camera feels very solid and may be too heavy for some, but it's built very well. Controls are minimal, but easy to access and the huge 3 inch LCD is very nice. As is typical of many cameras, it's not perfect outdoors, but there are some different LCD modes to boost the brightness if needed.

panasonic Lumix dmc-tz3
(view large image)

panasonic Lumix dmc-tz3
(view large image)

The 10x optical zoom is impressive and not only because it's a 10x zoom. It can also take 28mm wide angle shots (35mm equivalent), and as with all Panasonic Lumix cameras, it has optical image stabilization.

Camera performance (shutter lag, cycle times, auto focus times) seems very good across the board. We'll have a full discussion of image quality in the full review, but so far, I'm pretty impressed.

The TZ3 accepts SDHC, SD, and MMC memory media. It also has just a bit of internal memory. A 1000 mAh lithium-ion battery pack powers the camera and Panasonic claims 270 shots by CIPA standards.

Stay tuned for our full review for the full run-down of this camera!