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Panasonic Lumix DMC-TZ3 Operation

The Panasonic Lumix DMC-TZ3 has a very uncomplicated user interface. The Mode dial quickly sets the main operating mode, while the arrow keys on the rear panel serve multiple functions, either navigating menu options or directly accessing camera settings. Given the point-and-shoot nature of the TZ3 and the camera's limited controls, it really shouldn't take much more than a half hour or so with the manual in hand to get the gist of things.

Record Mode LCD Display: In Record mode, the Panasonic Lumix DMC-TZ3's LCD reports various exposure settings, including camera mode, flash mode, the resolution and quality settings, battery status, number of available images, etc. Half-pressing the Shutter button reports the aperture and shutter speed settings, and indicates focus area. Pressing the Display button cycles through the available display modes, including the image with information, the same display with a live histogram, a framing grid, and the image only. Pressing the button for one second displays the LCD menu options of Off, Power LCD (brightness boost), and High Angle (optimized for viewing from an angle).

Playback Mode LCD Display: In Playback mode, the LCD reports the image sequence number on the card, resolution, and quality setting, battery status, file name, and the date, and time of image capture. Pressing the Display button once calls up an enhanced information display, with a histogram for checking the exposure, aperture, shutter speed, white balance, ISO setting, flash mode, and camera mode. A third press cancels the information overlay entirely. The TZ3 remembers your preference, too. The telephoto side of the zoom toggle lets you zoom in on a portion of the image, while the wide-angle side backs you out again, and lets you step out to an "index" view of captured images, displayed as nine or 25 thumbnails at a time, as well as a calendar display.


Panasonic Lumix DMC-TZ3 Modes and Menus

Record Mode: The DMC-TZ3 offers eight record modes accessible from the Mode dial on the top panel, and you can switch modes at any time. Pressing the Menu/Set button displays a menu appropriate to the mode you've selected. There's no way to manually control aperture or shutter speed, but the DMC-TZ3 offers a wide selection of scene modes to handle most situations. Here's a description of each of the record modes:

Other, non-Record related Mode dial settings are:


Simple Menu: Designed to simplify the camera for beginners, this mode displays only four very basic functions when you press the Menu button in Simple mode.

Record Menu: The other Record modes offer a deeper selection of the following options on the Record menu.
Playback Mode: This mode lets you review captured images and movies on the memory card or internal memory, as well as erase them, protect them, or tag them for printing and transfer. The traditional Playback symbol denotes this mode on the Mode switch. Pressing the Menu button displays the following options in the Play menu:
Setup Menu: Available as a separate tab in all modes except Simple, this menu provides access to main camera functions.