Panasonic Lumix DMC-LZ3 Review

 
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Panasonic LZ3 Performance


Timing and Performance

Panasonic LZ3 Timing
Good to average speed for a consumer camera.

Startup/Shutdown
Power on
to first shot
1.9 seconds
Time it takes for LCD to turn on and lens to deploy
Shutdown
1.8 seconds
How long it takes to retract lens
Buffer clearing time
2 seconds
Worst case buffer clearing time. -- This is the delay after a set of shots before you can remove the card. Some cameras won't retract their lenses and shut down until the buffer is cleared.
Mode switching
Play to Record,
first shot
1.0 seconds
Time until first shot is captured
Record to play
1.8 seconds
Time to display a large/fine file immediately after capture
Display
recorded image
1.2 second
Time to display a large/fine file already on the memory card.
Shutter response (Lag Time):
Full Autofocus Wide
0.48 second
Time from fully pressing shutter button to image capture, zoom lens at wide angle position.
Full Autofocus Tele
0.55 second
Time from fully pressing shutter button to image capture, zoom lens at telephoto position.
Prefocused
0.013 second
Time to capture, after half-pressing and holding shutter button.
Cycle time (shot to shot)
Single Shot mode
Large Fine JPEG
1.95 seconds
Time per shot, averaged over 20 shots
Single Shot mode
640x480 JPEG
1.69 seconds
Time per shot, averaged over 20 shots
Early shutter
penalty?
Yes
Some cameras won't snap another shot if you release and press the shutter too quickly in Single Shot mode, making "No" the preferred answer
Continuous High mode
Large Fine JPEG
0.32 second (3.14 frames per second);
3 frames total;
2 seconds to clear
Time per shot, averaged over buffer length or 20 shots, whichever came first
Continuous High mode
640x480 JPEG
0.32 second (3.14 frames per second);
5 frames total;
2 seconds to clear
Time per shot, averaged over buffer length or 20 shots, whichever came first
Continuous Low mode
Large Fine JPEG
0.48 second (2.08 frames per second);
3 frames total;
2 seconds to clear
Time per shot, averaged over buffer length or 20 shots, whichever came first
Continuous Low mode
640x480 JPEG
0.49 second (2.06 frames per second);
5 frames total;
2 seconds to clear
Time per shot, averaged over buffer length or 20 shots, whichever came first
Continuous "infinite" mode
Large Fine JPEG
0.72 second (1.39 frames per second);
buffer clears between shots
Time per shot, averaged over buffer length or 20 shots, whichever came first
Continuous "infinite" mode
640x480 JPEG
0.72 second (1.39 frames per second);
buffer clears between shots
Time per shot, averaged over buffer length or 20 shots, whichever came first
Flash recycling
7 seconds
Flash at maximum output
Download speed
Windows Computer, USB 2.0
651 KBytes/sec
Typical Values:
Less than 600=USB 1.1;
600-770=USB 2.0 Low;
771-4000=USB 2.0 High

The Panasonic LZ3's performance ranges from quite fast to just average, depending on what you're trying to do. It starts up reasonably fast, and has a fairly fast shutter response when the lens is set to its wide angle position. At the telephoto end of the lens' range it's only a little slower, with a lag time of 0.55 second, about average. And if you "prefocus" the camera by half-pressing and holding down the shutter button before the final exposure, it's blazingly fast, with a shutter delay of only 0.013 second, among the fastest on the market. Shot to shot cycle times are average, at about 1.95 seconds for large/fine JPEGs. Continuous-mode speed is quite good, at a bit over three frames/second, for up to three shots in succession in large/fine mode. The flash takes about seven seconds to recharge after a full-power shot, a little longer than average for this class of camera. Connected to a computer, download speeds are fast enough that you probably won't feel a need for a separate card reader, but nonetheless aren't as fast as many cameras currently on the market. Bottom line, while not a first choice for sports or other fast-paced action, the Panasonic LZ3 is responsive enough (particularly at wide angle lens settings) to handle most family photo opportunities.

Battery and Storage Capacity

Battery
Best battery life achieved with NiMH rechargeables.

Test Conditions
Number of Shots
AA alkaline batteries
155
AA NiMH rechargeable batteries
400
Oxyride batteries
250


The Panasonic DMC-LZ3 uses two AA batteries for power, and non-rechargeable Oxyride batteries are included with the camera.

The table above shows the number of shots the camera is capable of (on either a fresh set of disposable batteries or a fully-charged rechargeable battery as appropriate), based on CIPA battery-life and/or manufacturer standard test conditions. (See below for a discussion of the CIPA battery-life standard.)

Storage
No card is included with the Panasonic LZ3, although it accepts SD/MMC cards; 14MB RAM is built into the camera.

Image Capacity vs
Resolution/Quality
14 MB Internal Memory
Fine Normal
2560 x 1920 Images
(Avg size)
5
2.6 MB
11
1.3 MB
Approx.
Compression
6:1 11:1
2048 x 1536 Images
(Avg size)
8
1.7 MB
17
850 KB
Approx.
Compression
6:1 11:1
1600 x 1200 Images
(Avg size)
14
1.0 MB
27
533 KB
Approx.
Compression
6:1 11:1
1280 x 960 Images
(Avg size)
21
684 KB
40
366 KB
Approx.
Compression
5:1 10:1
640 x 480
Images
(Avg size)
67
216 KB
110
133 KB
Approx.
Compression
4:1 7:1

The Panasonic DMC-LZ3 stores its photos on SD / MMC memory cards or in approximately 14MB of internal memory, and no card is included with the camera. (I strongly recommend buying at least a 256MB card, preferably a 512MB one, to give yourself extra space for extended outings.) The chart above shows how many images can be stored in the internal memory at each size/quality setting.

 

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Note: For details, test results, and analysis of the many tests done with this camera, please click on the tabs at the beginning of the review or below.

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