Panasonic Lumix DMC-TZ1 Review

 
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Panasonic Lumix DMC-TZ1 Operation

The Panasonic Lumix DMC-TZ1 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 TZ1 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-TZ1'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; no information with 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, ISO setting, flash mode, and camera mode. A third press cancels the information overlay entirely. The TZ1 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. Through the camera's Setup menu, you can enable a blinking highlight display as well.

 

Panasonic Lumix DMC-TZ1 Modes and Menus

Record Mode: The DMC-TZ1 offers six Record modes including Still, Simple, Macro, Scene 1, Scene 2, and Movie mode. You select the mode you want to use with 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.

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.

  • Picture Mode: This option offers image size options based on intended use. The options are Enlargements, 4x6 prints, or Email.
  • Auto Review: This option enables, or disables auto review of captured images.
  • Beep: This option sets the beep to low, high, or off.
  • Clock Set: This option allows you to set the camera's clock.


Record Menu: The other Record modes offer a deeper selection of the following options on the Record menu.
  • White Balance: Sets the white balance among the following options: Auto, Daylight, Cloudy, Halogen, Flash, and Custom. There's also an option to set the white point for the Custom white balance.
  • Sensitivity: Set the ISO sensitivity among the following options: Auto, 80, 100, 200, 400, and 800. The High Sensitivity Scene mode selects between 800, and 1,600, as well. Auto ranges from 80 to 200, and up to 400 when using the flash.
  • Aspect Ratio: Selects among three still, and two movie aspect ratios. Still options are 4:3 (formatted for standard TVs), 3:2 (traditional 35mm format), and 16:9 (wide screen format). Movie options are 4:3 and 16:9.
  • Picture Mode: (Movie mode only.) Sets the resolution and frame rate for movie files. If the aspect ratio is set to 4:3, options are 640 x 480 and 320 x 240 pixels, at either 10 or 30fps. If aspect ratio is set to 16:9, resolution is 848 x 480 pixels, at either 10 or 30fps.
  • Picture Size: Still image size options depend on the aspect ratio chosen. At 4:3, image size options are 2,560 x 1,920, 2,048 x 1,536, 1,600 x 1,200, 1,280 x 960, and 640 x 480. At 3:2, options are 2,560 x 1,712, and 2,048 x 1,360. At 16:9, options are 2,560 x 1,440, and 1,920 x 1,080.
  • Quality: Sets the JPEG compression level to Fine (low compression) or Standard (high compression).

  • Audio Rec.: Enables five seconds of audio capture at the same time as image capture.
  • Metering Mode: Selects the metering mode from the following options: Multiple evaluates the entire scene, Center-weighted evaluates the central portion of the scene, and Spot evaluates a small part of the central portion of the scene.
  • AF Mode: Selects among the five autofocus modes available. Nine-area is best when the subject may not be in the center of the scene. Three-area (high speed) limits focus to the left, right, or center. One-area (high speed) quickly focuses on the center. One-area (normal) focuses on a larger area at the center. Spot focuses on the very center of the screen.
  • Continuous AF: Enables or disables continuous autofocus.
  • AF Assist Lamp: Enables or disables the autofocus lamp.

  • Slow Shutter: Sets the speed of the slow shutter function (available in Night Portrait, for example) to one, 1/2, 1/4, or 1/8 second.
  • Digital Zoom: Enables, or disables digital zoom.
  • Color Effect: Sets the color effect to one of the following options: Off, Cool, Warm, Black and White, or Sepia.
  • Picture Adjustment: Sets the picture adjustment to one of the following options: Natural, Standard, or Vivid.
  • Flip Animation: This option sets the camera to either capture a set of still images, or assemble them into a movie up to 20 seconds long at either five or 10 fps.


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:
  • Slide Show: Displays recorded images as a slide show with the option to display only favorites, set the duration, and enable audio recorded with the images.
  • Favorite: Allows images to be tagged as "favorites."
  • Rotate Display: Automatically rotates the image to the correct, orientation on playback.
  • Rotate: Manually rotates the image.
  • DPOF Print: Allows you to tag a single image, or multiple images for printing on a DPOF compatible printer. You can set the number of prints when you tag the image.

  • Protect: Marks the current image for write-protection, or removes write-protection. Protected images cannot be deleted, or manipulated, except through card formatting, which erases all files.
  • Audio Dub.: Allows you to add audio to a captured image. The Down key toggles recording.
  • Resize: Allows you to reduce the size of an image within the possible size reductions for the image's aspect ratio.
  • Trimming: Using the Zoom lever to size the crop, this option lets you select a part of a picture to be saved as a new image.
  • Aspect Conv.: Allows you to convert pictures taken with a 16:9 aspect ratio to 3:2 or 4:3.

  • Copy: Lets you copy images from internal memory to a storage card, or from a card to internal memory.
  • Format: Initializes a memory card for use in the camera, erasing all images (even those marked for write-protection).


Setup Menu: Available as a separate tab in all modes except Simple, this menu provides access to main camera functions.
  • Clock Set: Sets the camera's date and time.
  • World Time: Selects either a home time zone, or a travel destination time zone, both of which you can select from this option.
  • Monitor: Adjusts the brightness of the LCD monitor.
  • Travel Date: Enables or disables the display of the sequential travel date in your images (eg. '1st Day').
  • Auto Review: Disables or enables auto review after capture with the options of one or three seconds, or one second with a 4x zoom that appears for one second.

  • Power Save: Sets the amount of time of inactivity before the camera shuts itself off. Choices are one, two, five or 10 minutes, or you can disable the setting.
  • Economy: Controls the brightness of the LCD monitor as regards conserving battery power. Options are Off, Level 1, or Level 2. Level 1 turns off the LCD monitor if camera is inactive for 15 seconds. Level 2 shuts off the LCD monitor after 15 seconds of inactivity, or five seconds after image capture.
  • Beep: Controls the camera's operational beep sound, with low and high volume options.
  • Shutter: Adjusts the camera's shutter noise, or disables it.
  • Volume: Adjusts the volume for playback.

  • No. Reset: Resets file numbering, with an option to cancel.
  • Reset: Resets all of the camera's recording options, with an option to cancel.
  • USB Mode: Puts the USB mode into PC or PictBridge (PTP).
  • Highlight: Turns a blinking highlight display on or off.
  • Video Out: Sets the video signal to NTSC or PAL.

  • TV Aspect: You can set the television aspect ratio to 4:3 or 16:9, for image playback on televisions.
  • Scene Menu: Specifies whether the Scene menu automatically appears upon entering the mode, or requires a press of the Menu/Set button.
  • Language: Sets the menu language to one of seven.

 

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