Panasonic Lumix DMC-TZ1 Review

 
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Panasonic Lumix DMC-TZ1 Optics


Lens

Zoom
A 10x optical zoom range, starting at 35mm, with good performance in most situations.

35mm
350mm
4x Digital Zoom

The Panasonic TZ1 zooms over the equivalent of a 35-350mm range, which is unusual for its class. Overall performance is good, with good detail and sharpness at wide angle. There is significant flare across the frame on close examination, which was a surprise (as noted in the User Report section). The 4x Precision Digital zoom takes it out to 40x without Extended Optical Zoom (and 50x with), with the typical loss of resolution associated with Digital Zoom.

Macro
A very small macro area, but noticeable blurring in the corners. Closest focusing distance is too close for the flash.

Standard Macro Macro with Flash

The Panasonic TZ1's macro setting captures a small minimum area of 2.22 x 1.67 inches (56.5 x 42.4 millimeters). While the macro area is quite small, details are soft in the corners of the frame, and chromatic aberration is also evident. Most cameras have some softening in the corners in macro mode (due to the optical characteristic "curvature of field").

The TZ1's flash had trouble throttling down for the macro area, resulting in a very uneven, severely blown-out exposure. Plan on using external lighting for any macro shots with the TZ1.

Distortion
Lower-than-average barrel distortion, slightly high pincushion.

Barrel distortion at 35mm is 0.34%
Pincushion at 350mm is 0.24%

This is the tendency for the lens to bend straight lines outward (like a barrel -- usually at wide angle) or inward (like a pincushion -- usually at telephoto). The TZ1's 0.34% barrel distortion at wide angle is very low among the cameras we've tested, and not noticeable in most images. At the telephoto end, the TZ1 showed 0.24% pincushion distortion, about average for a long zoom.


Chromatic aberration
Very little at wide angle but moderate at telephoto.

Wide: very little, top left @ 200% Wide: very little, top right @ 200%
Tele: moderate, top left @200% Tele: moderate, top right @200%

Chromatic aberration is very low at wide angle, but chromatic aberration and flare take over at telephoto. (This distortion is visible as a very slight colored fringe around the objects at the edges of the field of view on the resolution target.)

Corner Sharpness
Some softening in the corners of the frame, strongest effect in the upper right corner.

Wide: soft in the upper right corner. Wide: sharp at the center.
Tele: soft in the lower left corner. Tele: sharp at the center.

The TZ1 produced soft corners in a few shots, the upper right corner showing the most visible effect.

Viewfinder

Coverage
There's no optical viewfinder on the TZ1. The LCD showed about 100 percent of the frame but it was shifted vertically and tilted.

35mm eq., LCD monitor 350mm eq., LCD monitor

The TZ1's LCD monitor, it's only viewfinder, showed 102% accuracy at wide angle and 100% at telephoto, but it was shifted vertically and tilted.

 

The images above were taken from our standardized test shots. For a collection of more pictorial photos, see our Panasonic Lumix DMC-TZ1 Photo Gallery.

Panasonic DMC-TZ1

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