Panasonic Lumix DMC-TZ3 Review

 
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Panasonic Lumix DMC-TZ3 Performance


Timing and Performance

Good to average speed for a consumer camera.

Startup/Shutdown

Power on
to first shot

2.7 seconds

Time it takes for LCD to turn on and lens to deploy.

Shutdown

1.5 seconds

How long it takes to retract lens.

Buffer clearing time

2 seconds
(buffer clearing after LF JPEG)

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

1.9 seconds

Time until first shot is captured.

Record to play

2.2 seconds

Time to display a large/fine file immediately after capture.

Display
recorded image

0.7 second

Time to display a large/fine file already on the memory card.

Shutter response (Lag Time)

Full Autofocus

0.76 second

Time from fully pressing shutter button to image capture in default AF mode, zoom lens at both wide angle and telephoto positions.

Full Autofocus
1-Area HS AF mode

0.38 second

Time from fully pressing shutter button to image capture in 1-Area High Speed AF mode, zoom lens at both wide angle and telephoto positions.

Prefocused

0.021 second

Time to capture, after half-pressing and holding shutter button.

Continuous AF
0.77 second
This mode usually shows no speed increase with our static subject; we have no way to measure performance with moving subjects.
Cycle time (shot to shot)
Single Shot mode
Large Fine JPEG
0.89 second

Time per shot, averaged over 20 shots. (1.59s at ISO >= 400.)

Single Shot mode
640x480 JPEG

0.82 second

Time per shot, averaged over 20 shots. (1.39s at ISO >= 400.)

Early shutter
penalty?

Yes

Some cameras refuse to 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

0.34 second (2.99 frames per second);
5 frames total;
2 seconds to clear

Time per shot, averaged over buffer length or 20 shots, whichever came first. (1.13 fps / 5 frames at ISO >= 400).

Continuous High
mode,

640x480 JPEG

0.33 second (3.00 frames per second);
7 frames total;
1 second to clear

Time per shot, averaged over buffer length or 20 shots, whichever came first. (1.54 fps / 7 frames at ISO >= 400)

Continuous Low
mode,

Large Fine JPEG
0.47 second (2.14 frames per second);
5 frames total;
2 seconds to clear
Time per shot, averaged over buffer length or 20 shots, whichever came first. (0.97 fps / 5 frames at ISO >= 400).
Continuous Low
mode,

640x480 JPEG
0.47 second (2.14 frames per second);
7 frames total;
1 second to clear
Time per shot, averaged over buffer length or 20 shots, whichever came first. (1.46 fps / 7 frames at ISO >= 400).
Continuous Infinite
mode,

Large Fine JPEG
0.47 second (2.14 frames per second);
2 seconds to clear
Time per shot, averaged over buffer length or 20 shots, whichever came first. (1.13 fps at ISO >= 400).
Continuous Infinite
mode,

640x480 JPEG
0.47 second (2.13 frames per second);
1 second to clear
Time per shot, averaged over buffer length or 20 shots, whichever came first. (1.46 fps at ISO >= 400).

Flash recycling

4.3 seconds

Flash at maximum output.

Download speed

Windows Computer, USB 2.0

835 KBytes/sec

Typical Values:
Less than 600=USB 1.1;
600-769=USB 2.0 Low;
Above 770=USB 2.0 High

*Note: Buffer clearing times measured with a Kingston Ultimate 133x SD memory card. Slower cards will produce correspondingly slower clearing times. Slow cards may also limit length of bursts in continuous mode.

The Panasonic DMC-TZ3's performance is generally above average. Startup and shutdown speeds are above average for a long zoom. Full AF shutter response is also above average for a long zoom, at 0.76s, (and quite fast in 1-Area High Speed AF mode), with a blistering prefocus shutter lag of 0.021s, making it an excellent kid camera if you remember prefocus. Shot-to-shot cycle times and continuous-mode speeds are also above average, though they do slow down significantly at ISO 400 and above. The flash, which is a bit weak, takes 4.3 seconds to recharge after a full-power shot, which is also above average (but then it isn't packing much of a punch). Connected to a computer or printer with USB 2.0, download speeds are only average. Bottom line, the DMC-TZ3 is responsive enough to handle most family photo opportunities.

Battery and Storage Capacity

Battery
Slightly above average battery life for a Lithium-Ion design.

Operating Mode Number of Shots
Li-Ion Rechargeable Battery,
(CIPA standard)
270

The Panasonic Lumix DMC-TZ3 uses a custom rechargeable Li-Ion battery for power, and ships with a charger. Although battery life is slightly above average, we recommend you pick up a spare battery and keep it freshly charged and on-hand for extended outings.

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.

(Interested readers can find an English translation of the CIPA DC-002 standards document here. (180K PDF document))

Storage
The Panasonic Lumix DMC-TZ3 accepts SDHC/SD/MMC memory cards, and includes about 13MB of internal memory.

Image Capacity with
13MB Internal Memory
Fine Normal
3,072 x 2,304
Images
3
6
File Size
3.7 MB
1.9 MB
2,560 x 1,920
Images
4
9
File Size
2.6 MB
1.3 MB
2,048 x 1,536
Images
7
15
File Size
1.7 MB
835 KB
1,600 x 1,200
Images
12
24
File Size
1.1 MB
524 KB
1,280 x 960
Images
18
35
File Size
672 KB
362 KB
640 x 480
Images
57
94
File Size
220 KB
135 KB

We strongly recommend buying a large capacity SDHC or SD memory card at least a 512MB or 1GB card, preferably a 2GB one, to give yourself extra space for extended outings. (Check the shopping link above, cards are really cheap these days, so no reason to skimp.)

 

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