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The TZ5, An excellent compact camera with good image quality

03.03.2009 (09.03.2009)

Good build & picture quality, Ease of use, 10x zoom, ISO can be set manually .

No seperate viewfinder, manual settings or supplied SD card, High ISO picture blurring .

Recommendable Yes:

Detailed rating:

Picture Quality

Range & Quality of Features

Ease of Use


Overall Look & Design




Value for MoneyExcellent

Instruction ManualExcellent

18 Ciao members have rated this review on average: very helpful See ratings
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Panasonic Lumix DMC TZ5EB-K


This review is based on my own reviews of this camera elsewhere and has been edited for the pupose of posting on here, I hope you will find it useful.

Normally I use large DSLR or bridge camera, but I wanted a small camera that would fit in my pocket when I don't want to carry a large camera with me, this camera is just about small enough to fit into a large pocket.

What attracted me to this particular model was its 10x zoom range from 28mm to 280mm (35mm equivalent) and its reasonable 9.1mp resolution.

I went out and took some pictures with this camera, and some more almost identical pictures with a Canon EOS DSLR, Whilst a compact can never match a good DSLR in image quality, the pictures from the Panasonic fared resonably well in comparison.

I was expecting the picture quality from a 10x zoom on such a small camera to suffer, but I was pleasantly surprised, the pictures were sharp throughout the focal range, even at its longest focal length, and there was no apparent chromatic aberrations, (colour fringing around high contrast subjects) plus the image stablizer worked well in all but very dim light conditions.

As in all compact cameras the image censor is very small, and cramming 9 or 10 megapixels onto such a small censor often causes problems with digital noise, especially at higher ISO settings, This camera also fared very well here with digital noise not apparent at all at ISO 100 and very little at ISO 200. but It gradually worsens at higher ISO settings, (I keep mine set on ISO 100 for daytime shots) but it is still well within acceptable levels for a compact camera, the cameras built in noise reduction causes some fine detail to be lost at higher ISO settings, but this is mostly apparent at higher magnifications of the image.

At very low light levels this camera performs reasonably well compared to some of the other compacts, and flash exposures are excellent, full of detail and well exposed.

The autofocus is reasonably fast and accurate in most cases, only struggling in very low contrast or difficult to focus subjects, and the face detection works well, macro, whilst not true macro, will focus as close as 5cm at the 28mm setting giving you a reasonable close up.

The camera itself feels solidly built, the menu's are logically laid out and fairly easy to navigate, and you will soon get to grips with it, it has an excellent printed manual.

There are more than enough modes on it to keep the budding photographer happy, with 2 auto settings and 22 auto scene modes to cover most conditions, and an exposure compensation setting of (+/- 2 at 1/3 stop increments) for those awkward situations when one of the auto modes will not give a correct exposure, it is a pity there are no manual settings however, which would have made this camera much more flexible in use.

The LCD monitor is a large 3" monitor, and is very clear and bright, making it easy to compose your pictures and to view pictures afterwards, although such a large screen could be vulnerable to damage so a good quality padded camera case is recommended.

A seperate optical viewfinder would have been a welcome addition, making the taking of moving subjects easier, especially at longer focal lengths, but many compact cameras do not include them anymore.

It does have a video and sound recording function, but I have not tried that yet, (I will update this review when I have) so I cannot comment on that, except to say that the microphone is positioned on the top left of the camera where it could easily be covered by a finger, causing sound problems.


Well built and easy to use.
Better picture quality than many compacts.
10x zoom covers the most usefull range from wide angle to a decent telephoto.
9.1mp resolution is more than enough for all but the biggest enlargements.
It is compatible with SDHC cards.
Large clear screen.
Video and sound recording function.
A printed manual, not one of those pdf files on a disc.
Image stablizer.
User settable ISO.
Enough exposure modes to cope with most situations.
Good as a second camera when it would not be practical to take a larger camera.
Good price for what you get.


No SD card supplied, so you will need to buy one seperately.
No viewfinder other than the LCD screen.
Some fine picture detail lost (blurring) at higher ISO settings.
Microphone could have been sited better.
No manual exposure setting, but the exposure compensation does help.
Can be a little complicated at first for novice users, but the manual is good.
A little too big for small pockets.


This is a good camera for anyone who wants to replace a cheaper outdated camera with something that will take decent pictures and has a good zoom range, and for anyone who wants a small camera as a backup to a larger camera.

It is availlable for as little as £194.99, and is very good value at that price.

All in all this is a very good little camera for the price, with very little to be said against it, and it comes highly recommended.
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Comments about this review »

retireduser 13.06.2009 04:04

A great review. ^_^

bobbob455 14.05.2009 18:34

Very concise review.

blackmagicstar4 12.05.2009 09:01

Nicely written review x

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Product Information »

Manufacturer's product description

Panasonic is pleased to introduce two Lumix digital cameras, the 9.1-megapixel DMC-TZ5, featuring a 28mm wide-angle...


Product Type Digital camera - compact
Enclosure Colour Black, Silver, Blue, Chocolate

Exposure & white balance

Light Sensitivity ISO 100, ISO 800, ISO 400, ISO 200, ISO 1600, ISO auto, ISO auto (1600-6400)
Exposure Metering Multi-segment, centre-weighted, spot
Exposure Modes Programme, automatic

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