Tuesday, September 23, 2014

Is Lumix TZ60 a Good Travel Camera?

My colleague Martyn love pixels, the more the merrier!  He also adores large sensor in his DSLR, full-frame; no less! Oh, did I say he also uses only "L" lenses for his 5D Mk3?

Imagine my surprise when Martyn came back from his long Australia holiday and told me how impress he was with the LUMIX TZ60 he took with him!


You kidding me?

That is an 18-megapixel small 1/2.3-inch sensor point n shoot!

Look at the lens, a 30X Leica DC Vario-Elmar 4.3-129mm f/3.5-6.4 zoom (24-720mm in 35mm equivalent).  A whopping 24-720mm?


The really compact TZ60 with the 30X Leica zoom lens
Martyn's enthusiasm got my attention alright, so when he offer to let me play with his TZ60 for the week end; would I refuse?  Duh!
The NZD400.00 even spot an EVF, GPS and Wi-Fi!
The first thing I notice was how compact the TZ60 is! I have no problem slipping it into my shirt pocket!
The first thing I test is the "Leica" branded super 30X zoom lens!

I was skeptical really, Martyn told me he bought the TZ60 at Duty Free for NZD400.00; at that "low" price, how good can the 30X super zoom be?

This was shot from my house deck, the lens was at it's widest 24mm (eqv) setting.  Notice that little white square I mark out in the picture...

This is the street and houses in that white square on the above picture!  At 720mm (eqv) zoom setting, the little camera managed to pull in detail that our eyes cannot see!  For a $400 compact camera, that is mind boggling!

While waiting to pick up my wife from work, I took this street scene from my driver's window. Lens was at 24mm eqv.

This is a 100% crop from the street scene, you notice the higher than normal "noise" (grain)?  The yellow car was in heavily shaded part of the street, the small sensor tend to be more noisy in the shadow area. However, the crop shows the lens is very sharp.

This round sign board was "pull" from the street scene by the powerful 30X zoom, the 720mm eqv. pulling power really impress me!  The TZ60 also features a 5 axis anti-shake setup to stabilize shooting at these long zoom ranges.

The little TZ60 zoom to it's longest 720mm eqv setting.

Here are some shots taken by Martyn on his holiday...

On a sunny day the little TZ60 can produce really good result!
The 30X zoom is perfect for capturing wild life :)
I really like this panoramic shot of the Hinze Dam, lovely composition Martyn!
When the light are low, the tiny sensor delivers a reasonable result. If you want better result, I would definitely use ISO200, not higher, and a tripod!
Martyn had the good fortune to watch the incredible performance of Queen and Adam Lambert! He lamented that his 5D-Mk3 will not be allowed into the concert, the compact TZ60 just went in, inside his pocket ;)
This shot of Adam Lambert on stage with Brian May was shot at ISO 1,600 f6.4, 1/100 sec. It looks great in this size, but the tiny sensor just CANNOT deliver the details you need. Look at the 100% crop below.
Not magazine publishable quality, but for what it is worth, at NZD400.00, it is actually NOT THAT BAD!
The TZ60 also able to take "panning panorama" :)

A Twist..

By coincidence, a day before Martyn was praising his TZ60, our younger daughter Ming asked my opinion on buying a Lumix LF1, after reading this excellent review; I told her to go for it. She got the camera from an online Auckland shop for less than NZD350.00!

A quick check at PriceSpy informs me that some shops are selling the same camera for $490.00!

The black LF1 is even smaller than the TZ60!
The smaller LF1 look almost like the TZ60, it contains a 12MP 1/1.7" CMOS sensor which is slightly larger. The 28-200mm equivalent F2.0-5.9 lens is not as wide / long than the 30X zoom on the TZ, but resolution wise, it will be a sharper lens than the big brother.

Attacking tulips with TZ, LF and GM :)

Sunday was a "Tulip Sunday" at our lovely Wellington Botanical Garden, we were there to try out the cameras!

I was using my favorite Lumix GM1, Ming with her new Lumix LF1 and Le General was using the TZ60 :)

Before we went for the blooms, Ming shouts us to a lovely lunch at Picnic Cafe at the Rose Garden. thanks Ming :)

I just cannot help myself and took some shots of the delicious Thai Fish Cakes with the TZ60 (top) and GM1 (lower). They both look great!

Famous Last Words...

Would I buy the TZ60 and use it during my holiday?

I won't, because I am too fussy about the image quality.

Mind you, there is nothing wrong with the TZ60, at NZD400.00 and what it can do, it is a real bargain!

If you are satisfy viewing your holiday snaps online, Face Book and making 6x4" prints; this is a great travel cam!

As for me, I am sticking with my Lumix GM1!


Inside out said...

Hey there. Off topic -- do you still have the Canon G12 + accesories? I own a G12 and am keen to buy the Lensmate adapters & Nikon Wide angle as I can1t seem to find them new. Thanks!

cy.leow said...

Hi Inside Out.. Sorry, the Nikon WC-E75 and adaptor ring are not for sale.

Inside out said...

Thanks. I thought that since you have a new camera you would not be using the G12 anymore. I have a G12 and am having the hardest time finding a good Wide Angle!
Can you recommend any model? Nikon WC-E75 and Olympus WCON-7 are both discontinued...

cy.leow said...

Inside Out.. try this - http://www.amazon.com/Canon-WC-DC58B-Converter-Digital-Cameras/dp/B000JILHFU