Wednesday, May 4, 2016

Lumix DMC-TZ110, Ideal Travel Camera?

PANASONIC has been producing their TZ (TRAVEL ZOOM) compact camera range for nearly 10 years, their latest offering is the LUMIX TZ110 (with a LARGE 1" sensor) and the TZ80, which has same features but a smaller sensor.

TZ110 (in NZ) are also known as TZ100 or ZS100 in some countries.

The compact but solid TZ110 in "OFF" position.
Before I start, there are a lot of reviews done on the TZ110, some are really detailed and you can find all the features well explained.  I especially like this one, this one and this one.

What I will inform you here are my personal like and don't like on this travel-cam, I will not repeat what others has written about.

In 2010 I concluded that...

A good travel camera should have the following quality:

1) It must be relatively light weight.
2) Take interchangeable lens.
3) Digital, with video.
4) Larger sensor than a point and shoot.
5) Able to shoot RAW.

Six years later, look like the TZ110 fit all the bill, except 2) on interchangeable lens!

But six years later, the TZ110 come with a Leica branded 25-250 10X zoom!  So may be I do not need my ideal travel-cam to be able to change lens anymore?


The TZ110 (turn "on") with the 10X 25-250 (equivalent) Leica zoom lens extended.
The "Short End"...

I feel an IDEAL travel-cam MUST HAVE feature is a zoom lens with VERY WIDE (minimum 24mm) on the wide end!

But the TZ110 wide end is 25mm, a MERE 1mm more than my "ideal wide"!

Does that matter?

I did a test...

The GREEN line shows where the "less wide" 25mm miss out.
As you can see from the picture above, the 25mm on the TZ110 actually have quite a bit LESS coverage than the 24mm (12-32) GM1 kit lens!

Do not underestimate a mere ONE mm on wide angle coverage!

I never understand why Panasonic adopted the 25mm instead of 24.

The "Long End"...

Since I tested the "short end" of the TZ110, what about the "long end"?


The picture above was taken with the TZ110 zoomed to its 250mm max, for the GM1 I use my Lumix 45-175, zooming to the same tele coverage. Both were shot at their maximum apertures.

When I examine the 100% results of both, I was surprise the TZ110 showed some softness...

100% of the combo picture, the top part was from TZ110 and bottom, GM1 with the 45-175.
The softness could be atmospheric, a little sharpening in post processing fixed the problem.

Sharpness in General...

The next day I took the TZ to our dinner at Little Penang, very nice results!

Our daughter took a shot of us :)
You can't say that is not a sharp Leica branded zoom!


How Small?


How compact (or small) is the TZ110?  Can you shove it into your jumper's pocket like the GM1?

Side by side with the GM1, the TZ110 is just a fraction larger, it is however, much heavier though. The GM1 weigh in at 279g against the 312g of the TZ110.

I am able to put the TZ in my jumper's pocket, like I do with my GM1 but I definitely can feel the extra weigh!

The Flash! 


The TZ110 come with a tiny built in flash similar to the one on GM1.

By carefully pulling back the flash, you can actually BOUNCE the light, not that you got a lot of lumen to play with, but it is nice to have!

The marvellous OIS (Optical Image Stabiliser)... 


The TZ110 activates a 3 axis OIS (Optical Image Stabiliser) when you are shooting stills. It however goes into 5 axis correction when shooting video (up to 1080p).

Panasonic NZ inform me that...

"When shooting full HD the camera uses its hybrid OIS system which uses 2 axis of digital compensation. Since the full sensor is not needed for full HD so it can use the edges of the sensor for stabalisation."

I test the OIS with my "Phone Test"...

This was HAND HELD at 0.5 second! Out of 5 shots, only one was slightly blur!

How many camera can do a HALF SECOND hand held shot and deliver a SHARP image?

I was impressed!!


A relatively slow 1/15 sec shot, the OIS work it's magic again!

Shooting Video...

Last week end , on the 1st of May was the 2016 WORLD Tai CHI and QIGONG DAY, the event was celebrated in Wellington, New Zealand at our Karori Recreation Centre.

I was there with the TZ110, shooting videos...







The TZ110, like most compacts from Panasonic is able to shoot in very high definition 4K mode.  For my intend and purposes however, I don't need that memory hogging format  ;)

I find the very smooth and slightly slippery front surface of the TZ is tough for long video shooting, mounting the camera on my mini Manfrotto table tripod make video filming smoother and steadier!

The effective OIS kept the video relatively free from wobbles and shakes, good one, Panasonic! 


If you look at the vertical video carefully you will notice how fast the auto focus is!  It even managed to catch up with all the fast action!

Still GRABS during video shoot..

I am please that the TZ110 kept this very useful feature which allow me to GRAB JPEG stills during my video filming!  Look at the results...






Pictures below were shot at my usual "A" (Aperture Priority) mode, these have higher resolution than the "video grab".









Taking Postcard Perfect Travel Shots...

The evening before I returned the TZ110 to Panasonic NZ, I pretend I was a tourist with this travel cam and shoot some landscape at my fav Wellington vistas :)

It was 5pm, the winter sun was setting fast!






And one for the road, before the sun go down :)


Famous Last Words...

 Do I like the Lumix TZ110?

Yes, very much, I only wish the zoom lens is a little wider and the body have slightly less slippery to hold.

At present, this near ideal Travel Zoom is retailing at NZ$1,148.00 in New Zealand.

The camera come in black or silver colour.

For a well written verdict on the TZ110 (TZ100), you might like to go HERE.



* Thanks to Panasonic New Zealand for the review TZ110.

1 comment:

mityvisionz said...

Awesome write-up in simple English ... putting lawyers out of jobs