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Saturday
May212011

The Panasonic Lumix DMC-TZ8 / ZS5 - A Very Credible Compact

I know I'm a bit behind the curve with this one, but the Lumix TZ8 / ZS5 is still available for a bargain price, so I  thought I'd write a quick review on it. If you're in the market for a very good compact with the creative controls to boot, why not take a look at this little Panasonic.

The Lumix DMC TZ8 (ZS5 in the States) comes from a great stable of Panasonic cameras. For well under £200 you get a 12x zoom that starts off at a very wide 35mm equivalent of 25mm, HD Video, 12.1 Megapixels, shooting modes from Intelligent Auto to Full Manual, image stabilization, and oh, did I mention the Leica Lens?

Enough of the stats, what does it feel like to use the TZ? Well, I've got to say it's very nice indeed. A little thicker than your average compact, the Lumix gives you something substantial to grip onto. The buttons feel positive and well placed, and the command dial puts all the controls at your fingertips. If you want a true point and shoot then all these features could be a little intimidating at first, but with a little perseverance you will come to appreciate the versatility.

The TZ8's selling point is that great lens. A 35mm equivalent would be a 25-300mm zoom, and this one has Power OIS too - what that means is that even with the lens zoomed out to its maximum, your photo's will be rock steady and any camera shake is reduced considerably. 

Images are viewed through a 2.7" LCD screen on the back, and it is very crisp and clear. If you're coming from an SLR / Bridge / Superzoom camera the lack of viewfinder is a little disconcerting, but again, with practice it isn't a problem at all.

I've never met a Lumix owner who has been disappointed with their camera. I like the sharpness, contrast and saturation from the TZ8's lens and sensor combination. It helps you create very nice photographs indeed, quickly, and most importantly, without much fuss or technical input from your side.

I like to keep things in perspective when discussing compact cameras. Sure, the ultimate image quality in demanding lighting situations isn't going to be as good as a dSLR, and the Lumix is no where near as fast, but the TZ8 / ZS5 is a fantastic camera that is small enough to always be in your pocket, and it has a lens and sensor that will take photographs that will make you smile.

Very recommended.

Thanks, Rob.

Grab a TZ8 from Amazon.co.uk in the UK,

If you're in the USA visit Amazon.com.

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