"THIS CAMERA ROCKS!"on by cpc710
Pros 10x zoom w/28mm wide angle, IS, 3" LCD, it's small!
Cons No optical viewfinder
Summary A 7.0 ?!!! Compared to what? Judged along side cameras in this price range with similar features THIS CAMERA ROCKS! I’m not a professional photographer, just a little above average when it comes to cameras and photography and this is by far the best digital camera I’ve ever owned. I’ve used it about 2 weeks now and if you can’t tell I’m very impressed. What’s not to like? Great lens, 10x optical zoom w/28mm wide angle, IS, beautiful 3” LCD, it even has a built in lens cap, and its best feature – it’s a compact camera! TZ doesn’t stand for Travel Zoom for nothin’. This is the perfect camera to put in your fanny pack when you’re on a trip. I love CNET but they got it wrong this time. And for all its upgrades it only gets a measly +0.4 points compared to the TZ1? Nothing’s perfect but the TZ3 comes close.
"Solid but with flaws"on by Strv74
Pros Fantastic zoom, great flash, built well
Cons Pictures get blurry, no zoom in movies, missplaced control wheel
Summary This is my fifth digital camera. I have had it for about two months and have taken about 1000 pictures with it during several trips abroad. I also have a Canon, a Casio, a Minolta and a Pentax.
The Camera is a solid product that feels great to work with. The Zoom is fantastic and if you use only the 3 MB mode you will be able to zoom optically out to 15X! Makes it possible to take a lot of pictures at locations that are difficullt and without disturbing people. Compared to my Monolta Dimage Z3 this is an equal capacity but in a much less bulky camera.
The Flash is powerful and most normal indoor pictures come out well. The Minolta Dimage Z3 is awfull indoors.
Unfortunatly there are some negative aspects as well. Worst of all is that some of the colors blur together and you sometimes think you had a 1MB camera! Far from all pictures come out feeling like a they were taken with a 7Mb camera. In all fairness I must confess that I have taken most pictures in the same mode and used all the special modes sparingly. Maybe some of the special modes would correct some of the bad pictures but on the other hand, how will you know at the moment of taken the picture?
The location of the control wheel on top of the camera is to exposed. Almost every time I take the camera out of its case the wheel moves and you have to check it. If you are in a hurry you loose time.
When you use the video mode there is no zoom. Strange enough this is never mentioned in any review of the camera that I have read. Of all my digital cameras only the Minolta has the zoom in video mode. Why?
The Screen is large and ok but in sunlight it is somewhat difficullt to observe even after you have adjusted it for strong light. On the other hand, compared to the Pentax A20 I bought six months ago it is a miracle since the Pentax was absolutly impossible to use outdoors in sunlight.
Battery power is great and even though I bought a reserve battery I have never had to use it during a normal working day.
All in all, I like the camera and maybe by getting to know all the special modes some of my pictures will come out better. But this is not the final digital camera for me. I expect moore.
Pros 28mm Wide Angle, 10x Optical Zoom, 3'' LCD, IS, Built-in Lens Cover
Cons No manual controls, No zoom in Video Mode, Average Battery Life
Summary I have to get on the bandwagon here. This is a superb little camera, definately worth a 10 on Cnet! They completely got it wrong with their rating because this camera definitely deserves at least an 8.0!
As far as the Pros go on this camera, it's exactly as good as it sounds! Real life needs for real life situations for real people that loves superb photos and having the right camera to capture those moments.
On the Cons side, those are practically the only things an ADVANCED user would care about. Manual controls are mostly for expert photographers as white balance and exposure settings are already in this camera, so I don't know what else you need. Zooming in video mode isn't important to me since I don't particularly take much video footage. And I only say average battery life because I tend to look through the photos I already shot pretty often without using the power save on the LCD, therefore, that's particularly what drains the battery. However, you usually get @ 250-270 shots per charge, without frequent previewing.
Panasonic has basically taken the original TZ1 and made it even better. There's not much missing from this camera. As I've said, 28mm Wide Angle LEICA Lens, 10X Optical Zoom, 3" High Resolution Screen, Excellent Image Stabilization, etc. All this in a fairly compact camera. Panasonic has also improved the "noise" on higher ISO's. Low light performance is much better than on previous Panasonic models. The most important this is, the camera takes fantastic pictures.
Another thing I'm extremely impressed with is the construction and finish alone. Just holding it in your hands it screams quality and feels like a tank. I love it. It seriously feels like a $700 camera. No exaggeration. I was a little worried about it not being able to fit in my jean pockets before buying it. Women may have issues with really tight jeans but for us guys no problem. It fits fine. I seriously can't believe I can carry around a camera with a 10x zoom inside my jean pockets. Truly remarkable. The 3" screen is amazing. You can practically enjoy your pics right on screen without even printing them with the high resolution output. Image quality is great, and if you need extra sharpness and want that "Canon-like look," you could always use the camera on "Vivid Mode."
It's also not much bigger or heavier than your overpriced Sony's. Plus, on Amazon, I found it for three hundred, with a high speed 1GB Panasonic card included.
Overall, I am extremely pleased. If you are looking for a great zoom camera in a small enough form factor, you should seriously consider the DMC-TZ3. This is the best compact camera I've ever owned.Updated
The deal on Amazon for the camera and 1GB memory card is still available for $330. What's better than that?! The only accessory you might have to buy now is just the DMW-CT3-K, the leather case specifically for this camera.
Seriously, you can't find the perfect digital camera nowadays without finding something missing from it, but this has to be as close as you can get to a perfect camera. At this price, do yourself a favor and BUY IT!
Pros Excellent user design, sharp photos, great color with "Vivid" color mode
Cons No AC adapter with camera (separate), flash too strong in foreground
Summary I have been digital camera shopping for many months. I am very picky. I am looking for an SLR quality photo from a compact. I am looking to replace my old Sony DSC-S85 that I've had for about 6 years.
I have bought and returned a FujiFilm FinePix 41fd, Canon SD750, and Canon SD850IS. I have also borrowed a friend's Canon SD700IS. I would run around with all those cameras taking the exact same shot - so I had an even table to compare photos and cameras. Out of those 4 cameras, the Canon SD700IS was the best (with the old Sony often being better), until I met this Panasonic.
The Panasonic actually outperformed the Canon SD700IS IMO. They both took shots that were entirely in focus (background and foreground), which was the problem with the 750 (another story). So focus was fantastic. The main discerning factors for me were:
1. Color. The Canon doesn’t have the option to change color modes unless you are in completely Manual mode. This was a problem because the default color mode made the photos look washed out. Whereas the Panasonic was super easy and the color was much more saturated/vibrant using the “Vivid” color mode. FYI - you have to be in "Vivid" mode otherwise using the "Standard" mode (default) the colors are just as washed out as with the Canons.
I could put the Canon in manual mode and change the color mode, but then I lose all the automatic advantages. I don’t want to always be in manual mode. The color from the Panasonic using Vivid is excellent.
2. User Interface. The user interface for the Canon 700IS and 850IS was really difficult for me to use. The ON/OFF button was very awkward to use (I had a hard time pressing it and ended up using my fingernail most of the time), and I kept pressing the buttons on the back by accident whenever I picked up the camera. I kept having to press more buttons to go back to where I wanted to be. It was very annoying. I really liked the UI on the Canon SD750, but all the photos I took had blurry background in it - so that wouldn't do.
I love the interface on the Panasonic. It is easy to use, easy to navigate, intuitive, and all the buttons are easy to press - but not accidentally. The dial on top I like too (despite an earlier user's opinion). Everything about it is great. No complaints at all. I have never once accidentally moved something or pressed the wrong button.
Regarding the dial, some neat things about it - there is an "intelligent ISO" setting which takes great photos. There are also 2 "Scene" modes. You can program SCN1 to be "baby" and SCN2 to be "landscape" for example and then just rotate the dial to move between scene modes without having to enter the menu system. Very easy.
Another fun option - there are 2 "baby" scene modes (in case you have 2 kids). You can program the date of birth for your kids in the "baby" mode and optionally have it print how old the kid is in the photo. That eliminates those fun situations years after the picture was taken of "now how old was so-and-so in this picture?". Anyway, I don't have it turned on, but it is a fun option. Maybe when I have my next baby...
I also like that there are 3 Image Stabilization modes (OFF, Mode 1, and Mode 2). Off is self-explanatory, Mode 1 is on all the time, and Mode 2 is on only when you actually take the photo (saves battery life). For most people like myself, we'll just leave it on Mode 2 and forget about it. But it is nice to have the option.
Great battery life. I do wish it came with an AC adapter. You can buy one separate though.
I also LOVE the large 3” LCD screen. It is sharp and clear and big!! I never had a problem viewing it in the bright sun outside. I never once missed having a viewfinder (I never used it on my Sony anyway - and I've had that for 7 years).
3.Flash. There is no way to force the flash on in the Canon 700IS. You have options for Flash Off, Auto, or Redeye. No “flash on”. So indoor shots, if the automatic sensor says you don’t need a flash, there’s no way to put it on. I found that sometimes I would have liked to have used a flash as it was too dark and you got grainy photos, but there was not a way to force it on.
The Panasonic though was a little flash happy – and it was a little too bright in the foreground. But at least I could turn it off if I wanted to easily (however, if you are indoors and turn the flash off, the photo is blurry). My old Sony has the option to have Low, Normal, or High flash levels, so that would be a nice addition to this camera.
You also have the option with the Panasonic to limit the max ISO if you don’t want to take photos at higher ISO levels (higher ISO leads to more grainy photos).
4. 3:2 ratio photos. You can’t take photos at 3:2 ratio with the Canon. You want to take photos at 3:2 ratio if you want to print them out 4x6”. The standard default ratio in digital cameras will take photos at 4.5x6”, which means they will be cropped automatically when printed to 4x6”. Most places now will print out 4.5x6” photos at a slightly higher cost – but it is sometimes easier just to take the photos at 3:2 ratio to begin with. You might not care - just a little added perk for me.
The only other difference, which I didn't like at first but am now fine with, is that the Canon cameras (and Sony) smooth the photos a little to make it smooth (or a little blurry) when you look at the photo on the computer at high zoom levels. The Panasonic does not blur/smooth the photos, so at high zoom levels it looks pixely/grainy. At first, I didn't like this, but I realize now that this really doesn’t make a difference when you print it out at a normal size or view it onscreen at a normal zoom level. If I’ll be taking photos to blow up to 11x17 or something, I’ll hopefully be using a digital SLR.
The Panasonic is not perfect, in a few cases my older, bigger Sony did better. But I think in a small compact camera, it’s as good as you’re going to get. It takes sharp clear photos (all the way around the photo) with great color definition. It is definitely better than the Canon and Fujifilm cameras I tried.
So unless you want a larger camera (which I don’t since I want to put it in my purse or pocket easily), this is the best choice IMO. I'd give it an 8.5/10, but since I can only choose whole numbers it gets an 8.Updated
I wanted to add a note - It takes absolutely excellent outdoor shots. The best I've seen. However, there's a trade off. The indoor shots are lacking. In the kitchen, they are fine (better than the other cameras I tried). But in the family room and the bedrooms, the foreground (usually the people) is very overexposed and the rest of the image is sometimes quite blurry (not crisp). Also there is quite a shutter lag indoors.
So indoor shots are 50/50, but outdoor shots are great. I did contact Panasonic tech support about the indoor shots. They were very responsive (great tech support) and agreed the example indoor shots I sent in weren't good. They made a few suggestions (limiting the ISO to 400, using spot metering when using the flash, and do not zoom when taking pictures inside with the flash) - but they didn't help. The results were almost identical.
I am actually interested in trying the Sony W90 to see if I can get excellent outdoor AND indoor shots - but am I asking too much? My old Sony was great (just terrible shutter lag and photos are now loosing crispness), so maybe Sony has it. Who knows.
"The Perfect Camera"on by niansa07
Pros Compact, sleek styling, 10x opical zoom, user friendly, very large lcd screen, great image stabilizer
Cons So far I have no a one!
Summary I did my research on this camera & considered it's old model Z1K but by far, decided on this new model. I have 3 children who all play sports. I wanted a compact camera yet a great zoom to get those closeups without being a "mom" who embarrasses the kids at games. I was very impressed with the size & feel of this camera. Very solid. I was able to take it straight from the box, charge the battery in my car on the way to an event, pop the battery in & begin taking pictures before even glancing at the manual. On the other hand, there are tons of features to choose from once you get some time to read the manual. Picture quality was better than any other camera I have owned. Shutter time is quick. I haven't had one blurry picture yet, even with kids running all over the place. I really do recommend this compact camera. It packs a great punch!