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DPChallenge Forums >> Hardware and Software >> Great price for Panasonic TZ4... any thoughts?
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06/22/2008 07:03:14 PM · #1
Costco.com is selling the Panasonic Lumix TZ4 for $239.

Has anyone had good experience with this camera?

I'm looking for a relatively low priced camera with a large optical zoom.

Thanks in advance,

sjgleah
06/22/2008 08:35:09 PM · #2
... and part 2 of the question... are the TZ3.TZ4 and TZ5 all basically the same camera?
06/22/2008 09:56:14 PM · #3
My friend has one... I think it's the TZ4, but it may be the TZ3. It's a slick little bugger. The lens is quite sharp (Leica) and I haven't seen any of the NR issues in low ISOs like the reviews indicate. It's pretty solid, too, his has been dropped several times and it just keeps running. The menus aren't very pretty imo, and it lacks some of the really neat, unimportant features that some Canon ones have (I love the Color Swap and Color Accent feature, for whatever reason!), but it's a good little camera. The one significant thing I'd ask for from it is a bit of a better Macro mode.

As for the differences, they're all mostly the same. The megapixels vary I believe, and I think the newest one actually has a slightly larger sensor than the others. I'd check DPReview to confirm any other differences, though.

He got his from Microcenter for about $350, I think, when it was new, so $239 is a pretty decent deal.
06/22/2008 09:57:51 PM · #4
Here's the DPReview front page for the TZ5, cuz I'm such a nice guy ;)

Panasonic launched the original 'Travel Zoom' TZ1 back in February 2006. In 2007 came the TZ3 and now, almost exactly one year later, Panasonic brings us the third generation of this popular series in the shape of the TZ5 (The TZ2 and TZ4 are the smaller sister models of the TZ3 and TZ5 respectively). Like its predecessors it offers a stabilized big zoom lens in a very compact package.

With the new model Panasonic has stuck to the tried and tested TZ formula and only implemented a relatively small number of modifications. As one would expect sensor resolution was increased (from 7.2 to 9.1MP on a marginally larger sensor) and so was the resolution of the 3.0" screen (from 230K to 460K pixels). Additionally the in-camera computing is now powered by Panasonic's latest generation imaging engine - the Venus IV. However, the most interesting new feature is the HD video capability. The TZ5 can now capture video in a resolution of 1280x720 at 30fps in a 16:9 format.

In the digital age a product cycle of 12 months almost seems like an eternity. Has Panasonic made good use of the time and managed to iron out some some of the image quality issues that let the otherwise superb previous TZ generations down? Let's find out, starting as usual with the headline specification:

* 9.1 million effective pixel / 10.7 million pixels total 1/2.33" CCD
* 10x (28-280mm equiv.) Leica DC Vario-Elmarit optical zoom
* MEGA OIS image stabilization
* 4:3, 3:2 and 16:9 aspect ratios
* Venus IV Engine processor
* High Resolution (460,000 pixel) 3.0-inch LCD
* Movies up to 1280 x 720 pixels (HD) @ 30 fps
* 22 scene modes plus a 'clipboard' mode for travelers
06/23/2008 12:03:05 AM · #5
thanks anti-m for your very thorough reply

sjgleah
06/23/2008 12:13:11 AM · #6
I have the TZ5 (a very good camera), and there's not much difference between the two. The focus speed and detail are nowhere near a DSLR, but still very good for a P&S. Sorry you missed the deal a few weeks ago when Costco was selling them for $199.
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