Panasonic Lumix TZ20 - A Handy All-in-One for Home & Travel

Launch SRP: S$649

Introduction, Design & Handling


The Panasonic Lumix TZ20 is billed as great for traveling, and it's easy to see why. It's not the slimmest compact camera in town, but it brings a long 16x optical zoom which can be further extended to 21x via Panasonic's Intelligent Zoom system. A wide 24mm lens comes in handy for landscape shots, and 1080i video recording lets you record your precious memories in HD as well as in 14MP still photographs. To round it up, a built-in GPS receiver tags location information to your photographs, so you can remember where in the world you were when you took that photograph.

Design & Handling

While the TZ20 is a chunky compact, it's still a compact which you can comfortably carry. No great surprises in its design; it follows the design of most recent Panasonic compacts, with controls comfortably laid out and easy to use. Of particular favorite is the staple Quick Menu, which gives you an overlay of essential settings that you can quickly adjust.

The TZ20 offers some advanced functionality with Shutter and Aperture priority modes, as well as full Manual. But the difficulty involved in tweaking the settings via the Exposure button and the d-pad has us preferring the ease of use with the excellent iA (intelligent Auto) mode. The TZ20 is limited to an aperture range of f/3.3-5.9, which doesn't inspire one to do much with Aperture Priority. The TZ20 also comes with a touch-screen, which is complementary and not compulsory. It offers some of the same easy features as Panasonic's G-series, with useful features like touch to focus functions.

The TZ20 comes with more modes than your average compact, including Aperture and Shutter priority as well as full Manual.

To change aperture or shutter speed values, you need to press the Exposure button, and then use the d-pad to scroll through the available settings. A little too tedious for us.

You can set the GPS to be always on, it'll produce a faster lock on your position but saps battery. Or you can set the GPS to only turn on when the camera is powered on.

The TZ20 features touch controls, like touch to focus and shoot. Just tap the icon with the shutter release button (currently with an 'X' labeled) and activate the function.

We love the Quick Menu, which gives you an easy way to change essential settings without taking your eyes off the scene.

The Good
Far-reaching 16x optical zoom
Excellent image stabilization for long range shots
Responsible touchscreen controls
Fun GPS feature
The Bad
Image noise starts showing at ISO400