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

Launch SRP: S$649

Image Performance

Image Performance

Auto-focus is exceptionally fast and accurate, and the TZ20 offers an impressive 16x optical zoom, making this compact lens the equivalent of a 24-384mm lens in 35mm measurements. That 16x can be further pushed to 21x digitally with Intelligent Zoom. Despite the claims for a better quality digital crop, a crop is a crop. While we found the TZ20's normal resolution to be a decent 1400 x 1400LPH on our resolution chart all the way to 16x optical zoom, resolution drops to 1000 x 1000LPH at 21x. ISO performance is average and could have been better, with noise starting to show even at ISO400, with an upper limit of ISO800 and ISO1600 best to be avoided.

ISO100, 100% crop

ISO200, 100% crop

ISO400, 100% crop

ISO800, 100% crop

ISO1600, 100% crop

100% crop of our resolution test. Shot at 5x optical zoom (142mm).

100% crop of our resolution test. Shot at 5x optical zoom (142mm).

100% crop of our resolution test. Shot at the maximum16x optical zoom (384mm). Resolution results are similar to 5x optical zoom.

100% crop of our resolution test. Shot at the maximum16x optical zoom (384mm). Resolution results are similar to 5x optical zoom.

100% crop of our resolution test. Shot at the 21x with Intelligent Zoom (504mm). Resolution has decreased.

100% crop of our resolution test. Shot at the 21x with Intelligent Zoom (504mm). Resolution has decreased.

One thing that's impressive is that at the furthest zooms it's obvious that there's some serious image stabilization going on. That's essential, because the further you zoom the more sensitive the camera becomes to the smallest hand shake and the larger your chances of blur. Thanks to the optical stabilization built into the TZ20 (what Panasonic calls Power Optical Image Stabilizer) we found that most of our zoom shots turned out steady and sharp.

So just far does the 21x Intelligent Zoom let you go? This was shot at the TZ20's widest focal length of 24mm. Now watch those tall flats in the middle background.

At the TZ20's maximum 16x optical zoom, a 35mm equivalent of 384mm.

Even further, with the TZ20's 21x Intelligent Zoom, a 35mm equivalent of 504mm.

Images also come tagged with their latitudes and longitudes, if you're lucky. The service doesn't always work, but a lot of times the GPS module managed to lock onto us and deliver an accurate description of where we are. The camera then displays a read-out of your location when you get a lock, and there's an impressive database of over one million landmarks stored in the TZ20 so you don't just get co-ordinates but actually names of places.

Software like Lightroom or iPhoto can read the GPS co-ordinates embedded in your tagged photos and show you where in the world you were when you shot them.

A 3D mode lets you capture images in MPO format, but it's tricky and takes a little skill.

9.0
Performance
9
Design
9
Features
9.5
User-Friendliness
9
Value
8
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