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Old Monday 29th February 2016, 11:09   #1
mathare
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TZ60 or TZ70?

I'm in the market for a pocket point&shoot camera with a long zoom, preferably 30x. I don't have room in my kit bag for a bridge camera and the one I used to use I didn't get on with that well. I do own an old (and slightly battered) Panasonic point&shoot (TZ25) that I have enjoyed using for the past few years so am considering Panasonic again.

I've been reading reviews of the TZ60 and the TZ70 and would welcome thoughts on each model here if anyone is willing to share. The GPS feature on the TZ60 appeals so I can geotag photos. But I gather the image quality is better on the TZ70, which lacks the GPS.

I'll be taking photos of birds, mostly. A bit of scenery too I guess. And using it as a general travel camera when abroad, hence the GPS appeal. The photos taken will mostly be viewed on computer - I won't be doing much with them in terms of post-processing, enlarging, printing etc. So would I notice the better image quality?

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Old Monday 29th February 2016, 11:40   #2
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Hi Mat
Nothing wrong with the TZ60 i have used it since it first came out and i don't feel inclined to update to the TZ70
but there again i'm a big Panasonic fan. Go for it.
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Old Monday 29th February 2016, 12:36   #3
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Am using the TZ70 as a replacement for my Canon SX260, viewfinder is small but a plus, zoom is good, responsiveness is average, color balance shifts noticeably when switching from auto to programmed. Think the Panasonic colors are a bit more muted than Canons. Neither is SLR sharp, but both work well as a travel compact.
Have not missed the GPS feature, but the camera is mostly used when travelling, so the locations are predetermined. Plus the GPS sucks power and the TZ70 will drain the battery with a days shooting even without GPS.
Extra batteries are strongly recommended.
I don't reuse SD cards, but label each one with the sites where it was used and store them separately. They hopefully will serve as a last ditch backup when my computer develops amnesia.
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Old Monday 29th February 2016, 12:55   #4
mathare
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Not reusing SD cards is a new one on me I must admit. I copy off the SD on an infrequent basis, dumping to laptop and backing up to external HDD (less frequently than I probably should).

I'm OK with the battery drain, as long as it's not really ridiculous. Most of my birding is done at a handful of sites and I don't really need GPS for those - I can say (or work out) where within the site the photo was taken if I need to know. It's the foreign trips that would be where the GPS comes in more. I always carry at least one spare battery.

The bridge I was using was slow to respond, shot-to-shot time was slow and would always auto-focus on the branch/twig in front of the bird rather than the bird itself. I find my Panasonic TZ25 to be quick between shots and can auto focus beyond immediate obstacles which is why I am looking at Panasonics again. I don't mind the images not being SLR sharp - I'm not sure I'd notice the difference!
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Old Monday 29th February 2016, 13:30   #5
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Originally Posted by mathare View Post
Not reusing SD cards is a new one on me I must admit. I copy off the SD on an infrequent basis, dumping to laptop and backing up to external HDD (less frequently than I probably should).

I'm OK with the battery drain, as long as it's not really ridiculous. Most of my birding is done at a handful of sites and I don't really need GPS for those - I can say (or work out) where within the site the photo was taken if I need to know. It's the foreign trips that would be where the GPS comes in more. I always carry at least one spare battery.

The bridge I was using was slow to respond, shot-to-shot time was slow and would always auto-focus on the branch/twig in front of the bird rather than the bird itself. I find my Panasonic TZ25 to be quick between shots and can auto focus beyond immediate obstacles which is why I am looking at Panasonics again. I don't mind the images not being SLR sharp - I'm not sure I'd notice the difference!
SD cards are so cheap now that it makes sense to use them for backup storage, at least imho.
The GPS was a power hog when I used it routinely, but there has probably been big improvement in the last few years. Maybe a piglet now rather than a pig.
Panasonic response time is a bit better than my Canons, still not lightning fast, so don't expect miracles, think shot to shot is under one second, auto focus picking the wrong target is an unsolved issue, I have a sharp picture of a twig behind which there is a Hawk Owl shape. There is a manual focus option, but it is buried in the cryptic menu and it is evidently an afterthought.

The manual is an engineers program documentation, all the features are there and listed, but the document is near impenetrable to the novice, written in the 'if you do this then you can do that' style. Clearly the model cycle is too short and the profit levels too low to allow for a well designed and well written user manual. There is a downloaded manual on the Panasonic site, not a text that draws in the user, even with the camera in hand.
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Old Monday 29th February 2016, 13:40   #6
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What I'm not hearing is "The TZ60 image quality is rubbish, go for the TZ70 you fool", which is interesting. The price difference between the two is around 35 so not a huge amount to choose between them on that front.

I'm leaning towards the TZ60 at the minute I must admit - better to have the GPS option & not use it than want it and not have it. Yes, I'm aware I can use GPS logging on my phone that syncs with the camera for geotagging purposes but I often go out without my phone when abroad.
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Old Monday 29th February 2016, 14:41   #7
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@etudiant: on my m4/3 panasonic, it is possible to choose a vivid color selection scheme for less muted colors. In post processing, you get the same effect by increasing saturation.

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Old Monday 29th February 2016, 15:12   #8
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[quote=mathare;3362853]What I'm not hearing is "The TZ60 image quality is rubbish, go for the TZ70 you fool", which is interesting. The price difference between the two is around 35 so not a huge amount to choose between them on that front.

QUOTE]

Afaik, the TZ70 reduced the sensor pixel count to 12mm from 18mm in order to improve the low light performance, but there is no striking difference in image quality otherwise. The lens is the same in the two, so the trade is that the viewfinder of the TZ70 is much sharper, but the GPS is lost. There may be differences in processing speed, as the TZ70 has more built in storage, so there has been some tweaking of the electronics.
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Old Monday 29th February 2016, 15:28   #9
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Originally Posted by njlarsen View Post
@etudiant: on my m4/3 panasonic, it is possible to choose a vivid color selection scheme for less muted colors. In post processing, you get the same effect by increasing saturation.

Niels
The TZ70 has the ability to adjust the color temperature if desired in a specific shooting situation.
In general, the camera is stuffed with more options than the average user ever knows. Sadly the manual does not help much in learning how to really exploit this little marvel.
It does shoot RAW, which opens the door for extensive post processing, but only for more dedicated photographers.
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Old Thursday 25th August 2016, 00:23   #10
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Sorry I did not see this thread when it was first posted since I had both cameras in question at the same time and did some comparisons. My comparisons are probably to late to be of use for the OP, but it may be of some interest to others.

Here in the US the TZ60 is labeled as ZS40 and the TZ70 is a ZS50. The ZS40/TZ60 was announced in early 2014 and was replaced in early 2015 by the ZS50/TZ70.

The sensor size remained the same but the pixel count was dropped from 18 to 12. In addition, the GPS was dropped but the newer ZS50 eledtronic view finder had a noticeable increase in resolution. The lens remained unchanged. The ZS50/TZ70 was replaced in early 2016 by the ZS60/TZ80. Both cameras that are the subject of this post are now discontinued but still can be bought new.

My original thought was to go with the ZS40 with the higher pixel count because I do a lot of cropping of my bird photos and I thought the added pixels may give a sharper end result. I really was not that interested in low light indoor photos at a higher ISO setting so the potential lower noise of the lower pixel count ZS50 did not offer an advantage to me. So with that in mind, I did some comparison shots.

The settings in each camera were the same, the photos were taken immediately after each other, and the cameras were on a tripod with a 2 second shutter delay. All but the last photo was reduced to a width of 1600 to meet the forum posting requirements. All of the photos on the left were taken with the ZS40/TZ60 and all of the photos on the right were taken with the ZS50/TZ70.

Here are the cameras at max wide angle zoom:
(Original sizes 4896 X 3672 and 4000 X3000)

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Here are the cameras at about 25% zoom with a different scene and lighting:
(Original sizes 4896 X 3672 and 4000 X3000)

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Here are the cameras at full zoom:
(Original sizes 4896 X 3672 and 4000 X3000)

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The goose in the above full zoom photo is also in the first max wide angle photo. It is against the far shore line a little to the left of the two signs. This shows the zoom range of the lens on these cameras.

Here are the cameras at full zoom of a park sign to get an idea of the sharpness of the two.
(Original sizes 4896 X 3672 and 4000 X3000)

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Here is a full close crop of the sign pictures to compare sharpness:
(Original crop sizes (unchanged) 540 X 628 and 442 X 516)

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To me, there was very little difference in the image quality of the two cameras. This is especially true looking at the first four photos reduced in size to meet the forum requirements. Even looking at the original images full screen, the difference to me was very slight. I thought the ZS40/TZ60 was just ever so slightly sharper and theZS50/TZ70 had just slightly deeper color and contrast. The differences in sharpness and contrast between the two was so small that it was not an issue. Any slight sharpness improvement of the ZS40 would be wiped out hand holding.

Ultimately it came down to features when deciding on which camera to keep. I had no need for a slow startup, battery consuming GPS and went with the ZS50 due to the noticeably higher resolution electronic view finder. So between the two, my recommendation is the ZS50 unless the GPS is an important option. The quality of the image will be virtually the same with either camera.
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Last edited by BruceH : Thursday 25th August 2016 at 01:52. Reason: Swapped a sentence
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Old Thursday 25th August 2016, 01:50   #11
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Here are some sample photos from the Panasonic ZS50/TZ70.

These are straight out of the camera with no post processing other than reducing the size to meet the forum requirements.

It can be very bright in my region of the country so sometimes the results are better with a minus 1/3 compensation setting. Also, the more the zoom, the harder it is to get a real sharp image. There are several possible reasons. One is that the subject is usually way out there and is small, so there is not much resolution to work with. The more the power, the more hand shake is magnified. Finally, full zoom may be pushing the lens to the limit. I have not done any testing to see if there is loss at full zoom but there may be some. Of the possible reasons for any sharpness loss at full zoom, I suspect lens loss is at the bottom of the list of the reasons stated.

One big advantage this camera has is the view finder. The reason being is by looking through the view finder, the camera is now held steady against the face, noticeably reducing the shake when compared to viewing through the LCD screen. Knowing what I know now, I doubt I would ever buy a camera with a big zoom that does not have a view finder because then I would not be able to brace the camera against my face.

Overall, I think it does well. It is small and light so I now have a camera with me when I previously would not. That means I now have an opportunity to get photos that would have been lost without having a camera at all. It serves my purposes well.
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Old Friday 26th August 2016, 20:40   #12
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Quote:
Originally Posted by BruceH View Post

..................
To me, there was very little difference in the image quality of the two cameras. ........................
Bruce, thanks very much for this illustrative comparison. To me, the image quality would have clearly led to prefer the TZ60. Right from the first shot, it is always the left side picture that is clearly sharper. Interestingly, the last crop comparison is the one case where I find the differences least obvious. Though they are there as well.
On the other hand, I fully agree with the finding that a view finder is extremely helpful, particularly to stabilize the camera when shooting in the tele range. And a better view finder clearly helps. My wife has the TZ60 and she thinks she can't use that view finder. So it's obviously a personal thing as I can clearly use it to full advantage. Maybe I had to deal with lousy view finders so long as I went though a series of the FZ models over the years that I'm better accustomed to that weakness?
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Old Friday 2nd September 2016, 07:27   #13
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Robert ..... Thanks for the feedback. I agree that the ZS40/TZ60 photos look sharper. I just did not think the difference was that great. It may be that I was expecting more of a difference due to a decent difference in pixel count. This is the first time I have done this type of comparison so I may of had unrealistic expectations.

As far as the last picture at full zoom and full crop, I notice the most difference when viewing the emblem in the upper left corner.

As a side note, all of the bird photos in the second post taken with the ZS50/TZ70 were taken without a tripod.
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