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ZEISS. Discover the fascinating world of birds, and win a birding trip to Columbia

Panasonic TZ60 (1 Viewer)

Stevie babe

Well-known member
I am considering getting the above as a replacement for a failed Fujifilm compact camera.

I cannot find another thread reviewing this camera so if there is anyone out there using one I'd like to know their thoughts on it (or does the lack of comments on BF speak for itself).

thanks
 

etudiant

Registered User
Supporter
I'm hoping that it is just that this camera is only recently available.
The specs plus the view finder make it an appealing option for use as a travel zoom.
 

njlarsen

Gallery Moderator
Opus Editor
Supporter
Barbados
I think you could probably get a better viewfinder given the specs of recent superzooms. Having said that, the mere presence of a viewfinder does win this one some points in my book. Take a look at this link: http://www.dpreview.com/products/panasonic/compacts/panasonic_dmczs40 -- there is a link to real world sample questions that should give you some idea what to expect.

(and no, I am not in the market for something like this, having gone to a m4/3 camera with a 100-300 mm lens)

Niels
 

Stevie babe

Well-known member
Thanks Niels, Etudiente,

Have decided not to go with Panasonic but the Canon SX700 hs. Although it doesn't have the viewfinder it has more pros than cons. It's nice to have a small camera to take around with you in normal times. It will compliment my Camcorder that also takes stills at almost 10mp.
 

etudiant

Registered User
Supporter
Thanks Niels, Etudiente,

Have decided not to go with Panasonic but the Canon SX700 hs. Although it doesn't have the viewfinder it has more pros than cons. It's nice to have a small camera to take around with you in normal times. It will compliment my Camcorder that also takes stills at almost 10mp.

The reviews of the SX700 are very positive also, lauding the image quality especially. I've been pleased with the Canon SX260, an older model, but do regret the absence of a viewfinder on that model as well.
Panasonic has gotten some knocks in earlier models because of the overly aggressive noise reduction in the images, but the SX700 is apparently much improved on this front. Moreover, it offers the ability to shoot RAW, which allows the shooter to process the image personally, rather than by some manufacturers algorithm. Downside is more time spent and bigger photo files.
Using the long zoom while holding the camera at arms length to see the video screen is a bit of a circus act. It works best if the target is stationary, on a feeder or perched, less well if there is motion. A small bird hopping along the ground some distance off is really hard to capture without a viewfinder, at least in my experience.
Any chance you can try both and keep the one that works best for you?
 

Stevie babe

Well-known member
Agree the view finder was perhaps the most attractive part for me for the TZ60 but reviews indicated that it was grainy. That, coupled with some issues with picture quality (too many pixles for the sensor) made me move away. Camcorder, although bulky has a good viewfinder so, with being able to take pretty good quality stills as well (for when I mean to be on a 'mission' ) the SX700 would compliment my meagre photgraphic arsenal with telescope and binoculars as supplements.
 

Swissboy

Sempach, Switzerland
Supporter
Switzerland
ordered one

I have today actually ordered one of these, not for myself, but for my wife. She has still been using a Casio dinosaur that can't keep the battery charge when it's turned off. Meaning, the old camera can't be used spontaneously most of the time.

It took a considerable while to sort things out in this selection. For some puzzling reasons, the same camera runs under the designations of ZS40 (at least in North America), TZ60 and TZ61. The latter in German speaking areas of Europe. The same holds for many other models. Thus, it's rather time consuming just to get some kind of overview and comparing reviews. Things became much easier when searching for "viewfinder compacts". I found about ten, with half of them being very old cameras, or a camera apparently announced by IKEA that has still not come out.

In the end, the realistic choice was between two Panasonic models, the LF1 and this TZ60/61. And as the reviews said the LF1's viewfinder was almost useless, essentially only for "emergencies", I was left with a single model to recommend to my wife. She would have preferred the slightly more expensive "silver" version. But when looking at that version, it is more a kind of hybrid with black decidedly dominating.

Some of the more negative points mentioned in the reviews, like slow AF in the long tele range, are no issue for the kinds of uses my wife will want the camera for. In fact, the LF1's zoom range would have been much more reasonable for the intended purposes. So there will be a considerable kind of overkill like RAW, Wi-Fi and much more. But the viewfinder had priority over everything else, except for compactness, of course. Otherwise, we'd have selected a larger model with a considerably better viewfinder. But this one, at least, has been listed repeatedly as useful.

It will be kind of absurd that she'll have the camera with the longest tele lens now. My FZ150 and FZ200 have a somewhat shorter reach. But I'm certainly not going to take over her camera for that. ;) And if I would, I might as well place my models on an auction site.
 
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Swissboy

Sempach, Switzerland
Supporter
Switzerland
Very useful EVF

The camera arrived today, and it has gone through some first testing. Definitely a great camera for what my wife wants (mostly flowers and people, plus some insects). She can probably do it all with the iA setting. Macros come surprisingly well with that too. Pictures are light years better than what we keep getting from people who think their mobile phone will do.

And I'm very pleased with the view finder. Even with my glasses on, I have no problems using it comfortably.

The major irritation came from the fact that I can't upload an English version of the operating instructions. Lots of other "European" languages though. And the CD says it's for both TZ60 and 61. Good thing the full instructions are available in the internet. I found them on the Australian (of all things) Panasonic site.
 
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Swissboy

Sempach, Switzerland
Supporter
Switzerland
.........but reviews indicated that it was grainy. .........

I compared the viewfinder of the TZ61/60 (=ZS40) with my FZ150, and I think its comparable, though a bit darker. But certainly not grainier. Of course, the FZ150 does not have a state of the art viewfinder. But then, it has been used by lots of people for years, and has proven to be quite useful. The FZ200 comes with a much brighter viewfinder, but the picture is a bit smaller. All of them can be used quite comfortably while wearing glasses.
 
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Nick Leech

Well-known member
Very interested to hear how people with glasses are getting on with the EVF on the TZ60. I had heard one report suggesting that the EVF is not very usable for people wearing glasses...........
 

Swissboy

Sempach, Switzerland
Supporter
Switzerland
Very interested to hear how people with glasses are getting on with the EVF on the TZ60. I had heard one report suggesting that the EVF is not very usable for people wearing glasses...........

It took a bit of getting used to, but it works quite fine in my case. The thing that seems more critical is the diopter adjustment. Unlike on my FZ models, this adjustment wheel has no marker that tells where the zero position is. I marked mine with a fine yellow line of enamel paint. (I do the same on the FZ models all the time, and it has proven its worth despite the default marker that is not very obvious.)
 

Nick Leech

Well-known member
Anyone like to comment on how the IQ on the TZ60/TZ61 compares with the TZ30 or TZ40?

I have seen some reports suggesting that noise/artefacts at medium ISO and above is worse than on the TZ30/40. Too much zoom for such a small size sensor?
 

Nick Leech

Well-known member
I finally bought the TZ60 (ZS40 in the USA) and I am pleased with it.

I did a side-by-side comparison with my old TZ30. At x20 optical zoom the IQ on the TZ60 was superior. Then I zoomed the TZ60 up to x30 optical zoom and resolved even more detail on my target.

Also pleased with the EVF on the TZ60 - a definite advantage when there is sun glare on the rear LCD.

As regards noise, it's no worse than I had expected - it's pretty much par for the course with this size of sensor.

Overall I am pleased with the TZ60 - a useful P&S camera for travel/general use when a DSLR would be too bulky - well done Panasonic!
 
ZEISS. Discover the fascinating world of birds, and win a birding trip to Columbia
ZEISS. Discover the fascinating world of birds, and win a birding trip to Colombia
ZEISS. Discover the fascinating world of birds, and win a birding trip to Colombia
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