The Lumix DMC-TZ80 brings 4K video and touchscreen control of Panasonic's popular TZ travel-zoom range, along with a new sensor and a faster image processor. Audley Jarvis takes a look
Panasonic Lumix DMC-TZ80 review – Our verdict
There’s plenty to like about the Panasonic Lumix DMC-TZ80. It’s a generously featured and highly flexible compact that ticks all the relevant ‘travel camera’ boxes. It also benefits from a number of key upgrades over its predecessor, especially in terms of its video-recording abilities and speedier image processing. The addition of Panasonic’s innovative 4K Photo mode provides a range of useful shooting modes that will undoubtedly help photographers get exactly the shot they want, albeit at reduced resolution.
Despite its inherent flexibility and generous feature set, the TZ80 is sadly not immune from the same image-quality issues that affect many other compact cameras with 1/2.3in sensors. While image quality can be very good in plentiful and even light, the limited dynamic range of the TZ80 more often than not produces images with blown highlights when faced with high-contrast scenes.
Automatic white balance metering isn’t quite as consistent as we’d like, either. Even with the new sensor, the TZ80 can struggle when pushed beyond ISO 800. This manifests itself not only as increased noise, but also in the loss of fine detail and colour saturation.
At the outset of this review, we mentioned that the TZ80 is one of two new additions to the TZ range, the other being the premium TZ100. For those seeking pure image quality, the larger 1in sensor of the TZ100 probably represents a better investment in the long run as the limitations of the TZ80’s smaller sensor do become noticeable in certain situations. That said, for those seeking all-round flexibility, the extended zoom, generous feature set and lower price of the TZ80 may well be more attractive.