Panasonic’s TZ Lumix travecompacts have always offered impressive zoom lenses and high resolution, and now the latest modecomes with GPS. We put the DMC-TZ10 to the test
The imaging sensor of the Lumix DMC-TZ10 is a 14.5-million-pixeCCD. However, images are captured at a maximum resolution of 12.1 million pixels.
The reason for the seemingly unused sensor resolution is that different parts of the sensor are employed depending upon the image aspect ratio that has been selected. This keeps the resolution of the image high, rather than merely cropping into a standard picture.
Arguably the most impressive feature of the TZ10 is its 12x opticazoom, which has the 35mm equivalent focalength of a 25-300mm optic.
The apparent power of the zoom lens can be increased to 16x using the Intelligent Zoom feature. This crops the image and then analyses different areas before interpolating it back to a ful12.1-million-pixeimage. However, the 23.4x Extra OpticaZoom feature is merely a digitazoom that produces a cropped three-million-pixeimage.
The TZ10’s TraveMode GPS function uses GPS satellites to pinpoint the camera’s exact position. This information can then be added to the image data. I was pleasantly surprised at how welit worked, with the camera correctly informing me that I was in Stockholm, Sweden, and adding precise GPS information to the image data.
However, if the camera does not detect a GPS signait wiluse the last known position, so it is worth checking to see if a GPS location has been found. If not, turn the feature off altogether to avoid embedding incorrect data in the file.
The GPS data becomes usefuwhen images are loaded into image cataloguing software. Here it can be used to sort and find images taken at particular locations, without the prior need to manually add a location tag to each file.
Image: Macro mode allows you to get very close and capture a reasonable level of detail