Panasonic’s latest top-end travel compact features a Leica lens with 20x optical zoom, but this is just the tip of the iceberg. Tim Coleman investigates what is below the surface
- 14.1 million effective pixels
- 1/2.33in (6.16×4.62mm) sensor
- 20x optical zoom (24-480mm equivalent)
- ISO 100-3200 (1600-6400 High Sensitivity mode)
- 5fps with continuous AF
- Street price around £330
Travel cameras are designed to be pocked sized, and to provide the features needed to cover a wide range of situations. Panasonic’s Lumix TZ series is one of the market leaders and the DMC-TZ30 is the latest flagship model. It is an engineering feat to include a 20x optical zoom in a camera of this size, which is the sort of range normally reserved for larger bridge cameras, such as Panasonic’s Lumix DMC-FZ150 with its 24x optical zoom.
Camera designers must walk a fine line between producing models that have good image quality and offering the widest possible focal-length lens. The lens of a bridge camera is larger and packs more glass than a compact camera optic, and should result in sharper results. So can a compact camera such as the TZ30 really do a comparable job?