In this Panasonic Lumix DMC-TZ70 review, Jon Devo tests the follow-up to one of the most popular cameras of 2014, the TZ60. This new compact travel zoom has some key upgrades, including a 12.1-million-pixel sensor with larger pixels for greater light capturing capabilities.
Build and Handling
Panasonic Lumix DMC-TZ70 Review – Build and Handling
When picking up the TZ70 and trying it out for the first time, the improvement to the live viewfinder is immediately noticeable, answering the main criticism of the previous model. The TZ60 carried a 0.20in 200K-dot viewfinder, which aside from being very small, wasn’t particularly bright and lacked enough resolution to be truly useful when composing images.
The new 1,166K-dot Live View Finder is the same physical size as before but with a significantly higher resolution, it provides a reasonably clear view of the scene ahead. It also gives a decent representation of colour information, although the contrast will make it difficult to see highlights. A wide range of exposure settings can be displayed overlaid on the preview image.
An eye sensor now features on the TZ-70, and automatically switches the camera between viewfinder and screen. It can be set to respond either quickly, or with a delay to prevent accidental switching. I found this particularly useful as I often switch between using the screen and viewfinder, depending on what I’m taking pictures of.
At a glance it is very hard to spot the difference between the TZ70 and the TZ60; they’re clearly cut from the same cloth. But if you look closer there are a couple of key differences. Most obviously the new model has a more pronounced grip, adding fractionally to the width of the camera body and improving the tactile feel of the camera.
The top plate of the new TZ70 is more angular with single edges providing clean lines that sit at the crown of the camera. The chiselled design works better in its silver and black iteration rather than in the all black version. As an aside though, I think this camera would also work well in a variety muted colours, and I wouldn’t be surprised to see Panasonic follow this release with additional options. If they don’t, they should.
With the upgrades the Lumix DMC-TZ70 measures 110.7 x 64.3 x 34.4mm and seems to have put on a little bit of weight, now 243g, about 3g heavier than the previous model. But with the two held in each hand, the difference is barely noticeable with the physical dimensions remaining so close. The control ring has a toothed grip and turns smoothly with little resistance, although I’d have preferred a clicking wheel for a more controlled feeling when adjusting fixed settings.
The camera’s 3in TFT LCD display is upgraded to 1,040K-dots and provides a bright and clear view for composing and playback content. Antireflective (AR) coating helps to improve visibility on bright days by reducing screen reflectivity, and it works well as expected.