Wednesday, 16 July 2014

Panasonic TZ55 Camera


*Warning: Post contains a fair amount of images, so loading can be a while (like all my other posts *cough*)

Panasonic Lumix Camera, Panasonic TZ55 Camera, Camera for Selfies

Months ago, me and several Panasonic Brit Bloggers attended their Imaging Workshop and have learned a lot about what Panasonic have to offer. Each of us were then given a camera or a camcorder to review. I've received the new Panasonic Lumix TZ55 Camera to review in the end of May, and have taken it around with us on several occasions. Plenty of pictures were taken under different conditions, and here is what we think about it.


Panasonic Lumix Camera, Panasonic TZ55 Camera, Camera for Selfies

Basic Specs (Full Specs can be found here)

3.0" large, 460k-dot, 180 degrees tiltable monitor

20x Optical Zoom
40x Intelligent Zoom
24mm Ultra wide-angle lens
16 megapixels high-sensitivity MOS sensor

Aperture F3.3-6.4
Shutter Speed approx 4-1/2,000 sec
Exposure 1/3EV step, +/- 2EV

Full HD (1920 x 1080) video recording in MP4 format

Wi-Fi (Connect using Free Panasonic Imaging App downloadable from iTunes/ GooglePlay)


* Note: All images below were re-sized for easier loading, and most are cropped but left unedited unless stated otherwise, to show you the true images taken with the TZ55

* Click on images to enlarge


Travelling with TZ55

The TZ55 weighs approx. 250g with the Li-ion battery pack and SD card. Although I love the quality pictures taken with my bridge camera, travelling light is definitely preferred, especially now that Clay has stopped using his pushchair. My bridge camera is light in weight, but it's still too bulky to be carrying around. (I guess a DSLR is definitely a no for me!)

My Smartphone is of course the lightest, but unless I have the perfect lighting, I can forget about taking quality pictures with it. So, a compact camera is still the perfect option for going on trips, especially with one that has built in wi-fi function, so that you can upload pictures straight to your phone and upload it for sharing.


iA Setting

As I'm still an amateur in photography, Aperture/ shutter speed and exposure adjusting is still not my expertise. I tried but pictures came out worse than sticking to iA (intelligent auto/ auto setting). The camera's iA setting, after setting it up (the TZ55 allows you to adjust picture settings like size and quality for different mode), will cleverly adjust everything for you before and after you take the shot. So, I'm just going to admit that I'm a "leave it at iA setting" person at let the TZ55 handle the pro stuff for me.


Wi-Fi

Another main feature that comes with TZ55 (and most of the latest camera models nowadays), is that you can upload/ edit images using the built-in Wi-Fi to connect to their imaging app for tablets/ smartphones (which is free to download). This way, you don't have to wait until the end of the day before you can upload images for sharing/ editing. You can also use the imaging app as a remote control to take images, and use the touch screen on your phone to set focus too!


Selfies

Panasonic Lumix Camera, Panasonic TZ55 Camera, Camera for Selfies
Right: I had a wide screen setting on for iAuto so images looks wider.

There is no more excuse for me not to be in the picture! The 180 degree tiltable (up) monitor means that you can take the perfect selfies without missing half a body or the important landmark! Just make sure that everyone looks at the camera lens and not the monitor screen *giggles at hubby and Clay*.

Selfie Tip:
I've just learned this not long ago, and I wish I had and implemented it on my picture above!

If you want your face to look smaller (have I got your attention?), slimmer and hide that double chin (surely I have by now!), instead of shooting from high above, simply have it in front of you (near the height as your forehead), and tilt the camera down at you. This way you won't be looking up in all of your pictures (the obvious tell tale sign of trying to hide the double chin), and your face has miraculously become smaller and thinner. It's a selfie trick used by Internet beauties who shocked the World when they are seen in real life.


Zoom

Panasonic Lumix Camera, Panasonic TZ55 Camera, Camera for Selfies

Panasonic Lumix Camera, Panasonic TZ55 Camera, Camera for Selfies
Bottom Right image is the only one that's been cropped. No editing has been done to all of them
The above images shows you examples of the TZ55 zoom. Quality is amazingly clear and detailed. Then of course they were all taken with good lightings.


Outdoor

Panasonic Lumix Camera, Panasonic TZ55 Camera, Camera for Selfies
Cloudy day
Panasonic Lumix Camera, Panasonic TZ55 Camera, Camera for Selfies
Going to rain day
Panasonic Lumix Camera, Panasonic TZ55 Camera, Camera for Selfies
Perfect weather day
Panasonic Lumix Camera, Panasonic TZ55 Camera, Camera for Selfies
Impressive outdoor images!
The TZ55 has impressed us with the outdoor picture quality! On a cloudy day iA seem to have enhanced the colour contrast, but pictures are certainly sharp. I'm well impressed with the images on a perfect sunny day. Pictures are sharp and true to the colour. Can you believe that I have done no editing at all to the above images, especially the food ones? The egg canape picture even shows some depth!


Low Light/ Indoor

It's very tempting to use Scene Selection (creative modes) or adjust settings to shoot image in low light conditions. But sometimes, leaving it on iA is still the better option, depending on what type of low light images you are taking.


Panasonic Lumix Camera, Panasonic TZ55 Camera, Camera for Selfies
This was taken on a different setting, either ISO or Shutter speed.
Not very good compared to those below under iA setting
Panasonic Lumix Camera, Panasonic TZ55 Camera, Camera for Selfies
Surprisingly good
Panasonic Lumix Camera, Panasonic TZ55 Camera, Camera for Selfies

The above pictures just shows you how clever TZ55's iA is! The lighting condition was poor for all these pictures but iA has enhanced it (I'm guessing the ISO) and although not true like what I saw with my own eyes (apart from the red statue/ display, that is actually very similar to what I saw), they are definitely beautiful pictures.

Do make sure that you have sturdy hands or a tripod when you take images under low light or pictures will come out shaky.


Panasonic Lumix Camera, Panasonic TZ55 Camera, Camera for Selfies

Panasonic Lumix Camera, Panasonic TZ55 Camera, Camera for Selfies

Panasonic Lumix Camera, Panasonic TZ55 Camera, Camera for Selfies

Panasonic Lumix Camera, Panasonic TZ55 Camera, Camera for Selfies

The above images were all taken indoor, but with a certain amount of lights (window/ spotlight). Again, no editing has been done to the above images, and they all came out sharp enough. I think indoor image quality are the trickiest to get it right, but with this amount of lighting, I'm comfortable to trust iA to do its job. If a restaurant can provide this much lighting, the pictures are definitely good enough to go up on my blog.


Panasonic Lumix Camera, Panasonic TZ55 Camera, Camera for Selfies

Panasonic Lumix Camera, Panasonic TZ55 Camera, Camera for Selfies

Panasonic Lumix Camera, Panasonic TZ55 Camera, Camera for Selfies

This set of images are taken under bad lighting conditions. To be honest, it's still not ideal, especially in their full size. Images become grainy at the shaded places, and photo enhancement is almost impossible. It still seems ok for blog pictures (and social media ones) though. I think you really need to know how to adjust your settings for these conditions, or take a few using iA, indoor/ night time mode and choose the best.


Before/ After

Panasonic Lumix Camera, Panasonic TZ55 Camera, Camera for Selfies

Panasonic Lumix Camera, Panasonic TZ55 Camera, Camera for Selfies

No matter whether I took my pictures using my bridge or phone, there is always enhancement to be done afterwards, and only a number of them doesn't need any, hence the proud hashtag #nofilter you might spot occasionally! The above examples just shows you what pictures would have looked like on my blog after enhancing them. I like bright pictures, so I'd prefer the Spiderman image on the right. However, looking at the food image below, I do prefer the original image over the enhanced one.

The way I see it is that the least amount of enhancement needed afterwards, the better the camera. The TZ55 has impressed me with many images above, so it's definitely better than my smartphone, and I'm now wondering whether it is better than my bridge under certain conditions!


Video

As I don't normally take videos (it just doesn't occur to me that I should video something!), I haven't use this function much, however, I did notice something really useful, which my bridge camera couldn't offer me!

There is a separate button for video, meaning that, I don't have to change the dial to video recording before I can record a video. I can snap images, press the video button that records upon pressing it, zoom in and out, press the button again to stop recording, and continue taking pictures. How convenient is that?!

The camera only offers mono sound recording, but the TZ60 version, which is like the premium version of the TZ55 does offer a stereo sound recording option.


I think the only thing that bothers me is that the LCD monitor isn't very good compared to the one on my phone and bridge camera, so judging the quality of the images is a bit harder, giving me the feeling that the camera isn't really good. But then, looking at the unedited images above, it's really not bad, and definitely better than the pictures taken with my phone. Obviously if I can't have both, I rather have a not so good monitor with surprisingly good images, than a very good monitor that makes me think that the images are fab when they weren't!

I have taken my compact camera around in many occasions, especially to events where I need my hands for other things (handing out business cards or writing things down for example), and day outs where I don't feel like bringing my bridge camera around. Unless it ran out of battery, I wouldn't really resort to my phone's camera anymore.

If you are after a compact camera, Panasonic Lumix range is definitely worth considering. The TZ55 is especially good if you will be taking lots of selfies during a holiday or social events.