Feeds
90%
Panasonic DMC-TZ7

Panasonic Lumix DMC-TZ7

Compact super-zoom with HD video

  • alert
  • submit to reddit

Intelligent flash storage arrays

Review Panasonic’s DMC-TZ7 has been around for a while now, although the company maintains it in its current range. It's not surprising, because it’s one of the few compact super-zooms on the market that includes HD recording – its closest rival is Canon’s PowerShot SX200 IS.

Panasonic Lumix DMC-TZ7

Panasonic’s Lumix DMC-TZ7

The DMC-TZ7 is what you might call a travel-cam or a holiday-cam. It’s a digital compact with an extended zoom, in this case, a 12x optical zoom in the shape of a 4.1-49.2mm f/3.3-4.9 Leica DC Vario-Elmar lens, offering the equivalent range of 25-300mm on a 35mm camera. The PowerShot SX200 IS has a longer telephoto offering – equivalent to 28-336mm- but we think the DMC-TZ7’s wide angle lens will prove more useful for most photographers.

It also has a 1/2.33-inch CCD comprised of 12.7 megapixels, but only offers 10.1 effective megapixels. The reason is that the DMC-TZ7 offers three aspect ratios – 4:3, 3:2 and 16:9, and it uses the additional pixels to leave the angle of view unchanged, whatever aspect ratio you are shooting in. There’s even a multi-aspect mode that lets you shoot the same image in three different aspect ratios with just a single press of the shutter.

The DMC-TZ7’s HD recording has a choice of recording formats. There’s AVCHD Lite, a format developed by Panasonic and Sony, and Motion JPEG, but why the choice? Well, leaving aside Panasonic’s desire to promote its own HD format, it leaves you with the choice of capacity over convenience. AVCHD Lite is a more efficient codec than MJPEG: a 20 second 720p recording requires a file size of around 75MB for MJPEG compared with 43MB for AVCHD Lite.

The snag is that, not many media players or video editing packages are compatible with AVCHD Lite’s .MTS file format, whereas MJPEG is widely supported. The DMC-TZ7 comes bundled with PhotofunStudio software that will playback AVCHD clips and even includes some basic editing tools. In terms of HD performance, both MJPEG and AVCHD Lite offer 720p resolution at 30fps, although Motion JPEG also includes options for WVGA, VGA and QVGA resolutions.

Panasonic Lumix DMC-TZ7

Stereo mics are a nice touch, but the soundfield separation isn't great

AVCHD is fixed at 720p, although you can toggle between 9, 13 and 17Mbps bit rate settings. MJPEG clips are limited to a 2GB maximum file size, while AVCHD is unlimited. In practice though, you are limited to 15 minutes maximum recording time, to ensure that the DMC-TZ7 doesn’t fall foul of EU camcorder tariffs.

Top 5 reasons to deploy VMware with Tegile

More from The Register

next story
Don't wait for that big iPad, order a NEXUS 9 instead, industry little bird says
Google said to debut next big slab, Android L ahead of Apple event
Netscape Navigator - the browser that started it all - turns 20
It was 20 years ago today, Marc Andreeesen taught the band to play
A drone of one's own: Reg buyers' guide for UAV fanciers
Hardware: Check. Software: Huh? Licence: Licence...?
Jaguar Sportbrake: The chicken tikka masala of van-sized posh cars
Indian-owned Jag's latest offering curries favour with us
The Apple launch AS IT HAPPENED: Totally SERIOUS coverage, not for haters
Fandroids, Windows Phone fringe-oids – you wouldn't understand
Apple SILENCES Bose, YANKS headphones from stores
The, er, Beats go on after noise-cancelling spat
Here's your chance to buy an ancient, working APPLE ONE
Warning: Likely to cost a lot even for a Mac
Xiaomi boss snaps back at Jony Ive's iPhone rival 'theft' swipe
I'll have a handset delivered. Judge us after you try us...
prev story

Whitepapers

Forging a new future with identity relationship management
Learn about ForgeRock's next generation IRM platform and how it is designed to empower CEOS's and enterprises to engage with consumers.
Why cloud backup?
Combining the latest advancements in disk-based backup with secure, integrated, cloud technologies offer organizations fast and assured recovery of their critical enterprise data.
Win a year’s supply of chocolate
There is no techie angle to this competition so we're not going to pretend there is, but everyone loves chocolate so who cares.
High Performance for All
While HPC is not new, it has traditionally been seen as a specialist area – is it now geared up to meet more mainstream requirements?
Intelligent flash storage arrays
Tegile Intelligent Storage Arrays with IntelliFlash helps IT boost storage utilization and effciency while delivering unmatched storage savings and performance.