Conclusion: When looking for a superzoom, don't settle for less. Panasonic's Lumix DMC-TZ3 has a powerful zoom lens with a nice wide viewing angle, too. If you're still not convinced, the Lumix is stylishly compact, takes awesome pictures, and is affordable to boot.
Pros: Nice 28mm wide-angle lens. Very compact. Big 3-inch LCD. Unique modes, like Intelligent ISO mode.
Cons: No true manual features. No RAW options. Can't change amount of flash.
Conclusion: I really liked the TZ1 - as a concept and as a camera to use - and I would have been able to give it a much more wholehearted recommendation had the image quality issues and shutter lag not let it down so badly. The TZ3 is a camera I wanted to like even more; the 28-280mm range is considerably more versatile (you're gaining a lot more at the short end than you're losing at the long end in my opinion), plus it's smaller, faster and even more feature-laden.
Pros: Uniquely versatile compact with 28-280mm equiv. lens, Excellent resolution, surprisingly sharp lens, Unusually versatile aspect ratio options, High quality construction for the price, Little (if any) color fringing, Very low distortion, Good shot-to-shot speed, Reliable white balance with fine tuning, Feels fast and responsive with some important improvements over predecessor, High speed (and accurate) focus; near class-leading performance, Superb, bright, high-resolu...
Cons: Heavy noise reduction - make ISO 400+ usable only for small prints, NR smoothing/smearing of fine detail and texture even at ISO 100 (and fairly strong at ISO 200), Mild vignetting at widest zoom setting / maximum aperture, No manual control of shutter speed or aperture (not a huge issue to most users), Images look a little soft and flat using default settings, Separate sharpness, saturation and contrast controls would have been nice!, Occasional exposure problems and...
Excerpt: The TZ3 is a bit of an odd duck. Though it boasts an excellent 10x optical zoom, it's still a few features short of being an actual superzoom – a category in which Panasonic has a strong foothold. Going by the overall looks and build of the TZ3, I'd say it's better described as a compact camera with a massive zoom lens and build quality that would give the Terminator a complex.
Summary: The TZ3 is not only 'one of its kind' when it comes to digital compacts - it also stands alone as the most successful marriage to date of a long focal range and relatively compact dimensions. It feels capable of standing up to a couple of years of use (at least), and, with an uninspiring yet solid build, the Panasonic TZ3 does everything to suggest itself as a capable all-rounder.
Pros: Solid performance, good quality build, extended zoom range, fair price given the level of specification on offer
Cons: Rather uninspiring design, bulkier and weightier than more slimline compacts
Conclusion: Panasonic Lumix TZ3 Traveler Zoom digital camera The Panasonic Lumix DMC-TZ3 is already the third camera on line in the Traveler Zoom series. And one must admit that Panasonic made it an ideal combination. Sufficiently compact for carrying with you at all times, equipped with a large optical range and besides that equipped with a real wide angle and the MEGA O.I.S. image stabilizer.
Conclusion: The 7MP Panasonic Lumix DMC-TZ3 goes for around $260 USD (silver), a bit more in different colors. At this price it’s a good choice for people who want to take a versatile digicam along on their travels. The 28mm lens is great for landscapes and people shots; it’s one of my favorite features on this or any point-and-shoot camera.
Summary: A very compact, extended-zoom digicam that would be an excellent choice for travellers.Panasonic has released two updates to last year's DMC-TZ1 model, which we reviewed in June 2006: the 6-megapixel DMC-TZ2 and the 7.2-megapixel DMC-TZ3 (which is reviewed here). Both have the same 10x optical zoom lens, which covers a focal length range equivalent to 28-280mm in 35mm format but the TZ1's 2.5-inch LCD monitor has been replaced in the TZ3 by a 3.0-inch display that fills...