So this is really just a preview post as I have only had a quick go on this camera and I will be putting it through its paces a bit more over the next couple of months. I just wanted to get a few thoughts down about the camera and the process of using it.
My Partner bought the Panasonic TZ100 for our trip to Vietnam last year and it has been hanging around the house for a while. Although I had picked it up and had a quick play when we first got it I had never thought about using it properly. Last week I came across an article on the new Leica C-Lux (which is essentially the latest TZ200 re-branded) and how it was being used for street photography. This lead me to having a closer look at the slightly older model that we had. The most interesting features on the Leica version were the stepped zoom and zoom memory which are also on the older model. It made me realise that I should probably look at the camera in a bit more detail.
I had discounted the camera initially because I already use the Ricoh GRII which is a compact, but also has an APSC size sensor, rashly I assumed the Panasonic would have a typically small sensor. However I have since learnt that it has a 1 inch sensor, which is actually closer to micro four thirds than a traditional compact sensor. This means that the camera has good image quality even at higher ISO’s.
The main attraction to the TZ range of cameras is the zoom lens. Offering up a 10x optical zoom with a high quality Leica lens with the equivalent of a 25-250mm zoom. Quite impressive considering the size. Now for me I’m not sure if I would ever use that length unless for portraits. As I mentioned before the lens can zoom through the whole range which is pretty slow, or it can be set to predetermined focal lengths. 25mm, 28mm, 35mm, 50mm, 90mm etc. This is quite nice and makes the zoom much quicker. The zoom memory is also a nice touch, I could leave the lens set to 50mm and the camera will return to that focal length on start up, rather than defaulting back to the widest setting. I am not used to shooting anything longer than a 35mm for Street Photography so it is going to take a bit of practice to get my eye in for that.
Another nice feature is the little EVF. Not many compact cameras come with a viewfinder, so this is a nice touch and although very small it is usable. I have still yet to try out the flash.
One thing I found was that the camera is hard to manage one handed, particularly if zooming is involved, which sounds strange for a camera so small, but the situation of the dials and the thumb rest basically mean that one handed operation allows only for pressing the shutter. I was using the camera in aperture priority and the aperture control was on the front ring which makes it more suitable for using two handed.
The autofocus was quite quick, and to aid that you can use the touch screen which is quite fun and again a new way of working.
The Raw files are quite nice and convert well into my signature black and white. They have good details and seem to have a good dynamic range for a compact camera.
I think I am going to have to learn to shoot two handed though, because I was saved on a couple occasions by the wrist strap while trying to react quickly. I will also have to utilise the zoom as it will not be replacing my Ricoh GR any time soon. If I really get into using it though I might do a fuller review at a later date.
It is a fun little camera and sometimes it is good to try new ways of shooting. I think this is technically my 6th blog post of the year! so I have reached my target. I will try to keep these coming with interesting content.