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Panasonic Announces Even More New Compact Cameras

Following its announcement last week of four new models at the lower end of its camera range, Panasonic has today announced six new additions to the middle-range lines, including two new models in the popular TZ series of travel cameras.


Building on the success of the popular Lumix TZ5 and its predecessors, Panasonic has introduced two new TZ models. The first is the DMC-TZ6, which improves on the TZ5's specification with a 10-megapixel CCD and a high quality Leica 12x zoom lens with a wide-angle end equivalent to 25mm.

On the back, the TZ6 features a 2.7-inch LCD monitor with 230k dot resolution. The body shape has been revised and now looks cleaner with simpler lines, and is apparently smaller than the preceding models, but hopefully this doesn't mean that it's lost the TZ5's exceptionally good handling. I have to admit I'm not encouraged by smaller handgrip or the absence of the molded thumbgrip on the back, but we'll have to wait and see.

The TZ6 incorporates other features common to Panasonic's compact cameras, including the useful Intelligent Auto mode, and of course the acclaimed Mega OIS image stabilisation system. One new feature is the AF Tracking function in which the user can "lock" the focus onto a moving subject. The camera then automatically tracks the subject as it moves, keeping it in focus without the user having to hold the shutter button halfway down.

Face detection accuracy has been increased in the TZ6 to now provide continuous adjustment of the focus and exposure even if the face is turned sideways to the camera. Face detection is also used in the automatic red-eye removal feature.

The TZ6 features Panasonic's Venus Engine IV high-speed image processor, and is capable of shooting at an impressive 6.5 fps in burst mode, although this is likely limited to a small number of shots. It also has a maximum ISO setting of 6400. The TZ6 also has a good video mode, capable of shooting widescreen-format WVGA (848 x 480) resolution at 30fps with mono audio.

The Lumix DMC-TZ6 will be available from April 2009, in a choice of black or silver. Pricing will be confirmed closer to the launch date.


January 28, 2009, 7:39 am

Panasonic seem to specialise in ugly tech, and by the look of this update, today is no exception.


January 28, 2009, 8:32 am

Well, IMHO, "Handsome is as handsome does", as they say. And in this department, Panasonic is really bringing home the bacon.( This AFTER they ditched the thrice-accursed Venus II and III with their osmium-handed NR, which made their high-iso shots look like they had been taken of blobs of paint run over by a Mack truck.) Now the positive aspects of their cameras really stand out, such as the excellent lens (great range and crispness - though still rather "slow", aperture-wise), their ease of use, their build quality, thir speed and their great IS. All of that had been essentially watered down by the crummy IQ at anything above base ISO. Hopefully this Venus V won't revert to impressionistic renderings of images.


January 28, 2009, 1:23 pm

Some sites are saying that the new 'AVCHD Lite' mode shoots 720p at 60fps.


January 28, 2009, 2:25 pm

I've had a look on the Panasonic site and 720p at 60fps would appear to be correct. I wonder can you use the zoom whilst recording?

Espen Ruud

January 28, 2009, 4:51 pm

According to Sweedish manual p52 for TZ-5 is 720p 30fps max performance. Zoom is operating slower, and zoom noise "might be" recorded according to same page.


January 28, 2009, 8:45 pm

@Espen Ruud - we're talking about new TZ6/TZ7 here, not TZ5 :)


February 4, 2009, 5:21 pm

Hey PS3&#189 - from Panasonic's own site, it specifically states that the optical zoom CAN be used while recording for the TZ6 and the TZ7, which is pretty ace news. Linky: http://www.panasonic.co.uk/...


February 15, 2009, 10:56 pm

I can't believe it. They're releasing the DMC-TZ7 with what looks like better sound quality for video capture. Only bought my TZ5 back in December!

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