Summary

Our Score

8/10

User Score

Review Price £281.31

As with Panasonic cameras, the Lumix DMC-TZ20 offers Auto ISO and 'intelligent' ISO for those who want to leave the camera to decide, and with commendable consistency. Here the camera opted for the same ISO200 in each case. Otherwise, like its FT3 sibling, manually selectable light sensitivity settings are fairly standard, running from ISO100 up to a modest ISO1600, with the top ISO6400 option only available the camera itself deems it necessary via High Sensitivity mode.

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As expected at the lowest ISO100 setting as expected we're not seeing any noise, though the preponderance of the colour red in the scene has leant our white background a pink-ish cast. Left to its own devices, the camera's AF has also automatically focused on whatever is dead centre of frame; here the back wheels of our toy cars.

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No discernible difference as we up the ante to ISO200, and similarly no image noise to report.

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At ISO400, normally the stage at which noise begins to intrude if we're unlucky we are starting to get a higher proportion of grain in the shadow areas and a marginal softening of detail.

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ISO800 and there's noise spreading across the entire image if you look closely enough - and you don't have to look too closely.

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At ISO1600 noise is incrementally worse and more clearly defined, being sandy in texture.

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We've tried the High Sensitivity mode on our test subjects too, which results in a resolution drop in order to better disguise any increase in noise. OK, so grain has been smudged so isn't as pronounced as it is at ISO1600, and the shot has a smoother look, but inevitably it's at the expense of detail so we'd rather stick with ISO1600 (or preferably keep below ISO800) anyway.

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