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Panasonic Lumix TZ60: Image Quality and Verdict

By Paul Nuttall

Reviewed:

Awards

  • Recommended by TR
Panasonic Lumix TZ60

Summary

Our Score:

8

User Score:

Panasonic Lumix TZ60: Image quality

Previewed at A4 size, images at the minimum sensitivity (ISO 100) look clean, though a hint of luminance noise will be noticeable if you look very closely. The same is true at ISO 400, but when zoomed into 100% many of the high-contrast lines in the JPEG images start to smudge due to in-camera noise reduction.

There’s luminance noise in A4 JPEGs taken at ISO 800-1600, but it does not detract from the images. However, they are noticeably softer than those taken at ISO 100 because so much detail is lost from heavy noise reduction.

Panasonic Lumix TZ60

ISO 400 and below achieved the best results so, for day-to-day shooting, it is better to set the ISO to Auto and limit it to ISO 400. Between ISO 1600 and the maximum extended ISO 6400 slight colour noise starts to appear and luminance noise is very evident, while detail along high-contrast edges becomes jagged and smudgy.

At low ISO sensitivities the dynamic range is very impressive. At ISO 100 the TZ60 was able to capture an impressive 12.3 stops of light, though this drops to 7.4 stops at ISO 1600.

Panasonic Lumix TZ60

In high-contrast scenes, plenty of detail is retained in shadows, as well as in highlights, which can be brought back in post processing. As the metering prioritises mid-tones it sometimes loses highlight detail, particularly in skies.

The dynamic range can be maximised by shooting -0.6 E.V and bringing the shadows up in post production.

Panasonic Lumix TZ60

The AWB (Automatic White Balance) is accurate particularly in fluorescent or incandescent lighting, though it can be a touch too warm in tungsten lighting.

Daylight, Cloudy, Shade and Incandescent Lighting can all be adjusted to by tapping the display button in the white balance menu. Generally, the TZ60’s colour rendition gives pleasant and true-to-scene colours.

Should I buy the Panasonic Lumix TZ60?

With its high-quality construction the TZ60 feels like a far more serious camera than the TZ40. The menus are easily navigable and once set up the custom function buttons offset the loss of the touchscreen. The EVF is low resolution but still good enough – something is better than nothing here, though a touchscreen would be nice.

At high ISO sensitivities images have little detail and JPEGs are heavily processed. However, for small-scale prints or for web use the ISO can be pushed to 1600 without a problem and anything below 400 returns good images.

The GPS is very handy and Wi-Fi functionality is class-leading, while the 24-720mm lens is suitable for everything from landscapes to wildlife and raw image shooting will broaden the appeal of the TZ60. Its direct competitor is the £350 Sony Cyber-Shot DSC-HX60, which is similar in size and specification – measuring 108.1mm x 64.3 x 34.4mm and carrying a x30 zoom with a minimum aperture of f/3.5, rather than f/3.3.

They're well matched cameras, but the Lumix TZ60 just about edges it as the best travel compact on the market. If that's what you're after, the TZ60 ticks all the boxes.

Verdict

If you want a travel camera with a long zoom that fits in your pocket, the Panasonic Lumix TZ60 remains the one of the best options out there.

Next, read more camera reviews or browse our pick of the 10 best cameras you can buy

Overall Score

8

Scores In Detail

  • Design 9
  • Features 9
  • Image Quality 7
  • Performance 8
  • Value 8

Thanases Drivas

January 7, 2014, 5:17 pm

I would happily trade some zoom range for a slightly bigger sensor with a less ambitious megapixel count. That being said, kudos to panasonic for really pushing the technical envelope.

AliHsn

January 10, 2014, 1:12 pm

Thanks for the news and please correct it in the first line as it is"lumix", not lumia.
Sincerely,
Ali.

Lolone

January 19, 2014, 9:38 pm

has only manual focus? and I wonder if it also has slow motion....

Ste Rush

January 20, 2014, 7:10 am

The big minus for me would be the dropping the touch screen. Also can you turn off the digital zoom in the iA mode? The TZ35 changed so you cannot turn off the digital zoom range when in the iA mode.

Looks good but not sure they are going in the right direction.

MrC

February 2, 2014, 7:20 am

Dropping the touch screen looks like designed in redundancy. I have a TZ40 (and an earlier model TZ) and feel the only update that camera really needed was an EVF. There are other tweaks pana could have made, improve the battery life, redesign the battery cover, or improve speed of capture/processing. Adding extra zoom means you will practically need a tripod or a very steady hand with this version to get the best results. The extra bulk is not a good thing, the beauty of these cameras is their portability, why not just refine the TZ40 instead of pushing the specs. The feel of the TZ40 is great - again, why reduce the size of the rubber grip on a more bulky camera? It may be a *good* camera, but frankly - I want some of what they were smoking when they came up with some of these ideas.

Stefan Eldh

February 14, 2014, 10:12 pm

I agree with others that the touch screen will be missed, although I welcome the EVF which is useful for stability and essential to all who have to use reading spectacles. Also ability to shoot RAW files is promising, although how much image quality improvement over JPEG it will give cannot be determined without test shooting.

Myc

March 7, 2014, 7:38 am

The image quality seems to have dropped considerably for this new model. I have owned 3 previous models of lumix and think I'll skip this one and stick with the TZ40 for now.

MikeX

March 9, 2014, 9:58 am

Just look at the LF1, on which this body is clearly modelled! Has only a 7.1x zoom but larger f2 lens and sensor with lower noise.

Graham Houghton

March 13, 2014, 12:56 pm

According to Panasonic's Web Site, this is a not a BSI implemented sensor, so what else can be "TRUSTED" on this site. Image quality is BETTER than the TZ40 however the lens is best at F4 and if you are using the longest zooms keep on the lower side of the aperture scale as this camera shows the results of diffraction limited resolution early on in the aperture scale. Noise is VERY well controlled even up to ISO 1600 in poor light (meaning 1/25 sec F3.3 exposures). Manual focus via the control ring is a very "sloppy" control with no relationship between speed of turning and movement of the focus position. The EVF is difficult to adjust the dioptre whilst the camera is up to your eye ( even rotating the camera through 180 degree doesn't help with the placement of the adjustment wheel) Image stabilisation is as predicted 3EV gain - in real terms you do have to shoot with shutter speeds faster than 1/125 second as this is the lowest practical limit when shooting at the 720mm zoom setting. Auto level in video, if turned on, shows a noticeable movement during the first 3 seconds of the video clip whilst the image is corrected for horizontal in accuracy. The EVF is still hard to view in bright sunshine, there is not enough shade of the rear lens of the EVF and the eye has to be really on axis to see the edges of the viewfinder. It can be used for framing but not focus. Focus peaking works well, but spoiled by the manual control wheel poor responsiveness. The lack of colour profiles seems an odd direction for Panasonic to take and in general this camera seems well "dumbed down" for advanced users - so why the inclusion of RAW. My opinion is that the camera does give super images for the user looking for a really easy to use, long zoom camera. It's image quality is rivaling that of the FZ200 so why have Panasonic "crippled" this camera so much that experienced users cannot benefit from the upgrade?

TZ owner

March 26, 2014, 4:34 pm

I don´t understand the whining about the non-touchscreen. As former TZ40 owner I hated it as it wasn´t useful and moved the focus field accidentally. Now I have the TZ60 and don´t miss it. For me it is an advantage that is is not a touch-screen. It is a camera, not a smartphone. The touchscreen was redundant for using the camera, neither menues nor shooting were optimised for it.
And the grip is big enough for the camera. Only niggle I have that the TZ60 again is made more of plastic instead of metal. But overall it´s a good camera if you don´t expect too much.

Melissa Mermaid

May 28, 2014, 10:34 pm

I agree with you wholeheartedly. Touchscreen is useless outside most of the time, anyway. Other thing I find funny is when people are upset the camera takes a proprietary battery. Buy a spare and a charger and you're good to go, right? Don't like the weight of a camera with a load of AA batteries in it. Makes it feel cheap to me. Especially disappointed by long zoom cameras without an optical viewfinder because it helps steady the camera so much when so close to the face--not to mention getting much clearer shots. So I'm particularly happy with this model. BTW, how clear is the picture when camera fully zoomed?

Alex

July 7, 2014, 11:24 am

Hi,
I'm Stucked between the HX50v or TZ60.
I aklready own the Nex 5, but loking for a more copact prtable camera with super zoom to ger closest to details. I would like to know which of both gets better images and also have much more better images at low light.
Should I get the sony Hx50 or Tz60..... A little help please...

GregP507

January 10, 2015, 2:44 pm

I now own this camera and several of it's predecessors. I was saddened at first by the loss of the touch-screen, but then I realized that I never actually used it. My primary reason for owning these cameras was for my work outdoors in the environmental field, where a shirt-pocket size and a good IA mode delivers great and reliable pictures where time to set up a good shot often doesn't exist.

Many scenes in the forest are very challenging because of harsh lighting conditions, but the HDR-mode stitches together an excellent photo from multiple frames. Geo-tagging is also a welcome feature for this application, and I'm hoping this one will perform better than the last one, by also using GLONASS. Too often, I found that the previous camera had failed to lock on a GPS location, and the coordinates tagged in the photo were wrong.

The optical zoom is another necessity for this application, and I'm glad to have upgraded to 30X. In my work, shots from a distance are often the only way to capture a landscape which is inaccessible due to terrain or wetlands. The quality of these shots is sure to improve with this camera.

One of my problems over the years has been the lack of an electronic viewfinder on cameras like this. I have larger cameras with EVFs, but they are too awkward to carry on long hikes while carrying other equipment. The rear viewfinder-screen is often useless in sunlight, and results in too much guessing about the contents of frame. This one adjusts easily to perfect focus and is easily usable without removing my glasses.

Overall, I like it, even though I haven't used it much so far. It seems to fit the bill even better than before.

P Salkeld

January 21, 2015, 1:15 pm

I have bought the DMC TZ60 and was able to charge the battery separate from the camera using a Panasonic DE-A40 charger I had for an older Lumix model. You will have to trim off part of the plastic housing on the charger to account for the bigger size, however IT DOES WORK WELL. Not having a dedicated charger for spare batteries is a real pain!

leprechaun_himself

February 6, 2015, 2:50 pm

I bought the TZ60 from Currys/PCWorld on the strength of its photographic capabilities, regarding the Wi-fi facility as a bonus. It takes grand pictures, but DO NOT even try to use wi-fi. It does not automatically log in to my LAN when brought within range like my Samsung Galaxy S4 does, and it does not automatically upload new photos into Dropbox like my Galaxy S4 does. One has to manually log in to the LAN (taking 3 or 4 minutes) and then access a pre-set up menu (which took me 3 days to create) before file transfer takes place. It is a great deal simpler and faster to just use the USB cable and let Dropbox extract new photos from your memory card for itself.
The technical support desk of Currys/PCWorld could offer nothing more constructive than to take it back and get a refund!
Having taken some photographs, I am glad I did not take their advice.
The wi-fi aspect aside, the camera is a gem.

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