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Panasonic Lumix TZ50: To Buy or Not to Buy?

written by: Shuchi Kalra•edited by: Rhonda Callow•updated: 11/9/2009

Panasonic Lumix TZ50 is the latest addition to Panasonic's range of travel cameras. Loaded with great features and a neat body, it is an economical substitute for a digital SLR camera. Find out why this camera should be on every photographer's wish list.

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    Technical Specifications

    Rating Average

    The Panasonic Lumix DMC TZ50 is a recommended choice whether you're looking to buy a new camera or replace your old one. This compact, 10X zoom camera is the latest in Panasonic’s range of travel cameras.

    Here’s what the Panasonic Lumix DMC TZ50 has to offer in terms of technical specifications:

    • 10x (28-280mm equiv.) Leica DC Vario-Elmarit optical zoom
    • 4:3, 3:2 and 16:9 aspect ratios
    • Venus IV Engine processor
    • High Resolution (460,000 pixel) 3.0-inch LCD
    • Movies up to 1280 x 720 pixels (HD) @ 30 fps
    • 22 scene modes plus a 'clipboard' mode for travelers
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    Rating Average

    The key features of the camera are as follows:

    • The 28mm wide angle lens captures a larger field of view and allows more flexibility in terms of magnification and zooming for far-away objects.
    • The 10x optical zoom ensures better picture quality at high levels of magnification.
    • The camera enables you to record 720p HD motion pictures and is equipped with a direct output function.
    • The “intelligent LCD function” detects the level of lighting and fine tunes the brightness levels of the LCD screen accordingly.
    • The camera is equipped with several automatic shooting-assistant functions like an intelligent scene selector, red-eye correction, face detection and optimized exposure and Quick AF functions.
    • The Venus Engine IV version of the high-performance image-processing LSI results higher levels of resolution and a better signal processing system. Music files can also be clubbed along with the slideshow of pictures.
    • Panasonic Lumix TZ50 possesses advanced features like ED (extra-low dispersion) and three aspherical lenses.
    • The inbuilt multi-aspect mode enables the user to take picture in all three aspect ratios with a single click.
    • The Optical Image Stabilizer (OIS) counters camera-shakes and an automated ISO control neutralizes motion blur.
    • With the Auto-mode adjusts settings for different lighting and physical conditions.
    • The 16:9 HDTV allows a full-screen view for high definition photographs.
    • The Title Edit function allows you to incorporate necessary text in the picture for future reference, for example: names of your subject, location, interesting details etc.
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    Design and Apperarance

    Rating Average

    In my opinion, the Lumix TZ50 could have been designed to be a little sleeker and more compact. I find that though it is neater than most other camera's in its class, it still does not fall into the "pocket camera" variety. While Nikon cameras are more streamlined with concealed lenses, this one has protruding lenses that make it a tad more space consuming. However, the features make up a little for the compromised aesthetics. In all, the design is more utilitarian than fancy.

    You can purchase the Panasonic Lumix TZ50 in four different colors: silver, black, blue and dark brown.

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    User Friendliness and Performance

    Rating Average

    Many functions, like the intelligent LCD monitor, Optical Image Stabilizer (OIS) and ISO controls, are automated and require little attention from users. Other automated features like intelligent scene selector, red-eye correction, face detection, optimized exposure and Quick AF functions make it easy for new photographers to shoot high quality photographs. Most aspects of the camera are easy to work around if you have used a digital camera before but some advanced features like text edits, music file incorporation and dispersion controls may require some practise. Though the Lumix TZ50 can be set at auto-mode for a wide range of lighting levels and conditions and works well in most situations, there is little scope for manual adjustments of settings.

    The Wi-Fi and photo sharing features may seem a tad complicated to those who are not very tech-savvy and can make you wonder if it is worth spending big bucks over a feature that will seldom be exploited.

    The picture quality is reasonably improved as compared to Lumix TZ25 but still demands a bit in the noise and grain department. The new model is better suited for photography in bright light conditions but does not offer much freedom with manual settings.

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    Value for Money

    Rating Average

    The Panasonic Lumix TZ50 comes at a price of $250-$350. Considering that it is an upgraded version of TZ25, the model only has a few extra features with minimal improvements in the appearance, it seems surprising that the camera should be priced $100 above its older version. The key benefits offered by the Lumix TZ50 over the TZ25 are the wireless photo sharing functions without a computer and better picture quality in very bright light.

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    Additional Information for Buyers

    Estimated battery life is 300 shots per charge.

    Recommendation: I would recommend you to buy the Panasonic Lumix TZ50 only if you are really keen on wireless photo sharing (bear in mind that you will need a Google account for this). The performance and picture quality is slightly better than the TZ25, but is still good enough for point-and-shoot photographers. Don't go for this one if you are particular about experimenting with manual controls.

    Product website: Panasonic TZ50