Panasonic Lumix DMC-TZ60 compact camera

Panasonic's Travel Zoom camera, the Lumix DMC-TZ60, offers a 30x optical zoom lens in a package that can easily fit in your pocket

Panasonic Lumix DMC-TZ60
  • Panasonic Lumix DMC-TZ60
  • Panasonic Lumix DMC-TZ60
  • Panasonic Lumix DMC-TZ60
  • Expert Rating

    3.50 / 5

Pros

  • Small size
  • 30x optical zoom
  • Versatile usage scenarios

Cons

  • Image quality can vary depending on zoom level
  • Wi-Fi implementation isn't great
  • Charging is via cable rather than a dedicated battery charger

Bottom Line

Panasonic's latest Travel Zoom camera, the TZ60, offers a massive optical zoom of 30x in a body that can easily slip into a pants pocket. It's small camera with lots of versatility and it ticks almost all the boxes requires of a travel camera. Its image quality is a little soft overall, but more than decent for sharing on the Internet or viewing on a big-screen TV.

Would you buy this?

Other features

You get the usual scene modes, art modes, sweeping panorama, and there are also custom modes that you can create based on regularly used settings. A better-than-usual-for-a-compact-camera manual focus mode is present in the Lumix TZ60 — you can move the ring at the front of the camera to focus, and parts of the image will be highlighted on the screen to let you know what’s exactly in focus.

Other features include Full HD video capture, built-in GPS so that your photos can be tagged, and Wi-Fi, so that they can be transferred to a smartphone for uploading to the Internet while you’re on the go. The Wi-Fi wasn’t great during our tests. It was difficult to connect to a wireless access point using a password because we couldn’t key in double letters properly, and when we eventually did connect, the Panasonic Image App wasn’t reliable. We had success when we performed a direct connection from our phone to the camera, scanning a QR code from the camera’s LCD screen to make the connection. This allowed us to select photos from the camera to transfer them to the phone, but, again, the app crashed soon after. Basically, the Wi-Fi implementation on this Lumix needs a little refining if it’s to offer a smooth user experience.

Conclusion

Many of you may roll your eyes at the $549 price tag of this compact camera if you already have an expensive smartphone capable of taking photos that are still very good for most occasions. But if you want a camera that gives you more creative control than a phone, and also the ability to shoot macros and to zoom in on faraway objects, then it’s a camera worth serious consideration. Furthermore, it’s small and easy to carry around, while offering the capabilities of a much larger camera.

Sample images

Intelligent Auto combined a couple of photos to make this image look a little more dynamic.
Intelligent Auto combined a couple of photos to make this image look a little more dynamic.

In aperture priority mode, the clouds look a little washed out.
In aperture priority mode, the clouds look a little washed out.

Here's a close-up at 30x optical zoom of one of the boats in the previous shot.
Here's a close-up at 30x optical zoom of one of the boats in the previous shot.

The camera handled exposures quite well when left in automatic mode, with only few highlights being over-exposed.
The camera handled exposures quite well when left in automatic mode, with only few highlights being over-exposed.

The wide angle facilitates long, sweeping scenery shots.
The wide angle facilitates long, sweeping scenery shots.

Another wide angle shot.
Another wide angle shot.

The zoom allows you to frame photos tightly, even from a great distance.
The zoom allows you to frame photos tightly, even from a great distance.

The zoom allows you to frame photos tightly, even from a great distance.
The zoom allows you to frame photos tightly, even from a great distance.

At maximum zoom, you have to contend with a smaller aperture, as well as camera shake, both of which can cause images to look muddier than usual. This shot was taken at maximum zoom from a distance of 8m and the camera used an ISO of 800.
At maximum zoom, you have to contend with a smaller aperture, as well as camera shake, both of which can cause images to look muddier than usual. This shot was taken at maximum zoom from a distance of 8m and the camera used an ISO of 800.

For shots like this, you shouldn't crop them too closely because they will look too feathered.
For shots like this, you shouldn't crop them too closely because they will look too feathered.

You can get really close to your subjects for macros, in many cases almost touching the lens to your subject. There is a zoom macro mode, too.
You can get really close to your subjects for macros, in many cases almost touching the lens to your subject. There is a zoom macro mode, too.

Depth of field can be shallow depending on your focus point and zoom level.
Depth of field can be shallow depending on your focus point and zoom level.

The lens tends to skew straight lines at its widest point, and this is visible in the bottom-left corner of this shot.
The lens tends to skew straight lines at its widest point, and this is visible in the bottom-left corner of this shot.

This shot also shows the skewed lines at the bottom-left corner at the widest angle.
This shot also shows the skewed lines at the bottom-left corner at the widest angle.

Up to ISO 800 can provide usable shots, but any more than that will introduce a lot of noticeable noise when you scrutinise the images.
Up to ISO 800 can provide usable shots, but any more than that will introduce a lot of noticeable noise when you scrutinise the images.
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