Customer Review

282 of 285 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars If you know what you're getting into, you'll be thrilled, April 23, 2008
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This review is from: Panasonic Lumix DMC-TZ5K 9MP Digital Camera with 10x Wide Angle MEGA Optical Image Stabilized Zoom (Black) (Electronics)
I already wrote a review on the little sister, the TZ4, which is a phenomenal camera; I am however returning it because the price differential with the TZ5 is so low at this point it made more sense for me to spring for the few extra bucks on the TZ5 .

If you read any professional reviews, you already know that this is not the camera for poster size enlargements, even at low ISO values. While the noise reduction has been turned down, there is still some NR smudging and noise. Thankfully, the noise at least can be removed to the point where I was able to doctor a sample ISO 1600 picture to look just fine in 4 x 6 size (thanks to NeatImage). And I've had no problems with 8 x 10's at ISO 100 and 200.

And guess what? That is THE ONLY issue with this camera, and it is one that all other compact cameras also share to various extents. The difference here is that many other compacts also add lots of other "negatives" to the mix, such as severe wide angle distortion, wild and wooly purple fringing, reduced zoom range, and corner blurriness . The TZ 4 and 5 do nothing of the kind.

For what you're getting, a compact, POCKETABLE 28 - 280 Leica lens with IS, there simply is nothing like it out there. And that's before even looking at the HD movie mode, the surprisingly accurate intelligent scene selection feature, the brilliant LCD and the jewel-like workmanship.

This is the ultimate vacation camera if you plan to leave your DSLR home and travel lightly, and aren't spending all day in museums shooting w/o flash. I highly recommend this camera, especially if you lock in the highest possible ISO value at 400, turn the dial to iA, and then give the camera to a complete newbie to shoot pictures with. I think he/she AND you will be very pleasantly surprised with the excellent results.
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Showing 1-3 of 3 posts in this discussion
Initial post: Oct 27, 2008 11:03:21 AM PDT
Allmaniac says:
New Englander, or somebody....I love your informative reviews but hope that you can explain to me why some folks use NeatImage rather than the noise reduction application that comes included in PhotoShop?? I have all Lumix cameras including an FZ20 and am looking at the TZ4 and TZ5, am familiar with the noise issues, and I just wish to understand better why I seem to read of so many knowledgeable photographers using NeatImage even though PhotoShop, theoretically at least, already addresses this issue?? Any help on this issue would be greatly appreciated; thanks!

In reply to an earlier post on Nov 8, 2008 7:01:17 AM PST
J. Shurr says:
There is some noise with the TZ5 and the same is true with the TZ1, with which I've shot images that blew up nicely to 16x20 and looked absolutely grand. The key is to let the camera select the shutter speed and ISO in low light, which it will do quite well. The image stabilization will enable sharp images in low light that'll amaze you. You can eliminate noise in PhotoShop but there are better ways to do it with programs like Neat Image. Corel's Paint Shop Pro XI also has some excellent noise reduction routines and that whole package works as well or better than PhotoShop Elements for abour $40.

Posted on Nov 27, 2013 4:48:22 PM PST
I am new to this camera. How do you set it to ISO 400.
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Location: Massachusetts

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