Panasonic Lumix TZ30 pictures and hands-on

Panasonic has updated its TZ range of digital cameras and Pocket-lint has already had a play at a secret location behind closed doors.

The new model, which will replace the Panasonic Lumix TZ20 will come with a number of improved features including a 20x optical zoom instead of the 16x optical zoom on the Panasonic Lumix DMC-TZ20

But Panasonic haven't just slapped a bigger zoom on the camera, but according to them worked hard to offer up a number of improvements, some we've been able to test and witness and others sadly not.

Aside from the zoom functionality, The Panasonic Lumix TZ30, which will come with a 24mm ultra wide angle 20x optical zoom lens and 14.1 megapixel sensor, will feature .1 second Light Speed AF utilizing DSLR AF technology ensuring you get a lock on your subject faster than a F14 Tomcat fighter jet.

While lighting conditions weren't perfect in the darkened secret bunker we saw the cameras, it was good enough to impress, and we are sure that given some actual light the results would impress us even more.

But those dark lighting conditions did allow us to test out the new low light friendly sensor and the new Venus engine processor. Dubbed Intelligent NR and Multi-Process NR they are yet more technologies that help you take crisp shots in dim light.

But it's not just about locking on to your kids as they hurtle past you. Panasonic following smartphone offerings from the likes of Instagram has added a number of instant and post-editing effects to jazz up your photos, some of which you'll be happy to see, others probably not so much.

That includes iHDR Scene Mode, which is an auto HDR mode, and image effects likeToy Effect that tries its best to undo all that hard work by the engineers at Panasonic and make your pictures look like you've taken them with a toy camera.

There is also Soft Focus, Dynamic Monochrome, High key, retro, Expressive, and Miniature Effect that can be applied to still or video footage. Video users also get the option to enhance the effect by increasing recording speed by 10x and the results do work.

If that wasn't enough you'll get a Panorama mode that works in a similar way to the Sony Panoramic Sweep feature on the Cybershot cameras. In fact it is virtually identical. Press down the shutter, sweep through the panorama you want to shoot and it does the rest of the work for you. No lining up the previous shot or manual imaging stitching required.

Packing GPS, you images will also be geotagged instantly with the camera sporting mapping software on board so you can see where you actually were when you took that stunning shot. Don't get too excited however as while it is comprehensive it isn't that pretty - certainly not what you are used to on your smartphone - which is a same.

You do get an interesting feature however that allows you to play back the photos along the map, although how this is vastly different from just looking at them in date order we aren't really sure as we didn't get to see it in action.

1,920x 1,080 50p Full HD AVCHD video recording and a stereo microphone complete the package.

In a second ode to smartphones that we really like, Panasonic will also allow you to charge the camera via a USB cable and your computer, rather than having to plug it into a charger in the wall. That means one less charger in the bag. We love it.

Other notes of interest include a 10 frames per second burst mode and a 3-inch touchscreen display in addition to the buttons so you can navigate all those new features.

The Panasonic Lumix will be available in a black, red, white and silver. Pricing has yet to be confirmed.



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