Panasonic has unveiled its latest inclusion in the compact camera line, the new Lumix DMC-TZ40. This digital camera features a 20x Leica zoom lens and introduces a new 18.1 megapixel sensor plus built-in Wi-Fi. Let us take a look at the brand new Panasonic Lumix DMC-TZ40.
A travel compact camera usually offers a wide optical zoom range, innumerable features and varying shooting modes, all packed in a sleek body that can slip into your trouser pocket. Panasonic's TZ series has made an impressive presence in this market, and the latest Lumix DMC-TZ40 is a welcome update.
The new Panasonic Lumix DMC-TZ40 comes with various new features that are not present in its predecessor including a new sensor. The sensor is the usual 1/2.3in (6.17x4.55mm) CMOS type, but with increased resolution of 18.1 megapixels. Panasonic has implemented new algorithms for noise reduction, called Wavelet NR and Edge Smoothing NR, to enable ‘smooth edge detail' even when pictures are taken in low-contrast light, and the ISO 100-3200 range can be expanded to ISO 6400.
The TZ40 uses the same 20x, 4.3-86mm (24-480mm equivalent) Leica optic as its predecessor, with zoom control. Its maximum f/3.3 aperture at the wide end is reduced to f/6.4 when shooting at extreme zoom. While doing this, the usage of slower shutter speeds is necessary to stabilize the lens in order to reduce the blur caused by camera shake.
Panasonic's optical image stabilization has also been updated in the TZ40. It uses a hybrid OIS for both still and video shooting that provides five-axis correction. TZ40 offers shutter speeds as slow as 1/15sec when shooting handheld at telephoto settings, and yet achieve a shake-free result, that is really neat.
The most notable development in this camera is the introduction of Wi-Fi, which allows remote shooting, sharing of images and playback on compatible devices. Panasonic has also introduced Near Field Communication technology in this digi-cam, which is designed to improve the complication of wireless connections. This technology works by placing the two NFC-equipped devices close together to get connected.
The Lumix DMC-TZ40 retains the GPS of its predecessor along with maps supplied on a separate disc to plot the places where photos have been taken. This time, the GPS complies with Russian-operated satellite GLONASS, which should provide improved accuracy.
The Lumix DMC-TZ40 offers innumerable shooting modes that are mostly found in the creative control or the scene mode menus. The chief scene modes include HDR, while the creative control offers a very impressive art mode. The high-speed shooting modes go up to 10fps at full resolution for a short six-frame burst, but for continuous-tracking AF the maximum speed is 5fps, which is impressive.
Panasonic describes its TZ40's Auto Focus system as the light-speed AF, which is claimed to operate as fast as 0.1secs. The AF’s 23-point set-up can be individually selected with a touch on its rear LCD touchscreen. The camera can also record full 1920x1080-pixel HD videos at 50p or 25p with PASM exposure control. The new Panasonic Lumix DMC-TZ40 is priced at around £330.
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