Panasonic Lumix TZ60 / ZS40 review - official thread

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Panasonic Lumix TZ60 / ZS40 review - official thread

Postby Gordon Laing » Wed Aug 13, 2014 8:48 pm

Hi everyone, here's the official thread to discuss the Panasonic Lumix TZ60 / ZS40.

See my Panasonic Lumix TZ60 / ZS40 review!

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Re: Panasonic Lumix TZ60 / ZS40 review - official thread

Postby StephenCWLL » Sun Sep 07, 2014 9:37 am

I'm looking to buy my first digital camera after getting into photography over last few years with my Samsung S3 phone (yes, it's very good for photos!).

Primarily I'm looking to be able to get better shots of insects (esp butterflies, bugs) so I'm really interested in macro and zoom features of cameras. Haven't a clue though what I should be looking for ideally so I tend to go on sample photos and reading numerous reviews to get a feel of things. I've been on the lookout for my first ultrazoom for a year when I almost came close to buying the Canon PowerShot SX50 HS. However, I put it off for the year and now I return to see what's out there once more. It's the Panasonic Lumix TZ60 that's caught my eye this time round. I loved what I read and saw mostly about this camera but what are it's main rivals and are there any upcoming rivals that might beat it? I know there is always something new coming out but I'd rather wait and pay more if there is a significant improvement with a rival. What should I look for when it comes to macro photography and zooming in from a distance to capture insects before they fly away!

Any advice or tips appreciated :)
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Re: Panasonic Lumix TZ60 / ZS40 review - official thread

Postby rudimaes » Tue Sep 09, 2014 7:01 am

For macro you could also look at the Panasonic FZ200.
Here are some samples:

https://www.flickr.com/search/?q=FZ200%20macro

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Re: Panasonic Lumix TZ60 / ZS40 review - official thread

Postby Chicago Jake » Wed Sep 10, 2014 6:13 pm

I have gotten some very good macro shots with this camera. Well, not technically macro, as the image is not larger than the subject, but pretty close. The image stabilization is incredible, and allows great handholding at extreme zoom levels. Very good for not spooking the little critters.

I should also point out that the view finder is great for nature shots - if you are in bright sunlight, an LCD screen becomes almost useless, but the EVF keeps on working fine.
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Re: Panasonic Lumix TZ60 / ZS40 review - official thread

Postby Chicago Jake » Thu Sep 11, 2014 6:10 am

Also, many thanks to Gordon for his review of this camera. His thorough analysis helped me decide to buy it, and I have been very happy with it ever since. Bravo!
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Re: Panasonic Lumix TZ60 / ZS40 review - official thread

Postby StephenCWLL » Fri Sep 12, 2014 2:08 pm

rudimaes wrote:For macro you could also look at the Panasonic FZ200.
Here are some samples:

https://www.flickr.com/search/?q=FZ200%20macro

Rudi


Blimey, there's a lot of very good looking macro shots out there by that camera!
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Re: Panasonic Lumix TZ60 / ZS40 review - official thread

Postby StephenCWLL » Fri Sep 12, 2014 2:09 pm

Chicago Jake wrote:I have gotten some very good macro shots with this camera. Well, not technically macro, as the image is not larger than the subject, but pretty close. The image stabilization is incredible, and allows great handholding at extreme zoom levels. Very good for not spooking the little critters.

I should also point out that the view finder is great for nature shots - if you are in bright sunlight, an LCD screen becomes almost useless, but the EVF keeps on working fine.


Sounds very promising. You got any samples to show off of various types of shots you've gotten with this camera? Pretty please? :)
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Re: Panasonic Lumix TZ60 / ZS40 review - official thread

Postby StephenCWLL » Fri Sep 12, 2014 2:10 pm

Chicago Jake wrote:Also, many thanks to Gordon for his review of this camera. His thorough analysis helped me decide to buy it, and I have been very happy with it ever since. Bravo!


I loved the review too. First review I've read all the way through (starting to get nedy now!) although I don't understand all the technical jargon etc yet. Loved it so much I brought him a coffee :)
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Re: Panasonic Lumix TZ60 / ZS40 review - official thread

Postby StephenCWLL » Wed Dec 17, 2014 5:17 pm

Apparently the focusing distance for macro mode of this camera is 3cms. That doesn't seem very close to me. I'm sure I'm just as close with my Samsung S3 camera although I can't find it's macro specs.

Is 3cms focusing distance good, bad, or average on these types of cameras?
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Re: Panasonic Lumix TZ60 / ZS40 review - official thread

Postby StephenCWLL » Wed Dec 17, 2014 5:35 pm

My samsung S3 camera has an f-number of 2.6 but this TZ60 has f number of 3.3-6.4. Isn't the lower the number the better? So confused.

Is there anywhere to go to read up about all the basics of photography in some simple terms?
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Re: Panasonic Lumix TZ60 / ZS40 review - official thread

Postby Maestro » Thu Dec 18, 2014 2:34 am

StephenCWLL wrote:Isn't the lower the number the better?

Depends on what your needs are. A lens with a lower f-number can let more light pass through to the image sensor/film; so if there's not a lot of light (indoors, at night, etc.), a lens with a lower f-number can help achieve proper exposure. However, using a wider aperture (lower f-number) also results in shallower Depth of Field -- less will be in focus, from front to back/close to far -- so if you have an artist standing several feet in front of a painting, for example, and you want both the artist and the painting to be in focus, you'll want to use a small enough aperture/high enough f-number, to keep them both in focus.

Is there anywhere to go to read up about all the basics of photography in some simple terms?

At the risk of tooting my own horn, the following is excerpted from a post of mine in the Panasonic G6 thread:

To recap the process I outlined a few posts back (with a few additions):

1) pick your lens focal length based on the perspective you want. (i.e. how much of the background you want to see.)
2) pick the distance between the subject and the camera based on the framing you want. (bust, torso, head-to-toe, etc.)
3) pick your aperture based on how much DoF you want. (i.e. how much you need/want to be in focus.)

{4) pick your shutter speed based on how much motion blur you want. Although, for video, you generally want to keep it at twice your frame rate, as you mentioned previously.}

5) set your exposure with ISO. And if you cannot achieve proper exposure with ISO alone, add lights or ND filters.

If you find that helpful, but would like more detail, you may want to read the entire post. Or maybe even the entire exchange starting from page 4. Although geared toward video, the basic principles are the same for photography.

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Re: Panasonic Lumix TZ60 / ZS40 review - official thread

Postby StephenCWLL » Thu Dec 18, 2014 7:32 pm

Maestro wrote:
StephenCWLL wrote:Isn't the lower the number the better?

Depends on what your needs are. A lens with a lower f-number can let more light pass through to the image sensor/film; so if there's not a lot of light (indoors, at night, etc.), a lens with a lower f-number can help achieve proper exposure. However, using a wider aperture (lower f-number) also results in shallower Depth of Field -- less will be in focus, from front to back/close to far -- so if you have an artist standing several feet in front of a painting, for example, and you want both the artist and the painting to be in focus, you'll want to use a small enough aperture/high enough f-number, to keep them both in focus.

Is there anywhere to go to read up about all the basics of photography in some simple terms?

At the risk of tooting my own horn, the following is excerpted from a post of mine in the Panasonic G6 thread:

To recap the process I outlined a few posts back (with a few additions):

1) pick your lens focal length based on the perspective you want. (i.e. how much of the background you want to see.)
2) pick the distance between the subject and the camera based on the framing you want. (bust, torso, head-to-toe, etc.)
3) pick your aperture based on how much DoF you want. (i.e. how much you need/want to be in focus.)

{4) pick your shutter speed based on how much motion blur you want. Although, for video, you generally want to keep it at twice your frame rate, as you mentioned previously.}

5) set your exposure with ISO. And if you cannot achieve proper exposure with ISO alone, add lights or ND filters.

If you find that helpful, but would like more detail, you may want to read the entire post. Or maybe even the entire exchange starting from page 4. Although geared toward video, the basic principles are the same for photography.

Mark


Thanks Mark. I actually meant more basic than that :) I.e. what are F numbers? What is ISO? What's the shutter speed all about? Something that explains what these things are, what they do and why they matter? Maybe a dummies guide book?
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Re: Panasonic Lumix TZ60 / ZS40 review - official thread

Postby StephenCWLL » Thu Dec 18, 2014 7:33 pm

What sites are good for looking at photos people have taken on certain cameras?

I've looked through flickr but there's very little for this camera and even less of macro type. What I've seen I've not been that impressed by.

However, what I've seen of the DMC-FZ200 I've loved ... https://www.flickr.com/search/?q=macro& ... Fdmc-fz200
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Re: Panasonic Lumix TZ60 / ZS40 review - official thread

Postby Maestro » Fri Dec 19, 2014 3:05 am

StephenCWLL wrote:Thanks Mark. I actually meant more basic than that :) I.e. what are F numbers? What is ISO? What's the shutter speed all about? Something that explains what these things are, what they do and why they matter? Maybe a dummies guide book?

Sorry, I'm not aware of any, off hand. But if I may say, I'm not sure how much more basic one could get. I mean, take your first question: "what are F numbers?" As I said, f-numbers are a way to say how much light the lens lets pass through to the film/sensor.

Would a physical analogy help? If you look at a lens from the front while adjusting the aperture/f-number, you'll see a hole that changes size. (This is easier to see on an unmounted full frame DSLR lens with mechanical aperture adjustment, but can be seen on pretty much any lens if you look closely enough.) The bigger the hole, the more light goes through, just like pupil in your eye. i.e. when it's bright, your pupil gets smaller to let in less light so everything isn't just white. And vice-versa when it's dark. You want to do the same thing with your camera/lens -- when it's bright, shrink the aperture (use a larger f-number), so the camera doesn't see just white. And when it's dark, make the aperture bigger (use a small f-number), so the camera doesn't see just black.

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Re: Panasonic Lumix TZ60 / ZS40 review - official thread

Postby YA guy » Fri Jan 09, 2015 4:21 pm

Thanks to Gordon's review I bought the ZS40 back in March 2014.
In many ways it's an excellent pocket camera!
What I didn't know is Panasonic only supports Microsoft for camera software (Panasonic does support iPhone wifi support thankfully).
I love the camera but not the current Panasonic management. I think it needs a sound and loud scolding.
My experience:
I bought and paid on Panasonic's website $482.32 for the ZS40 camera.
Nowhere on the webpage did it say Microsoft only or no Apple support, for me that is not a fix anyway. Direct real support is what's needed.
To this day I am upset that I can't edit in RAW on my computer.
(and yes, I'm aware I could get/buy software from "others" to support Raw for Mac)

My wish is that this issue gets on the radar and in the forefront of reviewers reviews, (mouth full) in more then a passing manor.
Creative departments of most (if not all) major corporations use only Apple machines because the Design Industry is Mac.
(no overreaching or flame intent)
Is Panasonic saying we don't support/recognize the creative industry?
My thought is (with all respect) maybe support BY Panasonic for Mac should be a change led by the folks holding the banners.
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