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Panasonic TZ70 review

Our Rating :
Price when reviewed : £349
inc VAT

Solid image quality and lots of useful features, but the Panasonic TZ70 costs more than its direct rivals.


Sensor resolution: 12 megapixels, Sensor size: 1/2.3in, Viewfinder: Electronic (1,166,000 dots), LCD screen: 3in (1,040,000 dots), Optical zoom (35mm-equivalent focal lengths): 30x (24-720mm), 35mm-equivalent aperture: f/18.4-35.7, Weight: 243g, Size (HxWxD): 66x112x37mm

Wex Photographic

Video quality was excellent, with smooth, crisp details and lifelike colours. Powerful stabilisation played an important role when shooting at the long end of the zoom. Videos shot under household lighting had a gloomy yellow cast but noise was kept reasonably under control. There’s an option to capture up to 10 photos while simultaneously recording video, but these 9-megapixel snaps are really just 1080p (2-megapixel) video frames that have been scaled up to the larger dimensions.

Photo quality had its ups and downs, too. The relatively modest 12-megapixel resolution delivered appreciably smoother colours and more natural-looking fine details than the TZ60, both in brightly lit and gloomier conditions. There was a slight loss of detail but the benefit outweighed the drawback.

^ Details are impressively sharp throughout this wide-angle shot. There’s a bit of purple fringing in the top corners but it’s not too intrusive. (1/80s, f/3.3, ISO 80, 24mm equivalent)

^ This brightly lit shot is hard to fault, with sharp focus and smooth, accurate colours. The dense textures are handled well, too. (1/500s, f/4.3, ISO 80, 61mm equivalent)

^ Focus isn’t quite as crisp at the long end of the zoom, but we could happily live with it. (1/100s, f/6.4, ISO 125, 720mm equivalent)

This sensor is by no means a game changer, though. Ultimately, it’s still a small sensor sat behind a lens with a narrow aperture, so noise was a problem when shooting in low light – and also when shooting shaded subjects at the long end of the zoom. The camera choose surprisingly slow shutter speeds on automatic settings to capture plenty of light and minimise noise, but while the stabilisation did an impressive job of counteracting shake, blur due to moving subjects could be a problem.

^ Shooting telephoto subjects in overcast weather pushes noise levels up, and the resulting noise reduction smears details. This example is still reasonably presentable. (1/100s, f/6.4, ISO 400, 720mm equivalent)

^ This shot is by no means bad, but close inspection reveals grainy noise in place of fine details. We had to raise the shutter speed manually to avoid motion blur of the subject. (1/200s, f/6.4, ISO 1600, 373mm equivalent)

^ Skin and hair textures are captured faithfully in direct sunlight . (1/250s, f/5.9, ISO 80, 322mm equivalent)

^ Indoor skin textures aren’t so flattering, with a smudged, spidery textures when viewed up close. (1/13s, f/4.1, ISO 400, 50mm equivalent)

Most photos looked fine at typical viewing sizes but it required a generous dose of sunshine to produce shots that stood up to close scrutiny. The same could be said of the TZ70’s direct competitors, such as our current favourite, the Nikon S9700. The TZ70 has a small advantage for image quality over the S9700, but we’re not convinced it’s enough to justify paying twice as much for.

For this kind of money, we’re much more tempted by the Panasonic FZ200, which is bulkier but much more capable in low light. Then again, if you need something pocket-sized with a big zoom and a viewfinder, the TZ70 is the obvious – and indeed only – choice.

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Sensor resolution12 megapixels
Sensor size1/2.3in
Focal length multiplier5.6x
ViewfinderElectronic (1,166,000 dots)
Viewfinder magnification (35mm-equivalent), coverage0.46x, 100%
LCD screen3in (1,040,000 dots)
Orientation sensorYes
Photo file formatsJPEG, RAW (RW2)
Maximum photo resolution4,000×3,000
Photo aspect ratios4:3, 3:2, 16:9 1:1
Video compression formatAVCHD at up to 28Mbit/s, MP4 (AVC) at up to 20Mbit/s
Video resolutions1080p at 25/50fps, 1080i at 25fps, 720p at 25/50fps, VGA at 25fps
Slow motion video modes720p at 100fps (1/4x), VGA at 200fps (1/8x)
Maximum video clip length (at highest quality)29m 59s
Exposure modesProgram, shutter priority, aperture priority, manual
Shutter speed range4 to 1/2,000 seconds
ISO speed range80 to 6400
Exposure compensationEV +/-2
White balanceAuto, 4 presets with fine tuning, manual
Auto-focus modesMulti, flexible spot, face detect, tracking
Metering modesMulti, centre-weighted, centre, face detect
Flash modesAuto, forced, suppressed, slow synchro, rear curtain, red-eye reduction
Drive modesSingle, continuous, self-timer, AE bracket, HDR, panorama, 3D
Optical stabilisationYes
Optical zoom (35mm-equivalent focal lengths)30x (24-720mm)
Maximum aperture (wide-tele)f/3.3-6.4
35mm-equivalent aperturef/18.4-35.7
Manual focusYes
Closest macro focus (wide)3cm
Closest macro focus (tele)200cm
Card slotSDXC
Memory supplied86MB
Battery typeLi-ion
ConnectivityUSB, AV, micro HDMI
WirelessWi-FI, NFC
GPSVia smartphone app
Body materialPlastic
AccessoriesUSB cable
Size (HxWxD)66x112x37mm
Buying information
WarrantyOne year RTB
Price including VAT£349
Part codeDMC-TZ70EB-K

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