Camera - - AWARDS -

Pana­sonic’s abil­ity to read pho­tog­ra­phers’ minds is un­canny. The orig­i­nal TZ re­de­fined the com­pact cam­era for the more se­ri­ous shoot and ev­ery sub­se­quent gen­er­a­tion has sim­ply given us more of what we want. Im­por­tantly, Pana­sonic looks for a bal­ance in order to min­imise the com­pro­mises so, for ex­am­ple, the TZ110 has a 25-250mm equiv­a­lent zoom – which is a good, work­able fo­cal range – matched with a ‘1-inch’ size sen­sor which has (com­par­a­tively) larger pix­els to en­hance low light per­for­mance.

The ef­fec­tive res­o­lu­tion of 20.1 MP de­liv­ers plenty of def­i­ni­tion and de­tail­ing, bal­anced with low noise up to ISO 3200. A hy­brid elec­tronic/op­ti­cal im­age sta­bil­i­sa­tion sys­tem – with fiveaxis cor­rec­tion – means you can leave the tri­pod at home whether you’re shoot­ing stills or video. The TZ110 is part of Pana­sonic’s grow­ing port­fo­lio of 4K video cam­eras which is good news for videog­ra­phers, but also al­lows for the com­pany’s suite of ‘4K Photo’ modes. These are high­speed cap­ture modes for still pho­tog­ra­phy – shoot­ing at 30 fps – which lever­age the 8.3 megapix­els frame size of 4K video. So, for ex­am­ple, the ‘4K Pre-Burst’ mode cap­tures a se­quence of 60 frames in two sec­onds, but the first 30 are ac­tu­ally recorded be­fore the shut­ter but­ton is fully re­leased thereby greatly in­creas­ing your chances of snar­ing that ‘de­ci­sive mo­ment’ frame. The TZ110 also the ‘Post Fo­cus’ func­tion which records a high-speed se­quence of 4K frames at 30 fps, this time cov­er­ing all the pos­si­ble fo­cus points – 49 in this in­stance – so you can sub­se­quently se­lect the one with the de­sired plane of fo­cus. In fact, you sim­ply touch – on the mon­i­tor screen – the sub­ject mat­ter in the im­age that you want to be in sharp fo­cus, and the cam­era then finds the cor­re­spond­ing frame. Al­ter­na­tively, you can have mul­ti­ple ver­sions of an im­age with dif­fer­ent fo­cus points. Other ele­ments work­ing in the TZ110’s favour in­clude Pana­sonic’s in­ge­nious ‘Depth From De­fo­cus’ (DFD) aut­o­fo­cus­ing. Con­tin­u­ous shoot­ing with full AF/AE ad­just­ment is at 5.0 fps, but you can have 10 fps with the fo­cus locked to the first frame. The TZ110 also has the nifty ‘High­light/Shadow’ con­trol from the cur­rent Lu­mix G cam­eras and which works in a sim­i­lar fash­ion to Pho­to­shop’s Curves. Then there’s the ex­ten­sive suite of smart ‘iAUTO’ modes and, of course, man­ual op­er­a­tion is avail­able. To top it all off, the metal-bod­ied TZ110 is a pretty look­ing thing and pocket-sized with be­ing so small as to com­pro­mise op­er­abil­ity… although the mon­i­tor panel is a touch­screen which greatly en­hances the con­trol ef­fi­cien­cies, in­clud­ing touch fo­cus­ing.

It’s hard to see how Pana­sonic could im­prove on the Lu­mix TZ110 as a travel cam­era, but no doubt it will find ways. In the mean­time though, it com­fort­ably wins the crown in this cat­e­gory.

DIG­I­TAL FIXED LENS CAM­ERA – THE FI­NAL­ISTS Canon Pow­er­Shot G5X Pana­sonic Lu­mix TZ110 Sony Fu­ji­film X70 Cy­ber-shot RX100 IV

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