Panasonic Lumix introduce new 24-720mm compact
At first glance the new Lumix TZ90 ticks all the boxes for a lightweight, pocketable travel companion. The Leica DC Vario-Elmar zoom has a fairly staggering 24mm to 720mm optical range, beating the reach of the popular (and much larger) FZ1000 and Leica V-Lux. With a 20.3 MP sensor, new Venus processing engine and 4K video and 4K photo function, offering still prints up to A3 size, this little camera appears to have everything.
There's a snag, of course. Like its predecessor, the TZ80 and most similar cameras, the new Lumix has a small 1/2.3" (28mm²) sensor, which is a lot smaller than most of us are now used to. I had to delve deep to find this information because it isn't in the press release. By comparison, the 1in sensor in the V-Lux/TZ1000 has an area of 123mm² — over four times as big. Go to Micro Four Thirds (225mm²) and APS-C (369mm²) and you begin to realise just how small this sensor is. A so-called full-frame sensor based on 35mm film has an area 864mm², just to compete the comparison.
Of course, the small sensor explains the wonderful zoom range. You can't have everything: The bigger the sensor, the larger the lens has to be. And the TZ90 has a lot going for, including that Leica-designed lens, RAW and JPG shooting and a full range of pro controls. If you want a 24-720mm equivalent zoom in the front pocket of your jeans, this is the camera for you.
On the other hand..... The TZ90 is more or less the same size as the Ricoh GR, which fits in your pocket just as well, and boasts a massive APS-C sensor. There's no zoom, but, as I say, you can't have everything.
PANASONIC PRESS RELEASE
New LUMIX TZ90: Combine the flexibility of 4K Photo with the power of a 30x optical zoom in a compact body perfect for travelling
Apr 19, 2017 03:00 BST
Panasonic today announces a new “travel zoom” pocket-friendly camera, the LUMIX DC-TZ90, featuring high image quality and utilising unique Panasonic features including 4K Photo. The camera is an ideal travel companion and includes a range of features such as a 30x optical zoom (35mm camera equivalent: 24-720mm), an improved sensor and a new tilting screen.
The ultra-wide-angle 24mm lens is superbly versatile, extending to 720mm at the telephoto end. It is a LEICA DC VARIO-ELMAR lens, and passes Leica’s stringent standards resulting in crisp clarity and minimum distortion and flare. Power O.I.S is on hand to help keep your shots sharp, no matter which focal length you’re using, too.
A new 20.3-megapixel High Sensitivity MOS sensor is a boost in resolution from the TZ90’s predecessor, the TZ80 (18.1-megapixels). Combined with a high-power Venus processing engine, you can be assured of high image quality in a range of scenarios, even low light.
Capture the perfect moment with 4K Photo
Panasonic’s innovative 4K Photo function is available for the TZ90. Use the dedicated button on the TZ90’s body to access the various 4K PHOTO modes. Capture unmissable moments at 30fps and extract stills at 8-megapixel equivalent resolution - that’s large enough to print at up to A3 size. There are also a range of other useful functions which utilise 4K technology. Post Focus means you can change the point of focus after shooting, while Focus Stacking enables changing the depth of field after shooting by combining multiple images.
Make sure you never miss a moment with super-fast autofocus (AF) speeds. Incorporating Panasonic’s DFD (Depth From Defocus) technology, the TZ90 boasts a 0.1 second AF speed. You can also employ burst shooting at 10 (AF-S) fps or 5 (AF-C) fps. A range of AF functions include Touch AF, 49-point AF points and Low Light AF help to lock on focus in a wide variety of different conditions. For those who are concerned with manual focusing, there’s lots of help on board for that too, including Focus Peaking and MF assist.
Your all-important selfies are now easier than ever to capture, thanks to the 3.0-inch, 1,040k-dot touch-sensitive screen which, new for the TZ90, tilts to face forwards. Simply flip the monitor and the camera will automatically enter into self-shot mode. You have lots of choice when it comes to capturing the perfect self-portrait, with the new 4K Selfie mode ensuring you get the look you want.
Another new feature is Panorama Selfie, putting you at the centre of a sweeping landscape - ideal for travel shots. Background control helps to give your portraits a professional look and feel, while beauty functions help make sure you always look your best. Keep it hands-free by using Buddy Shutter or Face Shutter to automatically trigger the camera when you pose a certain way.
As well as the rear monitor, there’s an also an 0.2-inch, 1,166k-dot EVF (Electronic View Finder), giving you the flexibility to compose your images however you like. There’s an eye sensor which switches the EVF on automatically for seamless operation, while you can continue to use the screen to set AF point using Touch Pad operation.
Something for everybody: advanced settings and control dials put the power in your hands
Advanced users will be pleased to know that there’s a range of manual and enthusiast-level controls, giving you the power to adjust settings to match your exact way of shooting. There’s a full complement of manual and semi-automatic modes (PASM), while you can also shoot in the super flexible RAW format. Use the control ring around the TZ90’s lens to adjust settings such as aperture, while the control dial on the rear of the camera is also on hand to change other settings.
It’s not just fantastic photos you can capture with ease using the TZ90, there’s a range of cutting-edge video technology on-hand too. You can record smooth, high-resolution QFHD 4K videos in 3840x2160 at frame rates up to 30p. Not only that, but there’s a range of functions to help you get the best videos possible, including tilt-correction and 5-axis image stabilisation. Use 4K Live Cropping to pan and adjust composition even after you’ve finished recording. You can also shoot stunning high-speed videos at 120 fps / 100 fps in full HD for a dramatic slow-motion effect.
There’s a whole host of other exciting and useful features for the TZ90. Create beautiful night shots using the Light Composition mode, while Creative Filters give your images (including panoramic shots) a fun, dramatic or artistic effect.
Use the camera’s 3cm macro functionality to get close to the subject for gorgeous frame-filling shots of insects, flowers and other small objects. Using Wi-Fi connectivity, you can connect the TZ90 to your smartphone or tablet to take remote control over the camera, or send images across to your device for quick sharing to social networking sites and email. USB charging gives you the flexibility to power up the camera without need for a dedicated battery charging unit - another feature which makes the TZ90 ideal for travelling.