As a consumer, price is often the number one factor for purchasing a product, be it clothes or gadgets. When it comes to tech, especially where smartphones and cameras are concerned, one would want the latest model, with the newest features and at a price that is competitive. When it comes to cameras, Panasonic is one of the more popular brands in the market and they have a range of cameras that do significantly well in their respective segments. We recently reviewed the Panasonic Lumix DMC-TZ18 from their which is priced at just under INR14,000.

The brand's recently taken the wraps off the DMC-TZ25 a point and shoot model from their super zoom range of cameras. On paper, the camera is loaded with features that can wow a potential consumer. We put it to the test to see if it was worth the upgrade.

Mode dial at the top includes the 3D option

Mode dial at the top includes the 3D option

Design and Build Quality
The Panasonic Lumix DMC-TZ25, at first sight looks nearly identical to the the TZ18; however, there are a few subtle differences in the design which tell the two apart. The major difference between the two models design-wise is that the new camera from Panasonic features a larger hand grip as opposed to the small silver strip found on the TZ18. The other differences found are the addition of modes on the mode dial and the inclusion of a video recording button instead of the E.Zoom button. Other than these subtle differences, the design of the two cameras is the same.

The camera is available in two colour options black or silver with silver sides. We received the black model from Panasonic. These cameras have a matte finish which adds to the looks. The design is chunky and does not have the svelte appearance of a Canon, Nikon or Sony but it does not fall short on looks either. The face of the camera is dominated by the lens and apart from it the other features present here are an AF assist and LED flash. The silver at the sides accentuates the silver highlights of the buttons at the top and back.

The connectivity options at the side

The connectivity options at the side

Located at the back beside the controls is a 3-inch display that sports a resolution of approximately 460,000 dots. Though this resolution is not as detailed as the ones that are being used nowadays, it is well in line with other cameras in its price range. The buttons located at the back and top are well built and they feel sturdy. The mode dial can be turned easily and though it faced no resistance while turning, it wasn’t loose. Connectivity options for the camera are located at the side and there are connectors for ports such as mini HDMI and a proprietary USB. The flap of the battery bay located underneath the camera is well built and in this bay one can house the memory card as well.

Rounding up this bit of the review, we'd say the Panasonic DMC-TZ25 is a great looking camera with a really good build quality. However, it is not as slim as we like but it makes up in the weight department weighing in at 208g with the battery and SD card. 

Features
The Panasonic TZ25 is a compact camera that features a 16x optical zoom LEICA DC Lens. This is undoubtedly the main feature of this point and shoot compact camera. With this lens, one can get up close to a subject using the zoom as it features a focal length of 24 – 384mm. The camera also comes equipped with image stabilization technology. With this one can expect blur free images in shots that feature 16x zoom.

Display does well in sunlight

Display does well in sunlight

The camera has a 12.1 megapixel MOS sensor that can record images at a resolution of 4000 x 3000 pixels. This should be ideal for those who are casual photographers as they can click images crisply in most lighting conditions as MOS sensors offer better quality images in low lighting conditions. The MOS sensor size found here is 1/2.3-inches and this is the common sensor size for almost all compact point and shoot cameras.

Panasonic maintains a uniformity with their interface and one who is familiar with the their line up of cameras will find this easy to use. However, a first time Panasonic camera user will also find accessing the different options easy if they play around with the camera for a little while. There is no real learning curve required here but to be adept with it, one will need to play around with it before dismissing it. Panasonic's made the UI very simple to use and it's designed keeping a variety of audiences in mind which can range from casual photographers to those interested in playing around with the settings while shooting. Panasonic has added PASM modes in the camera allowing one to adjust the semi manual and manual shooting settings such as program mode, aperture priority, shutter priority and manual mode. Apart from this, there is a 3D shooting mode as well, allowing one to capture 3D images from the camera and view the image on a compatible 3D TV. The picture cannot be viewed on the camera display itself to review the image shot.

The 16x optical zoom lens

The 16x optical zoom lens

For those interested in artistic photography, Panasonic has added a range of artistic filters such as retro, high key, low key, sepia and a range of others. In addition to these filters, there are a variety of scene modes such as portrait, scenery, panorama, sports, pet, and many more. These can be handy while capturing images easily by merely adjusting to the various scene. The camera can record videos in AVCHD 1080i, which can be ideal for viewing on a TV or in MP4 at a resolution of 1080p which is more suitable for viewing on a PC. While recording in MP4, the camera can record in full HD at 25fps. This is not as great as their competition who have launched cameras that can record at 1080p at 30fps, although they come at a higher price as well. The previous generation model recorded videos at 720p, so this is definitely a step up.

The camera can record media on an SD, SDHC or SDXC card that can be used with this compact travel zoom. The Lumix DMC-TZ35 has a lot of features that can keep one satisfied for the foreseeable future.

Performance
To test the performance of the camera, we shot images outdoors, indoors as well in a closed environment to check noise levels along with other factors that would determine the worthiness of the TZ25. To start off, the camera is a lot better to grip as compared to the TZ18. This is due to the enlarged hand grip at the front. Shooting images with a single hand is comfortable and one need not use both hands to shoot. With one hand, you can easily adjust the zoom rocker as well. This will help in shooting images quickly and without a hassle.

Indoor shot

Indoor shot

While clicking outdoor images, we noticed that the display does well when the lens is faced directly at the sun. There are no artefacts present onscreen showing that the display is good. This same performance is transferred onto outdoor images as well. Colour fringing is kept to a minimum when dark subjects featuring a bright background are shot. This is great as one can shoot images outdoors without any worries. During indoor shots, in fluorescent or ambient lighting, a minimal amount of image grain was visible. In macro photography too the camera does well and there was a significant amount of depth of field visible.

ISO sensitivity test

ISO sensitivity test

ISO Sensitivity Test
The ISO range on this superzoom compact is from 100 to 3200. At ISO 100 there was no image noise seen. Noise levels start to rise sharply from ISO 800 and at ISO 1600, along with image noise, there was colour bleeding seen. 

Aperture Priority
The aperture ranges from F/ 3.3 to F/ 6.3. At the widest aperture, there was a slight amount of depth of field seen and at F/ 6.3, the image was crisp.

Aperture priority test

Aperture priority test

Zoom Test
During our zoom test, we shot images outdoors with the camera in the same position. At 16x zoom, there was no blur visible. The optical image stabilizer does well to achieve this ability. At 100% zoom on a PC as well there was no blur seen. This can really be great for travellers who want to click pictures that are far off without being concerned about blurry cam shots.

Zoom test

Zoom test


Performance Continued
We recorded full high definition videos at 1080p and we observed that there were no transition issues noticed where the video would get washed out while moving from a dark area to a bright one. There were no anomalies observed on the screen, as well as during video played on the PC. All colours in the video appeared natural and it did not appear saturated.

Close-up shot

Close-up shot

The flash of the camera is pretty powerful as well and in a dark room, it can easily light up an area of 12 feet. Panasonic bundles an 895mAh battery with the camera and they rate it at approximately 260 shots.

The addition of a larger grip in the front

The addition of a larger grip in the front

Verdict
The Panasonic DMC-TZ25 is available in India at an MRP of  INR15,990. This camera is priced competitively in the Indian market and it is priced slightly higher than its predecessor. It is designed for those who travel a lot and want to take far off shots without worrying about blurry pictures. The camera does really well otherwise too as it can be used as an option for parties or even casual photography. An interesting thing about this camera is that it has manual modes allowing one to tweak the different settings as per their choice. If one is in the market looking out for a camera for taking shots of landscapes as well as casual photography and most importantly if this fits in their budget, then this is a good choice. Otherwise, there is always the older TZ18, which can be an option that is worth considering.

Publish date: May 3, 2012 9:26 am| Modified date: December 18, 2013 10:10 pm

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