Panasonic TZ20 Review: Overview

In updating a camera released just a year ago, one would (or has become accustomed to) expect a few tinkers to the design and maybe a new scene mode or two.

But with the Panasonic Lumix DMC-TZ20, Panasonic has made a number of significant changes to its flagship consumer compact that, at least on paper, mark a significant improvement over the TZ10.

The biggest standout over its predecessor is the Panasonic TZ20's staggering focal range. Beating the TZ10's 12x optical zoom, the TZ20 brings a new 16x optical zoom Leica DC Vario-Elmar lens with an incredible reach of 24-384mm that effectively pins the cape on this super-zoom compact.

Panasonic tz20 review
Panasonic tz20 review

The Panasonic TZ20 keeps the 1/2.3in sensor size, but with 14.1 million effective pixels in its new CMOS sensor, the Panasonic TZ20 marks another significant upgrade over the TZ10's CCD sensor with 12.1 million effective pixels.

The overhaul continues with the addition of 1080p HD video recording, a 3D shooting mode and a GPS function.

Perhaps the most Marmite-like feature of the Panasonic TZ20 specs list, however, is its 3in, 460,000-dot LCD screen with touch screen functionality.

With the touch functionality enabled, photographers can press any area on the screen they want to be in focus and the AF system locks on to that subject, tracking it as you or the subject moves.

The touch shutter mode also also allows you to eschew the shutter button altogether and take a picture simply by pressing the LCD with your finger. What's more, the Panasonic TZ20 allows you to zoom in and out of your scene via the LCD screen. No doubt this will prove handy for some, but an annoyance for others.