Panasonic TZ40 review

Travel compact camera gets an upgrade - but how does it fare?

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There's actually very little to distinguish the body of the Panasonic TZ40 from its predecessor, the Panasonic TZ30, nor indeed between it and the Panasonic TZ35 - the camera which sits just below it in the Lumix lineup.

It's somewhat astonishing that Panasonic has managed to cram a 20x optical zoom optic into the slim body of the Panasonic TZ40, which is pocket sized, making it the ideal companion for travelling photographers.

A small grip on the right of the camera makes it pretty comfortable to hold, even when using the camera one-handed. With all the controls on the right side of the camera, you can change the majority of the settings with your thumb when you want to use physical buttons. The Panasonic TZ40, unlike the Panasonic TZ35, has a touchscreen, which can be used to make changes to other settings.

Panasonic TZ40 review

On the top of the camera is a mode dial, giving immediate access to all the different key functions the camera offers, such as semi-automatic modes and manual modes (P/A/S/M). There are also fully automatic, digital filters, panoramic and scene modes that can be accessed from here.

Handily, there's also room for two custom settings slots, which is useful if you find you're often using the same combination of settings - for example high sensitivity for low light situations.

Also on top of the camera is the shutter release, around which a zoom switch is found. Using this is fairly quick and fluid, which is great news, considering we're talking about a 20 zoom length.

Panasonic TZ40 review

As the lens hits the top reach of the optical zoom, it stops zooming, requiring you to push the switch again to activate the digital zoom. This is a good way to prevent you accidentally slipping into the digital zoom if you don't want to use it.

Like on the Panasonic TZ35, a Quick Menu button can be found at the bottom-right of the back of the camera. This saves you from having to delve into the extensive full menu and gives you options to change the key everyday settings, such as ISO and white balance.

The number of options available in this menu changes depending on the shooting mode being used. For instance, there's a more extensive amount when shooting in the semi-automatic and fully manual modes.

Panasonic TZ40 review

Sitting just above the keypad is an exposure button, which can be used when shooting in semi-automatic and fully manual modes. While in aperture priority mode, this button needs to be pressed before using the right and left keys to alter the aperture value.

When in fully manual mode, the exposure button can be used to access both shutter speed and aperture settings, requiring either an upwards, downwards or left or right push on the directional keypad to make changes.

Unlike the Panasonic TZ35, you're able to change the autofocus point on the Panasonic TZ40, when shooting in more advanced modes. This can be done by simply tapping the screen at the point you want to focus. You can also have the camera release the shutter via the touchscreen as well, which is handy for capturing quick shots, or when the camera is mounted on a tripod.

Panasonic TZ40 review

As with the TZ35, Panasonic has refreshed the way that the TZ40 plays back images. Previously, you had to flick a physical switch to put the camera either in playback or capture mode, which was a little annoying if you forgot to push the switch back.

Now, however, there's a single playback button that can be accessed no matter what the mode. And simply half-pressing the shutter overrides the playback, if you want to quickly get back to shooting.

Anybody familiar with Panasonic's G series of compact system cameras will feel at home with the menu layout of the Panasonic TZ series. It's fairly sensible, with the majority of settings and changes being easy to find.

Panasonic TZ40 review

You'll find separation between recording options (such as image size), motion picture options and general setup options (such as setting the time zone). Because this camera is equipped with GPS, there's also a section for making changes to this option. Anybody with a G series CSC might want to consider a Panasonic TZ40 as a backup (or more pocket-friendly) camera.

The Panasonic TZ40 is equipped with NFC, Wi-Fi and GPS. This means that files can be shared by tapping it against a device with NFC, it can be remotely controlled via a free smartphone app and you can log where you've been.

If you have an NFC-enabled device, a mere tap together of the two will get you the access you need, but if you don't, you can connect to the camera via Wi-Fi by entering a password.

Panasonic TZ40 review

A free downloadable app is available for iOS and Android devices, and is very easy and quick to use. From the app you can control the optical zoom, change the autofocus point, release the shutter, change the aperture and shutter speed and play back images and save them to your phone.

There's also built-in functionality that means you can send images from the camera if you're connected to a Wi-Fi network. Unfortunately you will need a Lumix Lifestyle account to do this, since there's no way to send them using your own email account. Still, it's a nice addition.

The camera's GPS logging facility means that you can keep a log of where you've been with the camera. Handily, a light next to the GPS signal at the top of the camera remains on when GPS is activated, to alert you. This acts as a reminder so that you can turn it off when you don't want to use it, to conserve battery power.

Tech Specs

Product TypeCompact Camera
Battery Size SupportedProprietary Battery Size
Green CompliantYes
Maximum Video Resolution1920 x 1080
Wireless LANYes
Effective Camera Resolution18.1 Megapixel
Wide AngleYes
Product FamilyLumix TZ
HD Movie ModeYes
Memory Card SupportedSecure Digital (SD) Card, Secure Digital High Capacity (SDHC) Card, Secure Digital Extended Capacity (SDXC)
Image StabilizationOptical
Optical Zoom20x
Digital Zoom4x
Brand NamePanasonic
FeaturesFace Detection, Live View, Orientation Sensor, Continuous Shooting Mode, Noise Reduction
Screen Size7.6 cm (3")
Video FormatsMP4, AVCHD
Viewfinder TypeNo
Weight (Approximate)172.4 g
Green Compliance Certificate/AuthorityREACH
Image Sensor Size1/2.3" (6.16 mm x 4.62 mm)
Maximum Image Resolution4896 x 3672
Display Screen TypeLCD
Height58.9 mm
Width108.2 mm
Depth27.7 mm
Product SeriesTZ
Focal Length4.30 mm to 86 mm
Image FormatsJPEG, MPO
External FlashNo
Focus ModesAuto
Product ModelDMC-TZ40
Product NameDMC-TZ40 Digital Camera
Product LineLumix
Exposure Control
  • Program AE
  • Aperture Priority
  • Shutter Priority
  • Manual
Aspect Ratio16:9
Manufacturer Part NumberDMC-TZ40EB-W
Manufacturer Website Address
Marketing Information

Super Zoom Camera TZ40 - Featuring 20x Super Zoom, Wi-Fi®, NFC (Near Field Communication) Technology, and GPS in an Ultra Compact Body

The DMC-TZ40 incorporates 24mm ultra wide-angle 20x optical zoom LEICA DC VARIO-ELMAR lens (35mm camera equivalent: 24-480mm), which is outstanding in class for its quality and versatility. Thanks to the Intelligent Resolution technology, the Intelligent 40x Zoom is available with minimum deterioration of picture quality even combining the digital zoom. The Panasonic's black box technology Nano Surface Coating is applied for stunning clarity with minimum flare and ghost. The zoom functions are also available in the video recording.

The 18.1-megapixel High Sensitivity MOS sensor is newly integrated in the DMC-TZ40 to realize both high quality image recording and high speed signal processing. Newly adopted Wavelet NR (Noise Reduction) in the Venus Engine and Edge Smoothing NR enable capturing high sensitivity image with reduced noise and smooth edges even at high ISO settings. The high speed digital signal output technology realizes high speed consecutive shooting at 10 fps in full resolution with mechanical shutter and the Light Speed AF.

The DMC-TZ40 integrates Wi-Fi® connectivity and NFC technology. NFC lets users connect the camera with a smartphone/tablet by just placing them nearby and follow the simple guidance. With "Panasonic Image App", users can enjoy remote shooting easy SNS upload, and Instant Transfer, which allows the camera to automatically transfer data to the designated electronic devices. Transferring data to PC is available via wireless access point (router) at home. The Wi-Fi Direct™ allows direct playback of images on some of the DLNA-compliant VIERA HDTV.

The DMC-TZ40 can record full HD 1,920 x 1,080 videos with stunning smoothness at 50p in AVCHD Progressive and 25p in MP4 format. The POWER O.I.S. is upgraded with an inclusion of HYBRID O.I.S.+ for video recording with 5-axis correction that detects and effectively compensates for the camera's 5 types of movement. Newly added Level Shot detects the horizontal line and keep it even if the camera is tilted. In addition, the high speed video at 100fps in HD quality is available.

Package Contents
  • DMC-TZ40 Digital Camera
  • Battery Pack
  • AC Adaptor
  • USB Cable
  • Hand Strap
  • Software DVD-ROM
Limited Warranty1 Year