Panasonic TZ40 review

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

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In terms of performance, there's not too much to separate the Panasonic TZ40 from its predecessor, or indeed, the Panasonic TZ35. Start-up time is quick, and the benefit of omitting the playback mode is that the camera is always ready to go.

Focusing speeds are fairly impressive, with the camera having the ability to latch onto the subject pretty quickly and generally accurately. Because you can change the autofocus point on the Panasonic TZ40, you've also got better control over your compositions than with the Panasonic TZ35, which is a nice bonus.

When macro shooting is activated, you can get very close to the subject for frame-filling shots. Autofocus is a little slower when using the macro setting, but is still generally accurate. Macro images contain plenty of detail and a good drop off in focus for pleasing shallow depth of field effects.

Panasonic TZ40 review

Although the Panasonic TZ40 performs well in good light, as levels start to drop, the focusing system struggles a little more. Unlike some premium compact cameras, the maximum aperture of the Panasonic TZ40 is f/3.5, meaning it can't quite compete with those equipped with faster lenses.

We've been impressed by the picture quality of the cameras in the Panasonic TZ range, including the new TZ35 and the TZ40's predecessor, the TZ30. Pleasingly, Panasonic has maintained this in the latest model. Images display a good level of detail, great colour and lots of punch.

However, we have found that on occasion, there are examples of image smoothing when viewing images at 100%. Luminance noise is visible in images taken throughout the ISO range, even at lower values, which again is noticeable when zooming to 100%. At normal printing and web sizes, this shouldn't present too much of a problem though.

Panasonic TZ40 review

At high sensitivity settings, such as ISO 1600, there is also noticeable smoothing, which is again less of a problem when viewing the images at normal printing or web sizes.

One of the biggest selling points of the Panasonic TZ series is its extensive focal length range, with both the Panasonic TZ35 and the Panasonic TZ40 offering a 20x optical zoom. Images taken at the furthest reach of the telephoto optic are good, with plenty of detail resolved. You also have the option to use a digital zoom, which is handy for those rare occasions when you need even more reach.

As with the Panasonic TZ35, the Panasonic TZ40's Power OIS (Optical Image Stabilisation) does an excellent job of preventing blur from camera shake when shooting handheld, even when shooting at the furthest reach of the telephoto optic. It has the same 20x optical zoom range of the Panasonic TZ35, giving lots of flexibility for travel photographers.

Panasonic TZ40 review

Anyone familiar with Panasonic's G range of cameras will be at home with the range of digital filters that are available on the Panasonic TZ series. There's a good solid range of filters here, with some being more likeable than others (depending on personal preference). We particularly enjoy Dynamic Monochrome and Cross Process.

Some of the filters are customisable, so you can really experiment with different settings. Of course, one of the downsides of not having the ability to shoot in raw format means that should you decide you don't like the filter further down the line, you're pretty much stuck with it.

Generally speaking, the screen is a good performer. It's bright and clear and provides a good angle of view. If the sun is particularly strong, however, it can be prone to reflections.

It's a resistive touchscreen, which is very responsive and handy for making quick changes, especially to the autofocus point. Unlike the Panasonic TZ35, you can change the autofocus point, simply by tapping the screen.

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