Panasonic TZ80/SZ60 review

Panasonic's evolution of its superzoom travel compact is now playing second fiddle to the new TZ100

Panasonic TZ80

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While there have been a couple of notable improvements made over the TZ70, including the reintroduction of a touchscreen, the addition of 4K video and photo modes, and DFD focusing technology, upping the pixel count seems to have had a slightly detrimental effect on image quality.

If you're likely to only be photographing in good light (if you're planning to use this as a holiday camera, for instance), then you may not find image smoothing to be particularly problematic, but if you're hoping to use it in lower light conditions (and you will if you shoot indoors), then you would perhaps be better off with the TZ70, which is still available to buy at a cheaper price than the TZ80.

Panasonic TZ80

We liked

A 30x optical zoom range gives you the kind of scope and flexibility that a smartphone can't deliver, and it's for this reason that superzoom compacts like the TZ80 continue to do well in an otherwise beleaguered market. Although detail drops off a little at the full 30x reach, images taken at other lengths throughout the range are good. It's also good to be able to take manual control of the camera, and shoot in raw format, something which several other superzoom compact cameras lack.

We disliked

The TZ80 has a disappointing low light/high ISO performance. It seems reasonably likely that this is a result of upping the pixel count to 18 million pixels, something the company reduced before in order to maintain image quality. Perhaps Panasonic has chosen to go back up to higher numbers as part of a marketing ploy to compete better with other high resolution cameras, but sadly it seems to have resulted in lower quality images.

Final Verdict

The TZ80 is a well-specced camera that delivers great images in good light, but less than outstanding ones as the light dims, so if you have no need for the 4K Video or 4K Photo Mode and can live without a touchscreen, take a look at the TZ70 instead. The TZ100 is also a great option if you can get by with a smaller 10x zoom range.

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Amy Davies

Amy has been writing about cameras, photography and associated tech since 2009. Amy was once part of the photography testing team for Future Publishing working across TechRadar, Digital Camera, PhotoPlus, N Photo and Photography Week. For her photography, she has won awards and has been exhibited. She often partakes in unusual projects - including one intense year where she used a different camera every single day. Amy is currently the Features Editor at Amateur Photographer magazine, and in her increasingly little spare time works across a number of high-profile publications including Wired, Stuff, Digital Camera World, Expert Reviews, and just a little off-tangent, PetsRadar.