The TZ series cameras from Panasonic have sent an enviable record. The big zooms that squeeze into compact bodies had set a pace and laid the foundation to the 6th generation. The TZ18 from Panasonic with more refined updates is here. The following review gives a comprehensive analysis of the same:
First off, the DMC-TZ18 is very similar to its big brother, the DMC-TZ20, in terms of its design. The camera strikes the user as being a little large, elongated and bulky, but it's virtually the same size and weight as the previous TZ8 model. The TZ18 actually has a 14.5-megapixel sensor, but only uses 14.1 megapixels so that it can offer four different aspect ratios - 4:3, 3:2, 16:9 or 1:1 - without having to change the angle of view. Panasonic has somehow now fitted in a 16x zoom lens, equivalent to 24-384mm on a 35mm camera, which provides a very versatile focal range that will cover every subject from ultra-wide angle landscapes to close-up action shots.
Even when set to 384mm, the lens doesn't extend too far from the front of the TZ18, making it look to all intents and purposes like a "normal" compact camera. This helps to make the DMC-TZ18 great for candid moments, as people assume that you're using just a standard point and shoot with a much more limited range. The camera’s 24mm focal length provides an entirely new wide angle of view that can only infuse more level of creativity. User need not go back to using a standard 35mm zoom, or even a 28mm one, after using the 24mm lens on the DMC-TZ18 - 4mm at the wide-angle end really does make a big difference. This camera comes with Panasonic’s very own POWER O.I.S system, which helps to ensure that the majority of photos taken in good light are sharp. The ISO on this camera ranges from f/3.3 on the telephoto setting and a maximum aperture of f/5.9.
Design and Display:
Design wise, the camera brings back memories of the TZ18 that was its predecessor. The control layout on this camera is pretty straightforward and effective, with the full complement of automatic and manual exposure modes on a top-mounted dial. Overall, this camera is well built with a high quality metal body. The design on this camera is pretty smooth and easy to get a grip of. This camera has the inclusion of a 3-inch LCD screen on the rear. However, there is an exclusion of an optical viewfinder, which does make the camera a little harder to keep steady at the telephoto end of the zoom than holding it up to the users eye. This camera houses a shiny, smooth handgrip on the front and a textured area on the rear. Overall, the TZ18 is well made but the cover for the battery compartment and SD card slot, which feels a little insubstantial and is locked using a cheap plastic switch.
The DMC TZ18 camera from Panasonic under its Lumix range happens to be a great compact camera. The Picture quality of this camera ranges up to 800 ISO. The camera is pretty responsive, its zoom is pretty versatile and has 3cm macro mode. Sadly, the camera has poor viewing angles and has 720P video mode with mono sound that makes it a little irritable.