We are testing a compact camera Panasonic Lumix TZ90 with a long lens. Is the new superzoom a good solution for amateurs and an alternative to SLR cameras? About this in our Lumix TZ90 review.
The Panasonic Lumix TZ90 looks like a model from last year. Does the new superzoom predecessor have more features and capabilities? Or maybe he is taking better pictures? About this in our Lumix TZ90 review.
Construction and ergonomics
It must be said at the outset that the size of the Lumix TZ90 is more like the smallest of the mirrors than the compact . As for compact it is quite big – both in terms of thickness and width. The weight (about 320 grams with a battery) makes it in your pocket a little weighty. However, the size can be justified by the fact that we are dealing with a superzoom, so somewhere in the interior had to hide a lens with a relatively long focal length.We had some time ago to publish a review of the Panasonic Lumix TZ80 – with respect to the predecessor, the differences in construction are minimal and you need to look closely at them at all. A slightly different switch shape, the Fn 4 button placed two millimeters more to the left, or another rubber texture in the thumb holding position. The changes are cosmetic. In terms of comfort, the Lumix TZ90 is similar to other amateur cameras. Buttons and knobs are limited to the minimum necessary, and many settings can be made from the touch screen . At the top of the body we find only one knob – to change the modes. Among them P, A, S, M, Auto mode, movie mode and C mode, so that we can save the settings we have chosen which the camera will remember. In addition to the knob we have three buttons: shutter button, switch and REC button. On the front we find a standard set of buttons for menu navigation or photo preview. Instead of arrows, we have a knob that makes it easy to quickly set some features, such as shutter speed. Although most buttons have a function, four of them can be assigned instead of the already assigned function. This allows you to significantly personalize your camera and make it easier to work . On the right side we have hidden behind the USB and HDMI connector – both in the micro version. In turn, the battery and the memory card got one place at the bottom of the body, as is usually the case in compacts. The battery itself has a capacity of 1025 mAh, so quite a lot for compact. It is enough to do only about 320 photos , which is not an impressive result. At the front, around the lens, we have a ring that also allows you to quickly change the various settings, and if you use the manual focus – to focus. The grip itself was designed in a simple, minimalist way. There is not much of a popular and retro retro style, but the camera can still enjoy it anyway. In the palm of his hand he holds it quite nicely by the rubber finish at the point of holding the thumb. Due to the small number of buttons the camera can handle one hand easily, because we can easily reach for everything. Plus, because the REC button is upside down, so we have convenient access to it – in spite of appearances it's not so obvious. In spite of its size, the lens virtually retracts inside the case when the camera is turned off. The flash was permanently attached to the front, just above the rubber grip. Plus for being able to put it on, though usually a better solution is a pop up lamp attached to the top of the body. It may be that the presence of a digital viewfinder is interfering with the accessory. It is also worth mentioning the communication functions in the camera. NFC was missing, but we get WiFi , which will allow us to wirelessly connect the camera, for example with a smartphone. Thanks to this, we will use the phone to control the camera. This is a very useful feature.
Display and viewfinder
Display is one of the elements that we see a noticeable change. Relative to its predecessor it was enriched with the ability to tilt 180 degrees . This latest fashionable feature will allow us to do selfie. There are also options for embellishing photos, known from smartphones. So we can smooth the face, slimmer it, and further blur the background or add some color effect. The screen itself has standard parameters – 3 inches diagonal and 1.4 million resolution points are values that will give us good quality image preview. The screen is additionally covered with antireflection coatings, which will prove to be very useful in strong sunlight. The panel is equipped with a touch – with its help set the point of focus with your finger as well as support the menu.The menu looks identical to the other models of the manufacturer. It is relatively clear, although it has a lot of position as for the amateur camera solution. But we will not need much time to get acquainted with him. I ran into a typical, quick menu that would give you quick access to key features. Rarely found in compact cameras, the camera also has a digital viewfinder. This is a great asset, because the presence of the viewfinder is very useful. Its resolution is 1.166 million points at 0.46 times magnification. I have the impression that the colors of the viewfinder are a bit skewed, but generally there is nothing to complain about.
Another change to the TZ80 is the matrix. In the Lumiks TZ90, the manufacturer has used a new sensor with a slightly higher resolution – 20.1 megapixels , instead of 18 Mpix, as in the predecessor. So theoretically, the picture quality should be slightly better. The fact is, however, that I did not notice a big difference. Certainly, however, the camera is better at dealing with higher senses. ISO settings range from 80-6400 in the expanded mode and 100-3200 in the standard mode. However, the problem is the miniature camera matrix – 1 / 2.3 inch. If the manufacturer applied the 1-inch matrix the effects would certainly be incomparably better. However, the size known from the most amateur compacts does not guarantee such quality in the higher sensitivity that one would expect. Only to ISO 800 the image is immaculately clean, over a thousand is still safe and 1600 is, in my opinion, the upper limit. The above noise is already noticeable. The overall tonal range and picture quality are not bad, but it is clear that the tonal dynamics and detail of the camera is somewhat lacking, for example, at the price of a lens. The small matrix and its accidents are noticeable here , although the manufacturer has systematically done so and so much to draw from this matrix as much as possible. And indeed, the photos look a bit better than the predecessor, but the difference is really minimal. I was hoping for a slightly improved autofocus system , because the predecessor had minor problems with sharpening after dark. The AF system still has 49 focus areas based on DFD technology. On the day of autofocus he copes well, though not very well – in the case of street photography, fast taking pictures, we may come to the blurry cadre. After dark, the situation looks a bit worse and here the focus problems may be more frequent. Below are some sample photos. Full resolution cadence can be found in the gallery . [Gallery ids = "133378,133376,133374,133372,133370,133368,133366,133364,133362,133360,133358,133356,133354,133352"] The camera does not do well at night – the problem is not only autofocus, but also ISO, and to all this comes the fact of a dark lens. Unfortunately, the manufacturer did not increase its brightness and we are still dealing with variable light in the range f / 3.3-6.4 . It's the brightness that makes the cheapest compacts and unfortunately does not provide decent photos if the scene is not well lit. The lens is really very dark, especially at close range. Lumix TZ90 is a superzoom, and the focal length range is 25-750 mm. So we have a 30x optical zoom . The long lens is undoubtedly one of the biggest advantages of this model. The range of focal lengths in the pictures is as follows:Fortunately, with such a long lens there was no efficient stabilization. We have here a 5-axis matrix stabilization , which makes it possible to take photos at your fingertips at maximum focal length. The great advantage is also the presence of various features that will appeal to amateurs. Thanks to 4K Photo, we will be able to take continuous pictures at 30 frames per second in 4K resolution. Full-resolution serial mode will provide us with a speed of 10 fps . The Post Focus function allows you to set the focus point in the image after it has been executed.
The strength of the Panasonica cameras is the movie mode. Also with the TZ90, movie options will be what it can attract to this model. For small money we get a camera that can be a small camera with the ability to shoot movies in 4K, optical image stabilization, deflected screen and long lens . For these reasons, the camera can be very good for video blogging (at the same time I recommend to look at our entry on the best vlogera cameras). We can shoot in full HD resolution at 60 frames per second in MP4 or 50 in AVCHD format. In turn, 4K mode is 30 frames per second in MP4 format . The bitrate here is 100 Mbps. 4K quality movies are not recorded using the entire matrix but with a large crop. The overall quality of the 4K movies recorded beats cheap sports cams on the head and falls better than in many smartphones. The user is available semi-automatic modes as well as full auto and full manual. This makes the camera use by both the layman and the person expecting the equipment to interfere with the parameters. The producer has also forgotten features to help with filming, such as focus peaking . Overall, the camera works very well for movies. This also applies to the 5-axis matrix stabilization, so that we can safely shoot from the hand.
Summary and evaluation
Panasonic Lumix TZ90 is more expensive than the predecessor by less than 300 gold. We do not receive many changes at this price. Slightly higher resolution of the matrix and tilted screen, which was lacking in the predecessor strongly felt. Besides, it is almost the same model, with all its advantages and disadvantages. The latter include a small matrix and a dark lens, which in conjunction with each other do not show anything good. Despite this, the TZ90 is a model that many people may like . He makes nice pictures, he shoots videos in 4K, has a long lens and has good stabilization. These characteristics make many amateurs will certainly reach for it. As long as the lighting conditions are favorable, the camera will offer good quality materials and the 30x zoom for a holiday is a better choice than a smartphone.[temperature2 product_id = "22348"]