Panasonic DMC TZ3 Review

Digital Cameras with Extended Zoom Lenses

Panasonic DMC TZ3 Ease of Use 9
Features 8
Movie Mode 8
Build Quality8
Colours 8
Photo Quality 8
Style 8
Lowlight 8
Macro 9
Value for Money 8
7 Megapixels
10x Zoom
3 inch LCD Screen
105.0 x 59.2 x 36.7m


The Panasonic DMC TZ3 is a super zoom digital camera inside a much more compact body then you will normally find with this type of camera. On top of this the DMC TZ3 also sports a wide angle lens. A wide angle lens comes in useful for landscape style shots or groups of people. Indeed any type of photo where you need to squeeze in a wide scene will be helped by this type of lens.

Another difference from a typical super zoom digital camera is that the DMC TZ3 does not offer a range of really advanced features such as manual exposure controls. This makes it attractive to someone who would like a longer lens, but would still like the simplicity of a point and shoot digital camera.

This camera has seven megapixels and the lens offers 10x zoom. Image stabilisation is also available.

Main Features

LCD Screen:

3 inches
105.0 x 59.2 x 36.7m

HD Movies:
Manual Controls:
Memory Cards:

Lithium-ion Rechargeable

Image Quality - See Sample Images Below

Picking out the bricks on the building in the centre of the photo I am happy with the levels of sharpness the DMC TZ3 manages to achieve. The picture is a good one, although there is a small loss of detail from sun glare. I have also noticed that some of the blue lines on the boats have a purple tinge to them.

The second outdoor shot shows the difference a wide angle lens makes, with extra detail squeezed into the shot. It is a little darker then most of my similar test shots owing to the time of day the photo was taken. Sharpness is about in line with expectations.

With the lens zoomed right in the photos are not pin sharp, but it is still a good effort. There is a small amount of purple fringing showing in the photo. This is less than with many other super zoom cameras I have tested. Another familiar problem shows a reduction in the colour of the sky, with the blue taking on a greyer colour. One thing I really like about this picture is the way the DMC TZ3 handles the lighting.

Colour wise the DMC TZ3 is roughly mid range. You will find other cameras with stronger colours, but I feel this camera offers more natural tones.

I have given the colours a bit of a boost for the outdoor portrait. The photo was taken in the shade, so I used the white balance shade setting. This has the effect of warming the colours in the photo and helps to give the photo a bit of a glow. This is one of my favourite photos in this set of tests.

Both of the indoor, lowlight photos are very good considering the conditions the photographs were taken in. Not only do they show pretty good levels of focusing the DMC TZ3 also gets the exposure levels right creating light photographs. There is just a hint of red eye in the portrait shot.

The macro shot shows a higher level of definition than I am used to seeing. All the numbers on the watch are clearly defined. In terms of macro performance this is some way above average.

Taking lowlight photos without flash at ISO 400 produces good results. The DMC TZ3 doesn't produce the same noise levels or colour distortions that a number of other cameras do. I would still refrain from using this level of ISO unless it was absolutely necessary to get the shot. The highest ISO setting is 1250. By the time you reach this level picture quality has seriously diminished.

See sample images link arrow


Considering the length of lens the DMC TZ3 is a very compact model. It also has a robust feel to it. You can choose from three colours blue, silver and black. There is a small grip area on the front to hold it steady and I found plenty of room on the back to place my thumb to further help me to get a good grip.

Shutter Lag Times

Shutter Lag Rating Par

Single Shot
Five Shots
Single Shot With Flash
Five Shots With Flash

0.4 seconds
6.93 seconds
0.59 seconds
12.73 seconds

Shutter Lag Table link arrow

Ease of Use

Ease of Use - Easy Easy to hold, straightforward menu system, large 3" LCD screen for viewing the menu. All in all a well thought through digital camera.

Points I Like

Ease of use - indoor photos - LCD display quality - compact size - widescreen movies

Where it Could Improve

Small internal memory


If you would like a super zoom digital camera, but have always been put off by their bulk and complexity then the Panasonic DMC TZ3 could be just what you are looking for. Picture quality is good, usability is excellent and the camera also offers a wide angle lens.

Product Shots

Front View

Front View

Back View

Back View

Top View

Top View

Sample Menus

menu sensitivity

playback setup

Top Rated Cameras in this Category

Panasonic DMC FZ48 Rating 87/100

The Panasonic Lumix DMC FZ48 is very hard to beat. It is up against some stiff competition, but the combination of features, image quality and pricing makes it the outstanding model in its category. When it comes to picture quality it has few weaknesses and its length of lens means it can cope with more or less any photo opportunity.

Read Review: Panasonic DMC FZ48 Review

Fuji Finepix HS30EXR Rating 86/100

The Fuji Finepix HS30EXR does offer a number of differences to rival Super Zoom or Bridge digital cameras. The main difference is the twisting lens barrel, but there are other handling aspects that make it that bit closer to a Digital SLR experience. In terms of features Fuji have packed in just about everything they can think of. Picture quality compares well against rival cameras and shutter response times are also impressive. This makes this camera a very attractive proposition if you are looking for a fully featured camera with a great deal of zoom power.

Read Review: Fuji Finepix HS30EXR Review

Nikon Coolpix L810 Rating 79/100

The Nikon Coolpix L810 offers something different as it gives you the power of an extra long lens, but with the simplicity of a point and shoot digital camera. This helps to make it somewhat cheaper than the more fully featured models with similar zoom power. Picture quality does not match up to the more expensive models in this category, but it is only if you are planning to make extra large prints that you are likely to see much difference between photos taken with this camera and those that give you that bit of extra quality. This camera is a good choice if you are looking for simple operation and a powerful lens.

Read Review: Nikon Coolpix L810 Review

Related Pages

Panasonic DMC TZ3 Review Panasonic DMC TZ3 Specification Panasonic DMC TZ3 Sample Images Panasonic DMC TZ3 Features Panasonic Digital Cameras

Review Date

June 2007

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