Panasonic TZ60 thoughts

Recently I wanted to get a nice pocket size camera.

Something a bit better than what’s on your typical smartphone but something that’s still pocket-size. Some time ago I had a Panasonic TZ10 and really liked it, so looked up to see what was the latest model in the range and found the TZ60. A look on the internet showed it had some good reviews, and though the cost was slightly more than I wanted to pay I headed off down the shops and got one.

I really dislike it!

The quality of image is not too bad and the camera has a nice optical zoom, however its usability (or lack of) makes it a real negative experience to use.

It starts off with the way you hold it. My old TZ10 had a raised area on the camera’s right side which made holding the device as comfortable as can be expected from a small item. This area on the TZ60 is flat, except for a small ‘finger bump’, which is far too small to give you something to put your fingers around, and just gets in the way. This means you are having to grip the camera relatively forcefully, in turn applying more pressure with your thumb on the back of the device. This is the area where there’s various buttons and a very sensitive jog-wheel. The net result –  you end up randomly pressing half the buttons so constantly changing settings as you’re trying to take pictures.

The rear display screen is not too bad. It’s not touch-screen, which is a bit of a relief as again your thumb would keep on activating it as you hold the camera.

As well as this screen for framing your picture, up in the top left corner is a small electronic viewfinder. This is too small for any practical use and I’d rather it wasn’t there. If they really wanted a separate viewfinder I wish they’d put a simple straight through optical one. At least this would have enabled you to frame your shot without having to turn the camera on every time.

On the front of the camera there is a rotary control ring around the lens. Because it is so close to the body of the camera it makes gripping it difficult which in turn (or lack of turn!) makes it almost useless.

On top there is a rotary wheel which switches between the usual program, aperture priority, shutter priority, manual and a few other modes. However these settings are restricted to still image use. For video recording there’s just a Record button right beside the main On Off  button (all too easy to press the wrong one) which starts the video recording process in a ‘take it or leave it’ style. No options to control aperture or shutter speed, so no control if you were videoing something fast moving or videoing in difficult lighting conditions.

The camera also come with wi-fi, however this has been very unreliable and a general pain to use. The software you have to install on your phone, tablet or what-ever is all right (I’ve a wi-fi enabled Panasonic GH3 camera and that’s never given me any real problems with the software) but getting this TZ60 to connect, stay connected, and then either controlling the camera or download images back to your device is terrible. Lost connections, limited availability of control functions and general unreliability makes it a time consuming frustration thing to use and not worth the effort.

As I now have this camera I shall keep it, it does after all take reasonable quality pictures, but I can’t recommend this camera to anyone as a worthwhile purchase.

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