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My first ever digital camera was a Lumix and I loved it, I found it intuitive and it produced great photos compared to my film camera. Unfortunately it eventually got damaged and it was replaced. I was never that happy with its replacement so about 18 months ago we decided to upgrade our camera again. My husband wanted another Panasonic and my memories of my original Lumix were still very rosy so I agreed with him and he decided on the Lumix DMC-TZ6 even though it was over £230 at the time.
The camera arrived in a box with the battery, a battery charger and a Disc for the manual. I think there was probably also a wire to connect it to the computer to download the photos but I always load mine up through the SD card in the printer so I am not sure. The camera takes SD cards and I think it can also take SDHC but I have never tried one of these.
As soon as I saw the camera I took an instant dislike to it. It is black which I really dislike as I prefer silver or coloured cameras as I find them easier to spot in the depths of my handbag but I persuaded myself that colour wasn't important. I then picked the camera up and got another shock, it weighs a ton (well not quite a ton but at over 220g it felt heavy). I also thought the camera seemed bulky at 10cm x6cm x3.5cm at its deepest part. I have fairly small hand and I didn't feel it sat very comfortably when I held it but my husband found it much easier to hold than our previous, smaller, camera.
The battery and SD card are accessed through the base of the camera and the spring-loaded flap feels very robust and the lock never slides open by accident although it isn't stiff to use either. The base of the camera also has the tripod point which is nicely centred and the internal screw is of good quality metal and we have never had any problems with cross-threading the tripod.
The camera boasts 10megapixles and a 12x Optical Zoom so we were hoping to achieve some good shots and immediately started to get to grips with our new toy.
Turning the camera on is very simple, a slide switch on the top produces a reassuring whirr as the Leica Wide-Angle lens comes out of the front and the large display screen illuminates at the back. I really like the screen, it is 5.5cm x 4 cm and it is bright and clear. I have found it very easy to use except on the brightest of days when it becomes a little harder to see. However I do holiday a lot and have been to some hot, sunny places in the last 18 months and have probably only encountered a problem about half a dozen times. The screen displays the image of the photograph about to be taken and then the captured image for a few seconds; to view this image again there is another simple slide button.
Like most digital cameras the screen is also the location for a lot of information and it is where you can make most of the adjustments to the settings. All of the functions are accessed via the menus which are navigated by a set of directional silver buttons and a menu set key to the side of the screen. These keys also control things like the availability of the flash and the deletion of photographs. I find it useful to always have the display screen showing the information about the shooting mode but it is easy to cancel that and to just show the image or grid-lines if you prefer.
There are a lot of different menus depending upon the shooting mode that is selected but there is enough information or clear symbols to make them very self-explanatory and easy to change. I particularly like how quick and easy it is to swap between the different picture qualities as I take a lot of 3m pictures for review sites, eBay etc. as it is much quicker to load them but I prefer good quality photographs for my own use.
This camera has been heavily used for the last year and a half and the screen is still in excellent condition. It has not scratched at all and there are no rogue pixels or bright spots either. I do usually carry the camera in a case but sometimes it is just in my handbag or a drawer and it is still perfect.
Taking basic photographs with this camera is child's-play. There is a dial on the top which provides the various shooting modes. Selecting iA sets the camera into Intelligent Auto mode and it uses the setting that seems to be most appropriate for the photograph being taken. This setting uses Auto-focus, face Detection (including Red-eye reduction) and auto-exposure. I find that this gives very good results for the majority of pictures but sometimes it is preferable to have a bit more control.
The camera has what is called "Normal Picture" mode. I rarely use this as I can't see much benefit over the iA mode except that it does allow me to use a Forced Flash On, iA only gives the option of Auto Flash of Flash Off whereas occasionally I will want the flash on, maybe due to bright sunlight and shadows or odd rear lighting.
Manual setting allows more control of the camera, including changing exposure times. I must admit that my photography knowledge doesn't really extend as far as using some of the setting in this part although I do use the Burst Mode which allows the shutter to be held down and several photographs are taken in rapid succession. As a cycling fan I find this really useful when taking photographs of races as I can never be quite sure when the cyclist will appear around a corner behind their cars.
Scene Mode allows you to select a particular scene type and the camera then produces the setting s that will produce the best results. There are over 25 settings to choose from. The ones I have used most often are Sunset, Snow, Fireworks and Night Portrait. In general these have produced good results although they do require a steady hand due to the longer shutter speed. Although the camera does offer Image stabilisation these modes can still incur some camera shake if you are not really careful. Swapping between the scenes is really easy using the direction keys. Once you have selected a mode a small symbol appears on the screen to remind you what you have selected. There are a couple of special effect in this Mode as well including Black and White Film mode and Pinhole. I have tried these but I find it more effective to play around with the photos using software afterwards if I want so I don't bother with them now. There is a panorama assist mode, my husband has used this several times and produced some fantastic photographs and he says it is very easy but I haven' tried it.
The camera can take motion pictures and also records sound. I have used this a few times, particularly for Fireworks and parades at Walt Disney World. The results are passable but I have found them a bit grainy and they do use a lot of memory on the SD card and seem to cause problems when transferring them to my computer so it is not something that I have a lot of experience with.
The final feature on the dial is Clipboard. Unfortunately I have no idea what this is or how it works and I never read far enough through manual to find out.
After setting the required Mode the next job is to actually take the photograph. The operation button is next to the Mode dial which is ergonomically very convenient for me. Holding the slightly bulbous end of the camera and pressing the button can be done easily without too much force and little shake. The flash is located in front, just below this button but I do not find that it gets obstructed whilst pressing the shutter.
The zoom on the camera is operated by a dial that is located around the shutter button which means that you can easily adjust the zoom and then take the photograph without any significant movement of the finger. The zoom operation is very smooth. This is also used when using the Digital macro setting when trying to take close-up shots for extra detail. Although this claims a 12x optical zoom I have never been particularly impressed with the quality of the photos using the zoom. I have used cameras that have 10x zoom and their pictures have been much better than using 10x on this Lumix.
The lens is advertised as a Wide-angled lens. I am not sure that I have ever noticed any great difference between the area covered by my old camera and by this one but I may be doing something wrong!
Recharging the battery is a quick and simple process; the battery is removed and placed in the charger for a couple of hours. My first Lumix had a charging cradle which I found really convenient but unfortunately that wasn't the case for this one.
Overall this camera has proved to be solid and robust. Even the loop for attaching the strap is sleek and secure feeling. The whole camera feels like it is very good quality.
I have found the battery life very good. I love to take lots of photographs and use the flash a lot but it takes several hundred before it needs recharging. The controls are very simple to use and there are lots of options to help to capture the perfect photograph. The majority of the photographs that I have taken have been good but I have never been overly impressed, I don't think they are any better than the ones taken with the previous, much cheaper, camera that we owned. I feel that photographs taken in low-light levels are particularly poor in comparison. I think I disliked this camera on sight and although I use it and appreciate some of the features it has never been a favourite. I like my compact cameras to be light, compact and easy to slip into a pocket and this camera just doesn't tick these boxes. It is a good camera that does the job but I think I would prefer a larger Digital SLR or a smaller Compact camera rather than this bulky offering. I must say though that my husband loves it and finds it a great travelling companion so I think it is just me who has a problem with it.
When the time came to replace an aging point and shoot digital camera with something newer I spent many hours looking through various review sites and the Panasonic Lumix DMC-TZ6 seemed to be the best option. Fortunately, I managed to get a great deal via a camera shop trading on Ebay.
The camera itself feels like a quality item. It's just the right size and weight for my hands and it's perfect for slipping in a pocket for when you're out and about.
There are a number of different modes but I guess most people will leave it on Auto 99% of the time. Panasonic have tried their best to make Auto work in every situation and I must admit, they have done a great job. For portraits, landscapes, photos of children, action shots and most other situations the camera seems to know how to work at it's best to capture a great image. Of course, there are times when you do need a bit of control and the manual mode works well for this. I often use manual mode for when I'm taking photos for Ebay listings to make sure the brightness is just right as the auto setting often judges it wrongly due to the light backgrounds I use.
I haven't really used any of the other modes because these two seem to cover most situations with ease.
The zoom lens works very well and allows you to take some fantastic close-up photographs.
Battery life has proved to be exceptional. I've found I rarely have to charge it unless I'm out for a full weekend and take hundreds of photos.
Overall I'm delighted with my purchase and when the time comes to replace it I'll be looking for the newest version in the TZ range.
Having seen my friends camera, the TZ5, in action at a concert we went to I was very impressed by the quality of pictures, and more so the zoom, especially for a compact camera.
With a 12x optical zoom the TZ6 better than the TZ5 and provides a fantastic all round performance. The camera feels quality and has a large screen to view your pictures, but no viewfinder, which my parents said they would miss.
I got to grips with this camera mostly when we were on holiday in Sicily. Whilst at a concert there I used the video fuction for the first time and was impressed that you could zoom whilst shooting. This meant fantastic close ups of the band as well as being able to zoom out to the the overall atmosphere and fantastic surroundings at the foot of Mt Etna, and the sound quality was also fantastic.
The battery on this camera is also superb and on a holiday, where most people take a vast number of photos, it still didn't need charging every night.
There are a number of pre-defined settings if you want to take 'arty' shots however if its a point and shoot you are after the the Intelligent Auto setting may be the best for you.
Overall a superb camera which I'd reccommend to anyone who will listen.
I have been waiting on the Panasonic Lumix TZ6 to finally drop in price and guess what.. it has! So I am now the proud owner of one of these bad boys.
The camera is pretty much the same as it's bigger brother (the TZ7) but without features such as the larger screen and high definition video recording. I read some comments about the TZ7 screen being very prone to cracking due to the way it was manufactured so I stayed away from this and for the fact I don't require the high def recording.
The camera comes with a rechargable battery and mains charger. The battery life seems very good but I don't like the fact that you have to buy Panasonic batteries as other brands no longer work due to updated software which blocks the use of them.
The camera packs fantastic features like a wide angle lense and a 48x digital zoom. I have tried maxing out the zoom and it gets very tricky to control as the slightest movement throws you right off the target but very cool to have if you get a steady hand!
I can't wait to go on holiday soon and take some great snaps with it!
We bought the Panasonic Lumix DMC-TZ6 after our old canon digital camera broke. I was expecting our daughter and wanted a decent point and click camera with video function. The Panasonic fitted the bill.
It's very easy to use and the best bit is the intelligent auto which can recognize and focus in on faces and multiple objects in the frame. it will recognise baby faces as opposed to adults and adjust the shutter speed (I think to better capture a fast moving baby.)
The pictures are clear and crisp and the colour matching is excellent - very true to life. It's also very simple to use - important when you've just spent 9 hours in the delivery room!
When taking pictures of small children having a burst feature (where several shots are taken in short succession at the touch of the button) is invaluable and ensures that there are always at least a few shots that are decent and not just a blurry mess. And the beauty of digital is that you can delete the one's that you don't like without worrying about wasting film.
Whilst I like the point and click-ness of it, my husband has got to grips with many more of the features which allow you to take very impressive looking pictures in a variety of settings.
The battery life is good too, even when using the flash. We've not used the video function much so can't really comment on it yet although the few bits we have taken seem fine for what it is - don't expect it to be up to video camera quality but for short bits of video it seems fine.
This really is a classy little camera. Sleek looking, quality lens and plenty of features.
I normally take my photos on a digital SLR - which cost over 3 times the price of this little beauty, but I like to carry a camera around with me whenever possible (on a walking or bike trip) so lugging a huge SLR with all of its lenses isn't really feasible. OK so this Lumix isn't as versatile as an SLR - there are no out-and-out manual settings on it, but it does allow you to have some forms of override and its compactness, small weight and quality of lens make up for this.
The quality of the pictures I have taken on it so far - whether at 25mm or 300mm have been quite stunning. The full range of the zoom (12x) has been used to take photos of flora and fauna. If you WANT to you can even get it to zoom in further (up to 21.4 times - that's the equivalent of over 500mm lens - though the quality does suffer).
The Leica lens is really crisp for a small camera such as this. Just over 10mega-pixels may be less than some of its rivals but the quality of the lens shines through and is plenty for really crisp shots. I've taken pictures of architecture, landscape, animals, flowers and portraits of people and been mightily impressed with all of these.
The first setting on the dial is "Intelligent Auto" which allows the camera to decide the best aperture/shutter-speed combination for each shot. I've set this and been more than happy with the results.
"I already have a Nikon digital SLR but bought a Lumix two years ago on the strength of the Leica lens, and the fact it was so compact. I have not been disappointed. Wow I am amazed at the Excellent picture quality, easy to use, and looks a lot more expensive than it actually was !
The picture quality is almost on a par with my Nikon, but because it's so compact and so easy to use, it goes everywhere in my pocket!! So I recently bought this 10 megapixel version for work because my own one has been so good! And this one is even better, especially with the internal 50mb memory.
This camera is so slim you can put it in your pocket and the rechargeable battery lasts for ages. You get a nice big screen and good picture quality and many features easy to use. Great internal memory, a whole 50mb. Not bad at all if you ask me
The camera itself is quite sturdy and oozes with sophistication. the photo enhancing software was relatively poor."
Image stabilisation doesn't always work, got a few shots with camera shake. Also if using the auto function it can take a few seconds to focus the image when multiple objects/faces involved.
Still very happy with my purchase"
Ease of use:
easy to operate and convenient camera.
Supplied with software that is easy to install and retrieve pictures from the camera.
The TZ6 is a brilliant camera for those long range pictures you want as the 12x zoom is amazing and has a 25mm ultra wide angled lens so any scenary shots look great. Like all Panasonics they have kept the camera simple to use with thie iA mode that pretty much does everything for you, altering the scene mode, colours, iso and even will do the flash. The body is kept as slim as possible even though it has a hefty lens on it. The quality of the images it produces are fantastic for a consumer camera. Although it is only classed a compact consumer camera you don't need the manual mode, shutter priorty or aperature priority as it's more affordable than it's rivals and until the end of the month comes with a free 3 year warranty in selected retailers is a brilliant extra. You can connect the camera straight to the TV with the AV leads provided and if you thought the pictures look good on the screen of the camera, wait till they're blown up on the TV, it's amazing the detail it captures. There is also the AF tracking which is great for capture high speed subject like people running, vehicles, kids jumping up and down. It will even take video with sound!! The only down side I had about this was the dial on the top of the camera to change the mode, it is quite loose and if it isn't fully on an icon the camera bring up an error message which can be annoying. On the whole though for the features and short-term promotion it is a very good camera.
I purchased the TZ6 in Florida as my cousin over there has the TZ5 which i was very impressed with, so i went ahead and bought the TZ6. This is a fantastic piece of kit and it looks fantastic. the battery life is great and come with the charger(much better then replacing batterys) The camera takes brilliant photos in a whole range of conditions day or night, it is packed full of features and i find the 'iA' mode fantastic this automatically realises what kind of photo you are taking and what the current conditions are and automatically adjust all the settings to suit the picture you are trying to take, obviously there are other modes in which you can customize your settings, this is a great camera for the complete beginner like myself because of the iA feature and i would imagine it is also great for the expert with all the different features that can be customized...... this is a fantastic camera
I recently spent a lot of time researching the Panasonic TZ6 before I purchased it, comparing it with other cameras in it's class, as I needed a new camera and I'm a fairly casual amateur photographer; I like to get out and about hiking, mountain biking, and take plenty of pictures. I'm lucky enough to live in a very scenic part of England, right by the coastline, and there is plenty to capture at any time of year. I needed a good zoom and wide angle for all those landscape shots, and according to the reviews, the TZ6 seemed to be the best all round (or at least, the most consistently recommended). The first positive thing about the TZ6, for me, is the remarkably good quality optical - and, amazingly, digital zoom. The TZ6 is the first digital camera I would recommend as having a very good digital zoom (for those who don't know, optical zoom is always what you want to go for over and above a digital zoom - the digital quality is usually awful). I've managed to take a few clear, printable pitures at full zoom (around 30x) and nearly always between 12-25. 12x is perfect. I tested it on a very snowy afternoon, and the lighting was a bit low - I also switched off the flash as it seemed to be going off all the time (but that was most likley due to the conditions outside). Pictures are crisp and clear, and the Macro mode (used when you want to zoom in very close to a subject... it will usually blur out the background and focus on what's in shot) is very good. This is the fifth or sixth digital camera I have owned, and it's head and shoulders above the rest - I purchased it specifically for the wide angle and zoom, and they both perform brilliantly. It's very difficult to fault the TZ6 - if you're anything like me, not exactly a fully fledged amateur photographer, but more than an occasional snapper, I would highly recommend the TZ6. The cons? That's a tough one... the battery compartment is flimsy, but don't let that create an impression in your mind that it'll be popping open every five minutes; it's secure, just not as sturdy as it could be. The flash seems to be necessary for everything other than a perfectly clear day, but that's maybe a harsh assessment as I am testing it in the middle of winter. Oh, and Panasonic have been very sly when it comes to replacement or spare batteries. They released firmware which means you can't use anything but official Panasonic batteries with the camera - usually coming in at a hefty £40 however, a company called Inov8 have produced batteries which are now compatible with the new firmware, and are half the price. I haven't used the video function, but then again, I think the whole upgrade to HD, stereo etc in a digital camera is a bit of a con anyway. In terms of taking photographs, this is as good as you will get within an affordable price range, before taking a step up to DSLR.
This is an absolutely superb camera. It does everything, its many settings allow you to choose the best setting for certain items and has a very neat feature for pets and babies. You can input their date of birth and then whenever you take a picture of them it will say how old they were when it was taken. The best feature, however, is probably the Intelligent Auto mode, this means you can just point and click, the camera will do all the focusing and other technical bits leaving you to concentrate on taking the perfect shot. It has more than enough zoom for most people and even a load of digital zoom. In conclusion an absolutely superb all-round camera that is easily carried every the best of a travel camera with the sophistication of a SLR camera. however I must say that the lens easily gets dirty so a case would be advised.
The Panasonic Lumix TZ6 is a great little camera that I have used to compliment my large DSLR (a Nikon D90 I have also reviewed), which is too big and expensive to be taken everywhere.
The TZ6 is compact camera with 10.1 MP, which is plenty of pixels for all but the larger prints and harshest crops. This means that in normal conditions there will never be pixelation, in fact too many megapixels squashed onto a sensor can actually reduce the image quality. The most important feature of this camera is the 12x zoom, 25mm wide angle, Leica lens. Leica is a quality brand, and this lens is no exception, it produces quality images and the lens slides out of the camera quickly and smoothly. There is no lens cap, but slide across covers, as in most other digital compacts.
For such a versatile camera, it is extremely compact at 2.35" x 4.07" x 1.29" and weighing only about 0.45 lbs - it is basically a lens attached to an LCD screen. This size is very useful as it can be easily kept in a small bag or coat pocket,and is robust enough to be carried around all day, so you never miss a shot. The 2.7 inch LCD screen is large enough to browse pictures and bright enough to easily compose images.There are some disadvantages to this small size as the camera does not have space for a viewfinder, which can be difficult in very bright conditions, but actually does not really bother me. The other aspect of the design that could be improved is the buttons - they are very small, and even though this camera is very compact, there is plenty of room for bigger buttons that would be easier to use.
Ease of Use
This camera is very easy to use as everything can be set to automatic, there is a simple on off switch and a camera / playback mode switch along with a standard dial to select for different modes. The dial allows you to select auto mode, movie mode, scene mode (where you choose and appropriate scene from the menu), my scene mode and intelligent auto. I ave never actually used the 'my scene' mode, but it allows your to preset some setting and then quickly access them without having to go through menus. The mode I use most of the time is intelligent auto, this mode lets the camera decide which scene mode is appropriate, automatically switching between scene like portrait, landscape and macro. The camera actually shows you a little symbol for the mode it has chosen in the corner of the screen so you can go into a different mode if you disagree, but I haven't had to do this.
There are very few other 12 x zoom compacts (I can only think of the Canon PowerShot SX200 IS), so the Panasonic Lumix TZ range pretty much has the market to itself. The TZ6 has the advantage over the TZ5 with and extra 1 megapixel and 2 x zoom, as well as a slightly different styling. As far as I have seen the TZ6 is not that much more expensive than the TZ5, so I found it worth getting the newer model. The TZ7 is the most recent release in the series and is almost exactly the same as the TZ6 both with 10.1 MP and 12x zoom - having seen them together in a shop, they look like carbon copies. The main difference on the TZ7 is the new HD movie mode, which is a feature I would like, but I can't justify spending a significant amount extra for this one feature, as still image quality is the most important aspect for me. The only other improvement I can find on theTZ7isaslightly better LCD screen, but I don't think this is worth shelling out for.
There are many cheaper digital compacts on the market, but not with the amazing image quality and zoom of the Panasonic TZ range. If movie mode is not particularly important to you, I think that the TZ6 (with image quality equal to the latest model) is the best compromise between price and features.
I always find it a little strange when a company releases two similar models at the same time, especially when the price difference is only around £40. The Panasonic Lumix TZ6 and TZ7 are similar stable-mates, with the TZ7 being the superior of the two.
Having said that, the extra features of the TZ7 are things I can quite comfortably live without, such as the superior video capability with stereo sound, an HDMI output, and the ability of the camera to recognise up to 15 of your friends when they appear in a picture. Why would I want that? I don't have 15 friends - and even if I did, I'm sure I could remember them myself!
The TZ6 is aimed at people who want to take nice pictures but don't really want to know how those pictures are achieved. Almost everything is designed to be automatic and intuitive, and there is some pretty impressive processing that takes place to make this possible.
Priced at around £250, it may be a little too much for the beginners out there, no matter how good it performs.
The metal body gives the Lumix TZ6 a robust feel that some plastic-bodied cameras don't have but of course this adds to its weight, which is a full half a pound in old money, compared to the 6.2oz of a Fuji FinePix F200EXR. Even so, it is not going to break your arm.
The body is sleak, if a little deeper than some of its competitors, and I particularly like cameras with the slimline flash unit. Of course, most of the front of the camera is taken up by the lens, which does look disproportionately large to me.
The controls on the top and back of the camera are quite minimalistic and this reflects the user-friendliness that you would expect from a Lumix.
All buttons and dials are sturdy enough - although the zoom bezel around the shutter button does feel a little limp when in operation.
The Lumix TZ6 is available in either black or silver, both of which look very smart. I have seen a blue one but I'm pretty sure that one is only available in the USA.
The Lumix TZ6 can accommodate both SD and SDHC cards - neither of which are supplied with the camera - and it has its own 40MB internal memory - which is pretty typical for a camera of this kind - allowing you to store a few shots while you wait for your memory card to arrive.
The manual advises that SDHC cards up to 32GB can be used - which the average human would struggle to fill up in a lifetime!
The strength of the current Lumix range is in their Intelligent Auto system which handles most of the decisions for you, controlling exposure, scene selection, and pretty much everything else. As an SLR fan, I find this quite frustrating and I hate having to delve into the menus just to get a little bit of human control over the camera's settings. Of course, what it does, it does really well, but I find myself thinking "can I have a go".
The mode selection dial allows you to choose between the following settings:
<i>Intelligent Auto</i> - The camera employs Automatic Scene Detection, Intelligent ISO, Intelligent Exposure and Backlight Compensation. User can still control Picture Size, Continuous Shooting and Colour Mode
<i>Normal Picture</i> - User has control over ISO, White Balance, Auto-focus mode, metering, Intelligent Exposure, minimum shutter speed and image stabilization
<i>My SCN</i> - Allows storage of commonly used scenes
<i>SCN</i> - Allows selection of any of the 27 preset scenes
<i>Motion Picture</i> - Video recording (allows zoom during recording)
<i>Clipboard</i> - Allows the user to store "memos" or "reference pictures" in a clipboard folder of the camera's memory. I haven't worked out why this is different from taking a picture and deleting it when you don't want it anymore! Maybe it is all about being able to find them easier?
Various resolutions are available between 10mp (3648x2736 in 4:3) and 0.3mp (640x480 in 4:3), 4:3, 3:2 and 16:9 aspect ratios and Fine or Standard quality options. Picture capacity ranges from around 7 to around 320 (depending on resolution) for the built-in memory, and around 5500 to around 198000 (depending on resolution) for a 32GB SDHC card. Picture format is JPEG (no RAW option) and videos are stored as Quicktime files.
Shutter speeds are quoted in the user manual as 1/2000th - 8 seconds and there are few modes where the user has control over it. The Fireworks scene allows the choice between 1/4 sec and 2 secs and the Starry Night scene gives three further options of 15, 30 and 60 seconds.
ISO settings are Auto, 100, 200, 400, 800 and 1600 (1600 - 6400 in High Sens scene)
The Lumix TZ6 has an orientation sensor that can determine whether the image was takin in portrait or landscape orientation. This has been standard feature of SLRs for a while now and it is nice to see it appearing on compact cameras.
Auto-focus tracking is a nice feature that enables the camera's focus to follow a subject once set. Continuous AF, Quick AF and Macro Focusing are also available.
2 second or 10 second self-timer.
The Record/Playback slider allows you to fire up the camera and view stored images without the lens bursting into life. This is something many compact zooms don't have.
The menu system is easy to read and easy to navigate, and there is a Quick Menu button on the back that gives access to many of the commonly used functions and settings. The Playback menu also allows the user to add text tags to the their pictures and edit the image title.
Battery life is quoted as c.320 images
I haven't been using this camera long so from the outset I cannot talk about reliability or robustness.
I originally looked at the TZ7 model which is the top of the range however I decided I could not justify the extra cost, heck this camera is regarded as one of the best compacts around anyway!
Upon opening the box the first thing I noticed was the camera is quite heavy and a bit larger than a typical compact, however, this is due to the absolutely fantastic 12x optical zoom and to be honest the camera is very small relative to housing such good zooom capabilities.
The camera has 6 different mode settings, automatic, manual, MS, scene, movie and clipboard. The automatic mode uses the onboard software to intelligently decide the optimal settings for the picture and boy does it work! It takes an absolutely fantastic photo! The manual options are available should you wish to fully customise the settings, I tend not to bother with this unless setting is up for continuous burst shot with super fast shutter speed. The MS mode is just the same as the preselected scenes however you can customise them the way you wish. The automatic mode also has face recognition software to emphasise the focussing on the target within a photo and also has clever software that defines the most important features of the foreground and background to take focus sharply and take a simply stunning photo.
The TZ6 also has a very powerful flash, powerful enough to light up and indoor room for a good photograph. The software sets the white balance well (assuming automatic mode) and you end up with no photos that are too bright!
The movie recording is of extremely good quality in my opinion for a compact digi camera! It's not camcorder clear but it is very good and allows 15 minutes of recording at a time.
I am using the camera with a 8GB SDHC card and would recommend the SDHC technology as it is faster. This card can hold a whopping 1350ish photos when empty and a fair whack of movie recording! With this class 2 card the time taken for the camera to store data to it is incredibly fast, there's almost no delay.
I have not used the software that came with the camera as I just stick the SD card in the laptop and copy photos this way. Included in the box is a battery charger and a cable to connect to a television as well as the neccessary rather large manual, I'm still working my way through this!
This camera is in my opinion one of the best digital cameras around the £200 price bracket.