Panasonic Lumix TZ40 – bringing wi-fi to Panasonic’s 20x zoom compact camera
Panasonic TZ40 – what is it?
The TZ40 (known as the ZS30 in the US) is an all-rounder compact, following on from the previous TZ30. Like its predecessor, it has auto and manual modes, GPS and a 20x optical zoom. However, the new TZ40 increases the megapixel count from 14.1 to 18.1 megapixels and adds wi-fi connectivity and ‘near field communication’ (NFC) to its features list. It’s due to launch in the spring and expected to cost around £180 based on the US price.
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The following is not a review, but our first impressions of the product based on a short time using it. Pricing and availability is tentative and subject to change.
Panasonic TZ40 – what are the key features?
- Manual and auto modes – You can use the TZ40 as a point and shoot in Auto mode, or switch to manual or shutter and aperture priority modes to get creative at the turn of the mode dial.
- Connectivity – Wi-fi and Near Field Communication (NFC) features mean you can share and upload photos wirelessly and control the shutter release using a smartphone app if you want to be part of a group shot.
- Big zoom and wide angle – As with the previous TZ30, the TZ40 has a 20x optical zoom and its Leica lens starts from a wide angle of 24mm – about as wide as you’ll get on a compact – which is great for landscape shots.
This is a compact for any situation. The existing Canon Powershot SX260HS is a natural competitor, offering a similar zoom range and GPS at only around £40 less than the TZ40′s expected price, but the inclusion of wi-fi on the TZ40 gives it a little lift above the competition and will make uploading photos easy without having to seek out a cable.
The introduction of NFC (near field communication) into this particular model should also make it easy to share shots with other devices and not just your own but with friends too, just by touching the camera up to a compatible smartphone or tablet. The TZ40 also has a touchscreen, which is handy for selecting focus points, but for most tasks you’ll use the buttons and dials.
If you’re looking for a versatile compact camera this one is likely to be on your short list. If you don’t need (or want) a touchscreen, wi-fi or NFC, the trimmed down TZ35 will be worth a look, launching at a similar time and expected to cost around £125 based on the US price.
Katie Waller, Technology researcher
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