Panasonic Lumix TZ202 review

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Prologue

For my hike over Brienzergrat (whole story here), I was looking for a super compact and lightweight camera. Lumix Switzerland sent me the Panasonic Lumix TZ202 (also known as TZ200 and ZS200 in other countries) for one month of testing. I had a lot of fun with it and found impressive sides, yet some negative features too.

This review is mostly an honest field test and reflects my experience with the camera. I do not have a laboratory to test out every pixel. Therefore, you will not read too much scientific stuff. For me, it is far more important how a camera feels and puts up in the outdoors.

Specs

  • Price: approx. €630
  • Weight: 340g
  • Size: 111 x 66 x 45 mm
  • Sensor: 1-inch MOS-Sensor
  • Aperture: F3,3 – 8,0 (@24mm), F6,4 – 8,0 (@360mm)
  • Resolution: 20MP RAW images
  • Zoom: 15x optical
  • Battery life: ~350 images
  • Burst: 10images/second
  • USB Chargeable
Panasonic Lumix TZ202 review

Handling

I was afraid that a camera this small would not be easy to operate. And of course, it is not as fast and intuitive to handle as the G9 for example. However, I was surprised how quickly I got the hang of it. It feels built solid and high quality. Like on all the new Lumix cameras, most of the buttons can be customized with a long press. I really love this. Everybody has a different photography style and needs different features. For example, I shoot exposure brackets a lot, so this feature goes to quick access on my camera. 

The TZ202 is a little wider and heavier than a smartphone, but it still fits in every pocket. Therefore, I mostly had it in the front pocket of my backpack. This way it is always and quickly accessible, even if you are roped up, climbing or on the run.

Panasonic Lumix TZ202 review

Display

The touch-display is almost as big as the camera, which is important to me as I shoot by using the display a lot. It is too bad the screen is fixed and cannot be tilted, so low angle shots are somehow complicated. In addition, if you’re into selfies, this might be a problem.

Burst

For sports images, I need a solid burst function, so we tested it on a trail running shooting, which is where the burst mode and focus speed shined. The camera shot 10 RAW images per second, for 30 images, and then it had a cool downtime for a couple of seconds to clear the buffer and saving the images to the SD-card. I found this to be enough for this purpose and ok for a camera of this size.

In addition, all images in this post are shot with autofocus. It has never let me down and was quick in good light, but it took some time in the twilight.

Panasonic Lumix TZ202 trail running

Trail running

Lumix TZ202 @50mm | ISO200 | F6.3 | 1/800"

Panasonic Lumix TZ202 review

Panasonic Lumix TZ202 trail running

Lumix TZ202 @33mm | ISO200 | F5 | 1/2000"

Image quality

I only shot RAW. Because there is no reason why you should shoot JPEG, you only lose a lot of image quality. Lightroom is easy to learn, and you will get so much better images if you shoot RAW.

The 1-inch sensor gave me good image quality up to ISO 800, and I even had some good low-light handheld shots at ISO 1600.

There is some noticeable noise at lower ISO too, but it can be corrected easily in Lightroom. I love post-processing, and I was truly impressed by how far I was able to push the RAW files, that was unexpected. Shadows could be recovered really well, so I went hardcore in photoshop on those two pictures from the glacier landscape. In addition, the sharpness in the image was good, although it felt a little softer on the edges and on higher zoom ranges. However, it is a 24-360mm lens, how could I complain?

Panasonic Lumix TZ202 review

Sharpness - uncropped

Lumix TZ202 @75mm | ISO400 | F6.4 | 1/1250"

Panasonic Lumix TZ202 review

Sharpness - cropped

Lumix TZ202 @75mm | ISO400 | F6.4 | 1/1250"

panasonic lumix tz202 review

Glacial landscape

Lumix TZ202 @24mm | ISO200 | F5.6 | 1/800"

panasonic lumix tz202 review

Glacial landscape

Lumix TZ202 @24mm | ISO200 | F5.6 | 1/1000"

Pros

  • Small
  • Lightweight
  • Massive zoom range
  • Impressive image quality
  • USB chargeable
  • RAW files can be pushed a lot

Cons

  • Fixed screen
  • Quality drops in low light

Who is this camera for?

The Lumix TZ202 is awesome as a travel camera for your next city trip or holidays. If you’re into alpine sports, like skiing, trail running, mountaineering or climbing, it will fit in your pocket without bothering too much, never missing those epic moments. The Image quality is really nice for a camera of this size, and you’ll get print quality in good light.

For bloggers or just for social media usage, this is, of course, a perfect fit as well.

For professional assignments where you need to be as fast as possible and where you need the best image quality possible, I would only have it with me as a backup though.

Panasonic Lumix TZ202 review

Ice cave

Lumix TZ202 @24mm | ISO800 | F3.3 | 1/50"

Conclusion

I wish I could keep it. For hiking or “behind the scenes” shots, this would be an awesome little helper for me. Set up, I was able to give it to friends or anyone to take pictures of me too.

Let me know in the comments if you have further questions, suggestions for the next post or criticism. Or contact me directly.

>> Link to the shop <<

Sample images gallery


Paedii

Paedii is a Swiss-based outdoor photographer. He focuses on vast landscapes and constantly improves his own photographic style.

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