Panasonic Lumix DMC-TZ5K for a beginner?


TPF Noob!
Mar 21, 2009
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New member, new to digital photography. I'd like to find an intuitively useful camera for under 200 USD. My priorities are ease of use, dependability, and image quality (color accuracy and definition). I'm not interested at all in "bells and whistles". I've read a couple of days worth of reviews and this looks like a very good deal....
On Time Digital
May I ask in these fori/forums/fora if ontimedigital is a trustworthy source? I hate to have 'you get what you pay for' ringing in my ears after getting burned online. It has happened before. But sometimes, a good deal is, after all, a good deal... after all.

Otherwise, any comment on the camera itself?

Thanks so much for any comment.

That's a great camera for a beginner, and Panasonic cameras have awesome zoom ranges...
One of the things I seem unable to get clear is what possible compromise is presented by the wide angle capability. I anticipate needing a camera for close up (macro?) shots of things like fine machinery, electronic circuit boards, and close up images of tig welding work. I noticed that this camera has options for magnetically attached lenses. Am I limiting my ability to do macro work with such a camera?
I would personally say a D40 with a 60 micro, if you want to take photos outside of work.
The TZ5 is a great camera; is NOT at all a reputable camera dealer. check out before buying, or just find one on (or even ebay would be better than a bait & switch operation like ontimedigital). You can do macro work with the TZ5. I don't own that camera but I helped a friend of the family buy one and I used it for a week before handing it over. Panasonics I personally have owned include a FZ7, an FX35 and an FX55. The FZ7 is old and doesn't have a wide angle lens, but it has incredible zoom and it is great in low light situations. It also has manual settings. It is a little bulky for a non-dslr though. I'd recommend looking into one of the newer versions of the FZ if you are interested in a superzoom, like the FZ8 or FZ18. The FX35 doesn't have a long zoom, but it is very wide at 25mm, and it is a faster lens than the the one on the TZ5. The FX55 is a lot like the FX35 but it's not quite as wide (28mm) but has a bigger screen (3 inch, like on the TZ5). It is also older than the FX35 (more similar to the older FX33) and I have noticed the FX35 had a much better interface and smarter iA mode. The FX models don't have manual settings for shutter speed or aperture, but they do have scene modes and the iA (intelligent auto) setting is very good, especially on the FX35 (and probably the newer FX37, which has a longer zoom yet still starts at 25mm). Unfortunately, I let my sister have the FX35 when her old camera started acting up, but at least she has been using it more than I was and she even has the whole wide angle shot thing down for the most part (assumingly without even reading about wide angle techniques).
I have nothing but praise for my FZ20PP. It was my introduction to the more versatile digitals. I've yet to find it necessary to 'graduate' to a full DSLR, though the price of the better ones and their associated lenses is not a barrier for me.

Tip: These rigs have more features than a politician has excuses. At first the options available to you will be overwhelming. The instruction book will read like Sanskrit. Do not fear. First learn how to get the camera working in an 'automatic' non-manual mode and start taking pictures. Then, set yourself the goal of learning one (1) new feature every week. Shoot enough pictures with each newly-learned option to fix it in your mental 'tool kit'. With time and patience, you'll come to know the rig like an old friend.

[And don't forget to figure in the additional cost of spare chips and batteries.]
I've read a couple of days worth of reviews and this looks like a very good deal....
On Time Digital


On Time Digital - - Reviews, Ratings and Prices at ResellerRatings

They are crooks and their prices are bogus. Do NOT, under any circustances, get drawn into their scam by their deceptively low prices.

Stick to retailers with a good reputation., B&H and my personal favorite Adorama. There are others, but you'll be hard pressed to top the prices or service from these dealers.

It would seem $240 is a realistic price for the camera.

[ame=] Panasonic Lumix DMC-TZ5S 9MP Digital Camera with 10x Wide Angle MEGA Optical Image Stabilized Zoom (Silver): Electronics[/ame]
I always get a kick out of looking through On Time Digital's "deals" lists.

Check this out.

A 1Ds Mark III ($7000 camera) for only $4k!!! And check out their "pro package".


Notice the inclusion of the EF-S 17-85mm lens? First, this isn't a professional quality lens. Second, putting that on the 1Ds and hitting the shutter release will destroy the camera.

Not to worry though. If you actually ordered this camera you wouldn't get it anyway so you would run no risk of destroying your new toy.
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Damn, it's so hard to make decisions sometimes on a strict budget. Even if 'you get what you pay for' isn't generally true, 'if it looks too good to be true' is generally a good guide. Like I mentioned, I put a bit of research into this and came up with a choice, and then discovered it for under 200USD. I'm a little embarrassed that I didn't look into some web complaints on that company. I usually do that. Wishful thinking will get you trouble that way. I got lucky with this laptop i'm on. Went shopping for the best CAD capable laptop for 1000 dollars and I found a fully equipped HP 8510w (wsxga screen, 7200rpm harddrive, dual core Intel processor, discrete Nvidia graphics for 1100 dollars at PC connection. I estimate my needs for a camera are pretty much within the 200 dollar range based on what I've seen out there. While Canon and Panasonic seem comparable, of the couple of hundred reviews and user comments I've read, I've gravitated toward the Panasonic/Lumix. Last photograpy i did with any regularity was with an Olympus OM10, but it's been about 15 years. I'll never do professional photography, and I find, at fifty, less and less enthusiasm for face recognition, full fledged image processing software and file manipulation, blink recognition, et al... A certain amount of these 'distractions' are going to be included in any digital camera I purchase, but I put no premium on them at all. Just the best color quality and image accuracy in a simple to use product for under 200USD. Are any of the Panasonic units mentioned above in my reach? I'm in the process of looking them up right now. Thanks for all the feedback. Wow. OnTimeDigital sounds like a real internet black hole. Thanks for the heads-up.
Maybe I can be more to the point. Thanks for your patience so far. This page shows the lineup. Lumix Cameras and more digital cameras from Panasonic Basically ranging from 120USD to 500USD for the fixed lens models I'm interested in. Between 8 and 14 megapixel, but 8 is more than adequate for my needs. So the range is 120USD to 350USD. There are some 10megapixel in this price range as well. What I cannot understand on spec alone is where the sweet spot might be (without regard to 'features') in image quality. In the range I'm talking about, will the quality of the photo essentially be the same within this range? Are there any real 'lemons' in this bunch? Can I rest somewhat easy simply ordering the IPCDMCLZ10BK from Adorama since 158.95 is right where I'd like to be and trying to compare all of these apples, oranges, and other such is only going to drive me nuts?
I have a TZ5 as a carry around P&S to keep with me everyday. It is an ok camera and it keeps me happy. On the other hand, you should consider an entry level DSLR or high end P&S (G9 or G10). They are geared more for someone who is interested in learning photography.

There are many better options in your price range....
Don't be embarrassed, I'm just glad you asked before you ordered something from them! :)
Can anyone comment on the image quiality stigma that has attached to Lumix cameras generally. Is it just me, or do they seem to suffer, across the model lineup, against others in 90 percent of user reviews and professional reviews when it comes down to image quality. Damn. I like every other aspect of these cameras, but that just keeps me wary. The the image data that you end up with on the card is the whole point of the exercise, no? Where is the best nuts and bolts image quality to be had for under 250USD? Fujifilm, Nikon, Canon?

Fujifilm J250 ? 200USD at reputable dealers. No reviews yet but it's lineage suggests a high priority on image quality. How soon can one expect reviews on cameras once they're "on the shelves"?

I am interested in learning photograpy, but only to a point. I don't wish to invest a great deal of money in accessories or multiple platforms. I want something that I can carry easily while travelling, even if that means toting it in a jacket pocket. Even with the PS (non dslr) lower end models, there is considerable room for 'learning'. I'm most interested in having the best in class image quality (among these small cameras) that captures the most accurate information for anything further I might wish to do with the image on my computer later on.
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