Panasonic Lumix DMC-TZ30 at a glance:

  • 14.1 million effective pixels
  • 1/2.33in (6.16×4.62mm) sensor
  • 20x optical zoom (24-480mm equivalent)
  • ISO 100-3200 (1600-6400 High Sensitivity mode)
  • 5fps with continuous AF
  • Street price around £330

Travel cameras are designed to be pocked sized, and to provide the features needed to cover a wide range of situations. Panasonic’s Lumix TZ series is one of the market leaders and the DMC-TZ30 is the latest flagship model. It is an engineering feat to include a 20x optical zoom in a camera of this size, which is the sort of range normally reserved for larger bridge cameras, such as Panasonic’s Lumix DMC-FZ150 with its 24x optical zoom.

Camera designers must walk a fine line between producing models that have good image quality and offering the widest possible focal-length lens. The lens of a bridge camera is larger and packs more glass than a compact camera optic, and should result in sharper results. So can a compact camera such as the TZ30 really do a comparable job?

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