I am always after the perfect camera for travel photography. I love my present camera, Nikon D610, however I can definitely see some drawbacks. I had the possibility to do a Panasonic TZ110 review and I had a great time.
There are already websites that do extensive reviews with all the technical tests, graphs and much more and this is great. My reviews are more down to the essentials, dedicated to the everyday users, the city explorers and the travellers. Basically down to earth with few photography notions that I like to introduce for anyone’s benefit.
Table of Contents
I am usually a fan of the Lumix cameras and I was quite excited to have the possibility to do a review of the Panasonic TZ110. I am not sure why but this camera has 3 different names: ZS100 for US, TZ100 for UK/Europe and TZ110 for Australia. It would be interesting to understand what drove the different naming convention
I should start saying that I am not a great fan of the point and shoot cameras. I prefer to take a mirrorless or DSLR on my trips with 2, maybe 3 lenses. I have tested a few in the last few years and you can see some great finding in this post with the best cameras for travelling updated on a monthly basis.
Admittedly I have to change idea with these last few cameras that are coming out in the market. And the Panasoic TZ110, as well as the Lumix LX10, is one that on paper was promising to deliver a lot. You may also have a look here to other similar compact cameras in the same segment with a comparative table and final suggestions.
Let’s see what I found out about the TZ110
Panasonic TZ110 sensor
The size of the sensor was probably the biggest concern I had about the compact cameras.
Why is that?
The sensor size determines how much light the camera uses to build your image. The bigger the more light it receives which translates in more information and higher quality of photos.
I usually like at this point to compare the light in the camera to the light in a room. If you leave the blinds wide open your eyes can see everything, the more you close the blinds the harder it gets to see things and your eyes goes from a clear picture to a noisy picture till it is so dark that you see just shapes.
The light is the friend of our eyes……and of our camera sensor too!! The bigger the sensor the more light will receive, as easy as that.
You can have a 100 megapixel camera however if the sensor is tiny, the quality of the photo will be not that good. As an extreme example, you may still remember the image quality of the first Nokia phone cameras, not very good hey.
The typical point and shoot have a sensor size of 1/1.7″ (7.60 x 5.70 = 43.32mm2) or 1/2.3″ (6.17 x 4.55 = 28.07mm2). Just to have an idea with the mobile world, the Iphone 6 camera has a sensor size of 1/3″ and the one in the new Samsung S7, although bigger, it is still 1/2.6″.
There is much more than just the sensor size in a camera, however we can say it gives an indication of the photo quality.
The Panasonic TZ110 has gone big. It provides a nice 1″ sensor (12.8m x 9.60m = 120.96mm2) which is 3, if not 4, times bigger than most of today’s point and shoot in the market, at a very high resolution of 20MP
The Panasonic TZ110 is not however the only one in the market. I may mention the Sony Cyber-shot DSC-RX100 as an example. Competition is there, which is great for us, customers, as we get better products at better prices.
The importance of the sensor size becomes even bigger when you shoot in the dark, or at night, when usually the light is already poor by itself. It is indeed less noticeable in very good light conditions.
The bigger sensors have however a drawback……..size. It may be laughable, because this is what we are after, however the bigger they are the heavier they become. They also need bigger lenses too.
Another drawback is also the cost, more expensive.
I had a test with the Panasonic TZ110 and another Lumix compact camera, the TZ80, with smaller sensor and I could see the difference in the end result. Again, if you think about putting your photos just on-line or print them in small format, probably the sensor is not a driving decision factor
That zoom 25-250 or 10x
Considering the specific needs for travelling I think that the 25-250 range is all we need. I would have loved to have maybe more on the wide angle side than on the long zoom side, but that really would have been the cherry on top.
We need to consider that the real focal length, on the wide side, is actually 9.1mm (see specs below for more info) however, due to the sensor size of 1″, this is equivalent to 25mm on a full frame camera.
I remind that a 50mm lens is considered to be the “standard” lens because it is the closest to the human field of vision which is actually 43mm
Beside that, I really believe that during my travel and city exploration, having a zoom of this size would cover 95% of my needs. I left the 5% for some interior photography where a wider angle would be a plus.
The zoom at 250 is just amazing. You can use the Panazonic TZ110 in the city, where you can take some shots from really far away (architectural photos are an example).
I was at the Taronga Zoo in Dubbo (Australia), a massive open air zoo. This nice super zoom helped me to capture some interesting photos. Definitely happy with it.
Just one suggestion, that applies to any zoom lens. Try to use it more in the middle that to the extreme values. Any lens, when wide open tend to have a bit of distortion and the photo may not look as sharp as in the middle range of the zoom (in this case at 100-150mm)
Using the view finder on the Panasonic TZ110
I love using the viewfinder when making photos. The main reason is that it isolates my eye from the environment around me. I just concentrate on the composition.
The Panasonic TZ110 has a built-in one, which is great, although a small one (0.2″). Maybe it’s just me that I am used to a much bigger one however a bigger size would have helped I believe.
One feature that I did like was the automatic eye detection that switches on/off the monitor on the back (3″ touch screen)
4K video and photo mode
Although I do few videos, this is not my field of expertise. I therefore preferred to check only the Panasonic TZ110 4k shooting feature that allows to capture a 8M photo from a 4k video. If you have an Iphone 6S you already know what I am talking about. Basically you make a video and you select only the frame you want.
I did a couple of tests with exactly the same results as I had when I reviewed the Panasonic Lumix DMC-GX8. Just brilliant. I really suggest to read that review to have a 360 degrees view of this feature.
When would I use this 4K Photo mode?
Surely in any sport shooting, to capture the right moment. Also for kids photography is perfect, they are so unpredictable in the way they move. Honestly whenever you feel you are going to miss the moment, like in a big storm.
Panasonic Lumix post focus
If the 4K Photo Mode is a concept connected to the Shutter Speed mode, the Post Focus is a feature connected to the Aperture mode. It allows to create in-camera that nice depth of field post-production.
My personal suggestion is always to shoot what you would like in camera with the perfect setting. In this way you spend less time in post-production (photoshop and the likes) and more time with the camera.
In saying that, it’s not always that easy and having an in-camera software that allow me to control the depth of field is just great.
How does the Panasonic Post focus work?
Essentially it is a focus bracketing function. Using the 4 Video, the camera takes as many pictures as needed with different focus points. Once the photo is done you can select which subject you want to focus on.
Does the post focus work on the Panasonic TZ110?
Not every time in an effective way. When the objects in the photo are in a very close proximity the post focus function is “ok” however I was not able to have that depth of field I could achieve with the correct setting of the camera (f/2.8 as a start). It may be just me
When the objects are far away the post focus works great.
The photo is also cropped and the resolution is down to 8Mp.
The last thing I noticed is that with moving objects the focus point does not work. I will have to go back to Panasonic asking if my setting is not correct.
I felt in love for the 4K photo mode, I can’t say the same for the post focus function, however it is definitely a great start, especially because it is in-camera function.
Dimension and weight
Do not expect the super light tiny compact camera. There are 2 main reasons:  the big sensor we talked about  the big zoom lens (read glass)
The body is 312g and the dimension is 65mm x 111mm x 44mm.
I personally rather prefer to take with me few grams more, and we are talking about 50-100 more, but have a better overall photo-quality experience.
If you prefer to go light I think you need to look to a smaller sensor and zoom range ….. compromise compromise 😀
Panasonic TZ110 and the weather
I reckon that this camera was built by Panasonic thinking to the more demanding amateur travel photographers. It covers that gap between the entry level compact camera and the DSLR.
To my surprise this camera has not environmental sealing.
Something more on the Panasonic TZ110
This is a list of small things that I did like straight away on this camera:
- Function buttons: there are 4 of them, of which 2 assigned to 4K and Post Focus. I love these buttons. I usually use them on my DSLR for some unique environment, or type of photography, that all have a similar exposure. In this way I do not need to look for the correct setting everytime, it’s already there (markets, panning, etc)
- The presence of 2 dials, the first one for the manual/automatic setting and the second dial to change the values within the setting. This is quite typical of the professional cameras. Learning to use the camera in this way can only be beneficial for any future development in the photography life
- Battery charger: this is the great news. There is none. The battery is interchangeable (you can have spare ones) however the charger is integrated in the camera, you just need to connect your USB cable to the provided AC adaptor or to your computer, something less to transport in your trip
- Wi-Fi and NFC available to connect your camera directly to your mobile or computer. There is also an in-camera RAW conversion which is perfect if you want to transfer your photos to the mobile
- Panasonic Image-App for Android and for Apple. They are both great to control you camera, even as a remote shutter release, or just for photo download
In my opinion the TZ110 covers a segment which is growing very very fast, the high end compact cameras. I have organised a full guide with The best Compact Cameras for Travel if you are still unsure about the model.
As I wrote many times in this blog, the weight and size of my DSLR is most definitely a concern in some situations. That is why I am testing other cameras as the mirror less Panasonic GX8.
If you are after an easy camera to take always with you and still have great prints or books out of it, I would definitely suggest the Panasonic TZ110. In this respect it is a hot camera, I believe, one of the best in the market.
There is however a price to pay for that (check the last price of the ZS100 in USA or the last TZ110 price in Australia). It could be pretty steep for your first camera however you get a lot out of it.
At that price range you start seeing some of the amateur DSLR. Should I go for that instead? Great question. Are you willing to transport it, change lenses etc etc? If you are, I would probably have a look around.
Just a final reminder about the naming of this camera. In Australia Panasonic called it TZ110, in Europe you find it as TZ100 and finally in USA it is called ZS100. I know, confusing
|Metrics||Dimensions (W x H x D)||110.5 x 64.5 x 44.3 mm|
|Dimensions (W x H x D)||(4.35 x 2.54 x 1.74 inch)|
|Weight||Approx. 310g with Battery and SD Memory Card (0.681lb)|
|Weight||Approx. 268 g without Battery and SD Memory Card (0.590 lb)|
|Optics||Pixels||Camera Effective Pixels||20.1 Megapixels|
|Sensor||Sensor Size / Total Pixels / Filter||1-type High Sensitivity MOS Sensor / 20.9 Total Megapixels / Primary Color Filter|
|Lens||Aperture||F2.8 – 5.9 / Multistage Iris Diaphragm|
|Aperture||(Still Image: F2.8 – 8.0 (W), F5.9 – 8.0 (T), Motion Picture: F2.8 – 8.0 (W), F5.9 – 8.0 (T))|
|Focal Length||f = 9.1 – 91mm|
|Focal Length||(27 – 270mm in 35mm equiv. in 4:3)|
|Focal Length||(25 – 250mm in 35mm equiv. in 3:2)|
|Focal Length||(26 – 260mm in 35mm equiv. in 16:9)|
|Focal Length||(32 – 320mm in 35mm equiv. in 1:1)|
|Focal Length||(37 – 370mm in 35mm equiv. in 4:3 4K Photo recording)|
|Focal Length||(37 – 370mm in 35mm equiv. in 3:2 4K Photo recording)|
|Focal Length||(37 – 370mm in 35mm equiv. in 16:9 4K Photo recording)|
|Focal Length||(40 – 400mm in 35mm equiv. in 1:1 4K Photo recording)|
|Focal Length||(26 – 260mm in 35mm equiv. in 16:9 video recording / O.I.S. Off / Level Shot function Off)|
|Focal Length||(28 – 280mm in 35mm equiv. in 16:9 video recording / O.I.S. On / Level Shot function Off)|
|Focal Length||(31 – 310mm in 35mm equiv. in 16:9 video recording / O.I.S. On / Level Shot function On)|
|Focal Length||(37 – 370mm in 35mm equiv. in 4K video recording)|
|Extra Optical Zoom (EZ)||14x (3:2 / 10M (M)), 20x (3:2 / 5M (S))|
|Lens||LEICA DC VARIO-ELMARIT|
|Lens||12 elements in 10 groups|
|Lens||(5 Aspherical Lenses / 9 Aspherical surfaces)|
|Optical Image Stabilizer||5-Axis HYBRID O.I.S. +*|
|Optical Image Stabilizer||* 5-Axis compensation works in video recording except for 4K video or high-speed video recording.|
|Digital Zoom||Max. 4x (When Digital Zoom is used simultaneously with Intelligent Zoom, you can only increase the zoom ratio up to 2x.)|
|Focus||Focusing Area||Normal: Wide 50 cm – infinity / Tele 70 cm – infinity|
|Focusing Area||AF Macro / MF / Intelligent Auto / Motion Picture: Wide 5 cm – infinity / Tele 70 cm – infinity|
|AF Assist Lamp||Yes (On / Off)|
|Focus||AF / AF Macro / Macro Zoom * Each available with AFS (Single) / AFF (Flexible) / AFC (Continuous) / MF Quick AF, Continuous AF (during motion picture recording), Eye Sensor AF, Touch AF/AE Function,|
|Focus||Touch Shutter, Touch Pad AF, MF Assist, Touch MF Assist, AF+MF, Focus Peaking, One Shot AF (Set the Fn button in custom menu to AF-ON), Low Light AF, Starlight AF, AF/AE Lock Button|
|AF Metering||Face/Eye Detection / Tracking / 49-area / Custom Multi / 1-area / Pinpoint|
|AF Metering||(Full area touch is available)|
|Shutter||Shutter Speed [Still Image]||Still Image:|
|Shutter Speed [Still Image]||Approx. 60 – 1/2,000 sec (Mechanical Shutter)|
|Shutter Speed [Still Image]||Approx. 1 – 1/16,000 sec (Electronic Shutter)|
|Shutter Speed [Still Image]||Time (Approx. 120 sec)|
|Shutter Speed [Motion Picture]||Motion Picture:|
|Shutter Speed [Motion Picture]||Approx. 1/25 – 1/16,000 sec|
|Shutter Speed [Motion Picture]||Approx. 1/2 – 1/16,000 sec (Creative Video M Mode / MF Mode)|
|Finder||Viewfinder||0.20″ LVF (Live View Finder) (1,166k dots equiv.), Field of View: Approx. 100%, Lens 19.6x|
|Viewfinder||Magnification: Approx. 2.59x / 0.46x (35 mm camera equivalent)|
|Recording||File||File Format||Still Image: JPEG (DCF/Exif2.3) / RAW, DPOF|
|File Format||Motion Picture: AVCHD Progressive, AVCHD, MP4|
|Recording Modes||Mode Dial / Mode Button||Intelligent Auto, P, A, S, M, Creative Video, C (Custom), Panorama Shot, Scene Guide, Creative Control|
|Creative Control mode||Expressive, Retro, Old Days, High Key, Low Key, Sepia, Monochrome, Dynamic Monochrome, Rough Monochrome, Silky Monochrome, Impressive Art, High Dynamic, Cross Process, Toy Effect, Toy Pop, Bleach Bypass, Miniature Effect, Soft Focus, Fantasy, Star Filter, One Point Color, Sunshine (22 filters)|
|Still Image Scene Guide||Clear Portrait, Silky Skin, Backlit Softness, Clear in Backlight, Relaxing Tone, Sweet Child’s Face, Distinct Scenery, Bright Blue Sky, Romantic Sunset Glow, Vivid Sunset Glow, Glistening Water, Clear Nightscape, Cool Night Sky, Warm Glowing Nightscape, Artistic Nightscape, Glittering Illuminations, Handheld Night Shot, Clear Night Portrait, Soft Image of a Flower, Appetizing Food, Cute Dessert, Freeze Animal Motion, Clear Sports Shot, Monochrome|
|Continuous Shooting Mode (Approx.)||[AFS] SH: 50 frames/sec*, H: 10 frames/sec, M: 6 frames/sec (with Live View), L: 2 frames/sec (with Live View) [AFC] H: 6 frames/sec, M: 6 frames/sec (with Live View), L: 2 frames/sec (with Live View) * Electronic shutter only.|
|4K Photo Mode (*2)||4K Burst: 30 frames/sec, max. 15 min|
|4K Photo Mode (*2)||4K Burst (S/S): 30 frames/sec, max. 15 min|
|4K Photo Mode (*2)||4K Pre-Burst: 30 frames/sec, approx. 2 sec|
|4K Photo Mode (*2)||(Depending on memory card size and battery power)|
|4K Photo Mode (*2)||Exif Information: Yes|
|4K Photo Mode (*2)||Selectable Aspect Ratio: Yes (4:3 / 3:2 / 16:9 / 1:1 are selectable)|
|4K Photo Mode (*2)||Exposure Mode: Program AE / Aperture Priority AE / Shutter Priority AE / Manual|
|4K Photo Mode (*2)||Marking Function: Yes (in 4K Burst (S/S) mode)|
|Motion Picture Recording (*2)||4K Video||3840 x 2160 pixels, 25p (4K: 100Mbps / MP4) (Sensor Output is 25fps) (AAC)|
|4K Video||3840 x 2160 pixels, 24p (4K: 100Mbps / MP4) (Sensor Output is 24fps) (AAC)|
|HD Video||1920 x 1080 pixels, 50p (FHD: 28Mbps / AVCHD) (Sensor Output is 50fps) (Dolby)|
|HD Video||1920 x 1080 pixels, 24p (FHD: 24Mbps / AVCHD) (Sensor Output is 24fps) (Dolby)|
|HD Video||1920 x 1080 pixels, 50i (FHD: 24Mbps / AVCHD) (Sensor Output is 25fps) (Dolby)|
|HD Video||1920 x 1080 pixels, 50i (FHD: 17Mbps / AVCHD) (Sensor Output is 50fps) (Dolby)|
|HD Video||1920 x 1080 pixels, 50p (FHD: 28Mbps / MP4) (Sensor Output is 50fps) (AAC)|
|HD Video||1920 x 1080 pixels, 25p (FHD: 20Mbps / MP4) (Sensor Output is 25fps) (AAC)|
|HD Video||1280 x 720 pixels, 25p (HD: 10Mbps / MP4) (Sensor Output is 25fps) (AAC)|
|STD Video||640 x 480, 25p (VGA: 4Mbps / MP4) (Sensor Output is 25fps) (AAC)|
|High Speed Video||1920 x 1080 pixels, 25p (FHD: MP4) (Sensor Output is 100fps)|
|Continuous Recordable Time (Motion Pictures)||AVCHD||FHD/50p: Approx. 105 min|
|AVCHD||FHD/50i: Approx. 110 min|
|MP4||4K/25p: Approx. 90 min|
|MP4||FHD/50p: Approx. 110 min|
|Actual recordable Time (Motion Pictures)||AVCHD||FHD/50p: Approx. 50 min|
|AVCHD||FHD/50i: Approx. 55 min|
|MP4||4K/25p: Approx. 45 min|
|MP4||FHD/50p: Approx. 55 min|
|Exposure Parameters||Exposure||Program AE, Aperture Priority AE, Shutter Priority AE, Manual|
|Exposure Compensation||1/3 EV step, +/-5 EV (+/-3 EV for motion picture)|
|Auto (AE) Bracketing||3, 5, 7 frames in 1/3, 2/3 or 1 EV Step, Max. +/-3 EV|
|Light Metering||Intelligent Multiple / Center Weighted / Spot|
|ISO Sensitivity||Still Image: Auto / i.ISO / 80* / 100* / 125 / 200 / 400 / 800 / 1600 / 3200 / 6400 / 12800 / 25600*|
|ISO Sensitivity||Motion Picture: Auto / 125 / 200 / 400 / 800 / 1600 / 3200 / 6400|
|ISO Sensitivity||(Changeable to 1/3 EV step)|
|ISO Sensitivity||* Extended ISO|
|Picture Quality||Still Picture Recording||[4:3] 4864×3648 (17.5M) (L) / 3456×2592 (9M) (M) / 2432×1824 (4.5M) (S)|
|Still Picture Recording||[3:2] 5472×3648 (20M) (L) / 3888×2592 (10M) (M) / 2736×1824 (5M) (S)|
|Still Picture Recording||[16:9] 5472×3080 (17M) (L) / 3840×2160 (8M) (M) / 1920×1080 (2M) (S)|
|Still Picture Recording||[1:1] 3648×3648 (13.5M) (L) / 2592×2592 (6.5M) (M) / 1824×1824 (3.5M) (S)|
|Image Quality||RAW / RAW+Fine / RAW+Standard / Fine / Standard|
|White Balance||Auto / Daylight / Cloudy / Shade / Incandescent / Flash / White Set1 / White Set2 / White Set3 / White Set4 / Color Temperature|
|White Balance||(2-axis Adjustable)|
|Photo Style||Standard, Vivid, Natural, Monochrome, Scenery, Portrait, Custom, Cinelike D*, Cinelike V* * When Creative Video mode is selected.|
|Picture Adjustment||Contrast, Sharpness, Noise Reduction, Saturation*, Color Tone**, Filter Effect**|
|Picture Adjustment||* Except for Monochrome mode. ** For Monochrome mode only.|
|Other||Digital Red Eye Correction (Red-Eye Removal)||Yes (On / Off)|
|Wi-FI||2412 MHz – 2462 MHz (1-11 ch)|
|Wi-FI||WPA / WPA2|
|Wi-FI||Infrastracture Mode / WPS|
|Zoom in Motion Picture||Yes|
|Self Timer||2 sec / 10 sec / 10 sec (3 images)|
|Self Shot Mode||–|
|Playback||Display||Playback Mode||All, Slideshow, Filtering Play (Picture Only, Video Only, 4K PHOTO, Post Focus, Category Selection, Favorite), Calendar|
|Thumbnails / Zoomed Playback||12,30-thumbnails / Yes|
|Set Favorites / Rotate Image||Yes / Yes|
|Show Histogram/ Show Highlights||Yes / Yes|
|DPOF Print Setting / Set Protection||Yes / Yes|
|Resize/ Cropping||Yes / Yes|
|Copy / Title Edit / Text Stamp||– / Yes / Yes|
|Creating Still Pictures from a Motion Picture||Yes|
|PictBridge Support||Single / Multi / All / DPOF / Favorites|
|Setup||OSD language||Japanese, English, German, French, Italian, Spanish, Chinese (Traditional), Chinese (Simplified)|
|Others||Monitor||LCD Monitor||7.5cm (3.0″) TFT Screen LCD Display (1040k dots), Static Touch Control, AF Coating|
|LCD Monitor||Field of View: Approx. 100%, Wide Viewing-angle|
|Flash||Built- in- Flash||Auto*, Auto/Red-eye Reduction*, Forced On, Forced On/Red-eye Reduction, Slow Sync., Slow Sync./Red-eye Reduction, Forced Off * For iA, iA+ mode only.|
|Built- in- Flash||0.6 – 8.0m (Wide / ISO Auto), 0.7 – 3.8m (Tele / ISO Auto)|
|Media||Recording Media||SD Memory Card, SDHC Memory Card, SDXC Memory Card|
|Recording Media||(Compatible with UHS-I UHS Speed Class 3 standard SDHC / SDXC Memory Cards)|
|Built- in- Memory||–|
|Audio||Microphone / Speaker||Stereo / Mono|
|Interface||Interface||microHDMI typeD (*3), USB2.0 Micro-B|
|Power||Power||Li-ion Battery Pack (7.2V, 1025mAh, 7.4 Wh) (Included)|
|Power||AC Adaptor (Input: 110 – 240V AC) (Included, connect with USB cable)|
|Battery life (approx.)||300 pictures (rear monitor) / 260 pictures (LVF) (CIPA Standard) (*1)|
|Standard Package||Included Software||・ The software to process RAW file on PC is not bundled with DMC-TZ110. To do this, SILKYPIX Developer Studio is available for download at Ichikawa Soft Laboratory’s website using PC connected to the Internet.|
|Included Software||・ The DMC-TZ110 Operating Instructions for advanced features is available for downloaded at Panasonic LUMIX Customer Support Site using PC, smartphone or tablet connected to the Internet.|
|Included Software||・ The software for PC is not bundled with DMC-TZ110. Please use the software pre-installed to the PC or other general image viewing software to browse pictures.|
|Standard Accessories||Battery Pack, AC Adaptor, USB Cable, Hand Strap, Strap Adaptor|
As reported on the Panasonic TZ110 Australian website