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Author Topic: Panasonic TZ70. A mini review but also a problem to be resolved.  (Read 631 times)

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Offline petevasey

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Hi, folks,

First let me say that this camera has lots of great features.  Time lapse including automatic creation of a video, full HD (1920 x 1080 ) video, high speed video (100 fps or 200 fps), 30x optical zoom!!  Automatic panorama, sensible (12.1) megapixel count, Starry Sky and Night Scenery modes among many other useful presets.  There is a rotating wheel around the lens which has presets for various features depending on which mode the camera is in, and which can also be reprogrammed to suit requirements.  The rear 4-way centre button also has a wheel, a small niggle there, sometimes when rotating the wheel you end up pressing one of the four corners and going into some other section.  Otherwise excellent, slips into a pocket and takes very good daytime pictures.  But read on...

For several years I have enjoyed using a Panasonic TZ5, and when the time came to replace my wife's compact camera I had no hesitation in purchasing a TZ70.  I was seriously impressed with the camera, and eventually (when the latest cashback offer was on in May 2016) succumbed to replacing my trusty TZ5 with a TZ70.

Now one of the nicer features of the TZ5 was the 'Starry Sky' scene setting which always worked impeccably allowing me to take evening and night time photos of constellations, planets, thin crescent Moon, noctilucent clouds etc.  It never failed to focus correctly even in a completely dark clear sky.

Imagine my dismay when I tried my new TZ70 Starry Sky mode to find that unlike the TZ5 it will not focus on the stars!  Instead of the pinpoint stars obtained with the TZ5, I end up with the brighter stars as unfocused blobs, and the fainter stars lost altogether.  Although manual focus is available, it  is not possible to use it under those conditions, and manually setting it to infinity (using the front wheel) results again in a completely out of focus image, even in daytime.  I thought perhaps my particular camera was faulty, but my wife's camera ( I now wish I had tried hers first) also will not focus on a dark starry sky.  I bought the camera through John Lewis who replaced it, but although the replacement was better, still not focusing correctly.

Images attached of widefield and 8x optical zoom tests.  The first image, 'Comparison', was with the first camera, the other two with the second camera.  All images cropped from full size 60 second images on a tracking mount, but otherwise unretouched.

So far no solution.  I've been in touch with John Lewis again and the Panasonic service centre who are somewhat flummoxed.  Waiting to see what eventually happens.

But the reason for posting this is to see if anyone else on this forum has a TZ70.  If so have you tried it under a dark sky and what was the result?  All three cameras I have tried have to a varying degree failed to focus correctly, so it points to either a design problem or poor quality control.


Telescopes: GSO RC10 Truss, Meade S5000 127, TMB 105, TS65 Quad, Solarscope SV50
Binoculars: Canon 15x50 IS
Camera lenses: Canon 400L f5.6, Canon 70-200L f4 zoom, various old M42 thread
Cameras: QSI 683wsg, SX AO, LodestarX2, Artemis285, Canon 350D (modded), Canon 700D, GPCAM2 (colour), GPCAM2 (mono), LE Vesta Pro, Toucam.
Mounts:  Gemini G41 with Pulsar controller. EQ6 Pro, EQ3-2 with Autostar. Star Adventurer
Observatory: 8' Astronomydome


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