Digital Cameras Guide
Auto-focus is exceptionally fast and accurate, and the TZ20 offers an impressive 16x optical zoom, making this compact lens the equivalent of a 24-384mm lens in 35mm measurements. That 16x can be further pushed to 21x digitally with Intelligent Zoom. Despite the claims for a better quality digital crop, a crop is a crop. While we found the TZ20's normal resolution to be a decent 1400 x 1400LPH on our resolution chart all the way to 16x optical zoom, resolution drops to 1000 x 1000LPH at 21x. ISO performance is average and could have been better, with noise starting to show even at ISO400, with an upper limit of ISO800 and ISO1600 best to be avoided.
One thing that's impressive is that at the furthest zooms it's obvious that there's some serious image stabilization going on. That's essential, because the further you zoom the more sensitive the camera becomes to the smallest hand shake and the larger your chances of blur. Thanks to the optical stabilization built into the TZ20 (what Panasonic calls Power Optical Image Stabilizer) we found that most of our zoom shots turned out steady and sharp.
Images also come tagged with their latitudes and longitudes, if you're lucky. The service doesn't always work, but a lot of times the GPS module managed to lock onto us and deliver an accurate description of where we are. The camera then displays a read-out of your location when you get a lock, and there's an impressive database of over one million landmarks stored in the TZ20 so you don't just get co-ordinates but actually names of places.
A 3D mode lets you capture images in MPO format, but it's tricky and takes a little skill.