Ladies and gentlemen, this is big. We need champagne, balloons, fireworks, a trumpet solo - heck, hire the whole darned marching band! That's right, a new compact camera has landed!
Yes, thanks to the tedious global domination of the camera phone, the launch of a new, conventional compact camera has become a very rare event, so much so that it's worthy of much fanfare... or at least a brief mention on Digital Camera World.
The camera in question is the Panasonic TZ202D, which replaces the outgoing TZ202. If neither model number is familiar, that's because both cameras appear to be German-only releases. The TZ202 is known as the TZ200 in the rest of Europe, and the ZS200 in the US. Check out our full review of the TZ200.
But as we've sadly come to expect from 'new' compact camera launches, the TZ202D barely qualifies as a new camera. According to the German publication Photographix Magazin, the only discernible difference is the new camera gets a 1840k-dot LCD display, replacing the 1240k-dot panel featured on the TZ202/TZ200/ZS200. Could the 'D' in TZ202D therefore stand for 'Display'? Surely not - that's far too logical. The folks over at Photographix Magazin speculate, reasonably, that the old display panel may no longer be available, necessitating a new LCD in order to keep the camera in production.
Apart from the LCD resolution boost, the rest of the camera appears the same, including the 20-megapixel 1-inch sensor, 24-230mm-equivalent 15x zoom lens, 4K video capability, and the 2330k-dot EVF. To be fair to Panasonic, the TZ200/ZS200 is a very good travel compact, thanks to it combining a relatively large sensor (for a compact camera) with a generous zoom range. There's little - if anything - that competes directly with it, so swapping out the rear screen for a better quality panel is a welcome upgrade to what is already a well-sorted camera. That said, the TZ202D will allegedly be launched with a price tag of 799 Euros, when the TZ202 can be had for 659 Euros. Assuming that kind of price hike will apply to the TZ200/ZS200 replacement, that's some serious price inflation. So if you you're tempted by a TZ200/ZS200, buy now, before they're discontinued.
Story credit: Photographix Magazin