Panasonic TZ202: FAQ

Overview of Questions | Answers | References

On this page, I collect some questions regarding the Panasonic TZ202. For the convenience of the readers, some questions may be redundant with items listed on my other Panasonic TZ202 pages.

Note: I use the Panasonic TZ202 mostly in P mode, sometimes in A mode. I will therefore, not cover any of the following modes or specialties: Intelligent Auto mode, Intelligent Auto mode plus, Scene modee, Photo Styles, 4K video and photo modes, and many of the other gimmicks. Probably, this list is incomplete...


Overview of Questions

Latest Questions / Updates

General, Body

Firmware, Manuals





Exposure, ISO, Modes

Display, LCD Screen, Optical Viewfinder, ...

Exif Data



General, Body

What is the "true" weight of a Panasonic TZ202 when used in practice?

"In practice" can mean a lot of things, of course. In my case, the Panasonic TZ202 is equipped with a battery, an SD card, a screen protector, and a wrist strap (not tzhe original one) when I walk around with it. Our kitchen scale measures about 340 g for all this.

Firmware, Manuals

Where can I find information about firmware updates for the Panasonic TZ202?

You can either directly visit the support pages for the Panasonic TZ202 (see below) or my page, which, however, may not always be up-to-date...

Support pages:

Which is the latest firmware update version for the Panasonic TZ202?

The latest firmware update for the Panasonic TZ202 was firmware update Ver. 1.1 for Panasonic TZ202 (Mac/Windows) and was released on Dec. 20, 2018.


How can I configure the Panasonic TZ202 so that it suits my needs?

There is no easy answer to this question, particularly, since I do not know other people's needs and preferences. Nevertheless, I prepared a page (Configuration), on which the configuration of the camera is briefly described using a tabular overview. I also make a few proposals for configuring the camera that suit my needs (AE/AF lock, manual focusing).


Is there a specific button or lever to release the in-built flash?

Yes, the Panasonic TZ202 has indeed a button (Flash open lever) for this on the back in the middle above the LCD screen:

Figure: The flash open lever sits in the middle above the LCD screen

How can I fire the inbuilt flash?

First, you have to activate the flash by opening it using the flash open lever. To set the flash mode, go to the Rec Menu, screen 3, menu item Flash. Then press OK, open menu item Flash Mode , and select the respective mode. The flash does not fire if the flash is not relased.

How can I prevent that the flash is released automatically?

Do not release the flash. The flash does not pop up automatically.


The Panasonic TZ202 has a variable aperture lens. How does maximum aperture change across the focal range?

This is what I found out:

Focal Length (mm)
Maximum f-stop*

*) As indicated by the camera

Does thePanasonic TZ202 lens have a filter thread?


What are the different zoom modes of the Panasonic TZ202?

The Panasonic TZ202 offers three different types of zoom functionality:

  1. Optical Zoom: 24 - 360 mm equiv., 1 x -15 x)
  2. i.Zoom (digital): 360 - 720 mm equiv., 15 x - 30 x (a factor of 2)
  3. Digital Zoom (digital): 360 - 720 mm equiv., 15 x - 60 x (a factor of 4)

i.Zoom is a digital zoom that offers better image quality than the so-called Digital Zoom. The digital zoom variants are enabled/disabled in the Rec menu (page 3). Note that only one of both digital zoom variants can be enabled at a time. For details, see page Zoom Modes.

Extra Optical Zoom: This function works when picture sizes with [EX] have been selected in Picture Size. It allows you to zoom in using a higher zoom ratio than optical zoom without degrading the picture quality. The maximum zoom ratio varies depending on the picture size, with a maximum magnification of 30 x (including the optical zoom ratio.)

Note: This function is similar to Sony's "smart zoom" feature.


How can I focus manually?

To focus manually, first set Focus Mode to MF (using the Focus Mode button). Focus Mode can also be assigned to any Fn or touch Fn button.

Focusing manually is done using the control ring at the lens. Some people say that this is intuitive and provides a focusing experience similar to an camera with manual focus. Others, however, say that the experience is rather "indirect", since focusing is "by wire," and turning the wheel is rather tedious because there are no stops at the end (which a manual lens provides). All in all, I have to agree with the latter. Panasonic should have taken a look at the Leica X Vario, which does manual focusing so well that is "feels" manual, even though it is "by wire."

The TZ200 displays a coarse distance scale, which helps a lot because I cannot remember, in which direction to turn the control ring (you have to turn it left for moving towards infinity...). The distance scale appears as soon as you turn the control ring and disappears a number of seconds after you stopped turning the ring.

Depending on the needs of the photographer, the Panasonic TZ202 offers several methods of focusing manually:

How is manual focusing supported by the camera?

The Panasonic TZ202 offers two tools that are meant to make manual focusing easier:

Is it possible to have both AE Lock and AF Lock independently available on the Panasonic TZ202?

The Panasonic TZ202 allows you to lock focus using the AF/AE Lock button. This button can be configured to either lock focus, exposure, both, do nothing, or start AF; it can be configured as a toggle or hold button. I use this button, however, for locking exposure only (AE Hold).

So, it looks to me as if it it not possible to lock exposure and focus independently on the Panasonic TZ202, except for by switching from AF to MF, which is quite tedious, and setting the AF/AE Lock button to AEL.

Is it possible to use hyperfocal distances (HFD) on the Panasonic TZ202?

No, at least not without some effort. Since you cannot set focus manually according to a "usable" distance scale this is not possible. Of course, you might use a ruler or simply estimate distances and focus manually on "ersatz" targets to set the HFD more or less precisely. All in all, this is not worth the effort...

Is it possible to do zone focusing with the Panasonic TZ202?

No if you are strict, because the Panasonic TZ202 displays neither "usable" distances nor DOF scales. Sort of, if you follow book author Alexander White. He writes of "zone focusing" when describing the following focusing approach: First focus on a target that is at the same distance as your expected target using AF. Then switch to MF using the MF mode. This fixes the focus at the distance that the AF set (you may adapt it manually to your needs afterwards). So now the focus is fixed at a certain distance, but you neither know the distance nor the associated depth of field. For many purposes, though, this approach will do...

Is it possible to set the focus quickly to infinity?

Ricoh cameras have an "infinity" setting among the focus options, which is very handy. You can activate it, for example, when there are objects in the foreground that might distract the AF or when the AF does not find focus when the camera is directed against the sky.

The Panasonic TZ202 offers a coarse distance scale with an infinity setting at on end for manual focus. Thus, you might want to switch to MF and turn the control ring until a distance of infinity is set. But note that there are some issues with this approach, as I will explain in the following.

One problem with manual focus on the Panasonic TZ202 is that at longer focal lengths you cannot find the "infinity position" for the control ring when there are no objects at infinity that you can focus on. With a mechanical manual focus, you simply turn the ring to the infinity position (or sometime to a different position). But here, the optimal position seems to be "shortly" before the "infinity marker" on the distance scale. Actually, the scale turns from white to read shortly before infinity, and the "infinity point" seems to be nearly at the transition between white and red (still a tiny bit in the white area). I do not know, what the camera wants to reveal to the user with this behavior... So, simply turning the focus ring to the "infinity marker" on the distance scale therefore delivers fuzzy results. Thus, it is nearly impossible to focus on stars at night, whereas it is possible to focus on the moon because there is something to focus on in the EVF or on the LCD screen. I found a somewhat similar behavior for the Sony RX100 M4 and on the RX10 M3, where it is much more pronounced because of the longer focal length.

It is possible to move and resize the AF field on the Panasonic TZ202?

Yes, but this feature works a little bit differently than on our Sony cameras, since it is not a focus area or field of its own, but instead included in two "spot" focus modes, called 1-Area and Pinpoint AF Modes. You activate both focus modes via the AF Mode menu item, either in the Rec menu on page 1, or you add it to the Q.Menu menu as well, as I did, and access it from there. The latter is useful whenever you want to change the AF area from time to time, but you cannot customize the 1-Area and Pinpoint AF Modes in the Q.Menu. To activate the moving and resizing of the AF area, you have to assign function Focus Area Set to an Fn button (I use Fn1 for this purpose). It cannot be accessed from the menu.

Being able to move the position of the AF area is particularly useful when using the camera on a tripod where you cannot move it for focusing. A small AF area may also be helpful in cases where autofocus does not find a target (alternatively, you can resort to manual focus in this case). All in all, I find Panasonic's approach to this topic much better than Sony's...

For details see page Focusing with the Flexible Spot.

Exposure, ISO, Modes

How can I set the different exposure modes on the Pansonic TZ202?

That's an easy question. Simply turn the mode dial on the top right of the camera to the desired position. I only use the PASM modes, the panorama (sweep) mode, and the video mode. I may also use the memory recall mode for a specific close-up setting.

How can I use the program shift function? Can it be combined with AF/AE lock?

The program shift function is available in P mode only and allows you to change the shutter speed/aperture combination while maintaining a constant exposure value (EV). This allows you to adapt the shutter speed or aperture to your needs if you do not agree with what the P mode selected.

In contrast to the Leica X Vario and the Ricoh GR, where you have to briefly press the shutter release button, the Panasonic TZ202 can also be set to measure exposure continuously. Otherwise, you need only briefly press the shutter button to turn measurement on. You need not press the shutter relase button all the time when you shift the values (actually, when you set AF+MF to on, you should not even do that).

Thus, you just point the camera at the scene and set the desired shutter speed/aperture combination if needed. You can shift the values by either turning the rear dial or the control ring, provided these are set to DEFLT (Normal). If you shift the shutter speed/aperture combination, this is indicated by an diagonal arrow next to the P symbol at the bottom of the screen (some display types only). The symbol disappears if you return to the original values. On the TZ202, you can shift the values even when AE Lock is activated.

Note that depending on how you set the control ring and the rear dial, or when you use manual focus or AF+MF, the program shift function may not be at your disposal. Actually, this seems a little complicated for me and not documented. Here is what I found out so far:

So I really do not know what to do with program shift in the case that both rings are occupied by other functions... Perhaps I better switch to A mode and set the f-stop beforehand? Or perhaps I refrain from assigning exposure compensation to the rear dial (with which I also give up a dedicated key for exposure compensation that is already there and would remain unused otherwise...) and use it for a number of predefined functions in DEFLT (Normal) mode...

How can I set aperture and shutter speed in M mode in the case that I assigned the control ring to a specific function or use manual focusing?

This question came up, when I attached the RX100 M4 to a telescope and needed both manual exposure mode (M mode) and manual focusing (MF), which is controlled using the Control Ring. But it is relevant for the Panasonix TZ202 as well. Here, the aperture is set turning the rear dial, and exposure is set turning the control ring by default. You can also switch the functions between both controls by pressing the "Up" cursor key (EV Comp.).

I can only suggest a solution for this, when you leave the rear dial on DEFLT (Normal) so that it still controls aperture. Usually, the control ring would now adjust exposure, but manual focus may take precendence when you focus manually (set the focus to MF). You may also have assigned another function to the control ring, which would tale precendece. In this case, pressing the "Up" cursor key comes to your rescue, because it allow you to switch between aperture and exposure on the rear dial. This way, you can set both aperture and expsure using the rear dial!

In case that you activated AF+MF, please note that the the control ring still works for exposure (or aperture if you switched...), as long as you do not press the shutter button. As soon as you press it, manual focusing is activated and takes precedence.

Display, LCD Display, Optical Viewfinder, ...

Does the Pansonic TZ202 support an electronic viewfinder (EVF)?

Yes. ThePansonic TZ202 provides an in-built EVF. It is, however, not tiltable, which I would have prefered. It has:

Exif Data

Are there any Panasonic-specific data in the Exif data that the camera stores together with the images?

Yes, there are, and you best visit the ExifTool Website:

Personally, I did not take a closer look yet at the Panasonic TZ202's Exif data.




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