Panasonic Lumix DMC-ZS20 20x SuperZoom Review by dpreview With Rating 75/1002012-04-28 12:58 | Source
Average Camera Review Rating [12 reviews]
Cameras In The Article
On January 31 2012, Panasonic announced two ZS-series SuperZoom compact cameras - the DMC-ZS20 (aka DMC-TZ30) and DMC-ZS15 (aka DMC-TZ25). At only 1.3 inches thick, the ZS20 is the world's slimmest digital camera with a 20x optical zoom 24mm ultra wide-angle LEICA DC VARIO-ELMAR lens. The ZS15 has a 16x optical zoom instead. The ZS20 features a newly developed 14.1 Megapixels High Sensitivity MOS sensor. When coupled with the advanced image processor Venus Engine, the LUMIX ZS20 features high speed, high sensitivity image recording. High speed burst shooting at 10 fps in full resolution and Light Speed AF. The ZS15 sensor is 12.1 Megpaixels.
The ZS20 can record full-HD 1,920 x 1,080 60p videos in AVCHD Progressive (MPEG-4) format (or 30p in MP4). The 20x optical zoom with 2-step Zoom function is available in video recording. The Auto Wind Cut function helps to block out wind background noise and mechanical noise caused by zooming. In addition, the ZS20 has manual control options, allowing the user to adjust shutter speed and aperture, and 3D Photo Mode. The ZS20 is listed for $349.99 in black, red, white, and silver options. Here's the summary of review by dpreview, giving the camera a rating of 75 out of 100:
"Camera performance is very good in most respects, with only two areas in which the camera lags a bit. The first area is startup time which, at 2 seconds, is a bit slower than average. Focusing times, on the other hand, are very responsive, and are among the best you'll find on a compact camera. Shutter lag wasn't an issue, and shot-to-shot delays were minimal, even with the flash. The ZS20 has a number of burst modes, with the two most important being one which takes 12 photos in a row at 4.8 frames/sec with continuous AF, and the other taking 10 photos at 10 frames/sec with the focus locked on the first shot. While the ZS20's battery life is a bit above average, the ZS20's new internal charging system is slow, and doesn't allow you to charge a spare battery. While the ZS20's photo quality is quite a bit better than on the ZS10 that came before it, there's still a fair amount of room for improvement. Exposures were generally accurate, though since the camera has the tendency to clip highlights, you might want to bracket in high contrast situations. Colors were nice and saturated, though like its fellow Panasonic cameras, the ZS20 tends to lean in the yellow direction under artificial light. Images are a bit soft with Intelligent Resolution turned off, and pleasing with it turned on (hint, hint). Even though the ZS20 is 1-2 stops better than the ZS10 in terms of noise performance, photos are still noisier than I'd like, even at ISO 100. You will also spot some smudged or mottled details in areas of low contrast, most likely due to noise reduction. If you're sticking to smaller prints or downsizing for web viewing, then this shouldn't be an issue. Those of you making larger prints (or just inspecting photos at 100% on your computer) may want to consider a camera with cleaner photos. Another issue the ZS20 has is redeye -- it's pretty strong, and there's no tool in playback mode to remove it. Purple fringing levels were low, as is usually the case with Panasonic cameras.
Overall, the Panasonic Lumix DMC-ZS20 is a very capable travel zoom camera that I enjoy using. Panasonic has improved the image quality to the point where I can now recommend the ZS20 (which was not the case for its predecessor), though it still needs some work. While I'm yet to try them, I'm pretty sure that Canon and Sony's latest travel zooms will best the ZS20 in the image quality department, as their predecessors did last year. Even with that, if you're mostly making smaller prints or sharing them on social networking sites, then the ZS20 will do just fine. Its powerful lens, generally snappy performance, elaborate GPS setup, nice set of useful features, and Full HD video recording make it worth considering. If you can live without the GPS, touchscreen LCD, 1080/60p movie mode, and don't mind a 16X lens, then the DMC-ZS15 is also worth a look. Since it uses the FZ150's sensor, I have a feeling that image quality will be better than the ZS20's, as well. Some other GPS-equipped travel zoom cameras to consider include the Canon PowerShot SX260 HS, Fuji FinePix F770EXR, Nikon Coolpix S9300, and the Sony Cyber-shot DSC-HX20V. Some non-GPS models worth looking at are the Olympus SZ-31MR iHS, Panasonic Lumix DMC-ZS15, and the Pentax Optio VS20."
Panasonic DMC-ZS20 Sample Photos on Flickr
Panasonic DMC-ZS20 Camera Reviews Roundup
|Imaging Resource: "The Lumix DMC-ZS20 produced fairly good color, though bright reds and blues, and even some greens, are pumped a little high. A few shifts in hue are also present practically all around, including the slight yellow to green shift we've come to expect from Panasonics, though purples and deep blues are closest to their accurate hue. Dark skintones show a big push toward orange, while lighter skin tones are almost dead-..." - Jul 15 2012 More »|
|MacWorld: "Traditionally, Panasonic's cameras have met the challenge in our lab's subjective tests for image quality. The Lumix line usually errs on the side of underexposure and muted colors in Intelligent Auto mode, which is rare for today's cameras; everything from a smartphone camera to a DSLR tends to oversaturate and punch up colors these days, as the masses gravitate toward vibrant images with bright colors. If you'd pr..." - Jun 02 2012 More »|
|ePhotoZine: "Detail is good in the centre and to the edges and the camera copes well with lens flare. There is some purple fringing in the shot of the trees above, but little in other shots. There is some distortion with barrel distortion at the wide end and pincushion at the telephoto end of the zoom. Vignetting was not noticed. Macro performance is very good letting you position the subject roughly 3cm from front of lens, it's..." - May 06 2012 More »|
|Trusted Reviews: "Overall image quality is pretty good - especially when you consider the amount of zoom power the TZ30 manages to pack inside its diminutive little body. Used on the 'Standard' My Colour setting in iAuto mode the TZ30 produces pleasingly lifelike images that tread a happy medium, being neither overly muted nor overly saturated. Of course, should you want to boost vibrancy you can opt for the 'Vivid' setting, or indee..." - May 03 2012 More »|