zs20 vs zs25-- which to buy?

Started Apr 7, 2013 | Discussions
Darcyt
New MemberPosts: 8
Like?
zs20 vs zs25-- which to buy?
Apr 7, 2013

I am trying to decide between these two. GPS is not a big feature for me, so am I better off with the newer camera that lacks it? I need it in a couple of days, so I can't wait for the zs30.

I just want an easy to use, lightweight point and shoot with a lot of zoom for travel. Would there be any big difference with photo quality between the two models? I mostly take stills, not much video.

Erik Ohlson
Forum ProPosts: 13,541
Like?
Re: zs20 vs zs25-- which to buy?
In reply to Darcyt, Apr 7, 2013

Darcyt wrote:

I am trying to decide between these two. GPS is not a big feature for me, so am I better off with the newer camera that lacks it? I need it in a couple of days, so I can't wait for the zs30.

I just want an easy to use, lightweight point and shoot with a lot of zoom for travel. Would there be any big difference with photo quality between the two models? I mostly take stills, not much video.

Darcy,

I have NO idea about ZS25, but I am extremely pleased with my ZS19 - which is a ZS20 without GPS.

I took the ZS19 as my main camera (older ZS6 as an emergency backup) on trips to both Japan & Tasmania within the past year.

The ZS19 has been on sale recently for as low as $120, but right now, my Costco has a lot of them for $199, including - I think - a 1GB card & a case, which is still a pretty good deal, and Costco has a "No questions asked" 90-day return policy.

I've read a few things about the newer models and as usual some things change in ways we like, some in ways we do not, but I REALLY do not expect any radical change in photo quality at this time or in the near future - the state of the art sensors, whether CCD or CMOS perform very similarly, and the lenses are simply superb.

At this point, it's the ergonomics and your preference, photo quality is a given.

Fushimi Inari, Kyoto, Japan. ZS19, cropped. I hope this photo gets inserted - I've tried twice & it doesn't seem to load - this is my 2nd & last Edit, so I may have to post this separately if it doesn't show up.

In your shoes, I would not hesitate to buy a ZS19, and I would immediately get a Clearviewer for it, which is a magnifier that attaches to the tripod socket and thus converts the screen into a very good eye-level viewfinder, protects the screen when folded up for carrying and enables you to see the screen even in bright light by the way you hold your hands.

Clearviewer folded, notice that it hovers above the screen, protecting it from bumps & such.

Clearviewer in viewing position, you hold it up to your eye with your hand around it to create a dark "tunnel" keeping bright light off the screen.

-Erik

-- hide signature --

'He who hesitates is not only lost - he's miles from the next Exit.'
www.flickr.com/ohlsonmh/ ohlsonmh@yahoo.com

Reply   Reply with quote   Complain
Darcyt
New MemberPosts: 8
Like?
Re: zs20 vs zs25-- which to buy?
In reply to Erik Ohlson, Apr 7, 2013

Erik, thanks so much for your thoughtful response and for posting that great image. I've used Canon for years, and I love seeing vivid Panasonic photos with beautiful colors. Thanks also for the Clearviewer recommendation. I miss viewfinders on cameras; that's a great solution.

My husband is razzing me about having another camera to now ponder! $120 would have been quite the bargain.

Reply   Reply with quote   Complain
Jerry045
Senior MemberPosts: 4,039Gear list
Like?
Re: zs20 vs zs25-- which to buy?
In reply to Darcyt, Apr 7, 2013

Darcy:

I have to echo Erik's sentiment. I too have the ZS19. I think it's a great little camera. I firmly believe you will be tickled with either choice.

I personally see no compelling reason for the GPS feature so that is why I opted for the ZS19 over the ZS20.

The ZS25 will give you slightly higher resolution, but unless you are printing out posters, that is not much to factor.

The only other factor to consider is price. As the ZS25 is the new product on the block, it will fetch a higher price than "last year's model". My ZS19 was "refurbished" and sold for 1/2 price. I could not pass that up.

Like Erik said, You wont see any measurable difference in picture quality between the cameras.

Good luck with your choice.

-- hide signature --

Jerry

 Jerry045's gear list:Jerry045's gear list
Panasonic Lumix DMC-FZ150 Panasonic Lumix DMC-ZS20 +8 more
Reply   Reply with quote   Complain
Darcyt
New MemberPosts: 8
Like?
Re: zs20 vs zs25-- which to buy?
In reply to Jerry045, Apr 8, 2013

Thank you both. Your beautiful pictures convinced me. I went with the zs19. It comes tomorrow. I can't wait to play with it and figure out the settings. Thanks again!

Reply   Reply with quote   Complain
Erik Ohlson
Forum ProPosts: 13,541
Like?
Re: zs20 vs zs25-- which to buy?
In reply to Darcyt, Apr 8, 2013

Darcyt wrote:

Thank you both. Your beautiful pictures convinced me. I went with the zs19. It comes tomorrow. I can't wait to play with it and figure out the settings. Thanks again!

Darcy,

"Figure out the settings."

My advice is to use Aperture Mode and shoot wide open, ƒ3.3 (which will of course change as you zoom - all the way to ƒ6.40 but the intent is to avoid diffraction effects.

Down to ƒ4.5 is OK in very bright light, but in some tests I did, the IQ fell off rapidly at any higer settings: ƒ8 is awful!

I was in Tasmania recently and got some good stuff:

(There is a little "hiccup" in the sea horizon, left, which I have to fix). I include a stitched Pano with a slight defect on purpose to encourage you NOT to use the "Sweep Panorama" mode on the ZS19 - it is low-resolution and requires a very steady "sweep". Better is to take a series of shots and stitch them with any of several stitching apps - PanoramaMaker" comes free with the camera.

In the case of the Pano, above, one of the 2 frames needs to be better leveled to eliminate the slight "hump" in the horizon.

I probably should have backed off a bit when highlights where a large part of a shot (not that the highlight areas are pictorially important) in that super-clear atmosphere: (Having trouble with this one - click "original size & the pic should show.)

ƒ4.5 would have been better here.

-Erik

-- hide signature --

'He who hesitates is not only lost - he's miles from the next Exit.'
www.flickr.com/ohlsonmh/ ohlsonmh@yahoo.com

Reply   Reply with quote   Complain
Darcyt
New MemberPosts: 8
Like?
Re: zs20 vs zs25-- which to buy?
In reply to Erik Ohlson, Apr 9, 2013

Thank you-- that's just the kind of specific info I can use!

Reply   Reply with quote   Complain
WisGuy4
New MemberPosts: 8
Like?
Re: zs20 vs zs25-- which to buy?
In reply to Darcyt, Apr 9, 2013

FYI last week I picked up a refurbished ZS19 from an Amazon.com affiliated seller, VIPMart, for $114 shipped (actually, it was $118 for me, since I have Amazon Prime and decided to shell out the extra $3.99 to get next-day delivery)  It came in a plain brown box rather than retail packaging, included a 90-day refurbished product warranty from Panasonic (not some 3rd-party), but otherwise appeared brand new and appears to function perfectly.  Since then, the price has gone up to $140 from the same seller for this camera.  If you're interested in saving money on a refurbished ZS19, I'd check Amazon.com several times a day, as prices from both Amazon and their affiliated sellers tend to fluctuate on a daily, sometimes even an hourly, basis; originally, I was going to buy an FZ200, but literally a few hours after I made up my mind to go for it and place my order with Amazon, they raised their prices $100 and haven't come back down in the several weeks since.  So I decided to pick up a ZS19 as a stopgap measure (if I decide to sell it on eBay, I should be able to get all my money back) and wait until the price falls again on the FZ200.

So far I haven't had a chance to do too much with it, but it appears to have slightly more noise in the image (even at ISO 100) than my wife's several year-old ZS3.  The reach on the ZS19's lens is impressive.

Reply   Reply with quote   Complain
igaleian
Regular MemberPosts: 381Gear list
Like?
Re: zs20 vs zs25-- which to buy?
In reply to Erik Ohlson, Apr 9, 2013

Erik hello.

which Costco

I live in NJ and cannot find them

do they still have them

thanks

Ian

 igaleian's gear list:igaleian's gear list
Panasonic Lumix DMC-TZ5 Panasonic Lumix DMC-FZ150 Panasonic Lumix DMC-ZS20
Reply   Reply with quote   Complain
kkardster
Senior MemberPosts: 4,789Gear list
Like?
Re: zs20 vs zs25-- which to buy?
In reply to Darcyt, Apr 9, 2013

Congrats on your decision - you made a good choice.  For those "still looking", there are some discounts available for those whose companies use Corporate Perks EPP (Employee Purchase Program) access:

  • ZS25: $225
  • ZS30: $299
  • FZ200: $449
-- hide signature --

Bruce
You learn something new every time you press the shutter

 kkardster's gear list:kkardster's gear list
Panasonic Lumix DMC-LZ7 Panasonic Lumix DMC-FZ200 +5 more
Reply   Reply with quote   Complain
Erik Ohlson
Forum ProPosts: 13,541
Like?
Re: zs20 vs zs25-- which to buy?
In reply to igaleian, Apr 9, 2013

igaleian wrote:

Erik hello.

which Costco

I live in NJ and cannot find them

do they still have them

thanks

Ian

Ian,

Unfortunately I can't help much with NJ - I'm in California. 

I was at my Costco (Gilroy, CA) just over a week ago and they had a large display, at least several dozen.

Amazon may be another good place to try, good luck, I am liking mine so much I am considering buying another "just in care".

I am trying out several cameras, including my older ZS3 & ZS6 and I was amazed how I have come to rely on the ZS19.

In this and other recent threads, talking about these cameras, I had forgotten how much I used the Burst mode (including the camera's use of it in HDR & Night Shot modes).

Yesterday I took my ZS6 out, and when I dcided to use "Burst" it slowly went "click-click-click", 3 shots, slowly, that was IT!

With the ZS19 the burst is so fast it sounds almost like opening Velcro, and one can choose as many as 60 shots at one time.  At full resolution - it's almost like taking a short video to get "that perfect expression - but the video will be at lower resolution, I think (I rarely shoot video so I'm not sure.)

-Erik

-- hide signature --

'He who hesitates is not only lost - he's miles from the next Exit.'
www.flickr.com/ohlsonmh/ ohlsonmh@yahoo.com

Reply   Reply with quote   Complain
igaleian
Regular MemberPosts: 381Gear list
Like?
Re: zs20 vs zs25-- which to buy?
In reply to Erik Ohlson, Apr 9, 2013

many thanks for the Info Erik

 igaleian's gear list:igaleian's gear list
Panasonic Lumix DMC-TZ5 Panasonic Lumix DMC-FZ150 Panasonic Lumix DMC-ZS20
Reply   Reply with quote   Complain
Darcyt
New MemberPosts: 8
Like?
Re: zs20 vs zs25-- which to buy?
In reply to WisGuy4, Apr 9, 2013

I bought a new one from Amazon yesterday, and the price has since gone up. So, even buying new, it pays to keep checking Amazon. It was cheaper than it would have been to join Costco/pay tax.

Reply   Reply with quote   Complain
Erik Ohlson
Forum ProPosts: 13,541
Like?
Re: zs20 vs zs25-- which to buy?
In reply to Darcyt, Apr 9, 2013

Darcyt wrote:

I bought a new one from Amazon yesterday, and the price has since gone up. So, even buying new, it pays to keep checking Amazon. It was cheaper than it would have been to join Costco/pay tax.

Quite true, after one has done business at Costco for a while, one tends to forget the "joining" fees.

On the other hand, my sister - for instance - shops at Costco a lot, but has never joined. One of her daughters is a member. 

Good luck & let us see some of your results!

-Erik

-- hide signature --

'He who hesitates is not only lost - he's miles from the next Exit.'
www.flickr.com/ohlsonmh/ ohlsonmh@yahoo.com

Reply   Reply with quote   Complain
kkardster
Senior MemberPosts: 4,789Gear list
Like?
Re: Costco
In reply to Erik Ohlson, Apr 9, 2013

Since we're diverging, here in Minnesota many don't know that the liquor/beer/wine section must be open to the public and does not require a Costco membership.  99.9% of Minnesotans do not know that.  Doesn't help with the ZS19 though.

-- hide signature --

Bruce
You learn something new every time you press the shutter

 kkardster's gear list:kkardster's gear list
Panasonic Lumix DMC-LZ7 Panasonic Lumix DMC-FZ200 +5 more
Reply   Reply with quote   Complain
igaleian
Regular MemberPosts: 381Gear list
Like?
Re: zs20 vs zs25-- which to buy?
In reply to Erik Ohlson, Apr 10, 2013

further to your email

I called Costco Gilroy and they seem to have sold out

so sad

once again thank for your help

Ian

 igaleian's gear list:igaleian's gear list
Panasonic Lumix DMC-TZ5 Panasonic Lumix DMC-FZ150 Panasonic Lumix DMC-ZS20
Reply   Reply with quote   Complain
WisGuy4
New MemberPosts: 8
Like?
Re: zs20 vs zs25-- which to buy?
In reply to igaleian, Apr 10, 2013

FYI not only does Costco have a 90 days return policy with no restocking fee, but they also double the warranty length of any camera bought there.  The return policy came in handy for me a few years ago when I grabbed my wife's older camera, "just in case" before going on a two-week business trip, decided to visit a pretty incredible archeological site (Cahokia in Illinois - in 1200 it was a larger city than any in England, including London) and found the old camera's battery wouldn't hold a charge any more.  I spotted a Samsung compact travel zoom at my local Costco that I had been thinking about buying, bit the bullet, had something for the weekend, but ultimately decided its images were too noisy and grainy.  I didn't have to lose money on a restocking fee a few weeks later when I decided to return it.

Reply   Reply with quote   Complain
Keyboard shortcuts:
FForum MMy threads