ZS40/TZ60 vs the competition

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Ianperegian
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ZS40/TZ60 vs the competition
10 months ago

I compared the ZS40 with the recently announced Canon SX700 HS and the Sony HX60V, as shown below:

The ZS40 is the only model with an EVF and RAW capability, and it is also the lightest in weight and the smallest (in volume).

The HX60V has a new processor but it’s otherwise basically the same as the previous model, the HX50V, and they have the same lens. Some example images at various FLs have been posted for the ZS40 (here and here ) and the HX60V (here ) and the HX50V (here ).

From the EXIF data I prepared a plot comparing the widest available aperture across the zoom range for the ZS40 and the HX60V, as shown below:

I was surprised that the HX60V narrows much more quickly than the ZS40. At about 125mm FL the HX60V has already reached f/6.3, where it remains across the entire range from 125mm to 720mm. The ZS40 OTOH narrows more gradually. At 125mm its widest aperture is f/5.4 and it only reaches its narrowest aperture of f/6.4 at close to 720mm; at 640mm it is still at f/6.2.

The HX60V has 20 MP on its 1/2.3” sensor, while the ZS40 has 18MP on its 1/2.3” sensor. That means that the HX60V has slightly smaller pixels and is generally at narrower apertures than the ZS40. That means the HX60V is generally more affected by diffraction.

The Canon SX700 has a new lens and it is unknown as to how its apertures change since no example images have yet been posted. Its lens starts from 25mm at WA instead of the 24mm as on the other models and its max zoom is 750mm instead of 720mm.

At the moment the ZS40 seems to be coming out ahead of the competition.

Ian

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Panasonic Lumix DMC-ZS40 (TZ60) PowerShot SX700 Sony Cyber-shot DSC-HX50V
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21st Hermit
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Re: ZS40/TZ60 vs the competition
In reply to Ianperegian, 10 months ago

Ian, who are you trying to convince? Your preaching in the choir forum.

For me the SX700 doesn't belong in this comparison, it has no GPS. I'm still not convinced the SX700 & SX600 are part of the SX2x0 series, time will tell. I think they are striped feature price leaders for Walmart et al. Their customers want price, MP, zoom in that order, IQ what's that???

Sony sells their name and MP,  with their classic over processed water-color JPGs. Canon by a small margin will lead in color and detail and Panasonic will have the best balance of IQ and features. For me the EVF will be the breakout feature which will keep Panasonic in the Travel-Zoom lead.

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Ianperegian
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Re: ZS40/TZ60 vs the competition
In reply to 21st Hermit, 10 months ago

21st Hermit wrote:

Ian, who are you trying to convince? Your preaching in the choir forum.

Actually I wasn’t particularly trying to convince anyone. I was attempting to compare the features of the three new models in an impartial way. As far as I know, no-one else has provided any comparison of the available widest apertures on these models, even the major reviewers, and IMHO that can have an important bearing on IQ.

For me the SX700 doesn't belong in this comparison, it has no GPS.

Regarding GPS, for you it is obviously of prime importance, but I don’t think that’s the case for many others. I don’t use the GPS on my ZS30. Apart from GPS the SX700 has features that are very similar to the other two models. BTW, the SX700 has WiFi and NFC, as described on the Canon site here.

Sony sells their name and MP, with their classic over processed water-color JPGs. Canon by a small margin will lead in color and detail and Panasonic will have the best balance of IQ and features.

IMHO they are rather broad generalisations and don't take into account advances in processors. Also we don't have any sample images from the SX700 yet so I can't quite see how you can assume it will "lead in color and detail". I guess time will tell though whether you are correct or not.

Ian

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panoptic
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Re: ZS40/TZ60 vs the competition
In reply to Ianperegian, 10 months ago

Hi Ian

Thanks for putting together this information. I agree, the Canon doesn't look at all like the 260 line, seems that may be a dead end for them.

By the way, how did you post that table? I don't see a table button in the DPR tool bar.

Larry Burt

ZS19/RIP, LX7, ZS40 on order from Adorama

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Ianperegian
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Re: ZS40/TZ60 vs the competition
In reply to panoptic, 10 months ago

panoptic wrote:

I agree, the Canon doesn't look at all like the 260 line, seems that may be a dead end for them.

Thanks Larry. I’m not really sure why the Canon SX700 would not be regarded as a belonging to the comparison set (apart from not having GPS). In the Cameralabs review of the ZS30 they compared it with the Canon SX280. Now the new models of both of those series have adopted 30x zoom lenses and so I would have thought they still remain comparable.

By the way, how did you post that table? I don't see a table button in the DPR tool bar.

My posting of the table was very simple and rather lazy. I just prepared the table using a text editor (TextEdit, which came with my iMac) and then I did a screen capture which I uploaded as a JPG.

Ian

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21st Hermit
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Re: ZS40/TZ60 vs the competition
In reply to Ianperegian, 10 months ago

Ianperegian wrote:

21st Hermit wrote:

For me the SX700 doesn't belong in this comparison, it has no GPS.

Regarding GPS, for you it is obviously of prime importance, but I don’t think that’s the case for many others. I don’t use the GPS on my ZS30. Apart from GPS the SX700 has features that are very similar to the other two models. BTW, the SX700 has WiFi and NFC, as described on the Canon site here.

I think we have a divergence of the market. The ZS40 is clearly a Travel-Zoom, a market Panasonic invented some years ago, to be a T-Z a GPS is essential for POIs, maps, geotagging, logging, etc. The SX700 is a Pocket-Super-Zoom without a GPS. While a T-Z can be a P-S-Z, a P-S-Z cannot be a T-Z.         Perhaps Canon intends to abandon the T-Z market, for sure if the SX700 is the replacement for the SX280.

Clearly, as you point out, the SX700 is a high end P-S-Z with WiFi and NFC. I see the SX700 as a price leader, given that GPS requires an expensive 3rd party chip which greatly increases the selling price. If no SX290 emerges, then we'll know.

Yes I want a T-Z, just as you appear to want a P-S-Z.

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Ken
Ken
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Re: ZS40/TZ60 vs the competition
In reply to Ianperegian, 10 months ago

Thanks for this info.  I am looking for a compact superzoom camera and your post

was helpful to me.   I for one, would appreciate if you continue with this

as more 2014 compact superzoom cameras are known.   With my own research

I agree the ZS40 is the winner.

Thanks

Ken

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Ianperegian
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Re: ZS40/TZ60 vs the competition
In reply to Ken, 10 months ago

Thanks Ken, I’m glad it was helpful. I’ll try to add more information as it becomes available.

Ian

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Lobalobo
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Re: ZS40/TZ60 vs the competition
In reply to Ianperegian, 10 months ago

Thanks, Ian. Very helpful. Anyone who complains about the post could instead have just ignored it. Not worth your time to be defensive.  The rest of us, considering a $400+ purchase, greatly value the comparison.

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danielsonkin
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Re: ZS40/TZ60 vs the competition
In reply to Ianperegian, 10 months ago

Thanks for the excellent comparison, Ian.   I am chomping on the bit to get my hands on a ZS40 - mainly for the long zoom and EVF.  Though, the articulating LCD on the 35 also sounds intriguing.  Time will tell.

Take care,

Daniel

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Aberaeron
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Re: ZS40/TZ60 vs the competition
In reply to Ianperegian, 10 months ago

It seems a pity that they have discontinued the touchscreen of the TZ40 on this model. No doubt it will reappear in a future model. Also that the viewfinder isn't a better one, not that I've actually looked through one yet but it doesn't inspire me on paper specification. I know what a poor EVF looks like because I've got the Nikon P500, where the best that can be said for it is that it is better than nothing when the LCD can't be used.

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Ianperegian
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Re: ZS40/TZ60 vs the competition
In reply to 21st Hermit, 10 months ago

21st Hermit wrote:

I think we have a divergence of the market. The ZS40 is clearly a Travel-Zoom, a market Panasonic invented some years ago, to be a T-Z a GPS is essential for POIs, maps, geotagging, logging, etc. The SX700 is a Pocket-Super-Zoom without a GPS. While a T-Z can be a P-S-Z, a P-S-Z cannot be a T-Z. Perhaps Canon intends to abandon the T-Z market, for sure if the SX700 is the replacement for the SX280.

Clearly, as you point out, the SX700 is a high end P-S-Z with WiFi and NFC. I see the SX700 as a price leader, given that GPS requires an expensive 3rd party chip which greatly increases the selling price. If no SX290 emerges, then we'll know.

Yes I want a T-Z, just as you appear to want a P-S-Z.

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Thanks for clarifying, and I appreciate that in 2014 a “travel zoom” could well be considered to imply GPS. However, at the start of the Panasonic TZ series they were not what you call “T-Z” models. They were only “P-S-Z” models back then. The TZ1 in 2006 didn’t have GPS, and it wasn’t until 2009 with the ZS7 that GPS was introduced.

Anyway I can understand that being a map-maker you would certainly find it essential to have GPS, and I’m sure your signature is “tongue-in-cheek”, and that you would never be “Lost in the Colorado Mountains”!

Not being familiar with GPS at all, I wondered whether it is possible, if someone did have a Canon SX700 HS, which has Wifi and NFC but not GPS, to be able to use it in conjunction with a portable device or phone, which they might also find it necessary to have with them on a hike/trip, which had GPS? (Sorry if this is a silly question.)

Ian

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Ianperegian
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Re: ZS40/TZ60 vs the competition
In reply to Lobalobo, 10 months ago

Thanks, I’m glad you found it helpful.

Ian

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Ianperegian
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Re: ZS40/TZ60 vs the competition
In reply to danielsonkin, 10 months ago

Thanks Daniel. The ZS35 (TZ55) seems to be very simiiar to the ZS25, as it has a 16MP sensor and a 24-480mm (20x) zoom range. The main difference between them is the LCD, which tilts up to 180 degrees, and they say “makes it easy for taking self-portraits”:

http://www.panasonic.com/uk/consumer/cameras-camcorders/lumix-digital-cameras---point-and-shoot/superzoom-cameras/dmc-tz55eb.html.

Ian

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Ianperegian
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Re: ZS40/TZ60 vs the competition
In reply to Aberaeron, 10 months ago

Yes, I find that the touchscreen on my ZS30 is useful at times for changing the focus point and for precise zooming. The lens ring on the ZS40 might help with more precise zooming, and the manual focus with peaking should be very useful for macro shots.

Regarding the EVF, there seem to be conflicting opinions about its quality, but at least it would be, as you said, “better than nothing” in very bright light situations. I guess it would be best if people could try out the EVF for themselves before buying, to see if it is adequate for their needs.

Ian

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cainn24
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Re: ZS40/TZ60 vs the competition
In reply to Ianperegian, 10 months ago

Ianperegian wrote:

Regarding the EVF, there seem to be conflicting opinions about its quality, but at least it would be, as you said, “better than nothing” in very bright light situations. I guess it would be best if people could try out the EVF for themselves before buying, to see if it is adequate for their needs.

It's gonna be the LF1 EVF furor all over again.

"This EVF sucks. In fact it's so bad, I'd rather compose with the LCD, and I hate composing with LCDs"

"I don't understand why so many people are saying that this EVF sucks. I think it's perfectly usable. I can tell whether people are smiling or not when looking through it, and it doesn't strain my eyes. What else does one need?"

etc etc

It's always fun...

And yeah, great comparison Ian.  Quite informative.

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Ianperegian
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Re: ZS40/TZ60 vs the competition
In reply to cainn24, 10 months ago

cainn24 wrote:

Ianperegian wrote:

Regarding the EVF, there seem to be conflicting opinions about its quality, but at least it would be, as you said, “better than nothing” in very bright light situations. I guess it would be best if people could try out the EVF for themselves before buying, to see if it is adequate for their needs.

It's gonna be the LF1 EVF furor all over again.

"This EVF sucks. In fact it's so bad, I'd rather compose with the LCD, and I hate composing with LCDs"

"I don't understand why so many people are saying that this EVF sucks. I think it's perfectly usable. I can tell whether people are smiling or not when looking through it, and it doesn't strain my eyes. What else does one need?"

etc etc

It's always fun...

And yeah, great comparison Ian. Quite informative.

Thanks. I think this quote from the recent (and so far, only) review of the ZS40/TZ60 by Photographyblog (here ) sums up the conflicting aspects of the EVF:

"Given the overall size of the Panasonic Lumix DMC-TZ60, the integrated EVF is understandably rather small at just 0.2-inch, making it rather tiring to use for longer periods of time. If you think of the EVF as something to use in bright sunlight when the rear screen is difficult to see, or when you want to add some extra stability to the camera when using the full extent of the 30x zoom by holding it at eye-level, then you won't be disappointed. If you're expecting to use it for 99% of your shooting, then you will be.

Still, the EVF adds relatively little bulk or weight to the overall design of the TZ60, it displays quite a lot of information, including the ability to playback images and change the camera settings, and it even comes with a diopter control for glasses wearers. So in our opinion it's well worth having, if only as a backup to the main screen."

So, to me that seems to mean: "Use it only when you need to".

Ian

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MarioV
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Re: ZS40/TZ60 vs the competition
In reply to Ianperegian, 10 months ago

Nice work, Ian.  Thanks for posting the specs comparison.

As an owner of a HX50, if the HX60 has similar IQ then its off the list. It has very nice video, but the IQ is too hit and miss (noise and smear).

The TZ60 has raw which is a big plus.  I'm waiting to see more photo/video samples from it. The ones so far have been good.  This could be the one.

I'm also interested in the SX700.  If Canon has sorted out its battery life indicator issues in 1080p60 video, then its going to depend on its photo/video quality compared to TZ60.

For sheer pocketability, in any pocket, I'm also keeping an eye on the Sony WX350. There's every chance its IQ is going to be disappointing..  nice that it does 1080p60 video though.

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Erik Ohlson
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Re: ZS40/TZ60 vs the competition
In reply to MarioV, 10 months ago

MarioV wrote:

Nice work, Ian. Thanks for posting the specs comparison.

As an owner of a HX50, if the HX60 has similar IQ then its off the list. It has very nice video, but the IQ is too hit and miss (noise and smear).

The TZ60 has raw which is a big plus. I'm waiting to see more photo/video samples from it. The ones so far have been good. This could be the one.

I'm also interested in the SX700. If Canon has sorted out its battery life indicator issues in 1080p60 video, then its going to depend on its photo/video quality compared to TZ60.

For sheer pocketability, in any pocket, I'm also keeping an eye on the Sony WX350. There's every chance its IQ is going to be disappointing.. nice that it does 1080p60 video though.

Mario, I could be wrong ( !- ), but it almost sounds to me like you are shooting in some "auto" mode which stops your lens down to random sizes. "(noise and smear)"

Try shooting in "Aperture" mode if your camera has it, and keep the aperture at it's widest setting - stopping down with small-sensor cameras quickly gets into "smear" territory due to diffraction.

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Erik Ohlson
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Re: ZS40/TZ60 vs the competition
In reply to cainn24, 10 months ago

cainn24 wrote:

Ianperegian wrote:

Regarding the EVF, there seem to be conflicting opinions about its quality, but at least it would be, as you said, “better than nothing” in very bright light situations. I guess it would be best if people could try out the EVF for themselves before buying, to see if it is adequate for their needs.

It's gonna be the LF1 EVF furor all over again.

"This EVF sucks. In fact it's so bad, I'd rather compose with the LCD, and I hate composing with LCDs"

"I don't understand why so many people are saying that this EVF sucks. I think it's perfectly usable. I can tell whether people are smiling or not when looking through it, and it doesn't strain my eyes. What else does one need?"

etc etc

It's always fun...

And yeah, great comparison Ian. Quite informative.

I've said it before & I'll say it again - a Clearviewer solves all the worries about "tiny EVF' and "Glare on LCD".

I'll probably be getting a ZS40 and I HOPE the EVF is OK - but for that zoom and the (at least reportedly) better OIS, I'll happily just move my Clearviewer over to th ZS40 if the EVF is "wanting".

As to Touch Screen - good riddance, I hated it on my ZS19.

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