Other things I noticed about the ZS-10 were at the widest angle the P mode was just a little bit wider than the intelligent auto (iA) mode, but really just a hair wider. Also when using the zoom in the 4 different modes the 16x mode was equally zoomed in the iA modes but the equivalent 16x in P mode read 21x on the viewfinder. When the P mode said 16x it was zoomed out further than the intelligent auto modes when they read 16x on the viewfinder (this was true for the P mode whether it was set to 10 MP or 7 MP). When the iA modes read 21x the equivalent P modes read 24.9x and 29.6x for the 10 MP and 7 MP choices respectively. The iA mode with 5 MP chosen would zoom to 26.8x, the P modes could not match this level of zoom. And I was surprised at this artificial zoom level the image retained its quality pretty well.
I bought the Lumix zs-10 knowing its image quality apparently wasn't up to snuff but loved the zoom and shot to shot performance, gps and other features. I subsequently set out to try the different modes to find the best picture taking mode comparing intelligent auto 14 megapixel to P mode pictures with 10 MP vs P mode with 7 MP vs intelligent auto with 5 MP (I chose these modes b/c they all shoot in the 4:3 ratio. I did the tests on a tripod. I opened the pictures in a Paintbrush for Mac. The 5 MP pictures revealed significantly better detail than the rest of the aforementioned settings. Next best was the 7 MP then 10 and last was the 14 MP pics. I then tested the zoom for details and again found the 5 MP pictures to be best although not as strikingly better than the 7 and 10 MP as compared to the wide angle shots. The 14 MP pictures in the zoom remained the worst. Also the iA movie mode performs better than the P movie mode. In particular dark areas show up much better with iA mode.