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Compact Panasonic Lumix DMC-SZ8 offers 12x zoom and Wi-Fi

By dpreview staff on Jan 6, 2014 at 19:00 GMT
Panasonic Lumix DMC-SZ8
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Panasonic keeps the emphasis on zoom and connectivity with the introduction of the Lumix DMC-SZ8, a lower-end alternative to its ZS/TZ travel zooms. It covers a 24-288mm equivalent range and uses a 16 megapixel CCD sensor (a step down from the ZS-series' CMOS chips) and a top video resolution of 720/30p. Wi-Fi connectivity is included, as is a 3.0-inch 460k-dot LCD. Pricing and availability have yet to be confirmed.

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Press release:

The New LUMIX DMC-SZ8 Slim, Stylish Digital Camera with 12x Optical Zoom Lens

Featuring Wi-Fi® Connectivity and Creative Expression

Las Vegas, NV (January 6, 2014) – Panasonic is proud to introduce the DMC-SZ8, a new digital compact camera with a 12x optical zoom and Wi-Fi® connectivity.

The versatile 24mm ultra wide angle lens with a powerful 12x optical zoom (equivalent to 24mm to 288mm on a 35mm camera) features the Intelligent Zoom function, making it possible to extend the zoom up to 24x by combining digital zoom with less deterioration of image quality. The Optical Image Stabilizer can effectively suppress hand movement which tends to occur when shooting with a long zoom.

The image processing by the 16-megapixel CCD sensor and the Venus Engine excels not only in picture quality but also in its processing speed. It enables 1280 x 720 HD video* recording and high speed photo shooting in addition to the quick response which is available throughout the operation.

With the Wi-Fi® connectivity, users can connect the camera directly to their smartphone/tablet without a need of cabling or searching for a Wi-Fi® hotspot. In addition, users can utilize smartphone/tablet for a secondary monitor of the camera that enables setting focus, zooming or releasing the shutter remotely from the camera. With the Instant Transfer function, photos are automatically sent to the designated electronic devices such as smartphones/tablets right after shooting. 

A variety of special effects that add fun to the shooting experience are integrated in DMC-SZ8 – Creative Control, Creative Retouch and Creative Panorama. For beginners, LUMIX’s popular shooting assist function, iA (Intelligent Auto) mode, is also able to help shooting beautiful still / video without errors.

With a motion picture button, the 720p HD video recording can be started instantly. The iA (Intelligent Auto) mode lets users leave everything to the camera to take beautiful images with its Optical Image Stabilizer, Intelligent ISO Control, Intelligent Scene Selector, Intelligent Exposure and Face Detection. Once you enter the iA mode, these multi-capable functions run automatically, so that you can shoot without adjusting settings every time conditions change.  The DMC-SZ8 also comes with Panorama Shot to enhance the fun and convenience of photography. 

Other Features: 
3-inch 460K-dot Intelligent LCD, iA (Intelligent Auto) Mode, HDR(High Dynamic Range), AC / USB Power Charging

*30 fps

The SZ8 will be available on and at select retailers. 

Notice for Motion Picture Recording:
• Use a card with SD Speed Class* with "Class 6" or higher when recording motion pictures.
* SD speed class is the speed standard regarding continuous writing.
• Motion pictures can be recorded continuously up to 2 GB. The maximum available recording time for up to 2 GB only is displayed on the screen.

Panasonic Lumix DMC-SZ8 Specifications

Body type
Body typeCompact
Max resolution4608 x 3456
Other resolutions4608 x 3072, 4608 x 2592, 3456 x 3456, 3264 x 2448, 3264 x 2176, 2048 x 1536, 2048 x 1360, 1536 x 1536, 1920 x 1080, 640 x 480
Image ratio w:h1:1, 4:3, 3:2, 16:9
Effective pixels16 megapixels
Sensor photo detectors17 megapixels
Sensor size1/2.33" (6.08 x 4.56 mm)
Sensor typeCCD
ProcessorVenus Engine
Color spacesRGB
Color filter arrayPrimary color filter
ISOAuto, 100, 200, 400, 800, 1600 (boost to 3200/6400)
White balance presets4
Custom white balanceYes
Image stabilizationOptical
Uncompressed formatNo
File format
  • JPEG (DCF Exif 2.3)
Optics & Focus
Focal length (equiv.)24–288 mm
Optical zoom12×
Maximum apertureF3.1 - F6.3
  • Contrast Detect (sensor)
  • Multi-area
  • Center
  • Single
  • Continuous
  • Face Detection
  • Live View
Autofocus assist lampYes
Digital zoomYes (2X)
Manual focusNo
Normal focus range3 cm (1.18)
Number of focus points9
Screen / viewfinder
Articulated LCDFixed
Screen size3
Screen dots460,000
Touch screenNo
Screen typeTFT LCD
Live viewYes
Viewfinder typeNone
Photography features
Minimum shutter speed8 sec
Maximum shutter speed1/2000 sec
Exposure modes
  • Intelligent Auto
  • Normal Picture
  • Panorama Shot
  • Scene
  • Creative Control
Scene modes
  • Portrait, Soft Skin, Scenery, Sports, Night Portrait, Night Scenery, Food, Baby 1/2, Pet, Sunset, High Sensitivity, Glass Through, HDR, Starry Sky
Built-in flashYes
Flash range5.20 m
External flashNo
Flash modesAuto, Auto/Red-eye Reduction, Forced On, Slow Sync./Red-eye Reduction, Forced Off
Continuous drive1 fps
Self-timerYes (2 or 10 sec)
Metering modes
  • Multi
Exposure compensation±2 (at 1/3 EV steps)
WB BracketingNo
Videography features
Resolutions1280 x 720 (30p), 640 x 480 (30p), 320 x 240 (30p)
FormatMotion JPEG
Storage typesSD/SDHC/SDXC, Internal
Storage included80MB
USB USB 2.0 (480 Mbit/sec)
Wireless notes802.11 b/g/n
Remote controlYes (via smartphone)
Environmentally sealedNo
BatteryBattery Pack
Battery descriptionLithium-ion battery and USB charger
Battery Life (CIPA)200
Weight (inc. batteries)159 g (0.35 lb / 5.61 oz)
Dimensions100 x 60 x 27 mm (3.94 x 2.36 x 1.06)
Other features
Orientation sensorYes
I own it
I want it
I had it
Discuss in the forums


Total comments: 8
By BarnET (3 months ago)

2 words
sensor size

1 upvote
By straylightrun (3 months ago)

2014 and no FHD? Come on Panasonic.

1 upvote
By mpgxsvcd (3 months ago)

People buy these compact sensor cameras with tiny apertures, HUGE zooms, and ridiculous numbers of megapixels, and then complain about how bad the pictures are.

Lose the Zoom, Get a wide aperture, and cut it back to 6-8 megapixels and then you will get good images.

By peevee1 (3 months ago)

Lose the zoom, and you have incorrectly framed pictures with wrong perspectives which are a little sharper when pixel-peeping (but the difference is not visible even on 60" HDTV anyway).

Joseph Mama
By Joseph Mama (3 months ago)

He didn't mean get rid of all zoom. Cut the zoom back to 8x, or something reasonable that they can do while maintaining a decent aperture. F3.1 - 6.3 sucks.

Less MP won't improve image quality and hurt marketing. You know your 1920x1080 is just a 2MP image right? The rest of the pixels are downsized and in so doing average out a lot of the noise, etc.

1 upvote
By mpgxsvcd (3 months ago)

F3.1 - F6.3 = Fail! Not quite as bad as Canon though.

By Karroly (3 months ago)

A Sigma or Tamron entry-level 18-200mm zoom lens for APS-C DSLR, with a zoom range a little bit narrower than this P&S, is even a little bit slower : F3.5-6.3
So what is the issue here ? This is an entry-level P&S, period.

By BarnET (3 months ago)

Yes on an sensor 12 times the surface area with similar pixel count.

Total comments: 8