Panasonic Lumix DMC-ZS20 (Lumix DMC-TZ30)
The 14MP ZS20, sold as the DMC-TZ30 outside North America, is the slimmest 20x zoom camera on the market. Its lens covers a 24-480mm equivalent range and features the company's latest Power O.I.S stabilization. The 14MP high-speed MOS sensor allows the ZS20 to offer autofocus taking as little as 0.1 seconds, and it can shoot at up to 10 frames per second (5fps with AF-tracking). The ZS20 can shoot 1080p60 movies in AVCHD or, in an interesting step for one of the creators of the AVCHD format, it can also capture 1080p30 in MP4 format. It also has GPS and an updated mapping function to show photos on a map with greater detail. The usefulness of this and other features is increased by a touchscreen.
Overall, the Panasonic Lumix DMC-ZS20 is a well-designed, easy-to-use travel zoom camera that stuffs a 20X Leica lens into a body just 1.1 inches thick. Its design, features, and performance are its best attributes, but photo quality could be better.
|Max resolution||4320 x 3240|
|Effective pixels||14 megapixels|
|Sensor size||1/2.33" (6.08 x 4.56 mm)|
|ISO||Auto, Hi Auto (1600-6400), 100, 200, 400, 800, 1600. 3200|
|Focal length (equiv.)||24–480 mm|
|Min shutter speed||15 sec|
|Max shutter speed||1/2000 sec|
|Storage types||SD/SDHC/SDXC, Internal|
|USB||USB 2.0 (480 Mbit/sec)|
|Weight (inc. batteries)||206 g (0.45 lb / 7.27 oz)|
|Dimensions||105 x 59 x 28 mm (4.13 x 2.32 x 1.1″)|
The Lumix DMC-ZS20 is arguably the most full-featured travel zoom on the market. Its Intelligent Auto mode and decent set of manual controls combined with an elaborate GPS setup and 1080/60p movie mode make it a traveller's delight. Unfortunately its image quality is not as good as the rest of the package, and enthusiasts may miss things like RAW and manual focus.
Good for: The traveler who wants a zoom that can cover all situations, a smart Auto mode, and a fancy GPS system with landmarks and maps.
Not so good for: Those seeking a full suite of manual controls (RAW included) and noise-free images at low ISOs.