ZS40: it's no FZ1000, but it's "good enough" for me, but maybe not for you

Started Sep 2, 2014 | Discussions thread
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mackey1001 Contributing Member • Posts: 883
ZS40: it's no FZ1000, but it's "good enough" for me, but maybe not for you

Just got the ZS40 a few days ago. Been away from the Panny forum for quite a while, really enjoying the MFT equipment and image quality. The FZ200 was mostly sitting gathering dust, so sold it to a friend going on big trip. It had served me well, and was considering the FZ1000 to replace it. For now, too costly and too big. We'll see.

When the ZS40 came out, hey ... finally ... RAW and and EVF ... did my dreams finally come true for a big zoom compact with the features I needed? Well, sort of. But, not really.

To be honest, due to the relatively high price, lack of picture adjustments, ridiculous 18MP, and "okay" IQ, many on the forum probably should NOT get the ZS40/TZ60, UNLESS you are willing to accept the compromises and sacrifices (and you have other cameras for low light, fast aperture, bigger sensored IQ).


- The handling and adjustability are great. Despite the complaints about the EVF, it's good enough to use and compose in bright lighting, and great for stabilizing when at zoom

- You can set the outer front ring to things as ISO! Very handy for me to make quick changes

- You can set the small back ring to step zoom. VERY useful for me, to quickly twirl and go from 24 to 50 to .... 720mm, very quickly. LOVE IT!


- IQ is okay in good light, and not good in low light (unless on a tripod, set at ISO100, and for a long exposure). It's a good light compact super zoom. Nothing more (As planned, I'll continue to use the MFT cameras for lower light and night)

- I'll probably batch resize images to 12MP (or less). That's probably what it should have been, but marketing people won that battle

CONCLUSION: Good enough for me, to keep and use? Yes. Can get decent results, especially if shooting RAW. I always like to have at least one compact zoom, and the ZS15 has been good for that, but it's looks like the ZS40 is good enough for me to get ready to sell the ZS15 (still a great camera). Right for you? Maybe not, unless you really want the features, which I do.

Samples follow, from RAW, converted to DNG and then in ACR into Adobe Photoshop Elements. Mainly levels, exposure, and ACR NR. Open at 100% to the get the full picture.


Panasonic FZ1000 Panasonic Lumix DMC-FZ200 Panasonic Lumix DMC-ZS1 (Lumix DMC-TZ6) Panasonic Lumix DMC-ZS40 (TZ60)
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