Panasonic Lumix DC-ZS200 (TZ200)

20MP 1"-type BSI-CMOS sensor | 24-360mm equiv. F3.3-6.4 lens | 4K video capture

What we like:

  • Good balance of zoom and size
  • Built-in EVF
  • 4K video capture

What we don't:

  • Soft lens
  • 1.5x crop when recording 4K video
  • Some may be bothered by 'color tearing' on EVF
The Panasonic Lumix DC-ZS200 (TZ200 in most regions) is a 15x travel zoom camera built around a 1"-type sensor and including an electronic viewfinder. The 24-360mm equivalent lens is packed inside a semi-pocketable body, but with a slower maximum aperture than most of its peers.
The ZS200's metal body is well constructed and easy to grip thanks to rubber-like material on the front and back. The touch interface is responsive and the camera offers twin control dials: one top plate and one around the lens. Some users might find the field sequential EVF bothersome. But overall, the camera is easy to operate and customize.
Ultimately, the ZS200/TZ200 is is the furthest-reaching 1"-type pocket camera on the market
The ZS200's autofocus can quickly acquire subjects and is able to track them fairly well, even at 6 fps or in low light. If you don't mind locking focus on the first shot, the burst rate increases to 10 fps, with a large buffer that lets you take about 28 Raw images. Battery life is very good for its class, rated at 370 shots per charge.
With its familiar 20MP BSI CMOS sensor, we know that the ZS200 is capable of taking great images. However, it was hard to appreciate that given the softness of the lens - a tradeoff that comes with packing such a long zoom in a small package. Panasonic has improved JPEG color accuracy since the ZS100 and Raw image have competitive noise levels and dynamic range.
The ZS200 captures 4K UHD video at 30p and 24p, but a 1.5x crop means it's noisier than many of its competitors and prevents any wide-angle shooting. Dropping down to 1080p results in better quality with just a slight crop when using the 5-axis 'hybrid' IS system. We found that autofocus can 'hunt' in low light situations and some rolling shutter artifacts are visible if there's any vibration present. The ZS offers has a decent set of capture aids but lacks microphone or headphone jacks.
Ultimately, the ZS200/TZ200 is is the furthest-reaching 1"-type pocket camera on the market, and its combination of (so-so) 4K capture, touch-based interface, an EVF, and twin control dials make it both versatile and easy to use. The cost of having all of that zoom power is a lens which may not be sharp across the frame. If you're willing to trade image quality for zoom, then the ZS200 is worth considering.

Studio Test Scene | Specifications Compared


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