Panasonic Lumix DMC-ZS20 Review
Body and Design
The Panasonic Lumix DMC-ZS20 is a compact ultra zoom camera that packs a 20X zoom lens (how engineers manage to fit big lenses into small packages always amazes me). The body made almost entirely of metal, and it feels quite solid. As usual, the plastic door over the memory card/battery compartment is on the flimsy side. The mode dial feels cheap, and is too small (as are several other buttons on the camera). The ZS20'sstabilized lens isn't terribly 'fast' (in terms of maximum aperture), but then again, neither are lenses found on the ZS20's competitors. The focal range isn't the lens' only new feature - it also has a nano surface coating, which aims to reduce flare and ghosting. Lens zooming is multi-speed, depending on how hard you push/pull the zoom toggle. At full speed, the lens goes from wide-angle to telephoto in 2.8 seconds. I counted over forty steps in the ZS20's 20X zoom range.
To the upper-right of the lens is the built-in flash, which has a working range of 0.6 - 6.4 m at wide-angle and 1.0 - 3.3 m at telephoto (at Auto ISO). The ZS20 does not support an external flash.The only other thing to see on the front of the camera is the AF-assist lamp, which also serves as a visual countdown for the self-timer.
The main event on the back of the camera is its 3-inch touchscreen LCD, which appears to be the same as the one on the DMC-ZS10. This screen has 460,000 pixels, so everything's nice and sharp. Its outdoor visibility is excellent, and in low light the screen brightens up well, so you can still see your subject. To the right is the ZS20's four-way controller, which is used for menu navigation, adjusting settings, and replaying photos. There are also direct buttons for exposure compensation/bracketing, self-timer, flash, and macro mode.
The last two buttons on the back of the ZS20 are for toggling the information shown on the LCD, as well as opening the Quick (shortcut) menu. The Q. Menu button is also used for deleting photos and backing out of menus. There's a lot to see on the top of the ZS20. Let me first point out the stereo microphones, which have the speaker located just to their right. Under the left mic is an indicator light that shows when the GPS is being used. Since by default the camera will keep checking your location every few minutes, don't be surprised if you set his lamp lit up when the camera is off.
Now let's take a look at how the DMC-ZS20 compares to other compact travel zooms in terms of size and weight:
|Camera||Dimensions (W x H x D, excluding protrusions)||Volume (bulk)||Mass (empty)|
|Canon PowerShot SX260 HS||4.2 x 2.4 x 1.3 in.||13.1 cu in.||208 g|
|Fujifilm FinePix F770EXR||4.1 x 2.4 x 1.4 in.||13.8 cu in.||209 g|
|Nikon Coolpix S9300||4.3 x 2.5 x 1.3 in.||14 cu in.||215 g|
|Olympus SZ-31MR iHS||4.2 x 2.7 x 1.6 in.||18.1 cu in.||226 g|
|Panasonic Lumix DMC-ZS20||4.1 x 2.3 x 1.3 in.||12.3 cu in.||185 g|
|Pentax Optio VS20||4.4 x 2.4 x 1.5 in.||15.8 cu in.||213 g|
|Sony Cyber-shot DSC-HX20V||4.3 x 2.5 x 1.4 in||15.1 cu in.||221 g|
Well look at that - the ZS20 is the smallest and lightest compact ultra zoom in the group! It fits pretty well in jeans pockets (mine, at least), and is easy to carry around with just the wrist strap, as well.
Apr 27, 2012
Jan 31, 2012
Apr 22, 2015
Apr 13, 2015
|_MG_5100 by tim and jan|
from Welcome to the Saloon!
|The Grimm 11 year old by Ryan Gardner|
from Trick or Treat
|Heron with fish by APenza|
from A Big Year - birds
We're counting down our top 10 most popular sample galleries of 2017. Drum roll please... the #6 spot belongs to none other than the Sigma 85mm F1.4 DH HSM Art.
Read the story behind this gorgeous wedding photo captured at Trolltunga in Norway by husband and wife duo Priscila Valentina Photography. The 14 hour hike in the rain that preceded this shot was TOTALLY worth it.
Go behind the scenes with filmmaker Nick Arcivos, who recently created a beautiful cinematic short film in Paris using only the iPhone X, a couple of gimbals, and a few lights. The results are very impressive.
A Bay Area startup offering a pay-by-the-photo camera service cleverly addresses the pain points photographers experience when they pick up their first DSLR. But can it survive the smartphone?
It's been a big year for software innovations, dual cameras and huge displays. Take a look at our picks for the top smartphone cameras and why we think they stand out.
We're counting down our top 10 most popular sample galleries of 2017. At the #7 spot is the ready-for-any-weather Olympus Tough TG-5.
By combining his skills as a time-lapse filmmaker and an engineer, Julian Tryba created this out-of-this-world creative 'layer-lapse' of New York City that alternates between night and day in time with the music.
Canon Japan's new lineup of novelty camera-themed gifts was just revealed online, including a lens mug and lens thermos, two retro camera-themed USB drives, and a picnic mat.
The Profoto A1 most certainly isn’t for everyone [...] But for those who are used to using the Profoto systems, and want something that pairs seamlessly with the strobes you already have, there is no better companion.
Fujifilm has asked a US district court to clear it of any wrongdoing, after allegedly being threatened with trademark litigation by Polaroid.
While a couple of our reviewers are out testing the Sony a7R III in Arizona, back in Seattle we slapped the camera in front of our studio scene to get a close look at its image quality. See how it stacks up against the competition.
We're counting down our top 10 most popular sample galleries of 2017, and the #8 ranking belongs to the Nikon D7500.
B+W has announced a new aluminum filter holder that offers three slots so users can use multiple filters at the same time. The holder goes with the 2mm thick 100mm square filters it launched earlier this year.
8K video is coming a lot faster than you think, and Blackmagic is ready for it. Meet the DeckLink 8K Pro, a new high performance PCI-E capture and playback card built to handle 'real time high resolution 8K workflows.'
"Glass is everywhere in photography. From Eugène Atget’s reflective vitrines to Lee Friedlander’s sly self-portraiture, photographers have long been in thrall to the visual complications glass can inject into a composition."
Former Apple Aperture lead developer Nik Bhatt has designed an iOS app called RAW Power that lets you edit raw photos from your professional camera using your phone and tablet.... color us intrigued.
Advertising photographer Blair Bunting got his hands on the new Microsoft Surface Book 2, and it blew him away. Bye bye MacBook Pro...
The OnePlus 5T retains many of the 5's features and specs, but comes with an edge-to-edge display and a dual-camera that is optimized for low light.
Sony's recently announced IMX461 backside illuminated medium format sensor will bring 100MP resolution and almost 2x the speed to the next-gen Fuji GFX and Hasselblad X1D.
With the ‘Rent a Hasselblad’ camera equipment renting program, the camera makers is aiming to give enthusiast and professional photographers easier access to its medium-format photography products.
They say seeing is believing, and that's exactly what happened when one DPR staffer took the Google Pixel 2 out for an afternoon shooting under challenging conditions.
We're counting down our top 10 most popular sample galleries of 2017. At the #9 spot we have the Fujifilm GFX 50S, a medium-format camera that took CP+ 2017 by storm.
Instagram is testing a new feature that lets you follow hashtags in addition to people, making it possible to keep track of your favorite #landscapes or #portraits without leaving your home feed.
Despite the gigantic volume of second hand film bodies in existence, it seems there is still a demand for new 35mm SLRs with a retro feel. The latest is a remake of the Ihagee Elbaflex from the 1960s, but with a Nikon F mount.
The Polaroid Insta-Share Moto Mod straps an instant printer directly to your Moto Z smartphone, so you can print your photos as soon as you've captured them.
The Mitakon Speedmaster 135mm F1.4 lens is being relaunched in 7 different mounts, including: Sony A, Sony E, Canon EF, Nikon F, Fujifilm G, Pentax K, and Leica L. Got an extra three grand lying around?
In January, Kodak announced it would bring back the beloved slide film Ektachrome. The timeline has been pushed back a bit, but Kodak says you can expect to purchase Ektachrome again in 2018.
Instagram popularity is threatening some of the most beautiful landscapes in the US, as hordes of 'nature lovers' trample over the same spots over and over again in search of the same exact shot.
You’d have to be pretty brave to immerse your $50K RED cinema camera underwater. But if you've got the guts, Gates just released a new housing you can be pretty sure won't wreck your unbelievably expensive toy.
Adobe has released a 'Lightroom Downloader' app for Windows 10 and macOS High Sierra that allows you to download all of your images from the Adobe Cloud, all at once.