Panasonic Lumix ZS20

$299
  • 14 MP
  • 20x f/3.3
  • 1/2.5" CMOS
  • 3" LCD
Released January, 2012
Furthermore, it’s also possible to tag movies with GPS data.
Rated 80% by by TrustedReviews (Mar, 2013)

Conclusion Check out the Panasonic Lumix ZS20

69%
64%
70%
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28%
100%
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100%
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100%
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80%
74%
87%
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First reviewed February, 2012

Features Key features of the Panasonic Lumix ZS20

Back view of Panasonic ZS20 / TZ30
In addition to the improved optical zoom, the reach of the TZ30’s i.Zoom (intelligent Zoom) has also been increased to 40x (from 21x), while the digital zoom offers a staggering 80x magnification.
Rated 80% by by TrustedReviews (Mar, 2013)

megapixels

0 MP
14 MP

10 MP
18.2 MP
20 MP
At it’s heart the TZ30 uses a 1/2.3in MOS sensor with an effective resolution of 14.1MP.
Lumix ZS20 by TrustedReviews (Mar, 2013)
By ISO 1600 noise is quite visible throughout the image.
Lumix ZS20 by TrustedReviews (Mar, 2013)

sensor size

Panasonic Lumix ZS20
Canon PowerShot G15
Panasonic Lumix DMC-LX7
Using ISO 100 as the benchmark, the TZ30 has produced a pleasing twilight picture of Trebarwith Strand.
Lumix ZS20 by TrustedReviews (Mar, 2013)
At ISO 400 the image begins to soften as noise begins to creep in.
Lumix ZS20 by TrustedReviews (Mar, 2013)

wide angle lens

Panasonic Lumix ZS20
Canon PowerShot G15
Fujifilm FinePix F770 EXR
Small and light enough to carry all day, most of the current crop also pack a 16-20x optical zoom, allowing you to capture wide-angle landscapes and also bring faraway subjects much closer without the need for a bag of lenses or a bulky superzoom.
Lumix ZS20 by TrustedReviews (Mar, 2013)
Given the 20x focal range of the Leica zoom – which folds flush with the front of the camera when it’s switched off – it’s a pretty impressive bit of engineering to squeeze so much optical power into something so small and portable.
Lumix ZS20 by TrustedReviews (Mar, 2013)

aperture size

Panasonic Lumix ZS20
Panasonic Lumix DMC-LX7
Canon PowerShot G15
While it’s good to have the options, it’s worth bearing in mind that the Leica lens only offers an aperture range of f/3.3–f/8, which does limit your possibilities somewhat.
Lumix ZS20 by TrustedReviews (Mar, 2013)
Personally, we’d be more inclined to go with the newer model, on account of the longer zoom and additional features, although ultimately both models represent a pretty sound investment for anyone seeking a trustworthy travel compact.
Lumix ZS20 by TrustedReviews (Mar, 2013)

zoom range

0x
20x

3.8x
41.7x
50x
Zoom operation is relatively quiet, although our test model did emit some undesirable ‘ripping’ noises towards the telephoto end of the zoom, as if something within the barrel was either catching or slightly misaligned.
Lumix ZS20 by TrustedReviews (Mar, 2013)

body size

105 x 59 x 28 mm
120 x 83 x 102 mm
111 x 68 x 46 mm
 

Performance Real world tests of Panasonic Lumix ZS20

battery life

260 photos
350 photos
330 photos
Battery performance isn’t great, especially with the GPS turned on.
Lumix ZS20 by TrustedReviews (Mar, 2013)
There’s no standalone battery charger in the box either, although it is possible to charge the camera via your computer by removing the USB lead from the AC mains adaptor and plugging it straight in – it’s quite a lot slower than using the mains though.
Lumix ZS20 by TrustedReviews (Mar, 2013)

max continuous shooting

 

Our analysis How does it stack up against its top 10 competitors

pros

  • Contrast detection focusing system
  • 1920 x 1080 @ 60 fps
  • Fewer buttons, interact directly with menus
  • Create 3D photos to view on a 3D TV
  • Records the location of your photos automatically
  • 10 fps
  • 1920 x 1080 @ 60 fps
  • Create slow motion video
  • Combines multiple photos together to capture both bright and dark areas
  • 28 mm
  • 206 g
  • 105 x 59 x 28 mm

cons

  • 20x
  • f/3.3
  • 1/2.5"
  • Jan, 2012
  • 14 MP
  • 260
  • None
  • 80.36%
  • Dust may appear in your photos

Reviews Word on the street

Rated 80%
Read the review (Mar, 2013)
New for the TZ30 is the ability to record movies in the more computer-friendly MP4 format as well as the high-quality (but more HDTV orientated) AVCHD format that Panasonic has favoured in recent years.

Image quality

Used in good natural light the TZ30 is super-fast to focus and produces pleasing results.
Panasonic Lumix ZS20 | Rated 80% by by TrustedReviews (Mar, 2013)
Metering is generally quite accurate, although as with the vast majority of small-sensor compacts dynamic range is somewhat limited.
Panasonic Lumix ZS20 | Rated 80% by by TrustedReviews (Mar, 2013)
While the ED elements certainly help to cut down on purple fringing, it doesn’t quite eliminate the problem altogether.
Panasonic Lumix ZS20 | Rated 80% by by TrustedReviews (Mar, 2013)

Video

Lumix compacts have built a good reputation for shooting HD video and the TZ30 continues this trend, improving slightly on the TZ20’s headline specs with a maximum recordable quality of 1080/60p (as opposed to 1080/60i on the TZ20).
Panasonic Lumix ZS20 | Rated 80% by by TrustedReviews (Mar, 2013)
As things stand the camera merely indicates the headline resolution for each option, which isn’t really all that helpful if you're an AVCHD novice.
Panasonic Lumix ZS20 | Rated 80% by by TrustedReviews (Mar, 2013)
While this is exactly the same as the TZ20, Panasonic claims that the TZ30's sensor has been newly developed to work alongside the latest HD Venus image processor.
Panasonic Lumix ZS20 | Rated 80% by by TrustedReviews (Mar, 2013)

Screen

The display also offers some touch-screen control over the camera, although there are limits to what it can control.
Panasonic Lumix ZS20 | Rated 80% by by TrustedReviews (Mar, 2013)
For example, you can’t change the exposure mode using the touch-screen; this can only be controlled via the exposure mode wheel on the top of the camera.
Panasonic Lumix ZS20 | Rated 80% by by TrustedReviews (Mar, 2013)
Also, while you can select a sub-menu from the Main Menu display you’ll need to use the D-pad to navigate within each sub-menu.
Panasonic Lumix ZS20 | Rated 80% by by TrustedReviews (Mar, 2013)

Photography

The main reason why travel compacts have become so popular is because of the flexibility they offer.
Panasonic Lumix ZS20 | Rated 80% by by TrustedReviews (Mar, 2013)
The Panasonic Lumix TZ30 succeeds the (still available) TZ20 as the company’s flagship travel compact, providing a number of useful upgrades over its predecessor.
Panasonic Lumix ZS20 | Rated 80% by by TrustedReviews (Mar, 2013)
Exposure modes remain much the same as with previous TZ series, save for the addition of a selection of Creative Control digital filters – Expressive, Retro, High Key, Low Key, Sepia, Monochrome, High Dynamic, Toy Camera, Miniaturisation and Soft Focus.
Panasonic Lumix ZS20 | Rated 80% by by TrustedReviews (Mar, 2013)

Battery

The only real let down to build quality is the plastic battery/memory card cover, which feels a bit flimsy.
Panasonic Lumix ZS20 | Rated 80% by by TrustedReviews (Mar, 2013)
We barely managed 150 photos before the red battery bar of death began to flash and the camera switched itself off, and this was with the GPS only switched on intermittently.
Panasonic Lumix ZS20 | Rated 80% by by TrustedReviews (Mar, 2013)

Editions Editions of the Panasonic ZS20 / TZ30

Price Edition Model Continents Compare
$299
ZS20 North America
 
Compare
TZ30 Europe
 
Compare

Discussions Get involved, ask your question about the Panasonic Lumix ZS20

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Popular Questions

May 10, 2012
A great all around camera that allows me to shoot great pictures

My last camera was an Olympus SP 560 UZ.  It has been lost and I miss having a camera with a good zoom.  I never fully understood all that my Olympus could do. Going to Ireland in a few weeks...

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May 29, 2012
Best for low light photography

Overall image quality is most important to me. The considerably greater number of focus points on the Panasonic ZS 20, the Leica lense, and faster shutter speed are all important to me; however,...

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October 29, 2012
Depth of field. Fast Shutter Release

I would like to isolate my subject with good depth of field focus control. A fast shutter release is important to me for sports.

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Unanswered Questions

January 18, 2013
What is the best overall compact zoom camera?

I have a Nikon D3 and many Nikkor lenses.  Of course the image quality is superb compared to compact point shoot digital cameras but I need a backup camera for times when I don't want to or D3...

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January 17, 2013
Vacations, Backpacking

I am looking for a camera that has great image quality, is fast to take wildlife photos, and is reliable. I was leaning toward the sony, but you have me thinking.

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December 20, 2012
Low light picture taking

I'm a mom of four replacing an older model lumix that broke.  I have a canon slr that is seeming obsolete compared to the newer hand helds. I need a camera that takes good photos indoors with a I...

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Nikon Coolpix P510
  • 15.9 MP
  • 41.7x f/3.0
  • 1/2.5" CMOS
  • 3" LCD
Panasonic Lumix ZS20
Nikon Coolpix P510
3 more Sortable users recommended the Nikon Coolpix P510 over the Panasonic Lumix ZS20.
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Beginner I
3
votes

Lighter and smaller, easy to carry, suits traveling. More photos per change. Shoots higher definition video, good for recording especially for family activities. We don't really need so in...

Sony Cyber-shot DSC-HX20V
  • 18.2 MP
  • 20x f/3.2
  • 1/2.5" EXMOR
  • 3" LCD
Panasonic Lumix ZS20
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2 more Sortable users recommended the Sony Cyber-shot DSC-HX20V over the Panasonic Lumix ZS20.
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Beginner II
0
votes

Two reasons; the lens and the battery life. Slight trade off on fstop 3.3 to 6.4 but better than Sony