Panasonic Lumix ZS20 Compact Camera (Black)

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75% Tried & Tested
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.”

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Key Features

  • 14.1MP 1/2.33"-type MOS sensor
  • 10 frames per second continuous shooting
  • 20x F3.3-6.4 optical zoom lens (24-480mm)
  • ISO 100-3200, expandable up to 6400
  • 1080 HD video
  • 3.0 inch touchscreen LCD with 460,000 dots
  • Built-in flash
  • GPS receiver
  • SD/SDHC/SDXC card slot

Product Description

The Panasonic Lumix ZS20 lands squarely in the "travel zoom" category of compact cameras, equipped with a powerful 20x optical zoom lens and Power OIS image stabilization. With its GPS feature enabled, the camera will record the shooter's position and display where each photo was taken on a map. Its 3.0-inch touchscreen LCD can be used for functions like shutter release and focusing. Shooting modes include Panasonic's very capable Intelligent Auto mode for reliable, hands-off image capture. Also included are HDR, Panorama Shot and 3D modes, the latter of which creates a .MPO file for viewing on a compatible HDTV.

Specs

Body type
Body type Compact
Sensor
Max resolution 4320 x 3240
Other resolutions 4320 x 3240, 4320 x 2880, 4320 x 2432, 3648 x 2736, 3648 x 2432, 3648 x 2056, 3232 x 3232,3072 x 2048, 3072 x 2304, 3072 x 1728, 2736 x 2736, 2560 x 1920, 2560 x 1712, 2560 x 1440, 2304 x 2304, 2048 x 1536, 2048 x 1360, 1920 x 1920, 1920 x 1080, 1536 x 1536, 640 x 480, 640 x 424, 640 x 360, 480 x 480
Image ratio w:h 1:1, 4:3, 3:2, 16:9
Effective pixels 14 megapixels
Sensor photo detectors 15 megapixels
Sensor size 1/2.33" (6.08 x 4.56 mm)
Sensor type CMOS
Image
ISO Auto, Hi Auto (1600-6400), 100, 200, 400, 800, 1600. 3200
White balance presets 4
Custom white balance Yes (1)
Image stabilization Optical
Uncompressed format No
JPEG quality levels Fine, Standard
Optics & Focus
Focal length (equiv.) 24–480 mm
Optical zoom 20×
Maximum aperture F3.3 - F6.4
Autofocus
  • Contrast Detect (sensor)
  • Multi-area
  • Center
  • Tracking
  • Continuous
  • Touch
  • Live View
Digital zoom Yes (4x)
Manual focus No
Normal focus range 50 cm (19.69)
Macro focus range 3 cm (1.18)
Number of focus points 23
Screen / viewfinder
Articulated LCD Fixed
Screen size 3
Screen dots 460,000
Touch screen Yes
Live view Yes
Viewfinder type None
Photography features
Minimum shutter speed 15 sec
Maximum shutter speed 1/2000 sec
Aperture priority Yes
Shutter priority Yes
Manual exposure mode Yes
Subject / scene modes Yes
Built-in flash Yes
Flash range 6.40 m
External flash No
Flash modes Auto, On, Off, Red-eye, Slow Syncro
Continuous drive 10.0 fps
Self-timer Yes (2 or 10 sec)
Metering modes
  • Multi
  • Center-weighted
  • Spot
Exposure compensation ±2 (at 1/3 EV steps)
AE Bracketing ±1 (3 frames at 1/3 EV, 1 EV steps)
WB Bracketing No
Videography features
Resolutions 1920 x 1080 (60 fps), 1280 x 720 (60, 30 fps), 640 x 480 (30 fps), 320 x 240 (220 fps)
Format MPEG-4, AVCHD
Microphone Stereo
Speaker Mono
Storage
Storage types SD/SDHC/SDXC, Internal
Storage included 12MB internal
Connectivity
USB USB 2.0 (480 Mbit/sec)
HDMI Yes
Remote control No
Physical
Environmentally sealed No
Battery Battery Pack
Battery description Lithium-Ion rechargeable battery & charger
Battery Life (CIPA) 260
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)
Other features
Orientation sensor Yes
Timelapse recording No
GPS BuiltIn

Reviews

DPReview Conclusion

Scoring is relative only to the other cameras in the same category at the time of review.

Score Breakdown
Poor Excellent
Build quality
Ergonomics & handling
Features
Exposure and focus accuracy
Image quality (jpeg)
Flash performance
Low light / high ISO performance
Optics
Performance (speed)
Movie / video mode
Value
Tried & Tested
Tried & Tested
75 %
Overall Score

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 traveler'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

User Reviews

  • KonradDC, Jan 13, 2013 GMT:
    Best balance at the bargain price I paid.

    This camera was purchased cheaply, due to a closing down sale. I would not have bought this camera otherwise. It has won a lot of reviews, though the TZ25 has edged it in some. The image stabilizer is very good. The picture quality is fine, the speed in use is good most of the time except the slight delay when switching on in review mode. The touch screen is a bonus, you can take focus pictures of the target person or object. The TZ30 fixed a few issues of my trusty old TZ6 - mode dial does ...

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  • Old Master, Nov 8, 2012 GMT:
    Trouble with warranty

    What may be a design defect causes the electronics to fail on this and similar models, which Panasonic will not acknowledge. When it works it is a wonderful camera, and mine lived in an air conditioned New York City apartment before it failed. Panasonic refuses to honor the one year warranty within the warranty period because they determined "moisture damage" to a connector on the main circuit board (a few pins appear to be corroded), but were not willing to discuss any other design defect ...

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  • JohnEwing, Oct 29, 2012 GMT:
    P.S.

    Or rather, 5 stars for features and -2 for IQ. Giverny? Monet.

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  • JohnEwing, Oct 29, 2012 GMT:
    Welcome to Giverny

    Impressive features, around 50% of which I haven't touched yet and many of which I'll never need. My gripes are entirely with the image quality: even at low ISO with "intelligent" resolution the details appear smeared. I bought this as a replacement of my TZ3, but I'm beginning to regret it. Anyway, 2.5 stars for features and 0.5 for IQ. Panny can do better than this.

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Questions & Answers

QUESTION

Which point and shoot compact digital camera is best for my needs?

Hi, I am looking for opinions on the following point and shoot cameras.  My needs are pretty basic and described below.  When I say high quality, I mean I don't need bigger then 8x10s  or better than computer/tv slide show quality. Must have: - high quality pictures of kids, family, pets, vacations (Aka scenery) - high quality indoor/low light pictures - relatively long optical zoom Would like: - Wifi - somewhere close to pocketable (think small purse) I had a canon powershot 850 IS digital elph which recently broke.  I could very rarely get a good picture at night or in low light. Also, optical zoom was not enough and digital zoom always made pictures grainy.  I don't know how this camera compares to new ones on the market but I think it was kind of slow at taking pictures or at least in between pictures The two cameras I sort of have it narrowed down to are: - Canon PowerShot sx260 (no wifi) - Samsung WB850F (maybe not quite as good as sx260? but has wifi) I have also considered ...

duquetten asked
2 years ago

ANSWERS

A typo?  The best compacts for low light have sensors larger than the 1/2.3" standard for most P&S, including the zoom models.   The RX100 sensor is about 1/1".  The XZ-1 and LX7 use 1/1.8". Don't dream of good low light results with smaller sensors, unless you use flash or a tripod.  Some models allow high ISO, or merge six shots digitally, to allow for faster shutter speed, which is better than nothing, but look good only on small prints or screens. Continue Reading

John Koch answered
2 years ago

The best point and shoot camera for low light conditions on the market at present bar none is the Sony RX100. Continue Reading

MisterBG answered
2 years ago

If you need high quality indoor / low light pictures, you'll need a model with a sensor that is 1/2.7" or larger.  That also means spending more than $400, and perhaps a whole lot more.  The high end compacts with larger sensors and fast lenses ($650 RX100, $500 LX7, Olympus XZ-1) won't have long zooms, though. Have you looked at a Canon S100? Continue Reading

Cy Cheze answered
2 years ago

QUESTION

Need Help with choosing a camera! ZS20 or wb850f

i need help choosing one of these cameras what are some of your opinions on the better one. love all the features in both,which one has the better IQ and ill also use it alot for videos and vlogging thanks

mikey201 asked
9 months ago

ANSWERS

Assuming you mean the Samsung WB850f, I would say the Panasonic. One main reason: if the DP specifications are complete, this Samsung model does not have manual controls. I almost always shoot in "aperture" mode (which this Samsung doesn't have) at the widest opening. This ensures a notceably sharper image since diffraction reduces sharpness when the lens is "stopped down", and ensures fast shutter speeds, which is usually desireable. I find my ZS25 to have wonderful IQ and I use it as my "only" camera when travelling to other countries. Prints to 16x20 inches are spectacular. Continue Reading

Erik Ohlson answered
9 months ago

yes i was referring to the samsung wb850f, i was looking up reviews and such and yes it does have a manual mode. with that said does it change your opinion or is it still the same? Continue Reading

mikey201 answered
9 months ago

yes i was referring to the samsung wb850f, i was looking up reviews and such and yes it does have a manual mode. with that said does it change your opinion or is it still the same? Continue Reading

mikey201 answered
9 months ago

QUESTION

Help me pick out a decent point&shoot for concerts

Hell everyone, I need a little help deciding on a camera. I currently have a Canon powershot SD1100 IS, which is a few years old (the reason I'm looking to upgrade). It's been a pretty decent camera to me but isn't really cutting it for me for most of my needs. I'm looking for something pocketable (so point&shoot), under $300, decent zoom, with HD video and quality photos.. The main selling point for me is whether or not I can take decent photos & videos at concerts with it. I understand that taking great photos at concerts with a p&S is not likely, but I don't want crazy amazing. I have gotten pretty decent photos with my current camera but the zoom is awful, and video quality not so great. And the way I see it, if I can take decent pictures in low light/concert settings, then regular pictures should come out decent as well. The audio (during videos) on my current camera is rather good though, so that's definitely something I want to keep. I was pretty sure I wanted the Panasonic ...

Jumperjax asked
2 years ago

ANSWERS

Well, a P&S for 'decent' concert photos? That would depend on what you call decent. I wouldn't use a P&S camera at a concert because for me it wouldn't be anywhere near decent. But this line above, out of everything you said, this line above should be taught in every photography course in the land! Continue Reading

kgbruce01 answered
2 years ago

Well I guess the best way to describe "decent" would be that it comes out pretty clear, like... enough to share on Facebook or to look back on and remember the show. I'm by no means a professional photographer, I try to stay informed and get educated on technology before I buy it though... I guess to best describe "decent" to me would be to show some photos that I deem acceptable. Taken on my current camera: From a Kodak EasyShare M381 that I borrowed (hated this camera BTW) I would honestly be OK with photos of this quality, I would prefer better though. Continue Reading

Jumperjax answered
2 years ago

I've taken halfway decent (and I mean only halfway decent) concert pics with a Panasonic P&S. In doing so, I learned that the two highest priority features you want are a fast lens and great low-noise high ISO performance. About the fast lens, specifically you want one that stops down as little as possible when you zoom in. The Canon S110 is particularly bad at this because although it is advertised as an f/2 lens, that's only at wide angle: it is an atrociously slow f/5.9 when zoomed in. That puts a heavy strain on the sensor to try and make up for it, and usually it results in failure because  at f/5.9, the ISO required to get a pic in a dark theater is too grainy, and the shutter speed required is too blurry. Compare to the Panasonic LX7 zoom which is a fantastic f/1.4 wide and is still a fast f/2.3 at maximum zoom. That is a difference of several stops in terms of possible exposure. The lesson there is to not simply go by the max zoom spec of the camera, because you may not be ... Continue Reading

graybalanced answered
2 years ago

Warranty Information

"If your product does not work properly because of a defect in materials or workmanship, Panasonic Consumer Electronics Company or Panasonic Puerto Rico, Inc. (collectively referred to as “the warrantor”) will, for the length of the period indicated on the chart below, which starts with the date of original purchase (“warranty period”), at its option either (a) repair your product with new or refurbished parts, or (b) replace it with a new or refurbished product. The decision to repair or replace will be made by the warrantor."

PRODUCT OR PART NAME PARTS LABOR
DIGITAL STILL CAMERA 1 (ONE) YEAR 1 (ONE) YEAR
CCD 6 (SIX) MONTHS 90 (NINETY) DAYS
RECHARGEABLE BATTERY PACK (IN EXCHANGE FOR DEFECTIVE BATTERY PACK) 90 (NINETY) DAYS NOT APPLICABLE


Go to Panasonic's warranty page for more information or register your product here. DPReview GearShop is an authorized Panasonic dealer in the United States.

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