Whether you consider "traveling" to be simply crossing state lines or flying half way around the world, the new Panasonic Lumix DMC-ZS20 is an excellent travel companion for any kind of trip. Currently, the ZS20 is the slimmest 20x zoom digital camera on the market. Aside from its extreme portability, it also provides travelers with an enhanced built-in GPS functionality, users can easily pinpoint locations where photos were taken and then share them with family and friends on internet maps. More sought after Lumix ZS20 features include a 24mm Leica DC Vario-Elmar Lens, a 14.1 megapixel high-sensitivity CMOS sensor, a 3.0" touchscreen LCD, 10 frames per second high speed burst shooting, light speed AF, 1920 x1080 full HD video capture, manual control, high dynamic range and power O.I.S - just to name a few!
The Panasonic ZS20 has a powerful zoom and a 24mm ultra wide-angle LEICA DC VARIO-ELMAR lens with the ability to shoot full-high defintion (HD) making it an extremely versatile point-and-shoot. The newly-redesigned lens system features a new mechanical structure and optical system to further improve image quality. Additionally, the LUMIX ZS20 lens comes with Nano Surface Coating technology offering vibrant image clarity keeping ghosting and flare at a minimum. Below is a compilation of sample images I shot outside of the NY Public Library at various zoom lengths to demonstrate the Lumix ZS20's superior zoom capability.
With the built-in GPS functionality you can install map data onto the LUMIX ZS20 using the bundled software which gives the camera detailed worldwide maps of major regions on a scale of 1/25,000 or more precise. You can copy the map data of a designated city to an SDXC/SDHC/SD Memory Card (not included with camera!) and access quick geographic information to know your location and if any landmarks are located nearby. There are over one million landmarks and 82 countries/regions covered in the software DVD map. Additionally, Geo-tagged images are automatically sorted and can be played back along a map. This feature allows you to literally trace your photographic journey! And while many GPS enabled cameras show only the latitude and longitude of where a photo is taken, the LUMIX ZS20 steps it up a notch by showing the name of the Country/Region, State/Prov./County, County/Township, City/Town/Village and Landmark – all of which is saved in the EXIF data.
Featuring a newly improved 14.1 megapixel High Sensitivity CMOS sensor, the LUMIX ZS20 is able to provide even higher image quality compared to its predecessors. Along with the advanced image processor Venus Engine, the LUMIX ZS20 provides you with high speed and high sensitivity image recording. Also, High speed burst shooting at 10 fps in full resolution and Light Speed AF allows you to capture even the most fleeting photo opportunities. Below is a photo taken on Intelligent Auto mode at 10x optical zoom - we all know how quickly birds can move, yet I was able to capture the bird (on the right) in mid-flight with the Lumix ZS20.
|High Speed Shooting Capability|
If you're looking for a more intuitive photo experience, the LUMIX ZS20 features iA (Intelligent Auto) mode, which automatically enhances photos without adjusting settings every time conditions change. The new HDR (High Dynamic Range) combined with POWER O.I.S. and Active Mode suppresses blur from hand-shake. AF Tracking, Intelligent ISO Control, Face Recognition, Intelligent Scene Selector, Intelligent Handheld Nightshot, Motion Deblur mode, Intelligent Burst mode and Intelligent Exposure allows users to simply "point and shoot," leaving the camera to figure out the logistics while you can focus your attention on your subject matter and still manage to capture stunning imagery.
|Intelligent Auto (iA) Mode|
If you like to have more control over the cameras mechanisms, the ZS20 also offers manual control options, which allow you to adjust shutter speed and aperture. The LUMIX ZS20 also features a variety of special effects that add fun to a photography shooting experience like 3D Photo Mode, Panorama Mode, Auto Retouch and Creative Control Mode.
Panorama mode makes it possible for users to shoot 360-degree horizontal or vertical panoramic images by taking consecutive shots and then overlay it for the effect of a panoramic photo. The Auto Retouch function automatically adjusts contrast and brightness for a clearer and more natural image which can be applied with the simple press of a button. Additionally, Creative Control mode offers a selection of artistic effects including Expressive Retro, High Dynamic, Sepia, Dynamic Monochrome, High Key, Low Key, Miniature Effect, Toy Effect and Soft Focus.
Below are sample images I shot in NYC using the various special effects. These images should give you a better idea of how these filters can enhance and alter the look and feel of your image when applied.
|Black and White Effect|
|Toy Camera Effect|
|Soft Focus Effect|
With the ability to record high-resolution, full-HD 1,920x1,080 60p videos in AVCHD Progressive (MPEG-4) format (or 30p in MP4), the LUMIX ZS20 upgrades its full-HD recording capability and is able to produce extremely clear video details, even when subjects are moving quickly. The impressive 20x optical zoom with 2-step Zoom function is available in video recording and the popular iA mode can assist you in making video recording stress-free and easy. A stereo zoom microphone provides videos with the high-quality stereo sound of Dolby Digital Stereo Creator which offers highly realistic sound The Auto Wind Cut function helps to block out wind background noise making voices clearer,and mechanical noise caused by zooming is suppressed to improve overall video sound quality performance.
Additional key features of the LUMIX ZS20 include:
- A bright 3.0 inch, 460,000 dot, Smart Touch, LCD Touchscreen
- Touch AF, Touch Zoom or Touch Shutter during recording and various playback functions like scrolling the map with high visibility.
- Flexibility of USB charging or conventional AC adapter charging methods.
- LUMIX Image Uploader for seamless and instant sharing via Facebook or YouTube. Users can individually select the photo or video files they want to share, connect it to a PC with the included USB cable or by inserting the cameras SD Memory Card directly into the PC’s SD Card slot, and then the uploading automatically launches with an easy-to-follow menu option.
This is an excellent point-and-shoot camera with advanced features that would be perfect for any adventure. For pricing and availability, you can go to our Panasonic Lumix DMC-ZS20 product page or visit the H and B Digital storefront location in Manhattan, NYC.