Panasonic Lumix DMC-ZS20

The Panasonic Lumix DMC-ZS20 is a wonderful point-and-shoot camera in all respects.  The main attraction is definitely the 20x zoom, lens which can make shooting from a distance a breeze. The body of this camera is only 1.1 inches thick which is 16 times thinner than its predecessor. Its Leica lens has incredible range from ultra-wide to 20x zoom.  It also produces better photos in low light, giving you the most value for your dollar.


The Panasonic Lumix DMC-ZS20 biggest selling feature has to be the ultra-wide 20x zoom lens which lets you get super close to your subject. It gives very fast shooting performance and produces good pictures in low light. It is a real traveler’s camera with a built in GPS, comfortable design and great features.


The battery life fizzles fast when you use the high performance features on this camera, including the touch screen. The pictures are also fuzzy and soft when viewed at 100 percent. It doesn’t have as many control features as I would have liked, especially since this camera can produce some pixelated photos.


The Panasonic Lumix DM-ZS20 is only good if you are not looking to do any heavy cropping or enlarging of photos. Pictures that are viewed at 100 percent appear pixelated and soft. If you are taking photos in bright light or outside you will get deep and vivid colors. In low light the pictures have improved drastically from older Panasonic Lumix models, but is still not the best in its class. It has a 3-inch touch screen on the back but it can become too reflective in the sunlight. The touchscreen is also underwhelming with only a few features being available for it.

Battery Life

The battery life for the Panasonic Lumix DM-ZS20 is pretty short. There are also many features that contribute to draining the battery including GPS, zoom, burst mode, and HD movie capture. The touch screen also uses up a lot of battery, so I strongly recommend investing in an additional battery that you can carry in your camera case if you are planning on taking pictures for a few hours.


This camera offers up a lot in terms of performance. It gives the user a ton of options when it comes to casual and creative shooting. If you shoot moving subjects like sports or pets, using the multiple burst shooting option gives you the best option at capturing a good photo. Keep in mind that the fastest burst modes at 40 and 60 frames per second are at reduced resolution.  The shutter lag is also very low in bright and low lighting. You can also capture 3D photos in which the ZS20 fires off twenty snaps as you move the camera horizontally across a scene and will choose the best two. It will then overlay them to create a 3D image that can be shown on 3D TVs, computers and digital photo frames. This camera can record in AVCHD-format clips at 1080/60p that give good exposure. The quality is very high and can also record MP4 format at resolutions up to 1080/30p (20Mbps) which is great for editing and uploading to the web. The zoom may seem a bit loud when recording videos as you may be able to hear it on the microphone. This is an excellent choice if you are looking for a compact camera that can record high quality photos and videos. There is an exposure button on the back and a directional that can change the shutter speeds. There are a variety of scene modes including Portrait and Scenery. Panasonic has added some new scene modes including multi-exposure HDR and Panorama Shot. It also has a built in GPS which is fairly simple to use and quickly retrieves data on your current location and where you want to go


The Panasonic Lumix DMC-ZS20 is by far the most improved camera model I have encountered in this line up. Panasonic certainly addressed previous issues and has provided the customer with a terrific camera featuring on trend modes and quality pictures. This camera is one of the best overall cameras for what my personal uses are, including capturing moving life the multiple burst option. I have found that I have gotten a fairly decent picture more often than not by using this feature – it is perfect for photographing pets or children. The improved low-light photos and video quality allow for pictures taken in dim lighting to appear bright and not pixelated. The 20x zoom feature is definitely the biggest draw to this camera, although I did not tend to use it all that much.

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Quick Specifications
Focus AdjustmentAuto
Video Resolution1080p, 720p, VGA, QVGA
Video Format(s)MOV, AVCHD, H.264, MJPEG
Focal Length (35mm equiv.)24-480mm
ConnectivityUSB, HDMI, Composite
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