Panasonic Lumix DMC-ZS10 Review

 

1. Lumix DMC-ZS10 Intro

Panasonic recently released a worthy new member in their famous ZS-series of digital cameras featuring a very long zoom. The model ? DMC-ZS10 (with various letters identifying the body color). Among the most notable improvements versus the previous models we need to mention the new 16x optical system using high-quality LEICA DC VARIO-ELMAR lens, full HD capture up to 1920×1080 pixels (AVCHD), a new built-in GPS, 14 megapixel sensor (from 12MB for the previous model), a new 3D Photo mode and a very fast burst shooting that can take 10 frames per second at full 14MP resolution. Also new in this model is the addition of a touchscreen.

Like the predecessor, DMC-ZS10 is available in multiple colors, more precisely six. The model names are DMC-ZS10K (black), DMC-ZS10S (silver), DMC-ZS10A (blue), DMC-ZS10N (gold), DMC-ZS10R 9red) and DMC-ZS10T (brown).

2. In the box

Lumix DMC-ZS10 comes standard with a battery charger, one battery pack, Stylus Pen, AV cable, USB cable, hand Strap, software CD.

The software CD includes drivers, PHOTOfunSTUDIO 6.1 HD Lite Edition, Quick Time, Adobe Reader and a trial version for Super LoiLoScope , an easy AVCHD video editor.

3. Technical Specs

  • ISO Sensitivity – Auto / i.ISO / 100 / 200 / 400 / 800 / 1600
    High Sensitivity (1600-6400)
  • Movie formats 4:3
    VGA: 640 x 480 pixels, QVGA: 320 x 240 pixels,
    30 fps (Motion JPEG)
    HD Movie
    1,920 x 1,080 pixels, (GFS: 17 Mbps, FSH: 17 Mbps / AVCHD)
    [NTSC Model] 60i *Sensor output is 30p.
    [PAL Model] 50i *Sensor output is 25p.
    1,280 x 720 pixels, (GS: 17 Mbps, SH: 17 Mbps / AVCHD)
    [NTSC Model] 60p *Sensor output is 30p.
    [PAL Model] 50p *Sensor output is 25p.
    1,280 x 720 pixels, 30 fps (Quicktime Motion JPEG)
  • Photo formats: 1:1 Aspect Ratio:
    3,232 x 3,232 pixels (10.5M) / 2,736 x 2,736 pixels (7.5M EZ) / 2,304 x 2,304 pixels (5.5M EZ) / 1,920 x 1,920 pixels (3.5M EZ) / 1,536 x 1,536 pixels (2.5M EZ) / 480 x 480 pixels (0.2M EZ)
    4:3 Aspect Ratio:
    4,320 x 3,240 pixels (14M) / 3,648 x 2,736 pixels (10M EZ) / 3,072 x 2,304 pixels (7M EZ) / 2,560 x 1,920 pixels (5M EZ) / 2,048 x 1,536 pixels (3M EZ) / 640 x 480 pixels (0.3M EZ)
    3:2 Aspect Ratio:
    4,320 x 2,880 pixels (12.5M) / 3,648 x 2,432 pixels (9M EZ) / 3,072 x 2,048 pixels (6M EZ) / 2,560 x 1,712 pixels (4.5M EZ) / 2,048 x 1,360 pixels (2.5M EZ) / 640 x 424 pixels (0.3M EZ)
    16:9 Aspect Ratio:
    4,320 x 2,432 pixels (10.5M) / 3,648 x 2,056 pixels (7.5M EZ) / 3,072 x 1,728 pixels (5.5M EZ) / 2,560 x 1,440 pixels (3.5M EZ) / 1,920 x 1,080 pixels (2M EZ) / 640 x 360 pixels (0.2M EZ)

4. Photos

While the resolution has been improved (14MP), the photo quality is very similar with its predecessor so I won’t go into too many details even if I should cover the photo quality better in a review. I will only say that I am not a profession photographer so I won’t get into too many details. DMC-ZS10 takes superb photos in daylight and somewhat noisy shots in low light, but the quality is certainly above average.

The speed is also better than previous model, DMC-ZS10 being able to take up to 10 shots per second at full resolution, 60 frames per second at 3.5MP resolution and up to 220 frames per second in QVGA resolution.

New for this model though is the 3D mode that produces a 3D photo inside the camera by using an ingenious software algorithm. DMC-ZS10 will take 20 panning shots and selects the best images from your right and left eye and combine them into a 3D picture. To view such 3D shots you’ll need a MPO compatible device (Viera HDTV is one of them, also you can find 3D compatible Photo Frames).

Photo mode features:

  • iA (Intelligent Auto) Mode
  • POWER O.I.S. (Optical Image Stabilizer) – Shake Detection Active Mode (new)
  • Motion Deblur Mode
  • Face Detection AF/AE with Face Recognition
    Digital Red-eye Correction (Red-eye Removal)
  • Intelligent Scene Selector – Scene Detection
    Intelligent Handheld Nightshot Mode (new) /
    Touch-screen Operation  (new)/ Happy Mode
  • Intelligent ISO Control – Motion Detection
  • Intelligent Exposure – Light Detection / Auto Backlight Compensation
  • Touch AF Tracking – Subject Detection / Quick AF
  • Intelligent Burst Mode (new)

5. Movies

Lumix DMC-ZS10 is one of the first compact cameras to record full HD (1920×1080) video in the now standard AVCHD (MPEG-4 / H.264) format. The format is directly viewable on your Sony PS3 for example and numerous other devices. The camera is also compatible with PAL / NTSC although in this case, that means the number of frames (50/60) per second rather than the resolution.

As for the pictures, the long 16x optical zoom is also available for the movies along with the optical image stabilizer, face detection, intelligent scene selector and intelligent exposure modes.

6. Storage

DMC-ZS10 has a built-in memory (18MB) but that won’t take you too far, being enough for just several shots. It uses a SD memory card though and compatible with the latest SD card standards all the way to SDHC (max 32GB) and SDXC (max 2TB)

7. GPS

The GPS can be used to geo-tag both photos and movies, it includes 203 countries in the database and more than one million landmarks recognized, covering 82 countries. The search speed is also improved from the previous model.

The camera also features advanced playback modes based on the GPS info recorded and automatic sorting in the software.

An interesting disclaimer regarding GPS functions is provided: GPS may not work in China and its border regions.

8. Connectivity

The standard connectivity includes mini HDMI connector, AV Output (PAL / NTSC), USB 2.0 High-speed conenctor.

9. Web sharing

DMC-ZS10 uses Lumix Image Uploader for easy sharing via Facebook (for digital photos) or YouTube (for videos).

10. Conclusion

Panasonic Lumix DMC-ZS10 is one of the best compact on the market and probably the smallest long zoom camera. Although a bit pricey, premium features like full HD capture, extra long zoom (for a compact), GPS and fast shooting will offer you the best package in a small body available.

10.1 Pros

  • full HD (1920×1080) video capture
  • 14 MP sensor
  • 16x high quality Leica optical system
  • 3D Photo Mode

10.2 Cons

  • a bit pricey
  • somewhat noisy shots in low light
  • average battery life (between 200-250 shots per battery charge)

11. Gallery

 

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