Panasonic Lumix ZS5 Brief Review


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  • 12 megapixels
  • 12x optical zoom
  • Optical image stabilization
  • 2.7-inch LCD monitor
  • 720p HD video (motion JPEG format)
  • Venus Engine VI image processor
  • Full manual controls
  • Captures to SD/SDHC/SDXC memory cards
  • Rechargeable lithium-ion battery
  • Release Date: 2010-04-06
  • Final Grade: 90 4.5 Star Rating: Recommended

Panasonic Lumix ZS5
12 megapixels; 12x optical zoom; Optical image stabilization; 2.7-inch LCD monitor; 720p HD video (motion JPEG format); Venus Engine VI image processor; Full manual controls; Captures to SD/SDHC/SDXC memory cards; Rechargeable lithium-ion battery
By , Last updated on: 9/29/2014

With a superb zoom range, solid design, speedy performance, and strong image quality, the ZS5 is one of the best travel zooms of the past few years. This configuration is perfect for travelers and hobbyist shooters who need a little more oomph than the run-of-the-mill point-and-shoot can provide. It has a smaller screen and more rudimentary feature set than many other cameras in the class, but the value is excellent -- at least for the next few weeks, maybe months, while it's still available. It's been replaced by the Panasonic ZS8, which is another solid travel zoom, but one that is a bit expensive for its relatively modest feature set. To be clear, there are cameras with faster performance, better image quality, and richer feature sets, but the ZS5 does it all quite well for a low price. We've recently lowered the ZS5's grade to an A minus because, as is typical for discontinued products, the price started to rise as units became scarce. Still a great camera if you want it, and it's not yet more expensive than the better-spec'd current-year models, but it's not quite the value for the dollar that it used to be.

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As a manufacturer known just as well for their camcorders as their cameras, Panasonic was the first on scene to offer 4K video inside a dedicated camera. The Panasonic Lumix GH4 is the first mirrorless camera boasting the higher video resolution, with the FZ1000 as the first compact, bridge-style camera to do so.

Panasonic also produces cameras that provide both a longer zoom range and image stabilization at a price that's relatively cheap. For photographers that need versatility in a small package, Panasonic digital cameras can provide many selections that are suitable. Having something for amateurs and serious enthusiasts at the same time, Panasonic offers a great selection of digital cameras, from ultra compacts to mirrorless cameras. They can be hard to compare because every camera comes with its own unique features and traits.

Panasonic cameras are perfect for consumers that prefer to use automatic modes. Almost all Panasonic cameras currently produced come with a feature called iAuto, which will automatically select the best scene mode for any subject. This feature, in combination with image stabilization will make it very easy for someone just starting out to take excellent photos.

Panasonic cameras are designed to be easy to figure out, giving the user easy access to settings, and users that have reviewed Panasonic digital cameras are quick to confirm this fact. When you opt for a Panasonic camera, you'll discover that it comes with an LCD screen, an optical zoom lens which is very versatile, and is both lightweight and fairly compact.

Panasonic's most popular models are their super zooms and mirrorless, with models ranging from cameras with huge zooms to mirrorless cameras earning the “smallest yet” distinction like the GM-1. They've been more focused on their mirrorless line lately, without introducing budget point-and-shoots in quite some time.

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