Panasonic Lumix ZS8 Brief Review


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  • 14.1 megapixels
  • CCD sensor
  • 16x optical zoom
  • 24mm wide-angle
  • Optical image stabilization
  • 720p HD video
  • 3-inch LCD
  • Venus Engine VI processor
  • Captures to SD/SDHC media cards
  • Rechargeable lithium-ion battery
  • Release Date: 2011-03-10
  • Final Grade: 85 4.25 Star Rating: Recommended

Panasonic Lumix ZS8
14.1 megapixels; CCD sensor; 16x optical zoom; 24mm wide-angle; Optical image stabilization; 720p HD video; 3-inch LCD; Venus Engine VI processor; Captures to SD/SDHC media cards; Rechargeable lithium-ion battery
By , Last updated on: 9/29/2014

The Panasonic ZS8 is a camera worthy of this venerable travel zoom line. It replaces last year's excellent ZS5, complete with a few spec boosts, like a mighty 16x zoom ratio, 14.1 megapixel resolution, 3-inch LCD, and 24mm wide-angle lens. The longer zoom and increased pixel count don't appear to have hurt image quality, which is great, and the lens' extra versatility should make it even more useful as a carry anywhere. We're not ready to give it a full-on 'A' rating, however, mainly because of the market context this year. Most compact zooms are speed demons with full HD video and respectable high ISO/low light performance. The ZS8 looks somewhat quaint by comparison, but most importantly, it costs almost as much as some of the decked-out competitors. Hopefully the price will fall significantly throughout the year, making it a better overall value. Note: we don't particularly recommend the step-up ZS10 model. It uses a different sensor and runs into some image quality problems; if you're going Panasonic, we recommend the ZS8, or either of last year's models (ZS5 / ZS7).

We're mindful that the extended zoom range and increased megapixel count might lead to some image quality issues, but overall, we expect that the ZS8 will be one of the best values for a mid-priced compact zoom this year.

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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.

We here at Digital Camera HQ offer unbiased, informative reviews and recommendations to guide you to the right camera. We're not an actual store; we're just here to help you find the perfect camera at the best price possible by using our camera grades. Let us know if you have any problems or questions, we're happy to help.