The high-end pocket Super Zoom Panasonic Lumix DMC-ZS20 and kid brother Panasonic Lumix DMC-ZS15 have been officially announced today. Panasonic is touting the Lumix DMC-ZS20 as the “world’s slimmest digital camera with a 20x optical zoom lens,” while the Lumix DMC-ZS15 rocks a noble 16x optical zoom.
Panasonic Lumix DMC-ZS20
The latest “World’s Best” claim is now pinned to the Panasonic Lumix DMC-ZS20 with its 20x optical zoom and thin, pocketable body. For optics, the Lumix DMC-ZS20 has a 24mm ultra wide-angle LEICA DC VARIO-ELMAR with Nano Surface Coating technology, which is supposed to improve image clarity with minimized ghosting and flare. For imaging, the Lumix DMC-ZS20 has a newly developed 14.1-megapixel High Sensitivity MOS sensor coupled with new Venus Engine processing that allows the camera to capture up to 10 fps at full resolution and employ Light Speed AF for a quick autofocus performance.
I’ve always loved the video modes on higher-end Panasonics, and the Lumix DMC-ZS20 is no slouch. The camera can record full-HD 1,920 x 1,080 60p videos in AVCHD Progressive (MPEG-4) format (or 30p in MP4), with the benefit of a Dolby Digital-enhanced built-in microphone equipped with an Auto Wind Cut feature.
Shooters can track their videos and stills courtesy of the Lumix DMC-ZS20’s GPS function that relies on map data via the bundled DVD. The ZS20 has manual control options, allowing the user to adjust shutter speed and aperture, in addition to a 3D Photo Mode and a variety of special effects. 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. The Lumix DMC-ZS20 has a Panorama Shot mode that enables 360-degree panoramic shots and the Creative Retouch mode offers users six filters – Toy Effect, Soft Focus, Dynamic Monochrome, Expressive, High Key and Retro for artistic effects.
The Panasonic Lumix DMC-ZS20 has iA (Intelligent Auto) for beginners, in addition to a slew of other advanced controls like the new HDR (High Dynamic Range). POWER O.I.S. with Active Mode, which suppresses blur from hand-shake, AF Tracking, Intelligent ISO Control, Face Recognition, Intelligent Scene Selector, Intelligent Handheld Nightshot, Motion Deblurmode, Intelligent Burst mode and Intelligent Exposure will all join the party as well to make the Panasonic Lumix DMC-ZS20 one of the most competitive point-and-shoots on the market.
More fun Panasonic Lumix DMC-ZS20 features include:
- Large, 3.0-inch 460,000-dot Smart Touch LCD Screen
- 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 checkmark the photo or video files they want to share, connect it to a PC with the included USB cable or by inserting the SD Memory Card directly into the PC’s SD Card slot, and then the uploading automatically launches with an easy-to-follow menu option.
Panasonic Lumix DMC-ZS15
Let’s also not forget about the Panasonic Lumix DMC-ZS15, which is a watered-down version of the ZS20. The Lumix DMC-ZS15 features a 24mm ultra-wide angle 16x optical zoom LEICA DC VARIO-ELMAR lens (24-383mm on 35mm camera equivalent) with 32x Intelligent Zoom. Other features include:
- 12.1-megapixel High Sensitivity MOS Sensor
- Full HD Video Recording in 60i AVCHD*5 and 30p in MP4
- Monaural Microphone
- Large, 3.0-inch 460,000-dot Intelligent LCD
The LUMIX ZS20 and ZS15 will be available in March 2012 for a suggested retail price of $349.99 and $279.99 respectively.