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Panasonic Lumix DMC-ZS3 10MP Digital Camera with 12x Wide Angle MEGA Optical Image Stabilized Zoom and 3 inch LCD (Blue)
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- 10.1-megapixel resolution captures enough detail for poster-size prints
- 12x MEGA optical image-stablilized zoom; 25mm ultra-wide-angle lens
- Capture HD video in "AVCHD Lite" format
- Intelligent Auto (iA) mode; Face Recognition feature
- Capture images to SD/SDHC memory cards (not included)
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Panasonic DMC-ZS3A Lumix 10.1 Megapixel Digital Camera, BlueWith AVCHD Lite, iA Mode with Face Recognition, and 25mm wide-angle LEICA DC VARIO-ELMAR lens with 12x optical zoom.Enjoy stunning photos and HD videos from 25mm wide-angle to 12x telephoto!Features:* AVCHD format - beautiful HD images, extended shooting timeThe ZS3 records HD motion images at a smooth 60 frames per second with 1280 x 720-pixel resolution. It uses the AVCHD (MPEG-4/H.264) format,via AVCHD Lite, which stores less data than other formats and thus lets you shoot more minutes of HD motion images before running out of memory.* Zoom-In Movie: You can zoom in and out while shooting motion images.* Stereo Mic: The world's first compact camera to feature Dolby(R) sound, the ZS3 records dynamic, true-to-life audio that brings out the power of the HD images. (Dolby is a trademark of Dolby Laboratories).* Wind cut function: Minimizes the distracting soundyou hear from wind blowing into the mic.* YouTube Uploader: This software (included with the camera) makes it easy to upload your video clips to YouTube(TM).(YouTube is a trademark of Google Inc.)* HDMI output and VIERA Link: The ZS3 is equipped with an HDMI output terminal for direct transmission of digital picture and sound signals. Just connect the camera to an HDTV using a single HDMI mini cable (purchased separately), and it's easyto view beautiful HD photos and motion images. Ifyou have a VIERA HDTV, you can control the camera's playback functions with VIERA's remote control unit. (HDMI, High-Definition Multimedia Interface are trademarks of HDMI Licensing LLC).* iA mode, for beautiful photos and movies - automatically:Just set the camera to iA mode, aim and shoot. The camera does all the rest. It automatically determines the most suitable Scene mode and helps correct blurring, focus, and brightness problems. With iA mode, it's easy to get beautiful, clear results.* 25mm wide-angle LEICA DC VARIO-
From the Manufacturer
The new Lumix ZS3 features 10.1-megapixels, a 25mm ultra-wide-angle lens and 12x optical zoom, meaning it has added 2x optical zoom to the award-winning TZ-series camera, yet reduced its size. The ZS3 also features a Leica DC Vario-Elmar lens and High Definition (HD) video recording ability, known as AVCHD Lite.
The ZS3 is the world’s first digital camera to feature HD video recording in "AVCHD Lite." Compared with the conventional Motion JPEG format, AVCHD Lite allows longer recordings with breathtaking HD visual and audio quality. This combined with a well-considered control interface, which includes a dedicated movie recording button on the camera’s back panel, makes the ZS3 a hybrid model that performs admirably for both still and motion image capture.
The ZS3 also expands Panasonic’s popular Intelligent Auto (iA) mode with the addition of Face Recognition--a feature that "remembers" faces from previous shots. When a registered face appears in the frame, the camera will prioritize focus and exposure to capture it beautifully. With Face Recognition, when a familiar face is recorded several times, the camera will prompt the users to register the face. Once registered, if the face appears into the frame again, the camera will display the name specified for that person and prioritize focus and exposure so that the registered face is bright and sharply focused.
New this year to the ZS-series, iA mode is also available in Movie Mode. It automatically selects the most suitable Scene mode and helps to correct handshake, focus and brightness problems - making iA mode your one-stop solution to capture beautiful still and motion images. In Movie Mode, the ZS3, Optical Image Stabilization (O.I.S.) helps prevent handshake when using the high-powered zoom. Face Detection automatically detects a face in the frame and adjusts focus, exposure, contrast, and skin complexion so it turns out perfectly. Intelligent Exposure continually checks the ambient light level and adjusts the exposure setting as conditions change to prevent blown highlights and blocked shadows. And Intelligent Scene Selector automatically switches between Normal, Portrait, Macro, Scenery, and Low Light modes according to the situation to optimize visual quality.
The imaging power of Lumix has further evolved with the Venus Engine HD, which boasts two CPUs to provide approx. 2.4x processing capability and support for AVCHD Lite and HDMI output. It integrates all the advanced functions and camera operations with high performance and low-power consumption. In image processing, luminance noise and chromatic noise are reduced separately before and after signal processing. This is further refined by separating noise two-dimensionally into high-frequency and low-frequency noise. The circuits then effectively reduce only the low-frequency noise to minimize the unwanted noise and help produce beautiful, sharp still and motion images.
Playback with the ZS-Series is also easy. Simply insert the camera’s SD memory card into the VIERA HDTV’s Image Viewer SD Card slot for a photo slideshow. Alternatively, connect the camera via an optional HDMI mini cable, the DMW-HDC2, to a VIERA Link-equipped Panasonic VIERA HDTV and use the television’s remote control to run mixed slideshows of photos and videos. The ZS3 features a 3-inch, high resolution 460,000-dot Intelligent LCD with a wide viewing angle, improving visibility during recording and playback.
Other features of the Lumix ZS3 include:
- Increased Scene modes for both still and motion image shooting--optimized for a variety of situations. There are 26 scene modes for still image and 17 for motion image (Portrait, Soft Skin, Transform, Self portrait, Scenery, Low light, Food, Party, Candle light, Sunset, High sensitivity, Beach, Snow, Aerial, Pin hole, Film grain and Underwater)
- Two new My Scene settings let users assign their two most frequently used Scene modes to the setting, and with a simple switch, allow access to either scene instantly.
- New Panorama Assist scene mode allows users to shoot a number of consistent photos, either vertically or horizontally, by aligning them according to a guide that overlaps the screen. Then using those photos and the bundled PanoramaMaker software, users can create dramatic panoramic images.
- High-Speed Burst (Speed Priority) that fires off approx. 10 shots per second.
- Menus are clearer and easier to navigate with the Display Size option.
- Macro Zoom function lets users pull subjects even closer to capture dramatic close-up shots by using the 3x digital zoom in the wide-angle.
- Bundled Software: The latest version of PHOTOfunSTUDIO 3.0 HD Edition allows users to view, edit and archive captured content with greater ease and fun. Still and motion images can be transferred to the computer via a USB cable for viewing and archiving. Using PHOTOfunSTUDIO 3.0 HD Edition, users can edit and remove unwanted portions of video clips recorded in AVCHD Lite. Contents recorded in AVCHD Lite can be burned directly onto a DVD disc or the software can convert contents to MPEG2 format. The software also incorporates the Face Recognition function, which recognizes registered faces in photos stored on the computer, making organizing and archiving photos with a specific person much easier. Additionally, motion pictures can be uploaded directly to YouTube.
Battery Pack, Battery Case, Battery Charger, AV Cable, USB Connection Cable, CD-ROM, Hand Strap, Operating Instructions
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Top customer reviews
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This camera's 12x zoom and 12MP sensor produces pictures that are as sharp as a needle. You cannot get a good picture without a sharp lens. I'd wager this is the sharpest zoom lens above 10x that has ever been shipped on any travel zoom (including sony and canon and all later panasonic cameras). This is VERY SIGNIFICANTLY sharper than anything Canon has ever made in a pocket camera! I say this having owned the successor lens in a ZS15 (16x Leica), and also having purchased SLR lenses for their sharpness for Pentax and Nikon cameras, and my wife having owned a Canon G2 camera.
The intelligent auto is amazingly smart and wicked fast (1.4 secs to turn-on and 0.4 seconds shutter lag). It takes sunset photos and gets optimal details BELOW the horizon, where you have to set a special exposure otherwise the sun blows out the highlights everywhere else in the photo. The focus system is superb and normally gets at least 2/3 of the frame in perfect focus, which leverages the exceptional power of the tack-sharp lens.
The sensor is very cleverly made in a + shape so that no matter if you are shooting 4:3 or 16:9 photos, you have the maximum number of pixels available to get a quality photo!
We used this camera nonstop for 2 years to photograph and shoot video in soccer tournaments and swim meets. The camera was used with a tripod for the soccer tournaments, and some of the 720p video was superior (more saturated and realistic-looking) than that of a $5,000 Canon rig that the professional videographer dad was using. And, this is because Panasonic (and Sony) specialize in Video, so their cameras pan and zoom without the stabilizer trying to "hold on" to the photo (resulting in very jerky pans and zooms in other cameras, such as Canon).
Unlike some other cameras, this one can do motorized zoom while filming (not just digtal magnification like in most crappy canon pocket cameras.)
The trick to getting optimal photos is to set ISOMAX=800 and intelligent everything, and then let the stabilizer clean up your photos. This forces the OIS to work much harder than normal.
The main downside to this camera is that in low light, it produces a great deal of yellow color noise, i.e. yellow splotches in dark areas. People install the GIMP (Gnu Image Manipulation Program) freeware program and add the "Wavelet Denoise" add-on. Then you can post-process out the color noise. The ZS7 fixed the color noise problem but it has too much processing and too much pixel detail was lost. You can get almost as good a photo on the ZS7 if you turn down the processing algorithms to minimum.
The other downside is that the photo mode wheel can get stuck between two settings and the camera won't take pictures for a moment when this happens. It's a very minor annoyance that only happens if you are switching modes al the time.
There is still not a point and shoot camera (circa 2015) that can take a sharper photo at 12x zoom than this model.
I lost my zs3 so today I use a zs15. The later 16x and 20x and 25x and 30x lenses are all declining in sharpness, and especially doggy were the zs8, zs9, zs10 CCD cameras, so stay away from these cameras!. My new zs15 has a very special FZ200 CMOS sensor and so it takes much better night photos than the CCD in this ZS3 camera, and it was an attempt by Panasonic to salvage its reputation after the horrific failure of the zs10. The zs15 is almost as sharp as the zs3 but I cannot take pictures 25 feet away in a daylight room with lights off and read the book spines, like I can on the zs3 or zs7 with processing turned down. The lack of a CMOS sensor in the zs3/zs7 camera is its only disadvantage, and it's a minor disadvantage compared to what you get for advantages in picture sharpness and fluid movie-taking.
1) Outdoors, in daylight, amazingly good photos
2) Excellent battery life
3) Pretty user friendly
4) Compact, easy to carry around in a coat pocket
5) HD video from such a small camera is a major plus
6) Zoom great for pictures of screen from distance, either standard outdoors photo or rear of conference hall
7) Wide angle works very well
8) fast focus, even in low light (see other low light comments below, however)
1) Flash is good for about 5 to 8 feet, if you're expecting to see the same quality for indoor images as you will see for outdoor photography. If used beyond 10 feet or so, it will illuminate subjects, image on camera LCD will look GREAT, but image and subjects will look grainy on your computer due to high ISO setting (400, 800, etc) made by camera. While this graininess is to be expected at these settings, it is easy to be fooled by how good image looks on camera LCD right after photo is taken. Another reviewer commented earlier on these same issues with flash. Message to Panasonic: more power to flash in future versions. Message to user: indoor flash use will produce excellent, detailed photos if subject < 6 to 8 feet; ok photos that are acceptable, if somewhat grainy if beyond this.
2) As others have mentioned, the dial on top right portion of camera that selects shooting mode is very loose, and will change settings on its own going into/coming out of your pocket. The camera is so good overall, that this is a minor nuisance, and one learns to check this as camera is turned on for use.
3) Extra batteries, cables, are hard to come by. DO NOT buy spare batteries listed with product as accessories on Amazon or other web sites without checking battery # and ensuring a match: there are some listed on the ZC3's product page that do not work with this camera. Save yourself expense/hassle of return. Panasonic web site lists correct battery product number. (BCG10PP is correct battery number at the time of this writing).
4) Need to remember to reset white balance. If you take photos indoors in NORMAL mode and set WB for indoor lighting, put camera away for the night, then turn camera on the next day, it will still be set for indoor lighting. Would be nice if there was an option to retain this setting/auto return to default when camera is turned off/on (the camera has this feature to retain current zoom level/reset to default setting when camera turned on/off)
5) It is possible some casual users may find it a bit of a challenge to take advantage of all the pre-set exposure options, while some experienced users will find it frustrating that there is not more control.
6) Found it difficult to get as good results with night shots as the camera seemed to over-ride my manual attempts to open shutter by 1 to 2 stops.
7) Also with regard to night shots, low light photos, etc... For taking pictures in low light setting, a few adjustments are needed to NORMAL mode. In low light, the camera will not use settings below ISO 200 (i.e. ISO 100, 80, etc..) unless you specify that. This accounts for part of the graininess of low light photos. This is partly necessary because the shutter speed "default" setting will not allow exposures beyond 1/8 second. So, if one wants to take higher quality picture in low light with longer shutter speed, both the ISO SENSITIVITY and the SHUTTER speed need to be manually adjusted in NORMAL mode (as best I can tell, to set ISO below 200, and use longer exposure [maximum exposure I found in NORMAL mode is 1 second]). While longer exposures are available in the pre-set modes (such as "Starry sky" mode), these are still somewhat grainy, I believe, due to high ISO setting used by camera. These are good precautions for casual photographer who is OK with modest quality low light photo, may have shaky hand, or does not use tripod, but an obstacle for more experienced user with a tripod, steady hand, etc...who want really high quality pictures. Perhaps I've missed something in instructions, but this is best I understand things at this time.
Overall, I am very happy with the camera and glad I made the purchase. Would have given it 4.5 stars if had the chance, except for the low light issues.