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Panasonic DMC-ZS40K Digital Camera with 3-Inch LCD (Black)
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- Eye level viewfinder (EVF) for improved viewing and stability
- Leica 30X Super Zoom (24-720mm) stabilized for still & HD Video
- Lens mounted control ring for improved feature control versatility
- Future Proofed with GPS and Wi-Fi with NFC
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From the manufacturer
Panasonic LUMIX ZS40: The All-in-one 30X Super Zoom Adventure Camera
Key features include: Eye level viewfinder (EVF) for improved viewing and stability, Leica 30X Super Zoom (24-720mm) stabilized for still & HD Video, Lens mounted control ring for improved feature control versatility, and Future Proofed with GPS and WiFi with NFC.
Manual control is easy to do with the Control Ring. You'll be empowered with direct, intuitive control over frequently used settings like zooming, aperture, shutter speed, and Creative Control filters. Manual focusing is also available with smooth Control Ring operation.
Manual Focus / Focus Peaking
For more precise control over focusing, the ZS40 incorporates Focus Peaking that shows the peak of focus in MF mode. You can see the peak of focus while monitoring the subject in live view, and take advantage of this function when controlling* the camera with a smartphone / tablet via Wi-Fi for both photo and video recording. *It is recommended to use the latest version of the 'Panasonic Image App' to use this feature
The Power to Boost Your Creativity
In addition to a remarkable 30x* optical zoom lens, the Panasonic LUMIX ZS40 features powerful manual functions to boost your creativity. Enjoy a LVF (Live View Finder), a Control Ring, RAW compatibility, and Focus Peaking all in an ultra-compact body. You'll have the power to shoot everything from ordinary snapshots to breathtaking travel photography and beyond. *35mm camera equivalent: 24-720mm
30x Optical Super Zoom in an Ultra-Compact Body
The Panasonic LUMIX ZS40 is packed with optical technologies for superior versatility in your photography. Discover the 24mm ultra wide-angle lens for dynamic landscapes and travel photography, or extend the lens to a 30x zoom (35mm equivalent: 24-720mm) for capturing candid portraits, sports, and wildlife photography. All of this optical power is packed within the camera's slim, flat body.
Built-In Live View Finder
The ZS40 comes equipped with a 0.2-inch LVF (Live View Finder) with 200K-dot equivalent resolution, and 100% field of view. This adds stability when framing your subjects and high visibility of live view images even at high magnification under strong sunlight. You can even set the camera to 60 fps to smoothly display fast-moving subjects.
Better Videos with HYBRID O.I.S. + and Level Shot Function
The HYBRID O.I.S. + for video recording includes a 5-axis correction that detects and compensates for the camera's 5 types of movement - horizontal, vertical, axis of rotation, vertical rotation, and horizontal rotation. Your videos will look sharp and blur free. The Level Shot Function detects the horizontal line in your video and keeps it level even if the camera is tilted. Shoot stable videos even when recording from high or low angles.
Easy Smartphone Wi-Fi Connection with NFC
The versatile ZS40 boasts Wi-Fi connectivity with NFC technology so you can enjoy flexible shooting and instant image sharing with easy operation. Connect the camera to a smartphone / tablet by simply placing them near each other and follow the simple steps. Set-up is extremely easy and finishes within a few seconds. Even if a smartphone / tablet is incompatible with NFC, you can still be easily connected to the camera by scanning the QR code displayed on the camera monitor*. *It is recommended o use the latest version of the 'Panasonic Image App' to use this feature.
18.1-Megapixel High Sensitivity MOS Sensor
The 18.1-megapixel High Sensitivity MOS sensor delivers high quality images from even difficult lighting situations. The ZS40 boasts high-speed signal output and high sensitivity image recording. The superior NR (Noise Reduction) system in the Venus Engine enables deliberate noise reduction, without missing low-frequency noise, in the large detection area in high sensitivity image recording even at ISO 6400 (extended).
|Auto Focus Technology|
|Battery Average Life||300 Photos|
|Battery Type||Lithium Ion|
|Continuous Shooting Speed||10 fps|
|Display Fixture Type||Fixed|
|Display Resolution Maximum||920000|
|Display Size||3 inches|
|Effective Still Resolution||18.1 MP|
|Expanded ISO Maximum||6,400|
|Expanded ISO Minimum||100|
|Exposure Control Type|
|External Memory Included||Yes|
|File Format||JPEG (DCF Exif 2.3), RAW (RW2), MPO|
|Flash Memory Installed Size||12|
|Flash Memory Type||SD/SDHC/SDXC, Internal|
|Flash Type||Built-In Flash|
|Focus Description||23-pt contrast detect|
|Focus Type||Includes Manual Focus|
|HDMI Type||micro HDMI|
|ISO Range||Auto, 100, 200, 400, 800, 1600, 3200 (boost to 6400)|
|Image Aspect Ratio||1:1, 4:3, 3:2, 16:9|
|Item Dimensions||2.52 x 1.34 x 4.37 inches|
|Item Weight||0.53 pounds|
|Lithium Battery Energy Content||1,250 Milliampere Hour (mAh)|
|Lithium Battery Voltage||3.6 Volts|
|Lithium Battery Weight||15 grams|
|Macro Focus Range||3 cm|
|Maximum Aperture Range||F3.3 - F6.4|
|Maximum Focal Length||720 mm|
|Maximum Shutter Speed||1/2000 of a second|
|Maximum horizontal resolution||4,896|
|Metering||Multi, Center-weighted, Spot|
|Minimum Focal Length||24 mm|
|Minimum Shutter Speed||4 seconds|
|Optical Sensor Resolution||18.1 MP|
|Optical Sensor Technology||MOS|
|Photo Sensor Technology||CMOS|
|Processor Description||Venus Engine|
|Remote Control Description||via smartphone|
|Sensor Cleaning Method||No|
|Shipping Weight||0.95 pounds|
|Supported Battery Types||Lithium-ion battery and USB charger|
|Video Capture Format||MPEG-4, AVCHD|
|Video Capture Resolution||1920 x 1080 (60p/60i/30p), 1280 x 720 (60p/30p), 640 x 480 (30p)|
|Viewfinder Description||200000 dots|
|Water Resistance Level||Not Water Resistant|
The Panasonic LUMIX DMC-ZS40 Digital Camera is a compact point-and-shoot digital camera with an 18.1MP High Sensitivity MOS sensor. The point and shoot features Venus Engine image processor to enable high-resolution still imaging and full HD 1080p video recording with excellent low-light quality and sensitivity to an expandable ISO 6400. The imaging performance has improved significantly with the built-in Leica DC Vario-Elmar 30x optical zoom lens, which provides a 35mm-equivalent focal length range of 24-720mm. Aspherical and extra-low distribution of elements produce sharp, high contrast imagery and also work to minimize distortion throughout the zoom range. The extensive zooming capabilities of this lens is HYBRID O.I.S.+ image stabilization which gives excellent stabilized results.The camera features with both a large 3.0 inches 920k-dot LCD screen and 0.2 In. 200k-dot electronic viewfinder for better live viewing experiences. The LCD also provides instinctive menu navigation for applying camera settings, including Creative Control modes and Creative Panorama, as well as accessing the built-in Wi-Fi functionality with GPS capabilities. The Wi-Fi connectivity enables instant sharing photos or videos to linked mobile devices, remote shooting and viewing. Further rounding out the versatile design of the camera is a Control Ring, which surrounds the lens to provide intuitive and efficient access and adjustment to some of the most oft-used camera settings and features.Features: 18.1MP High Sensitivity MOS Sensor and Venus Engine: An 18.1 megapixel 1/2.3 In. High Sensitivity MOS sensor and Venus Engine image processor work together to produce high-resolution imagery with notable low-light sensitivity to an expanded ISO 6400. The combination of these two technologies also results in an excellent signal-to-noise ratio to realize imagery with a high degree of clarity and minimal noise
Read about our customers' top-rated cameras on our review page: Point-and-Shoot Cameras
Top Customer Reviews
- 30X Zoom Lens (24-720mm equivalent)
- Adjustment ring around lens
- Adjustment wheel around 4-way controller
- GPS with logging and geotagging
- Amazing menus
- Internal battery charge via non-standard cable
- 18 MP sensor
- No Maps
The body is completely covered in an elastomer (all the black areas on the silver version), while great in hand, this rubber coating impedes the insertion into small pockets. No professional or user review has ever mentioned the rubber coating, it was a complete surprise to me. The front raised grip and rear thumb rest are well placed and are all you need for a secure grip of such a light camera.
LENS & SENSOR
The lens and sensor have to be discussed together. The 30X zoom would not be possible without the tiny sensor, even then the maximum aperture f/3.5-f/6.3 is dim. The lens has 5 aspherical elements with 10 aspherical surfaces, only possible at this price by molding, not grinding, the elements. A decade ago a single aspherical element was a big deal, how far we've come. The tiny CMOS sensor has the light gathering pixels on one side and control transistors on the other, unlike a CCD sensor. Why 18MP, only because the stupid MP race has yet to end, more tiny pixels is not better, just adds digital noise. Don't expect miracles, this camera is more about world class memories than world class images.
The two adjustment rings, one around the lens and another around the 4-way controller are amazingly handy and user configurable. Their function changes depending on the mode you set unless you "lock" them via the menu. I locked the lens ring to zoom only. When you zoom, it provides more steps and 35mm equivalent focal lengths on either display. The wheel around the 4-way falls easy to your thumb, I mainly use it to cruise the menus.
Optical image stabilization is the way to go and the ZS40 incorporates Panasonic's latest and greatest evolution of OIS. Yes you really can take steady photos at 720mm focal length.
The electronic view finder is a key element of the ZS40. In bright light conditions it is viewable when the LCD might not. It has a adjustment to compensate for your individual vision. Another benefit is placing the camera to your head affords an addition steadying point for long zoom photos and video. To those of us with bifocals, one's arms may not be long enough to focus on the LCD, the EVF solves this.
The GPS has both geotagging and logging. Add to this a POI database of 5-million points. I tested the geotagging, logging and POI database on a recent trip to the Grand Canyon and was impressed with all three. I was able to import the photos into BaseCamp and see them in map context, no more "where did I take that photo?". The logger will record a point every 15-sec and I can easily convert the NEMA or KML file to GPX to view the track distance or see it on a topo map. The GPS uses external data (Assist Data) to speed GPS acquisition. The ZS40 instantly found my router and downloaded the data, very impressed. The data is updated weekly and you'll need to update at least monthly for fastest acquisition. The battery life was as good or better than any Garmin I've used (I own five), still you'll want to carry spare batteries. The batteries are tiny, light and inexpensive, get an external charger while you're at it.
My test for pocketability is the chest pocket of my polo shirts, the ZS40 passes. I added a neck lanyard for the occasional out-of-pocket escape. This feature goes to the best camera is the one you have with you. For most that is the near ubiquitous smartphone.
The menus are very easy to read on the LCD and each has a text scroll to explain its function. There are so many menu options that Panasonic did an excellent job of attempting to simplify the complexity.
You can take AVCHD Lite (1280 x 720, 60p) video until the battery is dead. All the high end AVCHD formats are capped at 30-minutes. Most would find 30 min ample, but in case you want to set and forget, you can. I took a short video of a mountain stream with a series of falls and played it back on my HDMI monitor, just like being there, the sound and video were amazing.
For me a near perfect combination of a pocketable high zoom camera with a very functional GPS. The EVF solves many viewing problems of modern digital cameras while adding an insignificant amount to weight or size. For many hikes this will be all I'll need, for longer hikes I'll add one of the Garmin's for the Topo Maps. This a complicated computer that takes photos, don't expect to learn it in a day. It'll grow on you as you learn its many features. I'm still learning.
Update July 2015:
So after one year plus what have I learned about the ZS40? No in camera settings for saturation or sharping, bummer. I now batch process all my JPEGs saving to a new file 18MP > 1MP, add saturation, and sharpen. I use the included USB cable to charge the battery because it automatically updates the GPS Access Data. The GPS locks MUCH faster if your record a log files all the time, the battery hit is minimal. As expected the lens is no paradigm of sharpness, one thing to design it on a computer, quite another to manufacture and assemble. While the EVF is small and dim, it's a must for long telephoto shots and a brimmed hat is needed for shading in bright sun. I use 24mm much more frequently than 720mm. For all its flaws, I'd buy another if it dies.
Update Feb `16:
Well the ZS40 died, took it to Hawaii for a month in late-2015. Somewhere between the summit of Mauna Loa at 13,000' and my sea level apartment it lost the ability to focus. At turn-on at 24mm it was in-focus, as soon as I zoomed it went OoF. The GPS also stopped working. It wasn't the elevation, I had it to 13K many times in Colo. My WAG is that it was the salt in the air from living 100-yards from the ocean. Because the ZS40 is the only 30X with EVF and GPS, I bought another, a refurb from an Amazon seller.
The build quality is excellent and it feels solid. The image quality is excellent given the small sensor and 18 megapixels (though I agree with many that it might have been even better if there were only 16 or fewer megapixels). Yes there is noise at higher ISOs (above 400), but I expected that and it seems very good to excellent for this class of camera. FYI, [...] has sample shots and nice review of the Canon sx700 with a comparison to Panasonic zs40. His verdict is that the image quality and noise reduction are similar overall - one edges the other in some situations, the other edges ahead in other situations (it will be interesting to see the [...] review of the Panasonic when it comes out in the near future).
The 30x lens is lovely! Nice and wide to great distance. The image stabilizing works well. Focusing is fast, except at long zoom and very low light (which is typical of this class of cameras). I've seen some reviews complain about the low resolution of the electronic viewfinder (EVF), so I was surprised to find it is much better than I expected - once I used the diopter control to adjust it for my glasses. Best, at least it has an EVF for those bright, sunny days when that pretty much wipe out your ability to see the LCD!! Nothing else in this class has that. As for the LCD, it is large and sharp. The various display options show a lot of information, and there is an optional histogram (though small). There is a dedicated function button that you can program as you choose, and a programable wheel around the lens that I am impressed with, though I am just learning how useful it is. Again, I'm not aware of other travel zooms with these features. I saw one review that complained about the shadows from the lens barrel when it is at full zoom, so I tested this and I have not seen a shadow with the flash. I also saw someone complain that the flash was too bright for portraits and needed to be adjustable. Again, I haven't seen any travel zooms with adjustable flashes, but the other option is to decrease the exposure so the sensor captures less light - which this camera allows. In fact, the camera has exposure bracketing so that you can automatically capture 3 photos at different exposures then pick the best one (though I don't think this will work with the flash engaged). Again, something I can't recall seeing on most travel zooms. Finally, when you do take a picture, you have the option of saving it in raw format (capturing all information), or one of two jpeg formats, or both. Again, I can't recall a travel zoom that has allowed this in the past, though many people have asked for it.
A few advanced features that I've only just begun to try out. It has WiFi and I tried this out with my iPad using the free Panasonic Imaging App. It works ok, but the app really needs some documentation/help screens, because these are not provided in the little WiFi guide that comes with the camera. There is an airplane mode for when you fly, and I can see maybe setting the function button to that if you fly a lot. The GPS function seems easy to use and I like the landmarks feature that is included, but be aware the GPS stays on even when you turn off the camera, unless you put the camera in airplane mode. This means the GPS will be a constant drain on the batteries. So I've turned it off when I am at home - just hope I remember to turn it on when I travel. It is worth noting that other travel zooms may have WiFi and others have GPS, but only a few have both. Another feature I like is that you can turn on a display that shows both the horizontal and vertical axes of the camera vs. the earth in order to level the camera - very nice feature that I've never seen on a travel zoom before.
So overall, I really like this camera. It is well designed and lets you do so many things and produces great pictures. It is a great travel zoom.
So why don't I give this camera 5 stars? Because I'm rating what's in the box, as well as what isn't. What's in the box is a USB charger and cable, but the connection on the camera is to an unusual micro USB connection that is essentially proprietary to Panasonic. So if you lose that cable, you can't use just any old cable to charge the camera, you have to get a new one from Panasonic. Worse, digital cameras eat batteries, so you should always carry a spare and a charger so you can charge the spare while you are using the camera. The problem here is that Panasonic doesn't include a separate charger in the box - you only have the option of charging batteries in the camera. So what if you want to use the camera and have a spare battery that needs charging? TOUGH LUCK, SUCKER!! True, you can buy a third party charger (and get a good deal on a pair of extra batteries at the same time), but for a $450 camera, that is outrageous. So I knocked a star off of what's in the box due to the proprietary connector/cable and the lack of a separate charger. Neither of these are deal breakers since you can buy a third party charger, but they sure piss me (and others) off.