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Panasonic Lumix DMC-ZS5 12.1 MP Digital Camera with 12x Optical Image Stabilized Zoom with 2.7-Inch LCD (Black)
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- The DMC-ZS5 features a powerful 12x optical zoom lens (35mm camera equivalent: 25-300mm)
- The 25mm ultra wide-angle lens has about twice the shooting area as a standard 35mm lens
- The Intelligent Zoom with the DMC-ZS5 extends the zoom ratio by approx. 1.3x maintaining the picture quality even combining a digital zoom
- The Sonic Speed AF system in the DMC-ZS5 has a maximum speed of approx. 0.35 second (wide-end) / 0.41 second (tele-end) for auto focusing
- The POWER O.I.S. (Optical Image Stabilizer) nearly doubles the hand-shake correction power of conventional MEGA O.I.S
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|Auto Focus Technology|
|Continuous Shooting Speed||2.3 fps|
|Display Fixture Type||Fixed|
|Display Resolution Maximum||230,000|
|Display Size||2.7 inches|
|Effective Still Resolution||12.1 MP|
|Expanded ISO Maximum||1,600|
|Expanded ISO Minimum||80|
|External Memory Included||Yes|
|Flash Memory Type||SD/SDHC/SDXC, Internal|
|Flash Modes Description||auto, Flash off, Red-eye reduction, Slow synchronization|
|Flash Type||Built-in Flash|
|Focus Description||TTL (Multi, Centre, Spot, Continuous, Tracking)|
|Focus Type||Autofocus Only|
|ISO Range||Auto, Hi Auto (1600-6400), 80, 100, 200, 400, 800, 1600|
|Image Aspect Ratio||4:3, 3:2, 16:9|
|Item Dimensions||2.4 x 4.1 x 1.3 inches|
|Item Weight||0.47 pounds|
|Lithium Battery Weight||4 ounces|
|Macro Focus Range||3 cm|
|Maximum Aperture Range||F3.3 - F4.9|
|Maximum Focal Length||300 mm|
|Maximum Shutter Speed||1/1300 of a second|
|Maximum horizontal resolution||4,000|
|Memory Storage Capacity||40 MB|
|Metering||Multi, Center-weighted, Spot|
|Minimum Focal Length||25 mm|
|Minimum Shutter Speed||60 seconds|
|Optical Sensor Resolution||12.1 MP|
|Optical Sensor Technology||CCD|
|Photo Sensor Technology||CCD|
|Processor Description||Venus Engine HD II|
|Removable Memory||Secure Digital card|
|Sensor Cleaning Method||No|
|Shipping Weight||1 pound|
|Supported Battery Types||Lithium-Ion rechargeable battery & charger|
|Video Capture Format||Motion JPEG|
|Video Capture Resolution||1280 x 720 (30fps), 848 x 480 (30 fps), 640 x 480 (30 fps), 320 x 240 (30 fps)|
|Water Resistance Level||Not Water Resistant|
If you're looking to capture fine quality pictures (and HD movies) and want great results with full automation, the Panasonic DMC-ZS5 12 Megapixel Lumix Digital Camera is easy and fun.
The handshake, which is physically generated when pressing the shutter button or when shooting at night with a slow shutter speed, is effectively compensated by the new POWER O.I.S. to enjoy blur-free photography. The iA mode is also available in movie recording mode. It automatically selects the most suitable Scene mode and helps to correct handshake, focus and brightness problems making the iA mode your one-stop solution to capture beautiful still and motion images. On the other hand, manual control of shutter speed and aperture is available with A/S/M mode for advanced users to choose to enjoy creativity. This point-&-shoot camera is ready for you. Sonic Speed AF Fast Start-up Time Venus Engine VI Intelligent Resolution Technology High Image Quality in High-sensitivity Shooting Extended Battery Life - Approx. 340 Shots on a Single Battery Charge MEGA Burst Consecutive Shooting in Full Resolution iA (Intelligent Auto) Mode POWER O.I.S. (Optical Image Stabilizer) - Shake Detection Face Detection AF/AE with Face Recognition Digital Red-eye Correction (Red-eye Removal) Intelligent Scene Selector - Scene Detection Happy Mode AF Tracking - Subject Detection Quick AF Intelligent ISO Control - Motion Detection Intelligent Exposure - Light Detection Auto Backlight Compensation Travel Mode HD Movie Recording / Zoom in Motion Picture Easy Manual Operation - A/S/M Mode Large, 2.7-inch, 230,000-dot High-resolution LCD Wide-viewing Angle / Intelligent LCD Scene Modes High Dynamic Mode / High-speed Burst Mode / Panorama Assist Mode Macro Zoom View Photos on a Large-screen HDTV Slideshow with Music Seamless Slideshows with Still and Motion Images / Cat
From the Manufacturer
The Lumix DMC-ZS5 features a 25mm ultra wide-angle* 12x optical zoom f/3.3-4.9 Leica DC Vario-Elmar lens (35mm camera equivalent: 25-300mm). Incorporating Panasonic's advanced optical technologies, this lens system is comprised of 10 elements in 8 groups, with 2 ED (Extra Low Dispersion) lenses and 2 aspherical lenses / 3 aspherical surfaces while preserving compactness. This lens system enables a remarkable 25 to 300mm range of focal length in this compact body. The powerful zoom of the DMC-ZS5can be freely controlled even when shooting motion images. Inheriting the fine rendering and outstanding quality of the Leica Elmar lens, this easy-to-carry camera delivers beautiful images any time, any place.
* Converted to standard 35mm camera equivalent, at the maximum wide position.
Lumix DMC-ZS5 Highlights
The DMC-ZS5 features a powerful 12x optical zoom lens (35mm camera equivalent: 25-300mm). This gives you highly natural expressions from people and animals that you can't get close to. It is also available in movie recording with the mechanism designed to minimize the noise of auto focusing or zooming. And its slim, compact, pocket-sized body can easily go wherever you do for both everyday snapshots and traveling.
25mm Ultra Wide-angle Lens
The 25mm ultra wide-angle lens has about twice the shooting area as a standard 35mm lens. This enhances all kinds of shooting situations, like when you're photographing a group of people at an indoor party or shooting a large structure or sweeping landscape while traveling.
16x Intelligent Zoom / 23.4x Extra Optical Zoom
Thanks to the newly incorporated Intelligent Resolution technology, the Intelligent Zoom is available with the DMC-ZS5 which extends the zoom ratio by approx. 1.3x maintaining the picture quality even combining a digital zoom. This means the 12x optical can virtually extend to 16x equivalent. Furthermore, the Extra Optical Zoom function that extends zoom power to 23.4x* by using the center part of the large CCD to bring subjects even closer.
*At 3-megapixel resolution or less.
Sonic Speed AF
The Sonic Speed AF system in the DMC-ZS5 has a maximum speed of approx. 0.35 second (wide-end) / 0.41 second (tele-end) for auto focusing. It includes numerous re-engineering enhancements, including a higher-speed actuator, optimized algorithms and parallel software processing. The result is fast and accurate AF performance. You can quickly get moving subjects in focus, such as when you're shooting sports scenes.
POWER O.I.S. (Optical Image Stabilizer) Shake Detection
Just about everyone has had the experience of taking a photo at night and hoping to capture all the memories and beauty, only to be disappointed at the poor result. The POWER O.I.S. (Optical Image Stabilizer)* nearly doubles the hand-shake correction power of conventional MEGA O.I.S. You get bright photos without blurring even from handheld shooting at slow shutter speeds. Panasonic's accumulated optical technologies, the MEGA O.I.S. has been incorporated into Lumix from the early stage of digital camera development. This helped show all digital camera users the absolute need for hand-shake compensation, and led to its prevalence throughout the industry. And now, Panasonic has worked on the low-frequency vibration hand-shake component, which is physically generated when pressing the shutter button or when shooting at night with a slow shutter speed.
*The POWER O.I.S. is automatically turned on in the iA Mode and can be turned on or off in the P/A/S/M Mode or some Scene Modes.
Read about our customers' top-rated cameras on our review page: Point-and-Shoot Cameras
Top customer reviews
My experience with the intelligent auto has been hit or miss so far. To be blunt, the 'intelligent auto' does not seem exceedingly intelligent at all, and it loves bumping up the ISO (grainy pictures) and pulling out the flash in circumstances where using the said flash doesn't seem to make much sense (wasting battery and resulting in ugly photos). To be fair, it performs excellently when taking pictures in bright outdoor conditions, but if you plan to take pictures indoor and it is the slightest bit dim, the auto doesn't seem to do too well and I ended up with a lot of blurry photos that way. Even with the flash deployed.
After spending about a couple of hours taking a bit of time to understand the manual modes and the appropriate settings of each, however, the mediocre point-and-shoot camera became an excellent little camera. The manual modes allow you a lot more leeway on how you want the photo taken, and thus override the choices the irritating auto mode makes, thus saving your indoor photos. You can also do a lot of experimental pictures. (In fact at the smallest aperture setting, the camera allows you to keep the shutter open for a staggering 60 seconds!). So if you know at least a little bit of basic photography and are willing to do your own settings, the camera manages to perform to its full potential and you can get some truly excellent photos.
If you're not too keen on reading up on fstops and shutter speeds and whatnot, I should mention the camera does get along quite respectably on its preset scenery modes. There's a pretty nice selection of them, covering outdoors, night scenes, food shots, macro etc. An important thing about getting good shots while using these modes is to give the IA a lot of time to "make up its mind" how it wants to take the photo by halfway depressing the button before you take a photo. Do watch for the indicator on the LCD to turn green before committing the shot. There's also a high-speed burst option, which scales down your pictures to about 4 megapixels but allows to you take a lot of pictures in succession very very quickly. (Note: You can also shortcut to this mode under the MS setting on the mode dial)
As you all know, the huge Leica lens on this camera is the main attraction and it lives up to its hype. It's advertised as 16x zoom, but only 12x of it is optical, the rest of it done by "intelligent zoom", which is basically a surprisingly almost-indistinguishable-from-optical digital zoom. The zoom also works (limited however) in macro zoom mode, which can result in some amazing macro shots. The camera also has conventional digital zoom (which went up to a staggering 90+ times zoom) , but you have to navigate the camera's controls to turn it on because by default it's turned off. The non-intelligent digital zoom however, does produce grainy pictures, but this is expected of digital zoom anyway.
When you have a strong zoom, the image stabilization capabilities of a camera become extremely important, and the ZS5 seems to have that covered. I did some testing shooting out of a moving car, sometimes with maximum optical zoom and the camera managed to deliver surprisingly clear pictures despite that.
I actually liked the slightly larger size of the camera, since it made it far easier to hold, but the thing that tipped the balance in this camera's favour for me were the controls, which shy away from pressing buttons as much as possible (Sorry Canon, but you lost out to the Lumix in the end because of this). Dials and switches are less prone to accidental pressings, and a nice little feature is that the camera will still recognize situations where the power switch has been left on by accident and will shut itself down to save the battery.
The battery life is ok, but not particularly amazing. I would recommend getting a spare battery to keep on hand. Do keep in mind however the battery is a proprietary Panasonic one, and the firmware on the camera will recognize imitation batteries and refuse to use them.
The HD video is very nice, although the sound recording is only in mono. The upshot of this camera is that the zoom can be used with the video, and I was very pleased with that because it really does make a lot of difference when you're taking videos of something far away so that you can actually see the thing instead of it being a black silhouette. It does not use the same recording format as the other cameras in the ZS3 or ZS5 however, so if I am not mistaken, the video recordings will take up more space on your SD card.
Overall, I am quite happy with this camera, but like I said before, this camera doesn't do too well as a simple point-and-shoot for the casual user. It takes a while to learn to use to get the best out of it. I would however, recommend this camera for people with a casual interest in photography, and aren't afraid to experiment with their own settings. I would also recommend this camera to people who are into photography but want a compact camera with an excellent zoom without having to lug around a DSLR and lens bag.
Pricewise, I think it's quite reasonable, and I don't think you can get another superzoom camera from any other camera maker for this price range. Although if you find a ZS3 (the older higher end model of this same series) for about the same price, you won't lose out by getting the ZS3 either.
UPDATE 29 Oct 2011: After a little over a year's use, the genuine Panasonic battery that came with the camera decided to suddenly and completely stop working. As I have mentioned before, replacements are not cheap and 3rd party batteries may be blocked by the camera's firmware, so this is definitely something you may want to consider before making any purchases. Still enjoying the camera, the battery factor could be a bit better...
I obviously haven't gone out and tried every single camera out there, and I'm not some kind of photo-phile (or I wouldn't have bought a $220 camera), so that is where I am coming from. I'm not a professional reviewer or anything, I'm just giving my opinion. I have used many cheaper (sub $300) digital cameras before, as that's usually all I buy. This camera doesn't suffer from any of the problems I've usually seen cameras suffer from, like failure to focus quickly, or taking for _freaking_ever_ to process a single picture. This camera is pretty quick, even with flash on, and usually takes a great picture the first time. Now I can't say it is a perfect camera without faults and takes the best pictures ever, because then it would probably cost more than $200, right? And then you'd probably just end up dropping it and breaking your $1000 camera, I know I would.
Huge lens and 12x optical zoom
Lots of options for taking customized shots
Takes pictures pretty quickly
Not as good as a $500 or $1000 camera, obviously
Battery latch seems flimsy and light, but i think it might be because it is spring loaded, and I haven't had any problems
To really get the most out of this camera, you will have to play around with the settings a bit, which might be complicated at first, but the Automatic mode probably works fine for most situations
This camera has taken many good pictures, and many bad pictures. The LCD screen is so big, though, that you can usually tell right off the bat if the image was blurry. The pictures usually come out great the first time. Even one of my friends said, "Just use his camera... the pictures always come out good the first time." I've seen so many people struggle with their digital cameras (or, god forbid, a camera phone), not even trying to get the "perfect shot" but just trying to get a shot that wasn't blurry as heck. Once you get used to messing around with the custom settings, you realize you have quite a powerful little camera to play around with. Or, if you are just an "automatic" type of person, this will work at least as good as other cameras in this price range for that, too, and probably with better zoom!