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Panasonic Lumix DMC-ZS10(TZ20)

Discussion in 'Micro Four Thirds' started by ZDP-189, May 21, 2011.

  1. ZDP-189

    ZDP-189 Twitter: <a href="http://twitter.com/#!/ZDP189">@Z

    Apr 18, 2011
    Has anyone tried out the new ZS10 (aka TZ20), or it's older brother, the ZS8 (aka TZ18)?

    DMC-ZS10/DMC-TZ20 | PRODUCTS | LUMIX | Digital Camera | Panasonic Global
    Panasonic Lumix DMC-ZS10 (Lumix DMC-TZ20 / Lumix DMC-TZ22): Digital Photography Review

    It seems to have a nice feature set. I'm not expecting stellar images, detailed user control, or low light performance; what I really want is the compact camera equivalent of a really long daylight lens, to be carried in conjunction with a proper 'serious compact' that has a wide prime.

    I have a the I need something to fill the where the F200EXR leaves off to where the GF1+500/8 reflector picks up (strictly for birding, or ship spotting). Therefore I need something that gets out to 300 to 400mm-ish in full frame equivalent focal lengths, with sufficient resolution (in both pixel and optical terms) to allow some more digital zoom/cropping.

    The ZS series seems to fit the bill. One alternative to consider is the F300EXR. The F550EXR is a possibility too, but I've heard bad press about overnight battery drain on that model.
  2. texascbx

    texascbx Veteran

    Jul 10, 2010
    Canton Texas
    I bought the last generation of that camera for my daughter's birthday present. She was complaining about how heavy the Panasonic DMC-FZ50 was that I had given her. I paid about 220 for it I think. I see it's gone up quite a bit, probably since it's out of production. Part of the deal was I would get the old FZ50 back and I did get it back.

    Amazon.com: Panasonic Lumix DMC-ZS7 12.1 MP Digital Camera with 12x Optical Image Stabilized Zoom and 3.0-Inch LCD (Black): Camera & Photo

    I tried out the new cam before I gave it to her and it takes great pictures in bright sunlight. The rest were pretty dismal.

    She texted me the other day and was wanting her old FZ50 back because it just simply takes poor pictures in low light. I declined her request.

    Now the newer model might be better. But I doubt it.:dance3:

    The 12X zoom was great though.
    • Like Like x 1
  3. bilzmale

    bilzmale Super Moderator Emeritus Subscribing Member

    Jul 17, 2010
    Perth, Western Australia
    Bill Shinnick
    I had a TZ5 (TZ15) and before that a TZ3. They do make a good travel zoom (ie TZ) but the lens doesn't match the LX series. My daughter now loves the TZ.
    • Like Like x 1
  4. I have the F550EXR, I started a thread in the Fuji area about it... it did have battery drain issues but there is a firmware update which fixes it. I was having serious drain issues and they are sorted. I don't use the GPS unit except if I really think I won't remember where I was, because no matter what you do, the GPS will suck the battery dry, and thats a feature of GPS, not the camera. If you don't want GPS there is a 500EXR with exactly the same specs except no GPS, and a firmware update for that, too.

    I also have a TZ7, but now prefer the Fuji, and chose that deliberately instead of the TZ20, because it has a larger sensor.
    • Like Like x 1
  5. ZDP-189

    ZDP-189 Twitter: <a href="http://twitter.com/#!/ZDP189">@Z

    Apr 18, 2011
    That's great news. The Finepix F500EXR sounds great. I got over GPS pretty quickly with the Nikon CoolPix P6000. The acronym stands for <i>Gulps Power Swiftly</i>. Do you know how the F500EXR/F550EXR compares to the F300EXR? Or for that matter, the Lumix TZ?
  6. Not from personal experience, Dan. On paper, the F300EXR might even be better in some respects. its only 12MP, on a CCD sensor instead of CMOS and there are those that say CCD renders better colours. Other specs appear much the same. The TZs still have the larger 1/2.33 sensor which may not matter much these days... I just try to go for what I perceive to be the best balance between compactness, sensor size and zoom, and TBH I didn't even consider the F300. I might have, had I looked more closely at the specs.
    • Like Like x 1
  7. ZDP-189

    ZDP-189 Twitter: <a href="http://twitter.com/#!/ZDP189">@Z

    Apr 18, 2011
    Thanks very much! I've followed up your comments with some reading about the F-series. Wikipedia has a lot of useful information, as do the press releases on dpreview and FujiFilm's own website.

    The F-series is Fujifilm's flagship line of compact cameras, so that's where they debut their new tech and try to build the most technically competitive cameras. Therefore the series' philosophy has changed over the years.

    Early F400etc. cameras were small and boxy and not particularly remarkable. Then Fujifilm had an Epiphany with the excellent F10 in 2005. At the time the biggest technical challenge was SNR, so they had a strategy of shoehorning the biggest then possible sensor (1/1.7") into the smallest body and had a relatively low pixel count of 6.3MP. Battery life was then also an issue, so they gave it a humungous battery. The F11 just added aperture and shutter priority, then the F30 improved the sensor and noise. They split the line, with the F20: a cheaper stripped F30. They updated the F30 with the F31fd, which introduced face detection and slightly less NR than the F30. These aforementioned were remarkable cameras with nigh-unbeatable low light performance in a small package. Then they changed the formula with the F40fd, F47fd, slowly increasing resolution, they also increased sensor gain, and increased the sensor size slightly to 1/1.6", though with 8.3MP, noise began to get out of control. The F50fd tried to combat this with IS; they also improved facial recognition. Then came the F100fd and a big change in philosophy. They went for long zoom range, combined with IS and high ISO for stability. I'm not so keen on this one. The F200EXR was a watershed camera, introducing the EXR sensor and processing technology. The target market was more geared towards casual shooters with a one compact does all mentality. In the meantime, they introduced the F60fd, an update of the F50fd which offered more control, a more modest zoom range and in-camera HDR. Then Fuji started using small sensors. The F70EXR/F72EXR/F75EXR were 10MP on a 1/2" sensor and the F80EXR/F85EXR went up to 12MP. These were all superzooms. Similarly, they were followed by the more expensive F300EXR and F500EXR that shared the same formula. These have sensors that are small at 1/2" but still marginally bigger than the 1/2.33" of the TZ20...

    ... not that a small difference in sensor size makes any difference. The TZ20 seems very very close in specs to the F550EXR, as you say. I won't have the opportunity to try them both out, so I suppose what I should do is buy the first one I see cheap second hand.
  8. I had that F20 a couple of years ago and have regretted selling it ever since. It may have been a stripped down F30 but it still had the bigger sensor and crikey it made a difference. It was really chunky though and I ended up sacrificing it not long before buying my first DSLR. Its still possible to buy the F200EXR in Oz and I am seriously considering buying it, just because.
    • Like Like x 1
  9. Lili

    Lili Hall of Famer

    Oct 17, 2010
    Dallas, TX
    I had the F31fd and it was remarkable. Gave it to my BBF for her birthday and she loves it. My remaining Fuji's are my F70 and F200EXR.
    The F200 does have better lens at corners but the 70 has that long zoom and and better OOC WB.
    The F70 is simply the most refined Fuji in build I have handled, the lens extension and zoom motors are silky smooth and silent; only the XZ-1 rivals it in that regard.
    I think the F70 produces the best OOC jpegs of the lot, save at hi ISO.
    It makes an excellent travel companion, taking no space whatever.
    Kiteflyer's work with the F550 shows just how very good that camera can be in skilled hands.
    • Like Like x 1
  10. ZDP-189

    ZDP-189 Twitter: <a href="http://twitter.com/#!/ZDP189">@Z

    Apr 18, 2011
    last night I just checked our city's largest electronics chain store. They offered the 550EXR at $385 and the Panasonic ZS10 at $475. They also suggested the Nikon Coolpix S9100 at $385, with a similar zoom spec. I took test pics, tried out the cameras and chatted with the salespeople. You might be interested in my notes:

    The Lumix was more or less identical to the Fujifilm in all specs. The one feature it had that the others didn't was a funky 3D think and I won't be using that. However it seemed a lot better made; a real quality item, as it should be for $100 more. I think it took the best pictures at full zoom by a narrow margin. If I planned to shoot JPEGS (and I do), I'd like the 33x in-camera digital zoom for moments when I should really be digiscoping instead of wielding a compact camera. I guess it does what I want it for a bit better. It also has the nicest display by far.

    The Finepix was not that well put together. It felt weaker constructed and the battery door was a tiny bit loose on the display model. It has the shape and tactile feel of a Casio and the display was all saturated and seemed to colour shift into the reds. I liked the images though. There wasn't much in it even racked out. I was expecting it to be trounced by the Lumix, but it came a close second. Of course, it has the EXR sensor. For me that's a big deal. I like Fujifiilm's enhanced DR and the soft flash exposures.

    The Collpix was the wildcard, thrown in by the salesman. It had more optical zoom and a supposedly better OIS. It really did look better as I lined up. The image floated like an image shot with Canon L telephotolens with IS. Styrangely, it didn't take photos that well. Either the IS wasn't as effective, or it wouldn't focus as well. The end result was lack of detail, despite a faster shutter speed. The let down was it had no manual exposure, aperture priority, nor shutter priority. At the same price as the F550EXR, I saw nothing to recommend it.

    So in the end, which would I recommend and buy? (Based on these very limited first impressions) I'd recommend the Panasonic Lumix DMC-ZS10 to anyone considering a travel zoom - a single compact camera to handle all eventualities, from close ups of babies to birding. Such a person might only own one camera and consider a DSLR or CSC too bulky and would probably keep the one camera for at least a couple of years, so the extra money is well spent.

    But personally, I'd pick the F550EXR out of the three. It's harder to justify than the Lumix, but I really like Finepix and you can consider me a fan. I like the innovative way they do things and how they go a step beyond the standard sensor with EXR. If anyone doesn't have a recent FujiFilm I suggest you give one a try. I have two Lumixes and they're great but I like the way Finepixes expose.

    BUT I'm not looking for one of those either. I've decided what I really need is a F300EXR. The Super CCD EXR is worth more than the more recent generation CMOS. Certainly in all comparison photos I've seen, the F300EXR's are better than the F5650EXR, with more detail in the shadows. Also, as second hand Fujifilm compacts seem to devalue a bit faster than Lumixes, I think the F300EXR should be cheap by now; maybe around $150. I'll be keeping my eye out for one.

    Thanks guys and gals; you really know your stuff.

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