20.10
Megapixels
10.00x zoom 1 inch
size sensor
image of Panasonic Lumix DMC-ZS100
Front side of Panasonic ZS100 digital camera Front side of Panasonic ZS100 digital camera Front side of Panasonic ZS100 digital camera Front side of Panasonic ZS100 digital camera Front side of Panasonic ZS100 digital camera
Basic Specifications
Full model name: Panasonic Lumix DMC-ZS100
Resolution: 20.10 Megapixels
Sensor size: 1 inch
(13.2mm x 8.8mm)
Lens: 10.00x zoom
(25-250mm eq.)
Viewfinder: EVF / LCD
Native ISO: 125 - 12,800
Extended ISO: 80 - 25,600
Shutter: 1/16000 - 60 seconds
Max Aperture: 2.8
Dimensions: 4.4 x 2.5 x 1.7 in.
(111 x 65 x 44 mm)
Weight: 10.9 oz (309 g)
includes batteries
Availability: 03/2016
Manufacturer: Panasonic
Full specs: Panasonic ZS100 specifications

ZS100 Summary

The Panasonic ZS100 is a strong new entry into the compact travel zoom camera market. The first ZS-series camera to include a 1"-type sensor, the image quality produced by the ZS100 is impressive. It follows up its good image quality with a versatile 10x zoom lens and wide array of 4K video and photo features. While not perfect, the ZS100 performs well in a wide variety of situations and isn't that what you look for in a travel camera?

Pros

Compact camera body; versatile 10x zoom lens; relatively good high ISO performance; fast autofocus; many good 4K video and photo features.

Cons

Soft lens at longer focal lengths; no tilting display; small electronic viewfinder; slippery finish on the camera body.

Price and availability

Available since March 2016, the ZS100 is available in black and silver colors for just under US$700.

Imaging Resource rating

4.0 out of 5.0

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Panasonic ZS100 Review

by , Jeremy Gray, Zig Weidelich, and Dave Pardue
Preview originally posted: 01/05/2016

Updates:
02/24/2016: First Shots posted
04/09/2016: Gallery images posted
04/20/2016: Performance test results posted

05/20/2016: Field Test posted
: Image Quality Comparison and Print Quality posted
06/24/2016: Review Conclusion posted

Panasonic ZS100 Review -- Product Image

With the Lumix ZS100 digital camera, Panasonic takes its long-running ZS-series in a very interesting new direction! The Panasonic ZS100 is the first model in the ZS lineup to be based around a relatively large 1-inch image sensor, instead of the more typical 1/2.3-inch or smaller sensors of past models. If that size seems familiar, it's for good reason: It's the same size as used previously in the larger, SLR-styled Panasonic FZ1000, as well as in the unusual non-zoom Panasonic CM1 Communication Camera. 1-inch sensors are also to be found in enthusiast-oriented cameras from the likes of Canon, Nikon and Sony.

Perhaps not coincidentally, the Panasonic ZS100's sensor has an effective resolution of 20.1 megapixels, the same as those in the FZ1000 and CM1. However, instead of pairing its image sensor to a powerful 16x optical zoom lens with a bright f/2.8-4.0 maximum aperture as in the FZ1000, though, Panasonic has opted for a still far-reaching 10x zoom lens with a maximum aperture that falls from f/2.8 at wide angle to f/5.9 by the telephoto position.

That change makes for a much smaller camera than the FZ1000. In fact, the Panasonic ZS100 is only a couple of tenths of an inch larger in each direction than a popular competitor, Sony's pocket-friendly RX100 IV. And impressively, it's barely any heavier than the RX100 IV when loaded and ready to shoot, either, despite providing almost 3.5x the zoom range of its rival.

Panasonic ZS100 Review -- Product Image

We should note that while it's uncommonly compact for a large sensor, long-zoom model, the Panasonic ZS100 isn't what we'd call pants-pocket friendly. It will easily fit in a jacket pocket or small purse / bag, however, making it easy to carry with you wherever you go.

And that's accomplished despite catering to more experienced photographers with a generous helping of physical controls that keep you out of the menu system. The ZS100, says its maker, offers physical controls for all of the most common exposure variables, including shutter speed, aperture, ISO sensitivity, focus and lens zoom. Other enthusiast-friendly features in the ZS100 include RAW or RAW+JPEG file support with in-camera raw development possible, and exposure bracketing for as many as seven frames.

Panasonic ZS100 Review -- Product Image

The Panasonic ZS100 provides plenty of performance, as well. Owners will be able to shoot at a manufacturer-rated five frames per second at full resolution, and that's with autofocus enabled between exposures. Locking focus from the first frame and disabling live view during the burst will allow this to be pushed to a swift 10 fps. And if you're willing to switch to an electronic shutter, you can push this even further to as fast as 50 fps, though you can only capture 5-megapixel JPEGs at that speed.

The Panasonic ZS100's far-reaching lens displays Leica DC Vario-Elmarit branding on the front of its barrel. The optic has a 12-element, 10-group design with five aspheric elements, of which four are double-sided. Providing a 25-250mm-equivalent zoom reach, the ZS100's lens offers owners everything from a very generous wide angle to a decent telephoto, nicely covering your bases for diverse uses like family, travel, nature or sports photography. As noted previously, the maximum aperture falls from f/2.8 at wide angle to f/5.9 by the telephoto position.

Panasonic ZS100 Review -- Product Image

Helping to fight blur from camera shake, the Panasonic ZS100 also includes a five-axis hybrid O.I.S. image stabilization system, with a handy level shot function that will save your photos from tilted horizon syndrome. To ensure your subjects are rendered sharply, there's a Light Speed Autofocus-branded AF system which uses Panasonic's Depth from Defocus technology to keep focusing time to a minimum. The system offers up 49 autofocus points, as well as providing both face and eye tracking functions, and it's said to be capable of focusing in just a tenth of a second.

Panasonic ZS100 Review -- Product Image

Of course, you'd expect a viewfinder in a camera aimed at enthusiasts, and despite its compact nature the ZS100 includes just such a feature. Specifically, the camera's electronic viewfinder is based around a 0.2-inch, 1,166k-dot equivalent panel. An adjacent proximity sensor allows the camera to trigger autofocus as soon as the finder is when raised to your eye. As well as the viewfinder, there's also a fixed-position LCD panel with a diagonal of 3.0-inches, 1,040k-dot resolution, and a touch-screen overlay which allows it to double as an input device.

Panasonic ZS100 Review -- Product Image

Of course, if you're shooting with a camera like this, you're going to want to get your artworks online where friends and family as soon as possible. The Panasonic ZS100 doesn't disappoint here, offering in-camera Wi-Fi wireless networking that can connect to your phone or tablet's Wi-Fi hotspot using quick-and-easy QR code pairing.

And with ultra high-definition video being the latest must-have, the ZS100 also offers 4K video capture in-camera. You have a choice of 24 or 30 frames-per-second capture in MP4 format at this maximum resolution. And of course, if you're not yet ready for 4K you can drop the resolution to Full HD instead, unlocking access to a 60 fps framerate in the process.

Panasonic ZS100 Review -- Product Image

As if that wasn't enough, the Panasonic ZS100 includes the company's 4K Photo function, which allows easy extraction of 8.3-megapixel stills from 4K videos. If rolling shutter isn't a concern for your subject, this can be a huge advantage as it takes your reflexes out of the equation almost entirely. The ZS100 also provides Panasonic's Post Focus function, which varies focus during 4K video capture, and then lets you indicate which subject should have the sharpest focus post-capture. The video is then analyzed, and the frame with the sharpest focus in this area retained.

Panasonic ZS100 Review -- Product Image

Available since the end of March 2016, the Panasonic ZS100 is sold in either silver or black body colors. Pricing in the US market is set at around $700.

 

Panasonic ZS100 Field Test

A decent compact camera that offers a versatile lens

by Jeremy Gray |

Panasonic ZS100 field test photoThe Panasonic ZS100 marks a new entry into the compact travel zoom market for Panasonic. This 10x optical zoom camera is the first ZS-series camera to come equipped with a relatively large 1-inch sensor. The inclusion of this larger sensor puts it in direct competition with a variety of cameras, including Sony's wildly popular RX100 series. At a list price of around $700 USD, the Panasonic ZS100 offers a versatile lens and good performance.

The first thing I noticed about the Panasonic ZS100 is its striking design, with a cool two-toned silver color scheme and a distinct red accent on the front. It's nice to see a camera offer up something a bit different and stand out, although there is an all-black variant if you want a more typical, subtle design. The second thing I noticed is that the camera body surface is very smooth, making it bit difficult to firmly grip. Just a small rubberized grip or coating would have gone a long way in addressing this issue.

Panasonic ZS100 Image Quality Comparison

See how the ZS100 compares to other long or travel zooms

by Zig Weidelich |

Panasonic ZS100 image qualityThe Panasonic ZS100 is currently in a class of its own offering a 10x zoom coupled to a 1"-type sensor in a compact "travel zoom" body. Here we present crops from our laboratory Still Life target comparing its image quality to a range of point & shoot cameras with longer-than-average zoom lenses and a variety of different sensor sizes: the Canon G7X Mark II, Olympus Stylus 1, Panasonic FZ1000, Panasonic ZS60, and Sony RX10 II.

NOTE: These images are from best quality JPEGs straight out of the camera, at default settings including noise reduction and using the camera's actual base ISO (not extended ISO settings). Clicking any crop will take you to a carrier page where you can click once again to access the full resolution image as delivered straight from the camera.

Panasonic ZS100 Conclusion

Big sensor, big zoom makes for a compelling premium travel camera

by Jeremy Gray |

The Panasonic ZS100 is the first ZS-series camera that uses a 1-inch sensor, which puts the ZS100 up against some very stiff competition in the premium compact camera market. Panasonic has produced a nice camera that stands up well against its peers and offers a distinct blend of camera size, sensor size and zoom range.

The Panasonic ZS100 handles well, although it's a bit slippery
Despite packing a 10x zoom lens, built-in viewfinder and 1"-type CMOS sensor, the ZS100 maintains a relatively compact form factor. A bit larger than its Sony RX100-series competition, the Panasonic ZS100 is not the absolute sleekest compact camera, but it's still fits quite easily into a pants or jacket pocket.

 

In the Box

The Panasonic ZS100 retail package contains the following items:

  • Panasonic Lumix DMC-ZS100 digital camera (in black or silver)
  • DMW-BLG10 lithium-ion battery pack
  • AC/USB adapter
  • USB cable
  • Hand strap
  • 2 Shoulder strap adapters
  • One-year limited warranty

 

Recommended Accessories

  • Large capacity SDHC/SDXC memory card. We recommend at least 32GB capacity, with a minimum UHS Speed Class 3 rating for recording 4K video.
  • Camera case
  • Extra battery pack for extended outings

 



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