Panasonic ZS60 Performance


Timing and Performance

Generally very good performance for long-zoom compact.

Startup/Play to Record

Power on
to first shot

~1.4 seconds

Time it takes to turn on and capture a shot.

Play to Record,
first shot

~0.6 second

Time until first shot is captured.

Startup time was faster-than-average for a long-zoom compact and switching from Play to Record and taking a shot was very quick.


Shutter Response (Lag Time)

Full Autofocus,
Single-area AF mode
Wide Angle

0.149 second

Time from fully pressing shutter button to image capture, with the lens already at the proper focal distance setting.

Full Autofocus,
Single-area AF mode
Telephoto

0.142 second

Time from fully pressing shutter button to image capture, with the lens already at the proper focal distance setting.

Full Autofocus
Single-area AF mode
Flash enabled

0.614 second

Time from fully pressing shutter button to image capture. Auto Flash enabled.

Manual Focus

0.142 second

For most cameras, shutter lag is less in manual focus than autofocus, but usually not as fast as when the camera is "prefocused".

Prefocused

0.020 second

Time to capture, after half-pressing and holding shutter button.

The Panasonic ZS60's autofocus speeds were excellent in our tests, especially for a camera that uses contrast detection only. The ZS60 produced full-autofocus shutter lag (with the subject at a fixed distance) of 0.149 second at full wide angle and 0.142 second at full telephoto using 1-area (center) AF. That's faster than most DSLRs. Enabling the flash increased lag to 0.614 second, to account for preflash metering. When manually focused, the ZS60's lag time was 0.142 second, about the same as autofocus. The ZS60's prefocused shutter lag time of 0.020 second was very quick.

To minimize the effect of different lens' focusing speed, we test AF-active shutter lag with the lens already set to the correct focal distance.


Cycle Time (shot to shot)

Single Shot mode
Large/Fine JPEG

0.53 second

Time per shot, averaged over a few frames (we no longer test for buffer depths in single-shot mode).

Single Shot mode
RAW + L/F JPEG

0.53 second

Time per shot, averaged over a few frames (we no longer test for buffer depths in single-shot mode).

Early shutter
penalty?

No

Some cameras refuse to snap another shot if you release and press the shutter too quickly in Single Shot mode, making "No" the preferred answer.

Continuous H
Large Fine JPEG

0.10 second (10.42 frames per second);
60 frames total;
7 seconds to clear*

Time per shot, averaged over buffer length of 60 frames, then slows to an average of 0.16s or 6.16 fps.

Continuous H
RAW

0.10 second (9.63 frames per second);
14 frames total;
8 seconds to clear*

Time per shot, averaged over buffer length of 14 frames, then slows to an average of 0.61s or 1.65 fps.

Continuous H
RAW + L/F JPEG

0.10 second (9.68 frames per second);
13 frames total;
14 seconds to clear*

Time per shot, averaged over buffer length of 13 frames, then slows to an average of about 1.19s or 0.84 fps.

Super HS mode
4-megapixel JPEG

0.03 second (40.0 frames per second);
60 frames total;
8 seconds to clear*

Time per shot, averaged over fixed buffer length of 60 frames.

Flash Recycling

2.8 seconds

Flash at maximum output.

*Note: Buffer clearing times measured with a SanDisk Extreme Pro 95MB/sec UHS-I SDHC card. Slower cards will produce correspondingly slower clearing times. Slow cards may also limit length of bursts in continuous mode. ISO sensitivity and noise reduction settings can also affect cycle times and burst mode performance.

Single-shot cycle times were good. We measured about 0.5 second for large/fine JPEGs and RAW+L/F JPEGs. (We no longer test single-shot mode with just RAW files, as the result is usually somewhere in between.)

Continuous High Speed "H" mode burst rate was fast at 10.4 frames per second for best quality JPEGs, slightly exceeding Panasonic's 10 fps spec with AFS (focus locked at the first frame). When shooting RAW or RAW+JPEG files, the frame rate reduced slightly to 9.6 and 9.7 fps respectively. With continuous focus enabled, the top frame rate drops to 5 fps according to Panasonic, however we did not test with continuous AF in the lab.

In Continuous High Speed "H" mode full-resolution buffer depths were generous for Large/Fine JPEGs at 60 frames, but when shooting RAW files buffer size dropped to 14 frames, or 13 frames when shooting RAW+JPEG.

The ZS60 also features a "Super HS" mode which captures 4-megapixel images at 40 fps for up to 60 frames using the electronic shutter. There is also a 4K burst mode, allowing you to shoot 8-megapixel stills at 30 fps continuously, however we did not test that mode in the lab.

Buffer clearing was reasonable with a fast UHS-I card, ranging from 7 to 14 seconds depending on the file type and mode.

Flash recycling after full-power discharge took an average of 2.8 seconds.


Bottom line, the Panasonic ZS60's performance is very good to excellent for its class. Startup and mode switching are fast, autofocus speeds are quick, and prefocused shutter lag is very low. Burst performance is very good to excellent depending on the mode. Buffer depths are excellent when shooting JPEGs in Continuous High Speed mode, though not nearly as generous with RAW files, and buffer clearing was reasonable given the buffer depths.

Battery Life

Below average battery life.

Operating Mode Battery Life
Still Capture,
(LCD, CIPA standard)
320 shots
Still Capture,
(EVF, CIPA standard)
280 shots

The Panasonic ZS60 uses a custom rechargeable lithium-ion battery pack for power, and comes with a single battery and an AC adapter for in-camera charging via USB. The CIPA-rated 320 shots per charge when using the LCD and 280 shots when using the EVF is below average for its type though perhaps not a surprise given the camera's size and performance. Still, we definitely recommend getting a second battery for your ZS60 if you plan any extended outings.

The table above shows the number of shots the camera is capable of (on a fully-charged rechargeable battery), based on CIPA battery-life and/or manufacturer standard test conditions.

(Interested readers can find an English translation of the CIPA DC-002 standards document here. (180K PDF document))

 



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