Panasonic refreshes ZS-series compact line with new enthusiast flagship, pocket-friendly long zoom


posted Monday, January 5, 2015 at 2:45 PM EDT


A year ago, Panasonic launched the Lumix ZS40 and ZS35, a pair of pocket-friendly long-zoom cameras. Today, it follows on with the Panasonic ZS50 and Panasonic ZS45, alternately known in some markets as the TZ70 and TX57.

Externally, the 12.1-megapixel, 30x optical zoom Panasonic ZS50 looks a whole lot like its enthusiast-oriented predecessor, save for a restyled handgrip that gives a more solid hold on the body. On the inside, though, there are some pretty important differences. For one thing, the sensor resolution has been reduced from the ZS40's 18.1 megapixels in the quest for greater image quality. In the process, the ISO sensitivity range has been expanded to encompass everything from ISO 80-6400 equivalents. The electronic viewfinder has also been swapped with a much higher-resolution unit, and the LCD panel has also been upgraded. Sadly, the built-in GPS / GLONASS receiver has been removed, meaning that the new model is no longer location-aware. Find out much more in our Panasonic ZS50 preview.

The Panasonic ZS50 is an enthusiast-friendly compact camera that sports a 30x zoom lens.

The 16.1-megapixel, 20x zoom Panasonic ZS45, meanwhile, has gotten a modest restyling and a smaller handgrip. Otherwise, it looks pretty similar to its predecessor, and most specifications, too, are much the same. The most significant difference in this 2015 model is a higher-resolution LCD monitor, and it also boasts slightly more internal memory, although the latter difference is slight. Find out much more in our Panasonic ZS45 preview.

The Panasonic ZS45 is a more modest upgrade, the main change being a higher-resolution display.

These models will be available sometime around April 1st, 2015 with the ZS50 listing for around US$400 and the ZS45 for around US$300.