The Panasonic Lumix DMC-ZS5 12.1 MP Digital Camera with 12x Optical Image Stabilized Zoom with 2.7-Inch LCD continues Panasonic's Super-Zoom Travel legacy with distinction.
Recommend this product?
This is the "lesser" of the two versions currenty available from the ZS line up. The "better" model is the ZS7. The ZS 7 has GPS (which drains the battery like crazy per all reviews), a larger LCD (which is nicer), and a proprietary HDTV video capture that is a bit better if a bit harder to use on various platforms. The optics are the same.
Product Specifications (that you can get ANYWHERE but some here think they are "essential to a Highly Recommended Review"):
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
Optical Sensor Resolution: 12.1 MP
Optical Sensor Technology: CCD
Optical zoom: 12 x
Maximum Aperture Range: F/3.3-4.9
Minimum focal length: 4.1 millimeters
Maximum focal length: 49.2 millimeters
Lens Type: Zoom lens
Optical Sensor Size: 1/2.33"
Included Flash Type: Built-in flash
Display Size: 2.7 inches
Light Sensitivity: ISO 100, ISO 800, ISO 400, ISO 200, ISO 80, ISO auto, ISO auto (1600-6400), ISO 1600
Image types: JPEG
Shooting Modes: Frame movie mode
Exposure Control Type: Candle, Beach, Transform, Snow, High sensitivity, Starry sky, Soft skin, Baby1, Baby2, Photo frame, Portrait mode, Aerial photo, Hi-speed burst, Film grain, Flash-burst, Pin hole, High dynamic, Party/indoor, Night portrait, Self-portrait, Pet, Scenery, Food, Fireworks, Panorama assist, Night scene, Underwater, Sports mode, Sunset
Width: 4.1 inches
Depth: 1.3 inches
Height: 2.4 inches
Weight: 6.7 Ounces
1 - Absolutely amazing Zoom with good speed, superior focus, and bright colors.
2 - Small form factor for a 12x Optical zoom camera
3 - Excellent battery life
4 - Fast in most aspects that count - Imaging Resource is a great place for honest camera reviews and they clocked the ZS-5 at:
- Full autofocus shutter lag at 0.41 second at wide angle and 0.44 second at full telephoto.
- Prefocus shutter lag is 0.011 second, which is very fast.
- Cycle time is also pretty good, capturing a frame every 1.9 seconds in single-shot mode. Full resolution continuous mode is rated at 2.3 frames-per-second, though we didn't test that. The ZS5 also has a high-speed burst mode, which takes 3-megapixel images at up to 10 frames-per-second.
- The flash recycles in a sluggish 7 seconds after a full-power discharge.
5 - So far it's taken absolutely stunning pictures in under most conditions (indoors, macros, sports, and a few candids) with good color balance, crisp focus, and excellent exposures.
1 - Odd button arrangement for shifting from taking pictures to reviewing them and odd slide switch for on/off unlike most with recessed button.
2 - proprietary batteries that are VERY difficult to find alternatives to because of a ID-Security lithium-ion battery pack (rated at 3.6 volts and 895 mAh and 340 shots per charge) just don't work in the camera by most reports.
3 - sluggish flash recharge
4 - Weak Yellow saturation
5 - No RAW mode