Panasonic Lumix DMC-ZS60 Digital camera Review

Panasonic Lumix ZS60

MSRP $449.99

“Panasonic ZS60 with 30x zoom is the whole thing a journey camera must be, nevertheless it’s time to ditch the small sensor.”

Execs

  • Compact dimension
  • Leica lens with 30x zoom
  • 4K video seize
  • Put up Focus, 4K {Photograph} modes

Cons

  • Small sensor, works biggest in daylight
  • Sensitivity is sweet for as a lot as solely 800
  • Noticeable artifacts in fast-action films

With their giant focal ranges, super-zooms (moreover often called mega-zooms or bridge) have always made good cameras for holidays. With one system it’s simple to grab wide-angle vistas or zeroing in on the tops of faraway buildings. Nevertheless to get a very prolonged lens, you used to should buy a super-zoom camera with a DSLR-like physique.

No longer: Compact, pocket-sized variants identical to the 18-megapixel Panasonic Lumix ZS60 ($450, in black or black/silver) are packing an prolonged focal differ, whereas sustaining a point-and-shoot-style physique. Nevertheless Panasonic packed in rather more choices, like its latest 4K-capture utilized sciences. For holidaymakers, or anyone who wants a high-zoom camera with out getting an interchangeable lens camera, the ZS60’s dimension and itemizing of choices are participating. Whatever the spectacular choices and an fairly priced worth, its small sensor poses limitations that can drive away those who want among the finest image prime quality.

Choices and design

There’s nothing notably engaging regarding the camera’s boxy design, nevertheless the ZS60 has clear strains along with textured grips. It appears the equivalent as its predecessor, the ZS50, nevertheless it has enhanced (on paper, at least) effectivity and choices. The ZS60 is small, measuring 4.4 x 2.5 x 1.5 inches and tipping the scales at 11 ounces, so it may be merely carried wherever. Probably the greatest half is that it packs a Leica Vario-Elmar 30x zoom with (24-720mm) built-in optical image stabilization to cut back blur at prolonged ranges. Aperture differ is f/3.3 (enormous) to f/6.4 (tele), so don’t rely on an extreme quantity of in dim mild (further on this in a bit). There’s a administration ring on the bottom of the lens for information focus and completely different capabilities. It’s a lot much less cumbersome that the equally priced Lumix FZ300, which has a DSLR-like physique, nevertheless that camera supplies you 5-axis image stabilization, weather-resistant physique, and faster lens (f/2.8).

panasonic lumix zs60 review dmc lens

panasonic lumix zs60 review dmc back 2

On the doorway are a built-in flash and an autofocus-assist lamp, whereas the very best deck has the first mode dial, shutter button with zoom toggle, stereo mics, video report button, and power key. There’s no scorching shoe for gear akin to a much bigger flash, nevertheless we doubt it’s a deal-breaker for shoppers looking for an excellent small-sized journey camera.

The rear has a set 3-inch LCD with a 1-million-dot determination. It’s not adjustable or tiltable nevertheless prime quality is okay under most circumstances. It’s contact enabled, so it’s simple to manage menu settings or contact to select a highlight stage. What’s helpful is a tiny nevertheless usable 0.2-inch digital viewfinder with diopter administration, which lets you keep the camera to your eye for further stability or if the photo voltaic washes out the LCD. To the suitable of the LCD are the identical outdated keys and administration wheel found on all cameras. Panasonic offers various flexibility proper right here by offering the pliability in order so as to add capabilities to plenty of the buttons, along with digital carry out buttons via the LCD.

On the suitable side is a compartment with HDMI and USB connections, whereas the left has a mono speaker. The underside has the combo battery compartment/SD card holder. The battery is rated a powerful 320 images, so it should last an entire day’s outing; it might presumably value in-camera over USB

What’s included

The ZS60 comes with a rechargeable battery, AC adapter, USB cable, and wrist strap. There’s moreover a elementary information. Not included throughout the area nevertheless accessible as free downloads are PHOTOfunSTUDIO 9.8PE {photograph} editor, SILKYPIX Developer Studio SE for coping with RAW data, and a trial mannequin of LoiLoScope video editor. To pair with a phone or tablet, get hold of the Panasonic Image App for iOS or Android.

Assure

Panasonic offers a one-year assure for elements and labor. The company offers an extended assure via SquareTrade.

Specs, effectivity, and use

The ZS60 has a 1/2.3-inch 18-megapixel sensor coupled with the Venus Engine processor. It’s a responsive camera that focuses quickly due to a 49-point AF system. Nonetheless, identical to the ZS50, this continues to be a small-chip camera, so there are some very important prime quality factors to be anticipated.

Although it’s not a very good comparability, we simply currently did a hands-on with Sony’s latest mega-zoom and the outcomes had been top-notch, due to the 20-megapixel 1-inch “stacked sensor” and a high-quality (and actually enormous) 25x (24-600mm) lens. Nevertheless the RX10 III is a a lot greater product that costs thrice as rather a lot as a result of the ZS60, and, in cameras, you get what you pay for.

The ZS60 is small, but it surely packs a 30x Leica zoom with optical stabilization.

One-inch sensors have gotten further widespread in 2016, with most camera producers offering them. Based totally on camera companies’ product sales, sensors greater than 1/1.7 inches are seeing improvement in an complete down market. Nevertheless, in an age the place telephones have taken over on the low end, it goes to point prospects are ready to pay further for superior prime quality. Panasonic has the Lumix DMC-ZS100 ($699), a 1-inch sensor sibling to the ZS60 (nevertheless with a 10x zoom), whereas Canon’s has its 25x PowerShot G3 X ($999), merely to name two. So, there’s the tradeoff: You could spend further for greater image prime quality, or get financial financial savings and take profitable. As for the ZS60, the question is, how numerous profitable?

Given that ZS60 is an ideal journey camera, we took it on quite a lot of journeys. Basic, the Lumix ZS60 performs as one would hope, nevertheless as soon as extra, it’s faraway from good as a consequence of that small sensor. As an illustration, we did some most telephoto (720mm) images of boats throughout the ocean, from a resort balcony, and the aspect was very poor. Nonetheless, after we captured wide-angle vistas and fewer extreme zooms from the equivalent place, the outcomes had been rather a lot higher. This was the case in just about every situation, as you presumably can see from the samples.

Whereas the 49-point autofocusing system is snappy, and we like the pliability to tap-to-focus wherever on the LCD, the camera shall be gradual at cases, notably if it’s processing one factor. As an illustration, when buying by way of a mix of 4K films and stills, or switching between capturing and playback, we encountered delays of some seconds. It’s nothing horrible, nevertheless annoying at cases.

The ZS60 has built-in optical image stabilization (OIS) to help do away with blur. As with each high-power zoom, appropriate hand-holding strategies are important at extreme telephoto even with OIS. You could ship the camera to eye diploma due to the viewfinder – for additional steadiness – nevertheless discovering a close-by railing to utilize as a makeshift tripod is beneficial. The EVF is small, nevertheless at least it’s there and works correctly. We identical to the sensor that quickly switches between the EVF and LCD, and it is best to use the LCD as a touch-panel to touch-focus whereas wanting by way of the EVF.

Ergonomically, the ZS60 is satisfying to utilize with easy-to-read keys. The first mode dial has the identical outdated suspects: Intelligent Auto (two ranges), PASM, Movie, Personalized, Panorama, Scene, and Creative Administration (specific outcomes). The touchscreen lets you change settings with a minimal of fuss. Prospects shouldn’t have any points getting in management nevertheless we always counsel you at least skim by way of the outfitted information to make the most of the camera.

We took the camera to a Cactus League spring teaching recreation to take a look at the utmost physique value of 5 frames per second, with regular autofocus (10 fps with out). The outcomes had been very uneven, with loads of blur. Prime mechanical shutter tempo is 1/2,000th of a second, which is an OK spec. Sports activities actions shooters, however, shouldn’t rely on miracles proper right here as a result of it’s a point-and-shoot camera and by no means a further extremely efficient mirrorless or DSLR which will seize 100 JPEGs at 1/4,000th of a second. Basic, the camera really works biggest with various mild, nevertheless even then, outcomes tended to overexpose and with out the depth of costlier fashions.

The ZS60 has an ISO differ of 80-3,200, expandable to 6,400. As soon as extra, a small chip isn’t going to provide super-high sensitivity ranges of 12,800 and previous. In fact, ISO 800 is about as extreme as it is best to go. As soon as extra, with its high-aperture lens and tiny sensor this camera really performs biggest with some crucial sunshine.

We had been impressed with how movies look in Full HD (1080 as a lot as 60p) and 4K (3,840 x 2,160 at 30p), every in MP4 for easier uploads; AVCHD might be accessible, nevertheless restricted to Full HD. Nonetheless, the ZS60 has problem focusing transferring matters, with jelly outcomes (the place the image wobbles like Jell-O) and rolling shutter galore. It’s obvious this isn’t a filmmaking camera, and we aren’t sure how useful 4K is for the centered individual, nevertheless it’s there for individuals who’re attempting to shoot some memorable films all through a visit. Budding filmmakers looking for an all-in-one ought to consider the RX10 II or III, PowerShot G3, or Panasonic’s FZ1000.

With 4K seize, there are some notable choices worth mentioning on account of they might turn into helpful. The ZS60 offers Panasonic’s 4K {Photograph} and Put up Focus modes, which had been trickled down from its mirrorless cameras. When using these capabilities, to the individual it might appear like irregular {photograph} taking, nevertheless the camera is unquestionably recording 4K video. What happens is, the camera then strips 8-megapixel stills from the video. These aren’t meant for regularly capturing, nevertheless are useful when the situation requires them.

As an illustration, 4K {Photograph} is three burst modes which may be good for movement images (you presumably can be taught further regarding the attribute in our Lumix G7 hands-on). In playback mode, you presumably can scan by way of the video and extract the second you want. Not like widespread burst mode, the camera saves a single 4K movie file, as oppose to quite a lot of JPEG or RAW image data that aren’t as simple to play once more. Nevertheless you don’t get the whole determination of the sensor, although, under the optimum circumstances, the outcomes aren’t harmful. Moreover, you presumably can solely extract photos in-camera (although Adobe Photoshop or Gentle may be used, you lose the metadata).

Put up Focus is a attribute we really like, and the ZS60 will get components for along with it. Like a Lytro light-field camera, a Put up Focus image lets you “refocus” after capturing. When enabled, the camera is grabbing focus data from each of the 49 components; like 4K {Photograph}, it’s not likely saving 49 photos, nevertheless recording a 4K video. All through playback, you can refocus by tapping on any part of the show, which you can extract as specific individual JPEGs. You don’t wish to fret about focusing, nevertheless for it to be environment friendly it’s biggest for still-life and it is best to make use of a tripod. The draw again, as soon as extra, is that you just don’t get the whole determination of the sensor, and you may uncover some loss in prime quality. Nevertheless for what it is, the images don’t look too harmful and it’s satisfying.

Whatever the spectacular choices and an fairly priced worth, its small sensor poses limitations.

One different attribute worth mentioning is Dwell Cropping for movies. When recording video in 4K, you presumably can crop into the video in a simple panning technique, instead of the jerky unevenness you get with using the zoom toggle. To utilize, you merely set the start and end components on the LCD, after which hit report (20 or 40-second durations). It takes some getting used to at first, nevertheless what you get is a filmmaking prime quality. The final word video is solely Full HD, however, and the zoomed-in image isn’t as sharp as we want.

Phrase that 4K would require a fast memory card with ample storage functionality.

No matter these cool new choices, image prime quality is restricted to what the small sensor is ready to, 4K or no 4K. Whatever the higher determination, we theorize image prime quality could have taken profitable when Panasonic switched sensors; the ZS50 was lauded for its photos. The camera works biggest with nonetheless photos and loads of mild, and in these circumstances the camera is larger than in a position to producing pleasing photos for viewing on-line or printing in small sizes. It’s when you try and enlarge them, shoot in low mild, or seize movement images, the place you’ll uncover the deficiencies. When seen of their full dimension, you’ll uncover the details aren’t as sharp.

On a constructive phrase, the Lumix ZS60 has built-in Wi-Fi and pairing it with a Samsung Galaxy S5 and iPhone 6S was fairly easy. The Panasonic Image app does the basics like distant capturing and sharing to social media, nevertheless it supplies you some administration over the numerous choices, along with zoom. The company will get pluses for implementing the tactic correctly. If we would have liked to knock it, it may be that we wish there was a faithful Wi-Fi button, as a result of it’s not simple to seek out throughout the menus.

Conclusion

At $449, the ZS60 is an environment friendly journey camera complete. It’s comparatively mild, and it’s very compact considering it’s packing a 30x zoom. The older ZS50, based on purchaser scores, was very modern, and whereas producers oftentimes get criticized for not updating their merchandise’ form-factors, we anticipate Panasonic did correctly to retain the design. We moreover give the company kudos for along with various user-friendly choices, like Put up Focus, with every new camera, and the ZS60 isn’t solely a minor rehash of the ZS50.

In precept, the ZS60 must be a implausible point-and-shoot identical to the ZS50, nevertheless one factor occurred alongside the way in which during which to a higher-megapixel sensor that’s triggered a drop in image prime quality, which is simply too harmful as that impacts the usefulness of choices like 4K {Photograph}. It’s greater than various long-zoom cameras we’ve used, nevertheless we’re moreover seeing new compacts which will do rather a lot higher. With that acknowledged, judging from some early Amazon purchaser reviews, the ZS60 has its followers, and we anticipate some casual prospects will uncover it fascinating.

The ZS60 does the job, notably in well-lit environments. Nevertheless you can presumably say that for a lot of point-and-shoot cameras. The offender is a tiny image sensor that’s starting to essentially really feel its age in 2016. If image prime quality is a priority, you can presumably spend a bit further for the ZS100, or take into consideration Panasonic’s new Lumix G85 compact mirrorless camera with an excellent zoom lens. Every decisions use greater sensors, and provide the equivalent 4K choices.

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