Panasonic Lumix ZS30 (TZ40) Hands On Review

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The Panasonic Lumix ZS30 (aka TZ40) is the latest Panasonic pocket superzoom camera to hit the market.  The compact superzoom was invented by Panasonic a few years back, and since then it appears that they, as well as their competitors, release new versions on an annual basis.  Does the new ZS30 represent enough of an improvement over last years model to warrant an upgrade?

The video above gives a good overview of the new ZS30, and CameraLabs have now published an in depth review of this years pocket superzoom from Panasonic, and they’re impressed with many of the ZS30’s new features.  In particular, they point to the ZS30’s wifi and NFC (Near Field Communication – a touch to share technology that will instantly pair your camera with a smartphone or tablet that is NFC equipped).

CameraLabs on WiFi and NFC…

You may not think you really want or need Wifi, but believe me it offers compelling benefits to almost any photographer. Obviously social media fanatics will love the ease of sharing, but equally which photographer wouldn’t find it useful to immediately browse their photos on a bigger screen or transfer images without wires, or automatically upload them to storage and backup services? Using your phone or tablet as a remote control is also fun and genuinely useful. Meanwhile if your phone or tablet has NFC, you can enjoy quicker and easier configuration.

CameraLabs also point to the ZS30’s new high speed video modes, the addition of GLONASS (Russian GPS System) to improve satellite positioning in urban areas, The ZS30’s Hybrid OIS system that provides enhanced image stabilization especially for movies, a touch screen with increased resolution and “the minor but merciful swap from a switch to a button for playback.”

Panasonic also boosted the resolution from 14 to 18 Megapixels, but CameraLabs reviewers didn’t notice any major difference in image quality.  Then again, the IQ if the ZS30’s predecessor was already superb, not surprising considering the high quality Leica 20x Zoom Lens with which this camera is equipped.

CameraLabs consider the Zs30 to be a worthy upgrade over it’s predecessor, especially for those who recognize the value of wifi connectivity.  I’m also personally blown away by the performance of the ZS30’s Hybrid OIS, which looks like it’ll give the celebrated 5 point IBIS of Olympus’ OM-D E-M5 a run for it’s money.  (Read full review on CameraLabs.com)

Panasonic ZS30 Good Points and Bad Points

Good points

  • Broad 20x optical zoom covers every situation in slim body.
  • 1080p video with zooming, stereo sound and continuous AF.
  • Built-in GPS with landmarks and basic street mapping.
  • Built-in Wifi with NFC and smartphone remote control.
  • Touch-screen interface – just tap where you want it to focus.
  • Fast continuous shooting up to 10fps at the full resolution.
  • Slow motion video at 200fps in VGA or 100fps in 720p.

Bad points

  • Can’t disable IS for video – not ideal for tripod filming.
  • Touch-screen not used for text-entry.
  • Need to be running Image App before attempting Wifi or NFC link.
  • NFC connection sometimes requires several taps.
  • Direct uploads from camera are slow & require signup with Lumix Club.

 

 

Scores
(relative to 2013 super-zooms)
The Panasonic Lumix ZS30 (TZ40) received a score of 88 out of 100 and CameraLabs Highly Recommended Award
Build quality:
Image quality:
Handling:
Specification:
Value:

18 / 20
16 / 20
17 / 20
19 / 20
18 / 20

Overall: 88%

Buy the Panasonic Lumix ZS30 on Amazon Here

 

 

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