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Panasonic Lumix ZS80 Review

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The Panasonic ZS80 / TZ95 is a superzoom compact camera with a feature set quite similar to its predecessor, the ZS70 / TZ90. This model has been a part of Panasonic’s superzoom lineup for the past two years.

It arrives with a slightly larger viewfinder that boasts a significantly higher 2.3 million-dot resolution versus the ZS70’s 1.16 million dots). It keeps many of the exact core specifications, including its 20.3MP sensor, 4K video capabilities, and a lens that provides a focal length equivalent to 24-720mm in 35mm. Still, it does so with a new viewfinder slightly larger than its predecessor.

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Panasonic Lumix ZS80 Design

The Panasonic ZS80 and TZ95 have very similar designs to those of their predecessors, the ZS70 and TZ90. The only alterations are with the numerous controls around the rear and what they activate. The letter “L” has been removed from the front plate, and some other minor aesthetic adjustments have been made elsewhere. The ZS80 is around 1.5 millimetres deeper and 6 grams heavier, although the changes in size and weight are so minute that they are indiscernible when held in the hands.

The body is quite neatly crafted, and it is evident that it is a step above the cheaper compacts that make up a large portion of the products in this category. However, due to its low-down position, the camera can be held much more firmly with two fingers placed against it.

The front has a very clearly defined grip that looks to be meant for the inside of the middle finger. A thumb rest supplements this on the rear of the camera. As a result, the overall handling of the device is superior to that of a significant number of other cameras in its category.

Panasonic Lumix ZS80 Image Quality

Even though the edges and corners of the frame are visibly softer, the sharpness at the 24mm end of the lens is excellent in the middle of the frame while shooting at the widest aperture of f/3.5.

It would be best if you stuck to shutter speeds of 1/125 second and above, with better (and more consistent) results at 1/200 second and above. Although the image stabilization system does an excellent job of keeping things stable as you travel up the zoom range, you should stick to shutter speeds of 1/125 second and above.

The exposures are also often accurate, but because of this type of sensor’s relatively limited dynamic range, even a slight overexposure might cause highlights to lose some of their information. When shooting in raw format, it is simple to apply exposure correction, and you also have greater leeway for making finer changes.

The colours look great with the default settings, and the automatic white balance does a decent job of preserving the integrity of the original lighting conditions.

It’s great that you can assign the selection of these to the Lens Control ring because it lets you quickly get an idea of how each one looks in a given scene. The raft of Photo Styles allows you to capture images with different looks, and it’s great that you can capture images with different eyes.

Panasonic Lumix ZS80 Specs

Body typeCompact
Max resolution5184 x 3888
Image ratio w:h1:1, 4:3, 3:2, 16:9
Effective pixels20 megapixels
Sensor photo detectors21 megapixels
Sensor size1/2.3″ (6.17 x 4.55 mm)
Sensor typeBSI-CMOS
ProcessorVenus Engine
ISOAuto, 80-3200 (expands to 6400)
Boosted ISO (maximum)6400
White balance presets5
Custom white balanceYes (4 sots)
Image stabilizationOptical
Uncompressed formatRAW
JPEG quality levelsFine, standard
Focal length (equiv.)24–720 mm
Optical zoom30×
Maximum apertureF3.3–6.4
AutofocusContrast Detect (sensor)Multi-areaCenterSelective single-pointTrackingSingleContinuousTouchFace DetectionLive View
Digital zoomYes (4X)
Manual focusYes
Normal focus range50 cm (19.69″)
Macro focus range3 cm (1.18″)
Articulated LCDTilting
Screen size3″
Screen dots1,040,000
Touch screenYes
Screen typeTFT LCD
Live viewYes
Viewfinder typeElectronic
Viewfinder coverage100%
Viewfinder magnification0.53×
Viewfinder resolution2,330,000
Minimum shutter speed4 sec
Maximum shutter speed1/2000 sec
Maximum shutter speed (electronic)1/16000 sec
Aperture priorityYes
Shutter priorityYes
Manual exposure modeYes
Subject / scene modesYes
Built-in flashYes
Flash range5.60 m (with Auto ISO)
External flashNo
Flash modesAuto, Auto/Red-eye Reduction, Forced On, Forced On/Red-eye Reduction, Slow Sync, Slow Sync/Red-eye Reduction, Forced Off
Continuous drive10.0 fps
Self-timerYes
Metering modesMultiCenter-weightedSpot
Exposure compensation±5 (at 1/3 EV steps)
AE Bracketing±3 (3, 5, 7 frames at 1/3 EV, 2/3 EV, 1 EV steps)
WB BracketingYes
FormatMPEG-4, H.264
Modes3840 x 2160 @ 30p / 100 Mbps, MP4, H.264, AAC3840 x 2160 @ 25p / 100 Mbps, MP4, H.264, AAC1920 x 1080 @ 60p / 28 Mbps, MP4, H.264, AAC1920 x 1080 @ 50p / 28 Mbps, MP4, H.264, AAC1920 x 1080 @ 30p / 20 Mbps, MP4, H.264, AAC1920 x 1080 @ 25p / 20 Mbps, MP4, H.264, AAC
MicrophoneStereo
SpeakerMono
Storage typesSD/SDHC/SDXC (UHS-I supported)
USBUSB 2.0 (480 Mbit/sec)
USB chargingYes
HDMIYes (micro-HDMI)
Microphone portNo
Headphone portNo
WirelessBuilt-In
Wireless notes802.11b/g/n + Bluetooth
Remote controlYes (via smartphone)
Environmentally sealedNo
BatteryBattery Pack
Battery descriptionDMW-BLG10 lithium-ion battery & charger
Battery Life (CIPA)380
Weight (inc. batteries)327 g (0.72 lb / 11.53 oz)
Dimensions112 x 69 x 42 mm (4.41 x 2.72 x 1.65″)
Orientation sensorYes
GPSNone

Panasonic Lumix ZS80 Verdict

The ZS80 / TZ95 is not a very big advance on what we have seen previously in the TZ line, but it is endowed with a quick autofocus mechanism, outstanding build quality, and a viewfinder quite serviceable. The image quality of this camera can be hit or miss, as is the case with any camera with a sensor of this size, yet, it is still one of the finest cameras of its class.

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