Panasonic Lumix ZS80 / TZ95 Review

It maintains many of the same core specs, including its 20.3MP sensor, 4K video capabilities and a lens that provides a focal length equivalent to 24-720mm in 35mm terms, but arrives with a new and slightly larger viewfinder that boasts a considerably higher 2.3 million-dot resolution, versus the ZS70’s 1.16 million dots).

The camera is very well specced otherwise, with a raw shooting option, 10fps burst shooting and built-in Wi-Fi and Bluetooth, plus a 3-inch LCD touchscreen that can be pulled up and over to face the front. Battery life is rated to a very respectable 380 frames, and there’s USB charging. The camera has been designed with a small grip around its front and a thumb rest on the back, which makes it nicer to handle than many other cameras aimed at a similar demographic.

Panasonic Lumix ZS80 (Specs)

  • Sensor: 1/2.3-inch CMOS sensor, 20.3MP
  • Lens: 24-720mm, f/3.3-6.4
  • Screen: 3-inch, 1,040k dots 
  • Viewfinder: 0.21-inch EVF, 2,330k dots
  • Continuous shooting: 10fps
  • Movies: 4K
  • Battery life: Approx. 380 images (LCD), 250 images (EVF)

Check Out: Best Compact Cameras

Check Panasonic Lumix ZS80 / TZ95 Price

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PANASONIC LUMIX ZS80 20.3MP Digital Camera, 30x 24-720mm Travel Zoom Lens, 4K Video, Optical Image Stabilizer and 3.0-inch Display – Point & Shoot Camera with Lecia Lens - DC-ZS80K (Black)
  • LARGE SENSOR – 1/2. 3-inch 20. 3MP MOS high-resolution sensor provides improved low- light performance by significantly expanding the incident light angle, ensuring uniform and high picture quality
  • LEICA DC VARIO-ELMAR LENS - features an impressively sharp 24mm ultra-wide angle 30x telephoto lens (35mm camera equivalent: 24-720mm)
  • POWER O. I. S. - Optical Image Stabilizer (O. I. S. ) effectively compensates for hand shake to minimize blur during telephoto shooting with your LUMIX camera

The presence of a physical ring around the lens also puts the left hand to good use, and this can be set to adjust all manner of things, from the zoom and focus mode through to different colour options.

Image quality is perfectly reasonable for a camera with such a small sensor and an expansive lens. With the camera having the same core components as the previous ZS70, we also see similar traits in images; so, wide-angle results are great in the centre of the frame but noticeably soft at the edges at default settings, while images further up the zoom range are aided by an effective image stabilization system, although noise and noise reduction can be seen throughout pictures in general. 4K video quality, meanwhile, is surprisingly good.

Given that the only significant difference between the ZS80 / TZ95 and the ZS70 / TZ90 will be that higher-resolution viewfinder, the decision as to whether it’s worth the extra premium is really the only real call you have to make here. If you’re not that fussed about the higher-high quality EVF, but you otherwise like what you see, we reckon you should opt for the ZS70 while it’s still around – otherwise, check out our alternatives at the bottom of the page.

Panasonic Lumix DC-ZS80: Should you buy it?

With its portable body and huge zoom lens, the Panasonic ZS80 / TZ95 is targeted towards those off on holiday or other travels and who don’t want the hassle of a larger camera with interchangeable lenses. The raw shooting option is great for those who intend to process their images later on a computer, while the flip-up screen also makes it ideal for anyone who imagines they will be capturing selfies or group shots – particularly as the face detection works so well.

Panasonic Lumix DC-ZS80: Features

The Panasonic Lumix ZS80 / TZ95 picks up from where the ZS70 / TZ90 left off, although comparing the specs of the two models reveals only minor changes.

The biggest difference is that the ZS80 / TZ95 boasts a new electronic viewfinder with 2.3 million dots on its OLED panel, rather than the 1.13 million of the ZS70, which should help to deliver a slightly crisper image.

It measures 0.21 inches in size and has a magnification of 0.53x in 35mm terms, versus the 0.20-inch size and 0.48x magnification of the ZS80. One of our main gripes about the ZS70’s viewfinder was its size, so this update, while modest, is definitely a welcome one.

4K video options remain the same as before, with 4K UHD footage recorded to 30p and Full HD alongside. There’s now a Sequence Composition function that allows a sequence of images to displayed within a single shot, and a new Auto Marking feature is also on hand.

The 1/2.3-inch CMOS sensor that holds 20.3MP appears to be the same as the one in the ZS70, as does the 30x LEICA DC VARIO-ELMAR optical zoom lens that covers a 35mm-equivalent range of 24-720mm; and thankfully this is stabilized, so that it can continue to deliver sharp images regardless of where you are in the focal range.

Focusing is once again handled by Panasonic’s long-standing DFD (Depth From Defocus) technology, and a Focus Stacking feature lets you blend a number of frames captured at different focus positions into a single image.

You can also focus using the 3-inch touchscreen on the rear, and this flips around by 180 degrees to face the front – that is another feature that’s been carried over from the ZS70, as have an ISO range that works between ISO80-6400 and 10fps burst shooting.

‘Always-on’ Bluetooth Low Energy and Wi-Fi connectivity have also been thrown in, and these allow you to both send images wirelessly to your device and control the camera remotely.

The model also offers the same battery life as before, which is 380 frames (according to CIPA measurement). That’s perfectly decent for a camera of this sort, and way ahead of some competitors.

As is now fairly standard for compact cameras, you can also charge the electric battery via the USB port, that is handy if you’re on the move, as you don’t need to pack a dedicated charger.

Panasonic Lumix DC-ZS80: Design

The design of the Panasonic ZS80 / TZ95 is essentially the same as the ZS70 / TZ90. In fact, aside from the dropping of the ‘L’ from the front plate and some small cosmetic changes elsewhere, the only differences are with the various controls around the back and what they activate. The minor differences in size and weight between the two – the ZS80 is 6g heavier and about 1.5mm deeper – make no difference in the hands.

The body is very nicely built, and clearly a step above the cheaper compacts that make up a lot of this category. The front has a very well defined grip that appears to be intended for the inside of the middle finger, but its low-down position means that the camera is held far more securely with two fingers pressed against it. This is complemented by a thumb rest on the back of the camera, and all of this means it handles better than many others in this class.

Verdict

The ZS80 / TZ95 isn’t a particularly significant update on what we’ve seen before in the TZ line, but it’s blessed with very fast AF system, great build quality and a perfectly serviceable viewfinder. As with any camera with such a small sensor, image quality can be hit and miss, but this is still one of the better cameras of its kind.

Check Panasonic Lumix ZS80 / TZ95 Price and Bundles

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