In 2001, Panasonic became a competitor in the market for digital cameras. In 2006, the company released the first model in its popular ZS range (known as TZ outside of the United States), which consists of cameras that have a compact body and a wide zoom range and are intended to appeal to travelers.
It is reasonable to say that in the ten years since then, a great deal of progress has been accomplished, the majority of which Panasonic was the first company to launch.
The ZS and TZ series of cameras have proven to be quite popular. In response to the trend toward more high-end features in tiny cameras, Panasonic has introduced a new model, the Lumix ZS100 / TZ100, which raises the bar even further.
The sensor has been upgraded from a 1/2.3-inch unit, which was used in the ZS60 / TZ80, to a significantly bigger 1-inch type device that has 20.1 million effective pixels in the ZS100 / TZ100. This is the most significant modification that the ZS100 / TZ100 brings to the table.
In the most recent few years, one-inch sensors have become highly popular. This trend began with Sony’s RX100 family of tiny cameras and has continued with Canon’s most recent G series of compact cameras.
Panasonic Lumix ZS100 Features
Because it has a 1.0-inch sensor, the ZS100 / TZ100 instantly elevates itself above the level of many other competing travel cameras. It is the same sensor found in Panasonic’s most advanced bridge camera, the Lumix FZ1000, which has been a huge commercial success.
It is paired with a brand-new Venus Engine processor and a Leica DC Vario-Elmarit 25-250mm f/2.8-5.9 zoom lens in the ZS100 and TZ100 models of the camera. Additionally, there is the 5-axis hybrid OIS stabilization for video and the Power OIS stabilization technology that Panasonic offers for still photography.
Even though the pixel count of the ZS100 is higher than that of the ZS50 and TZ70 from the previous year, the ZS100’s sensor is four times larger, which means that each pixel is 2.4 times larger. This should be very encouraging news for image quality and noise control.
Because of this, Panasonic had the confidence to provide the ZS100 with a native sensitivity range of 125-12,800, in addition to expansion options of 80, 100, and 25,600 ISO.
Panasonic Lumix ZS100 Build Quality
The fact that the ZS100 / TZ100 is not a significantly larger camera than the ZS60 / TZ80 that was released simultaneously is one of the most exciting characteristics of these new models. It is approximately 2.2 millimeters (0.0866 inches) longer, 0.5 millimeters (0.0197 inches) broader, and 6 millimeters (0.236 inches) thicker than the ZS60.
This makes it just about the right size to fit in the back pocket of a pair of jeans, and the fact that it has a metal body shell gives the impression that it is robust enough to withstand being carried in this manner for an extended amount of time.
The ZS100 has a design somewhat comparable to that of the LX100, which is Panasonic’s other current premium small camera. It possesses reasonably clean lines and a step in the top plate to complement this feature.
The camera’s finish will either be black or black and silver; the black and silver version will have a red band that surrounds the silver piece of the top plate that is relatively modest. The camera itself will be black. Because Panasonic has not previously utilized this design aesthetic, it will be fascinating to observe whether or not it will be implemented in other products in the near or far future.
There is neither a texture nor a grip on the front of the camera; nonetheless, there is an indentation that allows the camera to sit more comfortably in your palm. Despite this, it makes perfect sense to fasten the wrist strap to add a layer of protection.
Panasonic Lumix ZS100 Autofocus
Regarding autofocus speed, Lumix cameras have always been able to deliver the goods, and the ZS100 / TZ100 is no exception – in well-lit situations, you can anticipate the camera to lock on rapidly with practically no delay at all.
Even when there is less light available, the ZS100 maintains its high level of performance. Nonetheless, the contrast-detect autofocus will begin to struggle when the light levels are deficient; however, this is to be anticipated.
Panasonic Lumix ZS100 Performance
The all-purpose metering system of the ZS100 / TZ100 usually produces accurate exposures, except for a small amount of variance when photographing anything with areas of high contrast; nonetheless, this is not more than we would anticipate from any camera. Similarly, the automated white balance technology performs admirably when exposed to various lighting situations.
When photography in artificial light, somewhat warmer tones are created; thus, if you are concerned with achieving the highest possible level of accuracy, you should either switch to a preset setting or establish a custom white balance.
Detail is maintained very well over the entirety of the ZS100’s optical zoom range, with almost the same level of detail visible at the wide-angle end as can be seen at the end of the telephoto zoom.
Panasonic Lumix ZS100 Image Quality
Since the ZS100 and TZ100 share the same sensor as the FZ1000, we had high expectations that the image quality would be satisfactory on both cameras. The good news is that those hopes have been validated, both by the findings of our laboratories and by photos taken in the actual world.
JPEG photos have a superb overall sense of detail and exhibit a great deal of vibrancy and punch without venturing too far into artificial terrain.
The ZS100’s photos exhibit a level of detail that is equivalent to those of photographs produced with cameras that have far bigger sensors, such as the GF7 when viewed at regular printing (A4 or smaller) or on-screen viewing sizes (which has a Four Thirds sensor). In addition, when viewed at 100 percent on the screen, it isn’t easy to differentiate between the low-sensitivity JPEG photos produced by the ZS100 and those produced by the GF7.
Panasonic Lumix ZS100 Specs
|Body type||Large sensor compact|
|Body material||Metal, composite|
|Max resolution||5472 x 3648|
|Image ratio w:h||1:1, 4:3, 3:2, 16:9|
|Effective pixels||20 megapixels|
|Sensor photo detectors||21 megapixels|
|Sensor size||1″ (13.2 x 8.8 mm)|
|Color filter array||Primary color filter|
|ISO||Auto, 125-12800 (expands to 80-25600)|
|Boosted ISO (minimum)||80|
|Boosted ISO (maximum)||25600|
|White balance presets||5|
|Custom white balance||Yes (4 slots)|
|Image stabilization notes||Hybrid 5-axis available in movie mode|
|JPEG quality levels||Fine, standard|
|File format||JPEG (Exif v2.3)Raw (Panasonic RW2 format)|
|Optics & Focus|
|Focal length (equiv.)||25–250 mm|
|Autofocus||Contrast Detect (sensor)Multi-areaCenterSelective single-pointTrackingSingleContinuousTouchFace DetectionLive View|
|Autofocus assist lamp||Yes|
|Digital zoom||Yes (4X)|
|Normal focus range||50 cm (19.69″)|
|Macro focus range||5 cm (1.97″)|
|Number of focus points||49|
|Screen / viewfinder|
|Screen type||TFT LCD|
|Minimum shutter speed||60 sec|
|Maximum shutter speed||1/2000 sec|
|Maximum shutter speed (electronic)||1/16000 sec|
|Exposure modes||ProgramAperture PriorityShutter PriorityManual|
|Scene modes||Clear PortraitSilky SkinBacklit SoftnessClear in BacklightRelaxing ToneSweet Child’s FaceDistinct SceneryBright Blue SkyRomantic Sunset GlowVivid Sunset GlowGlistening WaterClear NightscapeCool Night SkyWarm Glowing NightscapeArtistic NightscapeGlittering IlluminationsHandheld Night ShotClear Night PortraitSoft Image of a FlowerAppetizing FoodCute DessertFreeze Animal MotionClear Sports ShotMonochrome|
|Flash range||8.00 m (at Auto ISO)|
|Flash modes||Auto, Auto/Red-eye Reduction, Forced On, Forced On/Red-eye Reduction, Slow Sync., Slow Sync./Red-eye Reduction, Forced Off|
|Continuous drive||10.0 fps|
|Self-timer||Yes (2 or 10 secs, 3 shots @ 10 sec)|
|Exposure compensation||±5 (at 1/3 EV steps)|
|AE Bracketing||±3 (3, 5, 7 frames at 1/3 EV, 1/2 EV, 1 EV steps)|
|Resolutions||4K/UHD (3840 x 2160 @ 30p/24p), 1920 x 1080 @ 60p/60i/30p/24p, 640 x 480 (30p)|
|Storage types||SD/SDHC/SDXC card|
|USB||USB 2.0 (480 Mbit/sec)|
|Remote control||Yes (via smartphone)|
|Battery description||Lithium-ion battery & charger|
|Battery Life (CIPA)||300|
|Weight (inc. batteries)||312 g (0.69 lb / 11.01 oz)|
|Dimensions||111 x 65 x 44 mm (4.37 x 2.56 x 1.73″)|
Panasonic Lumix ZS100 Verdict
With the ZS100 / TZ100, Panasonic takes direct aim at the pocket-friendly tiny camera market dominated by cameras with 1.0-inch sensors. The company raises the stakes by including 10x optical zoom, a feature that other manufacturers have not yet provided.
When you combine a 1.0-inch sensor with 10x optical zoom, the resulting camera becomes a much more flexible option, which is sure to appeal to traveling photographers looking for something of high quality that is also convenient. Although 1.0-inch sensors aren’t new or exciting, the resultant camera is a much more flexible option.
Panasonic Lumix ZS100 Pros & Cons
- 4K video capture
- Sensor measuring +1.0 inches
- 10x optical zoom lens
- Manipulation through touchscreen
- Built-in Wi-Fi
- Contained within a small electronic viewfinder
- Screen set in stone
- the handgrip has room for improvement