Panasonic Lumix ZS60 Review

The TZ80 (unknown as the ZS60 in the US) is a replacement for last year’s TZ70 (SZ50). However, Panasonic has a new camera to sit at the top of its travel line-up in the shape of the TZ100.

That means that last year’s TZ57 (ZS45) won’t be getting an upgrade, and it’s the TZ80 which is the more “budget” friendly option when compared to TZ100 and its 1-inch sensor. In fact, the TZ100’s sensor is four times larger than the 1/2.3 inch device in the TZ80 and its own predecessor the TZ70.

Panasonic Lumix ZS60 (Specs)

  • 18 megapixel sensor
  • 4K video (UHD, 3840×2160, 25fps)
  • 4K photo (8mp, 3328×2496, at 30fps)
  • 3inch touch-screen (1040K dots)
  • MicroUSB charging

Check Out: Best Compact cameras

Panasonic Lumix ZS60: Price

The TZ80 (unknown as the ZS60 in the US) is a replacement for last year’s TZ70 (SZ50). However, Panasonic has a new camera to sit at the top of its travel line-up in the shape of the TZ100.

That means that last year’s TZ57 (ZS45) won’t be getting an upgrade, and it’s the TZ80 which is the more “budget” friendly option when compared to TZ100 and its 1-inch sensor. In fact, the TZ100’s sensor is four times larger than the 1/2.3 inch device in the TZ80 and its own predecessor the TZ70.

Panasonic Lumix ZS60: Features

Interestingly, a year after Panasonic reduced the number of pixels from 18 million on the TZ60’s sensor to 12Mp on the TZ70’s in the pursuit of better quality, the company has opted to boost the pixel count back up to 18 million for the TZ80. We’re told that although the pixel pitch of the new camera’s sensor is a little smaller than that of the TZ70, the photoreceptors have the same sensitivity. In theory, this could mean that noise levels are about the same, perhaps even slightly better than the TZ70 as the processor is new. The sensitivity range remains the same as the TZ70, with a native range of ISO 80-3200, and an ISO 6400 expansion setting.

4K video recording, along with 4K Photo Mode, and Post Focus mode, are more fresh features, but in many ways the TZ80 remains exactly like the TZ70. Crucially, the lens is the same 30x Leica DC Vario-Elmar 4.3-129mm f/3.3-6.4 optic, which has a focal length equivalence of 24-720mm.

Like the TZ70, the TZ80 also has a 0.2 inch, 1,160,000-dot electronic viewfinder and a 3-inch 1,040,000-dot screen – but Panasonic has reprised the touch-control that went AWOL for the TZ70 and the TZ60. Autofocusing is claimed to be improved with the arrival of Panasonic’s DFD (Depth From Defocus) technology, the same as found in its latest G-series compact system cameras.

Wi-Fi connectivity is included, but there’s no NFC chip to make quick connections to an NFC device.

Panasonic Lumix ZS60: Performance

At the time of the TZ70’s launch, Panasonic said its decision to reduce pixel count was in the interest of image quality, so it seems a little bit strange to up that resolution again quite so soon.

Sadly, perhaps as a result of that decision, images don’t seem to have quite the same high quality as those from the TZ70. In good light, the overall impression of detail is very good, but if you examine images at 100%, even those taken at relatively low ISOs (such as ISO 200), it’s possible to see image smoothing and a loss of detail.

As you go up the sensitivity scale, it’s not really noise that starts to become an issue in JPEGS, but its removal – the TZ80’s picture smoothing results in a painterly effect that is severe enough for pictures taken at IS0 3200 to only really be useable at small printing sizes. On the plus side, as the TZ80 can shoot raw format files, you can switch off noise reduction in post-production and reveal much more detail in higher ISO shots – you will see noise by doing this, but you may find this preferable to excessive smoothing. During writing, it isn’t possible to open the TZ80’s files in Adobe Camera Raw, but you can use Silkypix, which is available as a free download from Panasonic’s website.

Focusing speeds are very quick – the introduction of DFD technology seems to have been a good choice, as even in darker conditions, the TZ80 has very little trouble locking on to a target. Using all-purpose metering tends to result in well balanced images most of the time, while the automatic white balance copes well with a range of different lighting conditions. It can be a little confused by mixed lighting, in which case switching to one of the presets, such as for example Fluorescent, can result in more accurate colours.

Images taken at the full 30x reach of the lens are a little less sharp than images taken in the full get to of the TZ70’s lens. Again, that’s okay for little printing or sharing dimensions, but anything larger than a 7 x 5-inch print could be problematic. Other focal lengths are a little better, though, as the inbuilt optical image stabilisation helps to keep blur out of shots when using long focal lengths such as 20x or above.

Panasonic Lumix ZS60: Specifications

Body typeCompact
Max resolution4896 x 3672
Effective pixels18 megapixels
Sensor size1/2.3″ (6.17 x 4.55 mm)
Sensor typeCMOS
ISOAuto, 80-3200 (expands to 6400)
Focal length (equiv.)24–720 mm
Max apertureF3.3–6.4
Articulated LCDFixed
Screen size3″
Screen dots1,040,000
Max shutter speed1/2000 sec
FormatMPEG-4, AVCHD
Storage typesSD/SDHC/SDXC
USBUSB 2.0 (480 Mbit/sec)
Weight (inc. batteries)282 g (0.62 lb / 9.95 oz)
Dimensions112 x 64 x 38 mm (4.41 x 2.52 x 1.5″)
GPSNone

Panasonic Lumix ZS60: Conclusion

The TZ80 is a well-specced camera that delivers great images in good light, but less than outstanding ones as the light dims, so if you have no need for the 4K Video or 4K Photo Mode and can live without a touchscreen, take a look at the TZ70 instead. The TZ100 is also a great option if you can get by with a smaller 10x zoom range.

LEAVE A REPLY

Please enter your comment!
Please enter your name here