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Panasonic Lumix ZS70 Review

Lumix ZS1 / TZ1 was the name of the camera that Panasonic introduced in 2006 with the promise that it was the world’s smallest compact camera with a 10x optical zoom.

It is possible that this camera was the one that originated the now-common trip zoom compact camera category, and Panasonic has contributed continuously to it over the years with several variants that are exceptionally highly respected.

The company added two new models to its ZS and TZ lines throughout the previous year. The Panasonic Lumix ZS60 (also known as the TZ80 in markets outside of the US) combined a 1/2.3-inch sensor with a 24-720mm (equivalent) zoom lens. In contrast, the Panasonic Lumix ZS100 (also known as the TZ100) defied expectations by pairing its 25-250mm (equivalent) lens with a significantly larger 1.0-inch sensor – a first for such a camera.

Now, the new Lumix ZS70 (known as the TZ90 outside of the US) looks to be an upgrade to the older of those two models; but it does not appear to be quite capable of dethroning the later model as the flagship model in the series.

Panasonic Lumix ZS70 Features

The Panasonic ZS70 / TZ90 is equipped with a new 20.3MP MOS sensor, which takes the place of the 18MP High Sensitivity MOS sensor in the ZS60 / TZ80. This new sensor is constructed with the same back-illuminated structure as its predecessor.

This works in conjunction with the Venus processor inside the camera to provide an ISO range of 80-3200, which may be increased to a level that is similar to ISO6400 in cases when there are no other options.

Raw photos, as well as JPEGs, may be captured, and the mode dial gives you complete manual control over the camera’s exposure settings. JPEGs can also be charged.

The ability to record 4K video at the UHD resolution of (3840 x 2160) is also included, as is the 4K PHOTO option, which makes it possible to extract 8MP still photographs from the video being taken.

The lens has an optical zoom range of 30 times, which is the same as 24-720 millimeters when measured in 35mm. It is complemented by five-axis Hybrid Optical Image Stabilization technology, which helps keep things stable at longer focal lengths and in low light.

Panasonic Lumix ZS70 Build Quality

The Lumix ZS70 and TZ90 differ from the ZS60 and TZ80 in design roughly to the same extent as they do on the specifications sheet, which is to say, in just a few minor respects.

Panasonic has decided to replace the more defined texture of the ZS60 / TZ80’s grip with one that is easier on the eyes and more pleasant to the touch. This change was made to simplify the design of the grip. The actual grip, on the other hand, does not appear to be carved in a way that makes sense to provide support for the user’s hand.

The grip on this camera does not conform to the natural curvature of the middle finger, in contrast to, for example, the Canon PowerShot SX730 HS, which does so when the camera is held traditionally.

Although there is a tiny indentation on its side, which makes things a bit more comfortable, this is by no means a perfect situation.

Some people may consider the depth of the control ring that encircles the base of the lens insufficient because it only protrudes from the front plate by around a centimeter. Despite this, it helps to keep the profile low, and the ridged finish ensures that it is still tactile.

It rotates pretty smoothly and may be used to manage aperture, zoom, and other settings; however, the menu pad dial on the back of the camera gives the means to handle some of these functions, which is, in some ways, more convenient.

Panasonic Lumix ZS70 Autofocus

Even though the ZS70 and TZ90 don’t appear to have the same lightning-quick focusing rates as their cousins in the small system family, the focusing speeds are still fast enough for most scenarios, particularly when capturing things that aren’t moving.

The 49-area option gets subjects into focus fast enough in excellent light, and even if these speeds drop a bit in moderate lighting, they are still absolutely respectable. This option brings subjects into focus quickly enough in good light. When the focusing point is determined in advance, however, and there is sufficient light, usual focusing rates are significantly increased.

As is typical of Panasonic cameras, the LCD screen is quite sensitive to touch. This makes setting the focusing point with the finger a comfortable method to do so, even though on such a small body, it is easy to brush against it and accidentally focus elsewhere mistakenly.

Panasonic Lumix ZS70 Performance

When you consider the zoom capabilities of this model, it is reasonable to anticipate that the Lumix ZS60 / TZ80 will take a little more than a second to come to life ultimately.

You may also switch on the camera to see photographs without extending the lens by hitting the play button; however, the delay that results from doing so is rather significant (and is also the case when turning the camera on and immediately pressing the play button).

It seems that the camera utilizes the same 0.20-inch viewfinder seen on the ZS60 and TZ80, which displays details with a resolution of 1.166k dots.

We shouldn’t place unreasonable expectations on such a small camera, and it’s essential to keep in mind that many of the competing models don’t even have a viewfinder to begin with. However, compared to those found within the company’s tiny system cameras, it is not even close to being on par.

It is relatively small, with a magnification that is similar to 0.46x in terms of 35mm, and it can occasionally feel underpowered, which results in a somewhat hazy view. It also gives off the impression of having a greenish hue, and you need to cup your hand over it in bright sunlight to see it well enough to use it.

It is helpful, and the fact that your face is pressed against the body while you are using it helps with stability as well, but in most circumstances, the LCD is going to be the better option for you to make use of.

Panasonic Lumix ZS70 Picture Quality

  • Raw and JPEG capture with a five-axis hybrid optical image stabilization system
  • There are seven different photo styles.

The image quality produced by the Panasonic ZS70 and TZ90 is, on the whole, rather impressive. The metering system in particular, performs an excellent job of achieving a balanced exposure over a wide range of scenarios. The dynamic option produces a discernible improvement in image quality when working in high-contrast environments.

The Standard Photo Style produces colors that are, for the most part, true. When the Vivid style is used, however, the colors take on a delightful brightness while maintaining their authenticity to the scene.

The camera’s Auto White Balance system is generally reliable, but it tends to produce images that are relatively uninteresting when left at its default settings. Because of this, you might want to select a different option to add a little bit of warmth here and there to your photographs.

Panasonic Lumix ZS70 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 presets4
Custom white balanceYes (2 slots)
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 (2X-4X)
Manual focusYes
Normal focus range50 cm (19.69″)
Macro focus range3 cm (1.18″)
Number of focus points49
Articulated LCDTilting
Screen size3″
Screen dots1,040,000
Touch screenYes
Screen typeTFT LCD
Live viewYes
Viewfinder typeElectronic
Viewfinder coverage100%
Viewfinder magnification0.46×
Viewfinder resolution1,166,000
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 (at Auto ISO)
External flashNo
Flash modesAuto, Auto/Red-eye Reduction, Forced On, Slow Sync./Red-eye Reduction, Forced Off
Continuous drive10.0 fps
Self-timerYes (2 or 10 sec, 3 shots / 10 secs)
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)
Resolutions3840 x 2160 (30p), 1920 x 1080 (60p, 60i, 30p), 1280 x 720 (30p), 640 x 480 (30p)
FormatMPEG-4, AVCHD
Modes3840 x 2160 @ 30p / 100 Mbps, MOV, H.264, AAC1920 x 1080 @ 60p / 28 Mbps, MOV, H.264, Dolby Digital1920 x 1080 @ 60i / 24 Mbps, MOV, H.264, Dolby Digital1920 x 1080 @ 60i / 17 Mbps, MOV, H.264, Dolby Digital1920 x 1080 @ 60p / 28 Mbps, MOV, H.264, AAC1920 x 1080 @ 30p / 20 Mbps, MOV, H.264, AAC1280 x 720 @ 30p / 10 Mbps, MOV, H.264, AAC
MicrophoneStereo
SpeakerMono
Storage typesSD/SDHC/SDXC
USBUSB 2.0 (480 Mbit/sec)
HDMIYes (microHDMI)
Microphone portNo
Headphone portNo
WirelessBuilt-In
Wireless notes802.11 b/g/n
Remote controlYes (via smartphone)
Environmentally sealedNo
BatteryBattery Pack
Battery descriptionLithium-ion battery and charger
Battery Life (CIPA)380
Weight (inc. batteries)322 g (0.71 lb / 11.36 oz)
Dimensions112 x 67 x 41 mm (4.41 x 2.64 x 1.61″)
Orientation sensorYes
GPSNone

Panasonic Lumix ZS70 Verdict

There is no doubt that the Panasonic Lumix ZS70 / TZ90 offers an appealing combination of features that work in its favor. Its extensive zoom range should be sufficient for most circumstances, and its superb touchscreen and its vast range of settings make it a breeze to capture whatever you want to take a picture of.

If some of these capabilities are more curiosities than necessities, if you’re buying this camera for its selfie capability, you’ll be glad to hear that it works well. This will make you even happier with your purchase. The camera is also capable of recording very high-quality 4K video, however, the quality may suffer in darker environments.

It suffers from somewhat hazy pictures when shot at wide angles, subpar viewfinder performance, and problematic handling, all of which let it down significantly. Additionally, it competes with several models whose advanced age requires a lower asking price. If a tilting screen, 4K video recording, and a viewfinder are high on your wish list, you should keep an eye out for a price drop in the ZS70/TZ90 shortly. At that time, it will be worthwhile to consider purchasing one of these cameras.

Panasonic Lumix ZS70 Pros & Cons

Good For
  • Very excellent zoom range
  • The selfie feature is highly reliable and effective.
  • Extremely powerful image stabilization
  • 4K resolution that is extremely competitive at this level
Need Improvements
  • The grip may use some work.
  • Occasional latency upon start-up
  • The viewfinder is somewhat diminutive.
  • A wide angle produces softer effects.

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