Panasonic Lumix DMC-ZS20 Review


Overview of the Panasonic Lumix DMC-ZS20 Camera

The Lumix DMC-ZS20 is an excellent camera that many buyers are looking for. The image quality with this model is impressive for all lighting situations and the focus is also very sharp. The response times are a little bit slow for shooting indoors, but you will still have the nice image quality in all circumstances.

However, the suggested price of the camera up to $350 is beyond the budget of some photographers.  You will be easily satisfied with a number of very nice features such as: the large 20X optical zoom lens, the inclusion of the LCD touch screen as well as an integrated GPS unit. Therefore, it is understandable that the Lumix ZS20 costs a bit more over most point and shoot models.

It is the image quality which has turned the camera to be one of the greatest point and shoot models in the current market. However, you may be pretty concerned about the high price. The price shall be more acceptable if you really want a long zoom lens or a GPS unit. If you are planning to shoot most of the outdoor photographs, the long zoom and the built-in GPS will be very useful for recording nature and landscape images. In this aspect, the camera deserves to be a 5-star performer.

However, if you want to use the camera for shooting all-around types of photos, you’ll find that the price is a bit high and the camera performance under indoor conditions is not as expected. That’s also why I cannot give this model a five-star ranking.

Panasonic Lumix DMC-ZS20 Camera Review Buy

Panasonic Lumix DMC-ZS20 Camera Review Buy

The Lumix DMC-ZS20 is a powerful point and shoot model. There are four color options for the camera bodies: silver, black, gray/white or red.

Brief Review of the Panasonic Lumix DMC-ZS20 Camera


  • The resolution is 14.1 MP
  • The optical zoom is 20X (or equivalent to 24-480mm)
  • The 3.0-inch touchscreen LCD has the resolution of 460,000 pixels
  • The image size is 4320 x 3240 at maximum
  • The camera uses a Li-Ion battery which can be rechargeable
  • The dimensions are 2.32 x 4.13 x 1.11 inches
  • The camera weighs 7.27 ounces (with the inclusion of the battery and memory card)
  • The 1/2.33 in image sensor applies the CMOS technology
  • A HD 1080p (30 fps) movie mode is supported


  • 20X optical zoom lens is very nice
  • The images are of the outstanding quality in all lighting conditions
  • The performance together with response times is great in outdoor photos
  • The autofocus is of the good sharpness and accuracy
  • Touch screen LCD brings you the sharp photography results


  • The price is slightly over someone’s budgets
  • You’ll encounter a bit of lag with the response times indoors
  • Built-in flash unit doesn’t always cover all corners of the image
  • Design is pretty plain looking
  • The slight camera shake sometimes occur when you maximize the zoom levels

Detailed Review of the Panasonic Lumix DMC-ZS20

Image Quality

The image quality is very impressive with the DMC-ZS20 camera and you will be pleasant with the images of accurate colors and the focus sharpness for most of the time. Even if you extend the model to the highest zoom, the focus sharpness is still great. There is a bit of camera shake in cases where you fully extend the zoom, but the performance of the DMC-ZS20 is steady for the majority of time.

You won’t see any shutter lag with photos shot in almost all outdoor situations and the images are sharp. But, there is a bit of lag or the blurriness with the photos when you shoot moving subjects, but you don’t need to worry a lot about these issues if the photos are shot under good external lighting.

The performance of the autofocus is fast and very precise. The performance of the autofocus assist lamp is good, too and it is useful for shooting photos with the flash or under the inadequate lighting conditions.

Photos shot with the flash are of good exposure for the majority of time, although the corners of the photos are sometimes not fully covered with the small integrated flash. Still, in comparison with most other point and shoot models, the SZ20 performs much better in the flash conditions, thanks to the fact that the focus of the camera is very sharp. Sometimes, you may notice a shadow from the lens in your flash photos when you extend the lens a bit.

There are four aspect ratios and 24 various resolution options with the Panasonic Lumix DMC-ZS20. The resolutions are ranging from 14MPM to 0.2MP

You can also make use of some available special effects to make the images become more interesting. Some of the popular effects can be listed, such as: sepia, black and white, and vivid.


One factor that contributes to the higher price is the inclusion of the built-in GPS device with the Lumix ZS20 camera. If you are not interested in a GPS, you may find it unpleasant with the additional cost of this GPS.

The camera has the fast response times and its performance is outstanding for shooting outdoors. This performance becomes slightly slower for shooting photos under indoor situations and without enough light. Therefore, you may not be able to capture spontaneous moments or photos of moving subjects under the indoor photography. However, the speed as well as the performance of this camera are about the average level versus other point and shoot models which cost under $400.

The fast initializing speed is very nice and it takes you just a fraction of a second to capture the first image after you press the toggle power switch. The playback command as well as the shooting mode is also a toggle switch. With this switch, you won’t have to worry about accidentally holding down and having one of the two buttons activated.

Among the feature list of the Lumix ZS20, the long 20X optical zoom lens is outstanding versus the lens of other thin point and shoot models. The moving speed of the zoom is pretty fast within its range, contributing to the fast response times with the ZS20.

Commonly, there is a significant shutter lag with some point and shoot models with large zoom lenses when you extend the zoom, but the performance of the ZS20 is not affected by the shutter lag for the majority of time when you extend the 20X zoom lens.

For recording movies with the ZS20, the zoom lens is available in a limited manner.


The overall design of the Lumix ZS20 is not really nice looking, and it is easy to hold and use the camera thanks to its nice size and weight. You’ll find it comfortable to hold the camera with a slightly raised area for your right hand. In addition, the camera can be handled with one hand, which is very convenient.

The camera has a nice LCD touch screen which is of high resolution. Its thickness is 3.0 inches and you’ll achieve sharp photography results with this LCD. The response of the camera is good toward moving actions and gestures, and it just takes a very short time to get used to the camera. You can select some menu settings or have the shutter activated with this screen.

There are seven brightness options with the LCD screen. The red or blue tint levels can be also adjusted on the LCD. You can superimpose the histogram on the LCD if you want more control over the photos.

While it is possible for controlling the camera through the LCD touch screen, someone finds it quicker with the mode dial as well as the zoom ring located on the top of the camera. There are many good options with the mode dial, for example, manual, creative control, program, shutter priority, aperture priority or 3D modes. The performance of the Auto mode is nice for most photos, too.

If you are a beginning photographer, it will be very easy to control the camera with the touch screen. Additionally, there are a lot of explaining texts on the LCD to help you find out the different functions of the ZS20. This is better than depending on icons that can be a little confusing at times.

One small weakness is that you cannot charge the battery outside the camera. There are both the HDMI and USB slots with the Lumix ZS20 and the SD memory card it uses is in the common format.


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