Panasonic Lumix DMC-ZS8 Assess
If you walked into a store and saw Panasonic’s Lumix DMC-ZS8 and its Lumix DMC-ZS10 next to each other, you might not at once see the differences, let alone $100 worth of them. Even after alternative them up, you might notice only that the ZS10 has a GPS receiver and a touch cover. And a stereo mic. Oh, and look, it minutes full HD video in AVCHD with a one-touch confirmation button.
But if none of that matters to you, then maybe the more-obscure differences will, like the fact that the ZS10′s cover is twice the pledge of the ZS8′s and that it uses a high-speed sensor and better PC for closer shooting performance or, more particularly, closer full-pledge burst shooting and 3D photos.
So, even if the ZS8 might not look like it is gone $100 in facial appearance, it is. Potentially more, depending on how much you value any of the ZS10′s extra facial appearance or closer continuous shooting. Even if, if all you’re after is a quick camera with a long lens in a pocketable body, one that takes excellent cinema and decent 720p HD movie clips and has semimanual and blue-collar shooting modes, then, yes, save yourself $100 and get the ZS8.
The thing is, the ZS8′s photo feature is just as excellent as, if not vaguely better than, the ZS10′s. If you were apprehensive that getting the less high-priced model would mean sacrificing image feature, don’t be. With plenty of light, the ZS8 can turn out very excellent photos, if a modest soft. The color noise that I’m used to considering from Panasonic’s cameras isn’t as prevalent in the ZS8′s descriptions. Don’t get me incorrect, it’s still there and certainly noticeable at its peak full-pledge sensitivity, ISO 1,600, but it’s just not as terrible with this camera. Regardless, the ZS8 is best suited for daylight open-air use or brightly lit inside use. Photos at or below ISO 200 can stand up to some cropping or better prints, but low-light/high-ISO photos are best left for small prints and Web use.
Color and exposure are very excellent from the ZS8 up to ISO 400. Subjects grow natural, sharp, and pretty right. Above that sensitivity, sign start to look washed out. And, like most compact cameras, the ZS8 has a tendency to blow out highlights. White-weigh presets are excellent for the most part; even if, the auto white weigh is not excellent indoors. Unfortunately, you’re stuck with that setting if you’re using Intelligent Auto. When doable, use the presets or take a blue-collarconception, which is really simple to do.
Video feature is excellent, on par with an HD sack videocamera. Even if, with the ZS8 you get the zoom lens. Panning the camera will start judder that’s typical of the video from most compact cameras. Compared with the ZS10′s AVCHD movies, the ZS8′s Shift JPEGs are softer, and the file sizes are better. If capturing movies is more of a nice figure than a must-have for you, then the ZS8 should suffice.
The ZS8 gives you shooting options for fully involuntary snapshots as well as blue-collar and semimanual exposure modes. The Exposure button on the back lets you straightforwardly change close and gap settings with the directional buttons. Apertures are f3.3-6.3 wide and 5.9-6.3 telephoto. Close speeds go from 60 seconds to 1/4,000 following. You also get Panasonic’s Intelligent ISO, which adjusts sensitivity based on theme movement and scene brightness, and you can set a minimum close speed from 1 following to 1/250. If you come up with a group of settings you like, there is a Custom spot on the mode dial for making three custom setting configurations. There’s no blue-collar focus choice, so you’ll have to live with the multiple AF options. Finally, there’s a Curriculum mode, should you want to change equipment like ISO, white weigh, and exposure compensation (not done with the Exposure button, mind you, but the directional pad), without nerve-racking about close speed and gap settings.
For involuntary shooting there is the company’s Intelligent Auto, which combines an ever-growing digit of technologies to get the best consequences. Overall, it works very well, but photos can end up appearing overprocessed when viewed at full size. There are 29 scene modes for those times when you want to get point with your auto shooting, and you can store two favorites assigned to MySCN spots on the mode dial. For the most part they are the ones you’d find on any point-and-shoot, but there are a few artistic modes like High Dynamic and Pinhole. There is an Undersea mode as well, but you’ll need a casing if you want to get the ZS8 wet, as it’s not water-resistant.
As mentioned earlier, the ZS8′s shooting performance is quick, it’s just not as quick as the ZS10′s. And really that’s only noticeable with the continuous burst shooting. The ZS8′s close lag–how quickly a camera captures an image after the close-relief button is pressed–is low, at 0.4 following in sharp lighting and 0.8 following in dim situation. It goes from off to first shot in 1.5 seconds with a 1.4-following shot-to-shot time; using the flash extends that to just 2.1 seconds. As for burst shooting, it can capture up to three shots at its best feature at 1.5 frames per following. That’s with focus and exposure set with the first shot. The ZS10 is about twice as quick with autofocus on every shot; without AF it can do 15fps.
In advent the ZS8 isn’t much different from its predecessor, the ZS5. There’s some affront styling change on front and a button that used to be on back is now on top. The camera’s consequence and size are approximately the same, remaining remarkably compact for its facial appearance and wide-angle lens with 16x zoom (that’s wider and longer than its predecessor). Even if it’s a tight fit in a pants sack, the ZS8 straightforwardly fits in an mean jacket sack or small handbag. The body–available in black or silver–has a nice, solid feel to it with a comfortable grip on the right side.
Reins are for the most part straightforward. On top is the shooting-mode dial, close relief with zoom ring, power thrash, and an Total Optical Zoom (E.Zoom) button. The E.Zoom button quickly zooms the lens completely out with one touch. Even if, press it again and it activates the total optical zoom that basically crops the 14-megapixel image down to its focal point 3 megapixels. This fruitfully gives you a longer zoom, but not at full pledge, building its name misleading. Press the button a third time and the lens goes back to its early spot. It can be handy when you need to fully extend the lens quickly, but the movie confirmation button that’s on the ZS10 is more vital.
On back is the aforementioned Exposure button and a directional pad for tender through menus and settings and toggling among the exposure compensation, flash, macro, and self-timer options. There is also a Sight button for changing the quantity of setting in rank showed on cover, and Panasonic’s Q.Menu button that brings up a bar of often used settings like ISO, photo and movie resolutions, autofocus modes, and white weigh. The main menu logic is reached by pressing the Menu/Set button at the focal point of the four steering buttons. Panasonic’s cleaned up its menu steering some, but it now requires an extra button press–an square sacrifice.
The ZS8′s array life is very excellent. It’s CIPA-rated for 340 shots and even if using the zoom a lot or tape movies will cut into that time, it performed well on a single charge. The array and memory card compartment are in the underside of the camera, covered by a locking door. There is a following door on the right side covering a Micro-USB/AV port. There’s no Mini-HDMI productivity, a additional loss from the ZS10.
The Panasonic Lumix DMC-ZS8 excellent:
The Panasonic Lumix DMC-ZS8 is a basic compact megazoom with very excellent photo feature and shooting performance for its class, as well as long array life.
The Panasonic Lumix DMC-ZS8 terrible:
The ZS8 is somewhat high-priced for what it’s offering.
The Panasonic Lumix DMC-ZS8 underside line:
The Panasonic Lumix DMC-ZS8 is a fine compact megazoom, if not the best value.