Panasonic DMC-ZS40S Brief Review



  • 18.1 megapixel 1/2.3” sensor
  • F3.3-6.4 lens
  • 30x optical zoom
  • 5-axis hybrid optical image stabilization
  • Macro focusing to 3 cm
  • Maximum shutter speed 1/2000
  • live viewfinder
  • RAW and JPEG
  • Manual modes
  • 10 fps burst mode (up to six images)
  • Manual focus and focus peaking
  • 1080 60p HD video at 28 Mbps
  • GPS, Wi-fi and NFC
  • 3” LCD
  • Control ring
  • Li-ion battery rated at 300 shots
  • Release Date: 2014-03-17
  • Final Grade: 90 4.5 Star Rating: Recommended

Panasonic DMC-ZS40S Review: A compact camera with big zoom and advanced features
The Panasonic DMC-ZS40S adds advanced features to the compact zoom category.
By Hillary Grigonis, Last updated on: 2/16/2016

Hey! You should know that Panasonic has released a newer version of this product: the Panasonic Lumix DMC-ZS50.

The Panasonic DMC-ZS40S is a compact zoom camera--but offers a lot of the same features as the advanced category. With the exception of the smaller 1/2.3" sensor, the ZS40 could be considered part of both categories. Manual modes, RAW shooting and a control ring are features not often found among compact zooms but are common among advanced compacts. Those features together give the user much more control over the final images, but at a price that's a bit more affordable.

The ZS40S sports a 30x optical zoom, which is excellent for the category. That zoom is paired with a five axis hybrid image stabilization system, to help prevent shake from sneaking in at the end of that long zoom. Speed is also a positive, with a solid 10 fps burst mode at full resolution. That speed is limited to just six photos at a time, but is still pretty good performance for the category.

The downside of the ZS40S is that despite all the advanced features, it still sports just a 1/2.3" sensor, the average size found in point-and-shoots. A smaller sensor means lower resolution and a harder time shooting in low light. But as a slightly older model, it can be picked up for around $350, which is an excellent price for everything the camera includes.

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As a manufacturer known just as well for their camcorders as their cameras, Panasonic was the first on scene to offer 4K video inside a dedicated camera. The Panasonic Lumix GH4 is the first mirrorless camera boasting the higher video resolution, with the FZ1000 as the first compact, bridge-style camera to do so.

Panasonic also produces cameras that provide both a longer zoom range and image stabilization at a price that's relatively cheap. For photographers that need versatility in a small package, Panasonic digital cameras can provide many selections that are suitable. Having something for amateurs and serious enthusiasts at the same time, Panasonic offers a great selection of digital cameras, from ultra compacts to mirrorless cameras. They can be hard to compare because every camera comes with its own unique features and traits.

Panasonic cameras are perfect for consumers that prefer to use automatic modes. Almost all Panasonic cameras currently produced come with a feature called iAuto, which will automatically select the best scene mode for any subject. This feature, in combination with image stabilization will make it very easy for someone just starting out to take excellent photos.

Panasonic cameras are designed to be easy to figure out, giving the user easy access to settings, and users that have reviewed Panasonic digital cameras are quick to confirm this fact. When you opt for a Panasonic camera, you'll discover that it comes with an LCD screen, an optical zoom lens which is very versatile, and is both lightweight and fairly compact.

Panasonic's most popular models are their super zooms and mirrorless, with models ranging from cameras with huge zooms to mirrorless cameras earning the “smallest yet” distinction like the GM-1. They've been more focused on their mirrorless line lately, without introducing budget point-and-shoots in quite some time.

We here at Digital Camera HQ offer unbiased, informative reviews and recommendations to guide you to the right camera. We're not an actual store; we're just here to help you find the perfect camera at the best price possible by using our camera grades. Let us know if you have any problems or questions, we're happy to help.