Panasonic Lumix ZS100 (DMC-ZS100) Brief Review



  • Large 1, 20 Megapixel sensor delivers brighter, more colorful photos with fewer image artifacts
  • 10x (25-250mm) LEICA DC Lens optical zoom performance with a wide F/2.8-5.9 aperture for impressive background defocus effects
  • 4K Ultra HD video recording plus exclusive LUMIX 4K PHOTO and 4K Post Focus photo capture features
  • Eye-level Electronic Viewfinder (EVF) and touch-enabled LCD for a wider viewing experience
  • Lens-mounted control ring brings DSLR-like exposure control to a compact point-and-shoot camera body
  • Release Date: 2016-03-01
  • Final Grade: 92 4.6 Star Rating: Recommended

Panasonic packs zoom into advanced compact ZS100
Panasonic makes it a bit easier to find an advanced compact with zoom with the 10x 4k capable ZS100.
By Hillary Grigonis, Last updated on: 4/27/2016

The Panasonic ZS100 is a versatile advanced compact with a 10x optical zoom packed in front of a large 1" sensor. But perhaps even more enticing is the 4K capability. Panasonic is one of the leading manufacturers when it comes to finding 4K on a compact camera, and the ZS100 comes in paired with a nice zoom too.

The 10x zoom lens starts at a nice wide f/2.8, but comes a much narrower f/5.9 at the long end of that zoom. While certainly capable of capturing objects from a distance, the ZS100 also has a good macro capability with a 5 cm minimum focusing distance. That versatile lens is in front of a 20 megapixel 1" sensor, much larger than those found in basic point and shoots.

Video is a highlighting feature, with 4K at 30 fps. If the higher frame rate is needed, 1080p is available at 60 fps. A hybrid 5-axis image stabilization should offer a nice boost in the video quality, but it's not available in 4K resolution.

Because of the 4K video, the LZ100 offers an intriguing shoot-now-focus-later mode, where the user can take a video then touch to focus on still images after the fact. Users can also just extract stills from the 4K video straight from the camera.

The design of the camera looks to be a plus too. Despite the compact style, there's a control ring around the lens for more options to adjust the settings. The camera also includes a nice high resolution electronic viewfinder.

While zoom used to be rare in advanced compacts, it's becoming a bit more common. But, zoom with 4K is still tough to find, so the ZS100 stands out there. The Panasonic LX100 offers 4K video but with only a 3.6x zoom. The FZ1000 offers both the high resolution video and a 16x zoom lens, but in a much larger bridge-style body. The Olympus Stylus 1 offers a similar zoom with a wider aperture at the long end, but no 4K. The ZS100 looks to be a great option for shooters that need that high resolution video in a very small camera.

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Panasonic Reviews

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.