Lots of photo enthusiasts don't want to haul a bulky DSLR, a full sized tripod, and a heavy bag of lenses everywhere they go. They want small, quick, inconspicuous, responsive, high performance cameras designed by photographers for photographers.
Most point-and-shoots don't allow much user input into the image capture process. That lack of personal input often limits a camera's potential usefulness for more skilled shooters. The ZS10 was designed for serious photographers, but the imprecision of its touchscreen controls will cause some advanced shooters heartburn.
The solution, of course, is to rely on the traditional control array when getting the picture right is very important, but that course of action calls into question whether the ZS10 (given its $400 price tag) is actually the best tool for the job. ZS10 users should be able to capture the decisive moment in most lighting, but if they use touchscreen controls - that very basic and absolutely essential task will be harder for them than it should be.
I liked the ZS10, and it performed nicely for me, but I have almost forty years experience using cameras. If I was looking to buy a camera of this type, the ZS10 would probably make my short list. If you want to see the two top cameras on that short list check out DCR's reviews of the Samsung TL500 and the Canon S95.
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