Updating Panasonic's popular ZS series are the ZS20 and ZS15 compact ultrazooms. The ZS20 brings a 20x optical zoom to the table, new 14.1 megapixel CMOS sensor and all of the manual shooting modes enthusiast shooters will enjoy.
All About the Lens
The Lumix ZS20 gets a redesigned 20x optical zoom lens starting at a wide 24mm angle. The LEICA DC VARIO-ELMAR glass is comprised of 12 elements in 10 groups and has Panasonic's Nano Surface Coating to reduce unwanted ghosting and flare. It offers a f/3.3-6.5 maximum aperture range. Not far behind is the Lumix ZS15 with a 16x optic, starting also at 24mm.
Panasonic Lumix DMC-ZS20: Marks the Spot
Like its ZS10 predecessor the ZS20 offers GPS functions, only this time map data is stored on a bundled DVD. Users can select a map for a particular city and upload it to the camera via memory card. The camera will geo-tag images and embed location information in EXIF data. An impressive 82 regions and over a million landmarks are available.
As you'd expect from a top-shelf compact ultrazoom, the ZS20 offers 1080 HD video recording in AVCHD Progressive format and Power O.I.S. optical image stabilization. Burst shooting is available at 10 fps at full resolution, and a number of creative filters are available such as Miniature Effect and Expressive Retro. The ZS20 will offer a 3.0-inch 460k-dot touch panel LCD.
Panasonic Lumix DMC-ZS15
The ZS15 retains many of the high end features of the 20, including 1080 HD video and a full array of manual and automatic shooting modes. It omits the touch functionality of the display - still at 3.0-inches and 460k-dots - and does not offer any GPS function. The ZS15 will have a 12.1 megapixel CMOS sensor, and though it can keep up with the ZS20's 10 fps continuous shooting mode, it will only record 4 frames in a burst (the ZS20 is capable of 10).
Pricing and availability
The Panasonic Lumix DMC-ZS20 and Lumix DMC-ZS15 will be available in March 2012. In a-typical fashion, Panasonic has released pricing information at the time of launch - the ZS20 will retail for $349.99 and the ZS15 for $279.99.
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