Panasonic LUMIX DMC-ZS15 Review

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Review Posted 07/06/2012

Quick Take
Pros
  • iAuto shooting mode is accurate and easy in all situations
  • Dedicated Video Capture Button is always ready to record
  • Easy to handle and operate
  • Great image quality 
  • Power O.I.S. is very helpful when shooting on the move and keeping the full 16x optical zoom manageable when handheld
  • Bright and clear 3.0-inch LCD
  • Great shooting performance
  • HDMI output
  • Competitively priced
Cons
  • Average battery life, tests came up a bit short of the approx. number of images listed by Panasonic
  • Noise is pretty apparent after ISO 800
  • Not a noticeable difference with iAuto and HDR scene modes.
Bottom Line
The Panasonic Lumix ZS15 is an excellent value; providing outstanding image quality, great performance and it's loaded with the newest high-quality features from Panasonic at an affordable price. Read more in our Full Conclusion.
ZS15s_silver.jpgFor 2012, Panasonic added two new models to their popular ZS-series; the ZS15 and ZS20. The more affordable LUMIX DMC-ZS15 is nearly as loaded as its more expensive sibling, but has a slightly less resolution with a 12.1 megapixel High Sensitivity MOS sensor, a shorter 16x optical zoom range, and no built-in GPS.

Other than those key difference, you're essentially getting the same feature-laden camera, while saving an estimated $70.  Highlights include a 3.0-inch Smart Touch LCD screen with AutoFocus, Zoom, and Shutter settings that can be adjusted on screen. The camera is built around Panasonic's powerful Venus Engine processor, which allows the camera to capture full resolution high speed bursts at up to 10 frames per second.

There are also a number of fantastic Creative Control modes that include stylized filters, a 3D Photo Mode, and a Panorama Mode. Novices will appreciate the various Intelligent Auto applications, while more seasoned photographers will enjoy the ability to use the camera's manual controls.

If deciding between the ZS15 and ZS20, it's important to decide whether or not you need GPS and a slightly longer zoom lens. For $70 more, the ZS20 gives you 14.1 megapixels (not that much difference), a 20x optical zoom lens, and 1080/60p video recording.

Panasonic LUMIX DMC-ZS20 Features:
  • 16x optical zoom / 24mm wide angle lens
  • 12.1 megapixels High Sensitivity MOS sensor
  • Venus Engine
  • 3.0-inch LCD screen with 460k pixels
  • 10 fps high speed burst shooting in full resolution
  • Full 1080p HD video recording
  • Mono Sound recording
  • Light Speed AF
  • iA (Intelligent Auto) Mode
  • High Dynamic Range (HDR)
  • POWER O.I.S. (Optical Image Stabilization)
  • Face Recognition
  • Intelligent Scene Selector
  • Intelligent Hand Held Nightshot
  • Motion Deblur Mode
  • Intelligent Burst Mode
  • Intelligent Exposure
  • Manual Control Options
  • 3D Photo Mode
  • Creative Control Mode
    • Expressive Retro
    • High Dynamic
    • Sepia
    • Dynamic Monochrome
    • High Key
    • Low Key
    • Miniature Effect
    • Toy Effect
    • Soft Focus
  • Panorama Mode
  • Creative Retouch Mode
  • Auto Retouch
  • USB or AC recharging
  • LUMIX Image Uploader included
The Panasonic LUMIX DMC-ZS15 is available in black or silver with a MSRP of $249.99. See our buy box below for the most current online pricing.

What's in the box?:
  • DMC-ZS15 camera body
  • Battery Pack
  • AC adaptor
  • USB Cable
  • Hand Strap
  • CD-ROM

Additional Product Views:
ZS15k_black.jpg
ZS15s_silver_back.jpg
ZS15k_black_top.jpg

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