"Excellent!"on by HHPalmer
Pros Easy to use, high quality picture, excellent zoom
Low light level performance is reasonable
Video quality is adequate to very good
GPS tagging works well
Stabilization works well
USB charging is very useful
Cons Battery life
Summary Video is smooth and high quality. Control and button placement is good and easy to use especially for video with its own button on top. You can take still photos while recording videos. Telephoto works while shooting videos. Single photo 20x and extended 40x telephoto works well and focus stays sharp.
GPS tagging works well for me with Map Flickr and Flickr and will make for a nice trip display for photos taken in the same trip. The map data downloaded to the SD chip without a problem and the maps make for a nice on-camera display of the locations the photos were taken.
GPS tagging with the actual name of the location and not just coordinates is a feature I wasn't finding in other cameras. It's easy to burn through the battery in 1 to 2 hours while trying out all the features. I've ordered two more batteries to ensure more picture and video taking time. I like the up to 60 picture per second bursts and the more controlled 2 to 10 fps bursts.
Reviewing and deleting photos is intuitive and easy. The ability to touch the screen to tell the camera the focus of the photo is useful on a moving object like wildlife. The up to 14M photos are the best I've taken with a digital camera. USB charging is very useful. I've ordered an AC wall charger to be used charging back-up batteries while the camera is in use.
I'm glad I waited for the ZS20 to be released and didn't get the new Nicon or Canon telephoto versions. Smallest of the 20X cameras I was interested in. A great buy for less than $300.
My advice!, check for best deal before you're will buy the Panasonic Lumix ZS20 at: Digitalcamerasuggest.blogspot.com/p/panasonic-lumix-zs20.html
Good Luck My Friends!
Pros Very good picture quality for size of sensor/camera. Very nice hyper-range folded lens. Mine is fast starting/reacting. This one should be even faster. Bought my wife a prior version and its has taken some outstanding photos.
Cons Very few. Even works fairly well at night under room lights (even at full tele). Small sensor means some definite graininess.
Summary Wonderful travel camera.
Pros 24mm to 480mm. Amazing burst speed. Excellent IQ for a camera this size. Super HD video with stereo sound. Nearly instant focusing. Touch subject on screen to focus and shoot.GPS with maps. Easy to navigate menus.
Cons I'd prefer a button to go from shoot to view mode so that the camera is guaranteed to start in shoot mode. But that's nit picking.
Summary Took home the Canon S100 and the Panasonic Lumix ZS20 and surprised myself when it was the Canon that I took back. Sure the IQ is better in the Canon but not by much and not always. The ZS20 focuses much faster and the burst mode is faster too. I was able to take pictures of our dog in full flight with the ZS20 that I just couldn't get with the S100. Taking handheld pictures of birds at maximum 480mm zoom gets results that I had not expected from a pocket camera. This Panasonic is bar none the ideal travel camera. Just small enough to carry constantly on the belt and fast enough to be ready in an instant.
Pros Much better/improved performance over my older DMC-TZ3
Cons I still have my DMC-TZ3 and not the DMZ-SZ20!
Summary Gotta qualify my comments - I don't own one. What I do own is a DMC-TZ3. Light years away. I originally bought my DMZ-TZ3 as an inexpensive point and shoot pocket camera with an underwater housing for the occasional scuba diving trip, etc. The package probably cost me a little more than $500 4 years ago. It has served it's price point purpose OK for what it was AT THE TIME. In low light conditions you may as well leave it in your pocket! Underwater it is minimally OK. The video feature works accordingly. It has been with me on numerous cross country motorcycle trips also. It is durable to say the least.
Fast forward to my 2012 return scuba trip to Palau. The trusty DMC-TZ3 is once again along for the fun. Met 4 Czech guys on the dive boat. Underwater housings looked familiar. When the cameras came out they too looked familiar. DMC-ZS20's. "New model" they say. So we chat Panasonics for a few moments. I notice a few new features. I play with the settings menu. Maybe less of what I consider confusing options than on my TZ3 which isn't a bad thing. Bigger lens! HD!! First things that popped out to me. That was a wow factor too. Then they show me the low light underwater performance of the HD. Blew me away comparatively to my TZ3! Light and colors!! Those 4 years ago I only saw that type performance with the Japanese guys packing their very expensive Sony DVD camcorder outfits. What non-divers may not realize is that different light wave lengths/colors filter out at different depths so things tend to turn to a pale aqua green to your eyes without the colors of light available to reflect back to your eyes. What I was seeing was a clarity and actual color that my eyes did not pick up at those depths and without any special add-on lighting even on video. I'm not a techno guy but I'd make the assumption that there has been a major upgrade in the sensor. Now, it may not be as good as some other brands but we should also compare the prices of those other brands too and keep the comparisons in the same price range. My only regret now is that my current underwater housing will not work with this very similar camera and I'm going to have to replace both. I should've upgraded (had I known) before I left on my trip. Instead I bought a GoPro Hero2 HD in hopes that it's underwater performance would give me what I wanted instead. Too bad though as it has poor underwater performance. It's above water performance and it's utility are it's strong suite. Just more toys!
Anyone want to buy a DMC-TZ3 and underwater housing so I can finance the DMZ-ZS20??