"What a nice improvement!!"4.0 starson by rxmangriff
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??