Last Update (13 April 2011):
– Review & Sample photos @ PhotographyBlog
– Added User Manual
Panasonic Lumix DMC-ZS8 is a 14.1 Megapixels Digital camera features 16x optical zoom (35mm equivalent: 24-384mm), ISO 100-6400, Mega O.I.S., 720p HD video, iA (Intelligent Auto) mode including POWER O.I.S.(Optical Image Stabilizer), Intelligent ISO Control, Intelligent Scene Selector, Face Recognition, Intelligent Exposure, AF Tracking, and 3.0-inch large 230,000-dot Intelligent LCD. The camera measures (W x H x D) 104.9 x 57.6 x 33.4 mm (4.13 x 2.27 x 1.31 in) and weighs Approx. 188g without Battery and SD Memory Card (0.414 lb).
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Panasonic Lumix DMC-ZS8 Reviews
PhotographyBlog reviews the Panasonic Lumix DMC-ZS8 and writes;
“Noise is apparent at ISO 400 but becomes much more obvious at ISO 800 along with excessive smearing of finer details, with the fastest speed of ISO 1600 being something of a last resort, results that are on a par with the TZ20.”
Panasonic Lumix DMC-ZS8 User Reviews
Panasonic Lumix DMC-ZS8 Sample Photos
Panasonic Lumix DMC-ZS8 User Manual (PDF)
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– Download Panasonic Lumix DMC-ZS8 Manual (PDF – 3.2MB)
Panasonic Lumix DMC-ZS8 Features
24mm Ultra Wide-angle 16x Optical Zoom LEICA DC Lens
The compact, versatile lens system is the hallmark of LUMIX ZS(TZ) series and now this lens system is totally redeveloped for the DMC-ZS8(TZ18) in both optical and mechanical design. The new high-quality LEICA DC VARIO-ELMAR lens system is even more versatile with 24mm ultra wide-angle* to powerful 16x optical zoom (35mm camera equivalent: 24-384mm).
Comprising 12 elements in 10 groups, including an ED lens and 3 aspherical lenses with 6 aspherical surfaces, this advanced lens unit suppresses chromatic aberration which tends to occur in telephoto shooting effectively. It also boasts a short total length of lens unit despite its higher versatility with longer zoom range, which is made possible by a development of new mechanism for a structure of lens barrel. The lens system is also compatible with high shutter speed of min.1/4,000 sec.
Nano Surface Coating Technology
The newly applied Nano Surface Coating boasts extremely low reflectance ratio compared with the conventional multi coating to suppress ghosting. With this Panasonic’s black box technology, which is adopted for the first time to the LUMIX, the image delivered through the lens of the DMC-ZS8(TZ18) has exceptional optical performance with stunning clarity that passes Leica’s stringent standards.
Powerful 16x Optical Zoom
The DMC-ZS8(TZ18) features a powerful 16x optical zoom lens (35mm camera equivalent: 24-384mm). This gives you highly natural expressions from people and animals that you can’t get close to. It can also be used for shooting movies, and is designed to suppress noise while zooming. This slim, compact, pocket-sized camera can easily go wherever you do － for both everyday snapshots and traveling.
24mm Ultra Wide-angle Lens
The 24mm ultra wide-angle lens* – rare on a compact camera – gives you a wider range of composition possibilities with approx. 213% larger viewing space compared to that of 35mm camera. The super-high-quality LEICA DC lens minimizes distortion at the wide end.
20x Intelligent Zoom / 33.8x Extra Optical Zoom
Thanks to the Intelligent Resolution technology, the Intelligent Zoom is available with the DMC-ZS8(TZ18) which extends the zoom ratio by approx. 1.3x maintaining the picture quality even combining a digital zoom. This means the 16x optical can virtually extend to 20x equivalent. Furthermore, the Extra Optical Zoom function that extends zoom power to 33.8x by using the center part of the large CCD to bring subjects even closer.
14.1-megapixel High-resolution CCD
The DMC-ZS8(TZ18) features a 1/2.33-inch CCD with effective 14.1-megapixel high-resolution.
Sonic Speed AF
The Sonic Speed AF system includes numerous re-engineering enhancements, including a higher-speed actuator, optimized algorithms and parallel software processing. The result is fast and accurate AF performance.
In addition, the DMC-ZS8(TZ18) features dramatically speedier focusing that is 49% faster than our previous model.* You can quickly focus on moving subjects, such as when you’re shooting sports scenes.
Venus Engine VI
The high-speed, high-performance Venus Engine VI is incorporated in the DMC-ZS8(TZ18) to enable the recording of beautiful images with higher quality signal processing including the Intelligent Resolution technology.
An advanced noise reduction system in the Venus Engine VI applies noise reduction (NR) to luminance noise and chromatic noise separately. As a result, beautiful images with minimal noise can be reproduced all the way up to ISO1600 high sensitivity at full resolution for beautiful night shots or dimly lit indoor shots.
Intelligent Resolution Technology
The image processing technology “Intelligent Resolution*” is incorporated in the Venus Engine VI for the DMC-ZS8(TZ18).
With the Intelligent Resolution technology, 3 areas – outlines, detailed texture areas and soft gradation areas – are automatically detected and optimum signal processes are performed to each area. Apart from the uniform enhancement of sharpness, the innovative technology Intelligent Resolution precisely performs signal processing pixel by pixel in the most effective way for it. As a result, images are naturally clear and crisp.
Battery Life – Approx. 340 Shots on a Single Battery Charge
The energy-saving Venus Engine VI image processing engine and the efficient, rechargeable lithium-ion battery work together to extend the shooting time of the DMC-ZS8(TZ18). This lets users take approx. 340 shots on a single battery charge*.
MEGA Burst Consecutive Shooting in Full Resolution
The DMC-ZS8(TZ18) lets you snap off consecutive shots at approx. 1.9 frames per second in full resolution. You can take a series of shots, then choose the one you like the best and delete the rest. You can also select High-speed Burst Mode or Flash Burst Mode from Scene Mode.
iA (Intelligent Auto) Mode
When you don’t know which mode will give you the best shooting results, or when a sudden photo opportunity pops up and you don’t have time to make any settings, simply choose the iA (Intelligent Auto) Mode and let the camera do it all for you. You just choose the iA Mode, aim at your subject, and shoot. 7 detection and correction functions are simultaneously activated to optimize the settings, so you get stunning photos every time.
In addition, the Intelligent Resolution technology is always activated in the iA Mode which results in the clearer and higher image quality in every photo with extended zoom range equivalent to 20x by the Intelligent Zoom.
POWER O.I.S. (Optical Image Stabilizer) – Shake Detection
Everyone has had an experience of taking a photo at night and hoping to capture all the memories and beauty, only to be disappointed at the poor result. Panasonic has worked on the low-frequency vibration hand-shake component, which is physically generated when pressing the shutter button or when shooting at night with a slow shutter speed. The POWER O.I.S. (Optical Image Stabilizer)* nearly doubles the hand-shake correction power of conventional MEGA O.I.S. You get bright photos without blurring even from handheld shooting at slow shutter speeds.
Face Detection AF/AE with Face Recognition
The DMC-ZS8(TZ18) features the Face Recognition, a function that “remembers” faces. The conventional face detection system captures a face with focus and appropriate exposure but sometimes it falls not on the face you want to capture most beautifully when there are several faces in a frame. The Face Recognition prioritizes focus and exposure right on the face of your special person*1. In playback, you can choose to display only photos that contain a specific registered face using the Category Playback.
The Face Detection also features the Digital Red-eye Correction (Red-eye Removal). The camera takes care of the red-eye effect that often happens when shooting with a flash, to ensure attractive facial expression*2.
Intelligent Scene Selector – Scene Detection
When the camera’s in the iA Mode, the Intelligent Scene Selector automatically sets the Scene Mode to one of Scenery, Portrait, Macro, Night Portrait*1, Night Scenery or Sunset. The camera judges it from the various detection results such as focusing and brightness level of the circumstance*2. You are free from annoying settings every time scene changes when taking images with these most frequently used Scene Modes to get beautiful results even before you know it.
*1 In the iA Mode, the Night Portrait is not identified when the flash is turned off.
*2 With some subject and shooting conditions, it is just not possible to judge the best shooting details. When this happens, it is recommended that you shoot with the Scene Mode that best suits your purpose.
AF Tracking – Subject Detection
Once you focus on your subject, the AF Tracking automatically tracks it until you press the shutter. When you’re taking images of an active subject, like children or pets, this function eliminates the need to press the shutter button halfway down repeatedly to readjust the focus. The AF Tracking makes sure you don’t miss those once-in-a-lifetime shooting opportunities.
The DMC-ZS8(TZ18) features the Quick AF*1. Ordinary AF is activated when the shutter button is pressed half-way, while the Quick AF starts operating as soon as the camera is pointed toward a subject. This dramatically reduces the shutter delay time and lets you take images quickly*2. Its super-fast focus is ideal for capturing quick images of active children and pets. By setting the camera to the Quick AF, images of sudden shooting opportunities won’t be out of focus or blurry.
Intelligent ISO Control – Motion Detection
The Intelligent ISO Control function* in the DMC-ZS8(TZ18) made possible by the Venus Engine VI, detects subject movement and automatically adjusts the ISO setting and shutter speed to best suit the movement and light conditions. When it detects subject motion, it automatically raises the ISO setting and increases the shutter speed to prevent motion blur. On the other hand, when the subject is still and no movement is detected, it takes beautifully natural photos with a low ISO setting. The Intelligent ISO Control gives you stunning images with ease because there is no need for complicated settings.
Intelligent Exposure – Light Detection
The Intelligent Exposure function* increases the exposure only in under-exposed areas by detecting the brightness level part-by-part in the image. If the background includes the sky, which tends to be easily washed out, the camera automatically adjusts the aperture and shutter speed to keep the setting slightly under-exposed to prevent wash-out while brightening the darkened area by increasing the ISO only in that area. If the background of an indoor portrait receives insufficient lighting from a flash and becomes dark, the ISO sensitivity is raised in only the low-lit area to make it brighter without causing graininess in the subject’s face.
HD Movie Recording /Zoom in Motion Picture
The DMC-ZS8(TZ18) can record motion images in high-definition (1,280 x 720 pixels at 30 fps in Motion JPEG format). The pixel mixed readout method enables bright motion-image recording even in low-light settings.
The powerful 16x optical zoom is available in movie recording, and is designed to suppress noise while zooming. It is ideal for capturing dynamic video clips of sports action or animals in nature.
LUMIX Image Uploader
The DMC-ZS8(TZ18) gives you a new form of communication by letting you share your photos and movies. All you have to do is checkmark the photos and movies you want to share and connect the camera or SD/SDHC/SDXC Memory Card to a computer. Uploading automatically starts by simply following the guidance.* Facebook can be used for photos and YouTube™ for movies. You can join these social networking services without having to install any special software. It’s easy to share photos and movies on the spot, which means that your friends don’t have to wait for you to come back home to see them.
3.0-inch, 230,000-dot High-resolution LCD
The DMC-ZS8(TZ18) is equipped with a 3.0-inch LCD with 230,000-dot high-resolution. The big screen reflects fine details, making it easy to check the focus before shooting. It also serves as a small photo and video viewer, allowing you and friends to enjoy viewing the still and motion images together.
When using Multi-area AF, the camera automatically determines the most appropriate AF area from the 23 points. This ensures accurate focusing even for difficult compositions. You can also select the AF setting from five patterns – Face AF, 1-area AF, Spot AF and AF Tracking – according to your shooting situation.
Select from 4 Aspect Ratios – Newly Added 1:1 Aspect Mode
In addition to 4:3, 3:2*1, and 16:9*2, you can now shoot with a 1:1*3 aspect ratio. This unique square frame adds to your image expression possibilities. The 16:9 ratio produces images that match the aspect ratio of an HDTV screen. Being able to match the aspect ratio to your subject and shooting intent gives you even greater control.
The PHOTOfunSTUDIO 6.0 makes it possible to sort and organize photos not only of those newly taken but also of those stored in your computer with quick start-up and fast read-in of images. The Face Recognition function that recognizes the faces in the picture automatically sorts the photos by the registered faces without picking out each photo one by one when you only want pictures of a specific person.
A Panorama Stitch lets you make a panoramic composite in MOV file by synthesizing photos taken in Panorama Assist Mode of the camera. It is also possible to make a slideshow with the selected photos adding music file on.
In addition to the LUMIX Image Uploader (a direct uploading function of the camera), you can upload photos to Facebook and movies to YouTube™ via this software, too.