Panasonic Lumix DMC-ZS7/TZ10 Review

0Comments

The super zoom compacts roll on: now with the Panasonic Lumix DMC-ZS7 (also known as the TZ10) Panasonic offers a 12x Leica optical zoom that puts into your hands focal range that matches a 35 SLR camera’s 25-300mm lens. Some lens!

Panasonic Lumix DMC-ZS7 TZ10 Front

Panasonic describes this camera as a Travel Zoom model: compact, pocketable, easy to use but offering a healthy range of exposure options that could handle most photographic challenges, viewed on a 7.6cm LCD screen. To my mind this camera would act as a superb, compact companion to a serious DSLR kit, as it has auto operation, Program AE, shutter and aperture priority and manual exposure as well as a host of scene modes. The iA mode is one that could be useful when shooting video, as it automatically selects the most suitable scene mode and helps correct blurring, focus and brightness challenges.

Panasonic Lumix DMC-ZS7 TZ10

Capturing 12.1 megapixels, the Panasonic Lumix DMC-ZS7/TZ10 can shoot a maximum image size of 4000×3000 pixels, enough to make a 34x25cm print. Using the AVCHD Lite video format, I felt the resolution to be a little disappointing at 1280×720 pixels at 30fps.

Canoes 1.JPG

Flags 2.JPG

Added to this is a GPS feature as well as an optical image stabiliser that as two modes plus auto; you can also switch it off for tripod work.

The GPS feature is a little startling. Take a picture (outside, dummy!) and on preview the location is displayed beneath it. Now I’m trying to think of a use for it in my day to day activities.

A Panorama Assist mode eases the task by taking a series of images to stitch into a panorama shot, while checking the degree of overlap between adjacent shots. You can shoot a series panning left, right, up or down.

Panasonic Lumix DMC-ZS7/TZ10 ISO Tests

Panasonic DMC-TZ10 ISO 80 f4.3 1:10 sec.JPG
At ISO 80 everything under control: good sharpness, little noise.

Panasonic DMC-TZ10 ISO 400 f4.3 1:40 sec.JPG
At ISO 400 a slight increase in noise was visible.

Panasonic DMC-TZ10 ISO 800 f4.3 1:80 sec.JPG
At ISO 800 noise up and sharpness down.

Panasonic DMC-TZ10 ISO 1600 f4.3 1:160 sec.JPG
At ISO 1600 noise very noticeable and sharpness down: An OK setting if you have to use it!

Distortion

One of the best lenses I’ve seen in a compact, the Leica optic showed no signs of barrel or spherical distortion at either end of the zoom. Excellent!

Startup Time

Not so quick off the mark, the Panasonic Lumix DMC-ZS7/TZ10 shots its first shot three seconds after power on; follow on shots came in at about two seconds each.

Beach people 4.JPG

Comment

Quality: I guess I shouldn’t be surprised, but this little camera produced pictures that exceeded any I’ve seen from a compact camera. Very high quality.

The movie mode is also excellent: you begin recording by pressing the dedicated button on the TZ10’s rear; the zoom and auto focus is operable and Panasonic’s excellent optical stabiliser takes care of the bumps. Tops!

Why you would buy it: you want a 12x zoom in a compact.
Why you wouldn’t: cannot think of a no-no!

Panasonic Lumix DMC-ZS7/TZ10 Spcecifications

Image Sensor: 12.1 million effective pixels.
Metering: Multiple zone, centre-weighted and spot.
Sensor Size: 11mm CCD.
Lens: Leica DC Vario-Elmar f3.3-4.9/4.1-49.2mm (25-300mm as 35 SLR equivalent).
Shutter Speed: 60 to 1/2000 second.
Continuous Shooting: 2.3 fps.
Memory: SD, SDHC, SDXC cards plus 15MB internal memory.
Image Sizes (pixels): 4000×3000, 3264×2448, 2560×1920, 2048×1536, 640×480.
Movies: 1280×720, 848×480, 640×480, 320×240 at 30 fps.
LCD Screen: 7.6cm LCD (460,800 pixels).
File Formats: JPEG, Motion JPEG, AVCHD Lite.
ISO Sensitivity: Auto, 80 to 6400.
Interface: USB 2.0, HDMI, AV.
Power: Rechargeable lithium ion battery, DC input.
Dimensions: 103.3×59.6×32.6 WHDmm.
Weight: 218 g (inc battery and card).
Price: get a price on the Panasonic Lumix DMC-ZS7/TZ10 at Amazon.

Summary
Review Date
Reviewed Item
Panasonic Lumix DMC-ZS7/TZ10
Author Rating
5

Read more from our Cameras & Equipment category

Barrie Smith is an experienced writer/photographer currently published in Australian Macworld, Auscam and other magazines in Australia and overseas.

  • Ellen Scheinbach

    Is there an underwater housing available for the Panasonic Lumix z57/tz10?

  • not convinced

    I found a major con with it: Image quality is actually worse at higher ISO (than the ZS3 at 400,800, 1600)

    I dont want to put a link, but do your homework.. unless you need the gps tagging and ‘slightly’ better OIS than get the discounted zs3 from craigslist..

  • Jenn

    Good to see this review. I’ve had this camera (or slightly earlier version) for months now, and I love it!!! Great shots, good video, pretty long battery life, etc. And how it fits in my purse is great! I also used it in low light and it was good. I’ve already recommeded to a friend, and she got a great price on it (under $275). Highly recommend it, glad DPS does too!

  • canon fan

    How does the 14x zoom Canon Powershot SX210 IS compare to the Zs7? I am not crazy about the pop-up flash and have heard there is a significant shot to shot delay on that model. I opted for the Lumix but the Canon image quality is superb and it is supposed to be better in low light.

  • George

    Woe is me, everything I want except RAW.

  • This sounds like a really great camera. I’ve been looking around for one that does good macro shots, how is that for this one?

  • GLC

    I have this camera as well and does anyone see the color off with really “red” images? what ever I have tried to adjust must not be working. The red tones are just overwhleming!

  • Why I wouldn’t buy it. No viewfinder.

  • The Panasonic ZS7 relies on a Mode switch to set the camera into either Record mode or Playback mode. It’s simple, but the disadvantage is getting caught in Playback mode when a photo opportunity strikes,Cameras with a button to switch between modes can return to Record mode with a half-press on the shutter button.

  • David

    We (wife) wanted a smaller camera than my old Canon S5IS for her holiday. I used it sometimes also.

    Basically its very impressive and in some ways made my D90 feel ancient and no better!

    However as you see from the flag photo above it lets highlights blow out and you can’t pull them back in software. Maybe you can pull them down with ev adjustment but my wife shoots only in iA mode (intelliegent auto) which is otherwise very good. Photos are well balanced for white balance and exposure is ok except for above comment. I used this little camera in lowlight and its sure beats my Canon A590IS for lowlight performance – its much noisier however than my D90 (thank god else you’d not need one!) especially in lowlight.

    The GPS is a bit of a w— really, it thinks Central Station Sydney (the Terminal actually) is Christ Church St. Lawrence (lol), George street! Else it may help you remember where you were and can be used to tag yourself on google earth – why would you?

    Solid well built only grouse is too small for my hands and I often press button whilst holding it!

    Cameras like this one are destined to make dslr’s redundant!

    The biggest thing is you can print str8 from it no adjustment necessary in software – the first didgtal camera we have had that could do that although my D40 with 2 of its lenses one a nikon and one a tokina can often do that too – Thats a perfect situation for me, concentrate on the composition and then you ahve it – Nirvana!

  • TK

    heres a few, sample shots i’ve taken on the earlier version of this camera, same lens ect…
    (not edited at all, straight from the memory card)
    Its an awesome camera and i recommend it to anyone who can’t afford an SLR, plus those who want a smaller camera to fit in your pocket. In fact i recommend it to everyone. (i have the DMC – ZS1, only about 200$ on Ebay now i think)
    **sorry if they turn out to big i’m new to this**

    [eimg link=’http://www.flickr.com/photos/52586244@N03/4851792639/’ title=’farm’ url=’http://farm5.static.flickr.com/4142/4851792639_a73219226c.jpg’]

    Full zoom..

  • Panasonic makes great cameras. The colors on the ones that I have owned over the years have always been great. They also have great resolution and image stabilization.

  • It wasn’t that long ago that “superzoom” – or “ultrazoom,” if you prefer – digital compacts hovered in the vicinity of the 10x optical zoom multiplication factor that defined the starting point for the class. Now that lens envelope has been pushed to 30x for the biggest zooms available, and who knows where it might end. Into this market niche comes the new Panasonic Lumix DMC-ZS7 with a seemingly modest 12x optical zoom.

    I’d love for some of the photography enthusiasts’ to visit our site. We have many articles on Digital Photography , Business Photography, Camera Reviews, Photography articles

  • David

    6 months on this is still the first pick camera for a day time outing. I took it with the D90 on a recent one and frankly whilst the D90 had its usual problems deciding what exposure setting to use and overexposed whenever you let it, the Lumix hung on in there and was no hassle to use & carry alongside 1.3 kilos of DSLR!

    Its especially impressive for the 25mm wide angle view it gives – that requires a lens change on the Nikon (11-16mm) and my Nikon kit lens of 18-105mm whilst good does not go as long as the Lumix either. At 6 x 4 and no or very little post production, the Lumix takes better images. However in good light my Canon Powershot A590 does too and is a little less likely to blow highlights though lacks the wide wow factor of 25mm on the Lumix.

    The Lumix is so good I may buy myself one if I find my new camera phone isn’t the bees knees! It certainly reminds me of my Agfa & later Olympus pocket film cameras that I used instead of an OM1and heavy Kiron zoom.

  • Daniel Bluezrocker

    A great feedback just bought this camera and learning how to use it manually it all goes to master ur own camera to the maximum that’s what I’m trying to do .. Thank You for the Feedback very convincing n encouraging

  • Marina

    I agree with George, it’s only missing the RAW option.

  • Garcia

    Any idea about the battery life as i am thinking of ordering an extra spare?

  • Now I think that that lens envelope has been pushed to 30x for the biggest zooms available, and who knows where it might end. Into this market niche comes the new Panasonic Lumix DMC-ZS7 with a seemingly modest 12x optical zoom

    Lumix Reviews

  • Exposure, ISO, continuous shooting, contrast adjustment, operability is good, but less AF and fill light, the camera can not close up, in fact, put the camera cut off one half of the fun, you can not expect too much.

  • Leslie Hoerwinkle

    You can produce images in a 3:2 ratio, too.

Some Older Comments

  • digiphone June 13, 2013 03:45 pm

    Exposure, ISO, continuous shooting, contrast adjustment, operability is good, but less AF and fill light, the camera can not close up, in fact, put the camera cut off one half of the fun, you can not expect too much.

  • Lumix Reviews August 25, 2011 12:51 am

    Now I think that that lens envelope has been pushed to 30x for the biggest zooms available, and who knows where it might end. Into this market niche comes the new Panasonic Lumix DMC-ZS7 with a seemingly modest 12x optical zoom

    Lumix Reviews

  • Garcia August 16, 2011 04:42 pm

    Any idea about the battery life as i am thinking of ordering an extra spare?

  • Marina May 20, 2011 10:57 am

    I agree with George, it's only missing the RAW option.

  • Daniel Bluezrocker February 23, 2011 05:29 pm

    A great feedback just bought this camera and learning how to use it manually it all goes to master ur own camera to the maximum that's what I'm trying to do .. Thank You for the Feedback very convincing n encouraging

  • David December 14, 2010 06:43 am

    6 months on this is still the first pick camera for a day time outing. I took it with the D90 on a recent one and frankly whilst the D90 had its usual problems deciding what exposure setting to use and overexposed whenever you let it, the Lumix hung on in there and was no hassle to use & carry alongside 1.3 kilos of DSLR!

    Its especially impressive for the 25mm wide angle view it gives - that requires a lens change on the Nikon (11-16mm) and my Nikon kit lens of 18-105mm whilst good does not go as long as the Lumix either. At 6 x 4 and no or very little post production, the Lumix takes better images. However in good light my Canon Powershot A590 does too and is a little less likely to blow highlights though lacks the wide wow factor of 25mm on the Lumix.

    The Lumix is so good I may buy myself one if I find my new camera phone isn't the bees knees! It certainly reminds me of my Agfa & later Olympus pocket film cameras that I used instead of an OM1and heavy Kiron zoom.

  • Digital Photography August 7, 2010 11:02 am

    It wasn't that long ago that "superzoom" - or "ultrazoom," if you prefer - digital compacts hovered in the vicinity of the 10x optical zoom multiplication factor that defined the starting point for the class. Now that lens envelope has been pushed to 30x for the biggest zooms available, and who knows where it might end. Into this market niche comes the new Panasonic Lumix DMC-ZS7 with a seemingly modest 12x optical zoom.

    I'd love for some of the photography enthusiasts’ to visit our site. We have many articles on Digital Photography , Business Photography, Camera Reviews, Photography articles

  • Matt August 3, 2010 06:16 am

    Panasonic makes great cameras. The colors on the ones that I have owned over the years have always been great. They also have great resolution and image stabilization.

  • TK August 2, 2010 04:02 pm

    heres a few, sample shots i've taken on the earlier version of this camera, same lens ect...
    (not edited at all, straight from the memory card)
    Its an awesome camera and i recommend it to anyone who can't afford an SLR, plus those who want a smaller camera to fit in your pocket. In fact i recommend it to everyone. (i have the DMC - ZS1, only about 200$ on Ebay now i think)
    **sorry if they turn out to big i'm new to this**

    [eimg link='http://www.flickr.com/photos/52586244@N03/4851792639/' title='farm' url='http://farm5.static.flickr.com/4142/4851792639_a73219226c.jpg']

    Full zoom..

  • David July 30, 2010 09:11 am

    We (wife) wanted a smaller camera than my old Canon S5IS for her holiday. I used it sometimes also.

    Basically its very impressive and in some ways made my D90 feel ancient and no better!

    However as you see from the flag photo above it lets highlights blow out and you can't pull them back in software. Maybe you can pull them down with ev adjustment but my wife shoots only in iA mode (intelliegent auto) which is otherwise very good. Photos are well balanced for white balance and exposure is ok except for above comment. I used this little camera in lowlight and its sure beats my Canon A590IS for lowlight performance - its much noisier however than my D90 (thank god else you'd not need one!) especially in lowlight.

    The GPS is a bit of a w--- really, it thinks Central Station Sydney (the Terminal actually) is Christ Church St. Lawrence (lol), George street! Else it may help you remember where you were and can be used to tag yourself on google earth - why would you?

    Solid well built only grouse is too small for my hands and I often press button whilst holding it!

    Cameras like this one are destined to make dslr's redundant!

    The biggest thing is you can print str8 from it no adjustment necessary in software - the first didgtal camera we have had that could do that although my D40 with 2 of its lenses one a nikon and one a tokina can often do that too - Thats a perfect situation for me, concentrate on the composition and then you ahve it - Nirvana!

  • panasonic lumix dmc gf1 July 27, 2010 04:28 pm

    The Panasonic ZS7 relies on a Mode switch to set the camera into either Record mode or Playback mode. It's simple, but the disadvantage is getting caught in Playback mode when a photo opportunity strikes,Cameras with a button to switch between modes can return to Record mode with a half-press on the shutter button.

  • Eric C July 25, 2010 12:02 am

    Why I wouldn't buy it. No viewfinder.

  • GLC July 24, 2010 12:49 pm

    I have this camera as well and does anyone see the color off with really "red" images? what ever I have tried to adjust must not be working. The red tones are just overwhleming!

  • Elizabeth Z July 23, 2010 11:36 am

    This sounds like a really great camera. I've been looking around for one that does good macro shots, how is that for this one?

  • George July 23, 2010 06:10 am

    Woe is me, everything I want except RAW.

  • canon fan July 23, 2010 03:37 am

    How does the 14x zoom Canon Powershot SX210 IS compare to the Zs7? I am not crazy about the pop-up flash and have heard there is a significant shot to shot delay on that model. I opted for the Lumix but the Canon image quality is superb and it is supposed to be better in low light.

  • Jenn July 21, 2010 04:26 am

    Good to see this review. I've had this camera (or slightly earlier version) for months now, and I love it!!! Great shots, good video, pretty long battery life, etc. And how it fits in my purse is great! I also used it in low light and it was good. I've already recommeded to a friend, and she got a great price on it (under $275). Highly recommend it, glad DPS does too!

  • not convinced July 21, 2010 01:32 am

    I found a major con with it: Image quality is actually worse at higher ISO (than the ZS3 at 400,800, 1600)

    I dont want to put a link, but do your homework.. unless you need the gps tagging and 'slightly' better OIS than get the discounted zs3 from craigslist..

  • Ellen Scheinbach July 21, 2010 12:45 am

    Is there an underwater housing available for the Panasonic Lumix z57/tz10?

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