CES 2016: Panasonic Announces Two Competitive New 4K Video/4K Photo, Travel Cameras, the Lumix ZS100 & ZS60

by Karin GottschalkLeave a Comment

Panasonic announced two appealing new “travel compact” “point-and-shoot” 4K-capable hybrid video and stills cameras at CES 2016 and both grabbed my attention and interest, most especially the pricier of the two.

Touted as a “premium compact travel camera” from its specifications the Panasonic Lumix DMC-ZS100 looks like it lives up to that moniker. And competitive it is, comparing it to the specifications and price of its closest Sony 4K rival, this year’s Sony Cyber-shot DSC-RX100 IV.

Panasonic Lumix DMC-ZS100 specifications highlights

  • 20.1MP 1″ high sensitivity MOS sensor.
  • Venus Engine image processor.
  • Leica DC Vario-Elmarit 10x zoom lens.
  • 9.1-91mm, 25-250mm (35mm equivalent).
  • 1,166k-dot Live View Finder.
  • 3.0″ 1.04m-dot touchscreen LCD mMonitor.
  • 4K 3840 x 2160 video at 30p/24p.
  • 5-Axis Hybrid Optical Image Stabilization aka OIS.
  • ISO 25600 and up to 50 fps video.
  • 4K Photo Modes and Post Focus.
  • Photo Style modes: Standard, Vivid, Natural, Monochrome, Scenery, Portrait, Custom, Cinelike D, and Cinelike V.
  • Picture Adjustment settings: Contrast, Sharpness, Noise Reduction, Saturation, Color Tone, and Filter Effect.

I have been keeping an eye on the so-called travel compact class of cameras for some time now, ready to jump in when the right one comes along, with the best combination of features and price.

As I have burrowed deeper into the Panasonic Lumix video and stills ecosphere, adding cameras and lenses bit-by-bit, it has become clear my work is best served by sticking to the same brands, for consistency in color science and file types.

Case in point – the Lumix DMC-ZS100 contains the very same set of photo styles as the GH4 and GX8, most especially Cinelike D. I am guessing that I will be able to customize Cinelike D as specified for Visceral Psyche’s Leeming LUT One, just as I have for my GX8 and GH4.

Panasonic 4K-Capable ZS100 and ZS60 feat image

Panasonic Lumix ZS60 specifications highlights

From the specs and its size, the ZS60 can rightly be called the smaller sibling of the ZS100. At the same time, the ZS60’s fixed zoom lens is longer, with a 35mm equivalent of 24-720mm.

Compare the ZS60 to other Sony Cyber-shot DSC-RX100 series cameras and again, the Panasonic alternative is competitive on features and cost, with the possible exception of the Sonys’ high upper level ISO limit and slightly more megapixels.

The proof, as always though, is in the pudding of shooting the same subjects. Keep an eye on comparison reviews for both these Panasonic Lumix cameras and their Sony rivals as they begin appearing later this year.

  • 18.1MP 1/2.3″ MOS Sensor.
  • Venus Engine Image Processor.
  • Leica DC Vario-Elmarit 30x zoom lens.
  • 4.3-129mm, 24-720mm (35mm equivalent).
  • 1,166k-Dot live view finder.
  • 3.0″ 1.04m-dot touchscreen LCD monitor.
  • 4K 3840 x 2160 Video at 30p.
  • 5-Axis Hybrid OIS.
  • ISO 6400 and up to 40 fps shooting.
  • 4K Photo modes and Post Focus.
  • Photo Style modes: Standard, Vivid, Natural, Monochrome, Scenery, Portrait, and Custom.
  • Picture Adjustment settings: Contrast, Sharpness, Noise Reduction, and Saturation.

Both cameras’ big items like 4K video, 4K photo modes, greater than 16MP sensors, 5-axis Hybrid OIS and Leica-designed lenses remain the same, making with attractive propositions based on the price you want to pay. I will be opting for the ZS100 though, as I need customizable Cinelike D and use Cinelike V from time to time too.

CES 2016: Panasonic announces two competitive new 4K compact travel cameras, Lumix ZS100 & ZS60 Click To Tweet

Panasonic LUMIX ZS100 Camera Overview


Unveiled: the Panasonic 4K-Capable ZS100 and ZS60 Point-and-Shoot Cameras

Via B&H:

Positioned as ideal for travel, Panasonic has just introduced two new cameras featuring 4K video capabilities, versatile zoom lenses, high-sensitivity MOS sensors and, of course, sleek form factors to take the burden out of traveling with a well-specced camera. Differentiated by sensor size and zoom magnification, the two cameras share a suite of similarities, leaving you to choose between a longer-reaching lens or a larger image sensor.

Lumix DMC-ZS100

Dubbed the “premium compact travel camera” by Panasonic, the Lumix DMC-ZS100 is distinctly characterized by its large 1-inch 20.1MP High Sensitivity MOS sensor and bright 10x optical zoom lens. The image sensor is complemented by a redeveloped Venus Engine image processor that, in addition to benefitting image quality, recording either raw or JPEG files, reducing noise, and affording a top expanded sensitivity of ISO 25600, avails a versatile set of stills and video-recording capabilities. Support for 4K, 3840 x 2160 video in either 24p or 30p is available, along with a range of HD and SD recording options. In addition to just video, 4K recording is also beneficial to still photographers with 4K Photo modes, which let you shoot 8MP stills at 30 fps, and Post Focus, which combines with the Light Speed AF system and Depth from Defocus (DFD) technology to gradually shift the point of focus during 30 fps burst shooting to let you select the final image with best focus after shooting.

The second key aspect to why the ZS100 is an ideal travel companion is its wide-to-tele 10x Leica DC Vario-Elmarit zoom lens, which provides a 25-250mm equivalent focal-length range and an f/2.8-5.9 maximum aperture range. This long-reaching optic is supported by 5-axis Hybrid O.I.S., which compensates for a variety of types of camera movement to enable sharper stills and blur-free video recording. A Level Shot function is also a benefit of the image stabilization system, and automatically detects and corrects camera tilt to ensure level horizons and plumb verticals in your images.

Rounding out the ZS100’s feature set, its compact body design incorporates an electronic viewfinder, with 1, 166k-dot resolution, and a rear 3.0″ 1.04m-dot touchscreen LCD for viewing versatility. Built-in Wi-Fi is also featured for wirelessly sharing images to a linked mobile device, or for remotely controlling the camera from a smartphone or tablet using the Panasonic Image app.

The Lumix DMC-ZS100 is available in black or silver.

Lumix DMC-ZS60

The little brother to the ZS100, the Lumix DMC-ZS60 shares many of the same imaging assets as the former; however, it has the distinction of a significantly longer zoom lens. Tripling the reach, the ZS60 features a 30x Leica DC Vario-Elmarit lens that offers a 24-720mm equivalent focal length range, covering wide-angle to super telephoto perspectives. 5-Axis Hybrid O.I.S. is featured again, and compensates for a variety of camera movements to realize sharper, blur-free images when working in difficult lighting conditions or at the longer end of the zoom range.

In regard to imaging, the ZS60 houses an 18.1MP 1/2.3″ High Sensitivity MOS sensor, which works in concert with the Venus Engine image processor to provide clean image quality with reduced noise and a sensitivity to an expanded ISO 6400. This sensor-and-processor combination also affords a top continuous shooting rate of 40 fps with an electronic shutter, 10 fps with a mechanical shutter, or 5 fps with continuous autofocus. And, like the ZS100, 4K 3840 x 2160 recording is supported at 30p, and can also be used for stills via the 4K Photo modes for making 8MP stills at 30 fps. Post Focus is supported with this model, too, to permit selecting an image with the desired point of focus from a group of stills with differing focus points.

Also sporting a similar body shape and form factor as the ZS100, the ZS60 is marginally slimmer and about an ounce lighter in weight. It houses the same 3.0″ 1.04m-dot touch-screen LCD and electronic viewfinder, and also features built-in Wi-Fi for wireless camera control and image sharing with a mobile device.

The Lumix DMC-ZS60 is available in black or silver.

Get the Lumix DMC-ZS100 and Lumix DMC-ZS60 at B&H.

(cover photo credit: snap from B&H)

Karin Gottschalk

Karin Gottschalk

Karin is a documentary moviemaker, journalist, photographer and teacher who conceived and cofounded an influential, globally-read, Australian magazine of contemporary art, culture and photography. While based in Europe, contributing to the magazine and working in advertising, she visualised a future telling the same sorts of stories with a movie camera and audio recorder. Now back in her home base in Sydney, Karin is pursuing her goal of becoming an independent, one-person, backpack multimedia journalist and documentary moviemaker. Mentorless and un-filmschooled, she is constantly learning and sharpening up her skill set.
Karin Gottschalk

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