Panasonic Lumix DMC-ZS40 Compact Digital Camera

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Plenty of Optical Zoom
Still a Reason to Carry a Dedicated Camera


Panasonic Lumix DMC-ZS40 Panasonic LUMIX DMC-ZS40 Compact Digital Camera, a point &-shoot digital camera containing a High Sensitivity 18.1MP MOS image sensor along with a Venus Engine imaging processor to provide high-resolution still images and full 1080p HD movie capture with considerable low-light sensitivity to an high ISO 6400 and quality. Fast proficiency is also afforded all through the camera system, which includes the capability to capture full-resolution images as fast as 10 frames per second or 5 frames per second with continuous autofocus.

Complementing the camera's imaging performance is the included Leica Vario-Elmar DC optical 30x zoom lens, which delivers a 24-720mm (35mm-equivalent focal range) to permit shooting in a wide array of environments. Extra-low dispersion and aspherical elements help to deliver crisp, high contrast photos and also work hand in hand to diminish distortion and aberrations all through the entire zoom range. Furthering the extensive zooming abilities of the lens is image stabilization, of the HYBRID O.I.S.+ type which diminishes any apparent camera movement to better support shooting with enlarged zoom magnifications or slower shutter speeds.

Both a 200k-dot 0.2" electronic viewfinder and a large 920k-dot 3.0" screen for live view composing and image review. This also means intuitive navigation through the menus for an array of camera applications, including Creative Panorama and Creative Control functions, along with the ability to access the on-board Wi-Fi with GPS abilities. This connectivity provides instant transferring of images or video for remote geotagging, shooting and viewing, abilities which are linked mobile devices,. Additionally rounding out the dexterous engineering of the ZS40 is a unique Control Ring surrounding the lens which delivers efficient and intuitive adjustment and access to several of the most often used camera features and settings.


18.1MP High Sensitivity MOS Sensor and Venus Engine
    An 18.1 megapixel 1/2.3" High Sensitivity MOS sensor and Venus Engine image processor work together to produce high-resolution imagery with notable low-light sensitivity to an expanded ISO 6400. The combination of these two technologies also results in an excellent signal-to-noise ratio to realize imagery with a high degree of clarity and minimal noise. Image recording in a RAW file format is also possible in order to render imagery with greater detail and information for a more advanced post-processing workflow. The imaging system also affords a wealth of speed and performance throughout the camera system including a full-resolution continuous shooting rate of 10 fps and 5 fps shooting with continuous AF.

    Additionally, the processor contributes to a quick start-up time and the Light Speed AF system, which features a high-speed 240 fps actuator for the AF drive to produce faster focusing performance throughout the zoom range.

Leica DC Vario-Elmar 30x Optical Zoom Lens
    A tremendously long-reaching Leica DC Vario-Elmar 30x optical zoom lens provides a 35mm-equivalent focal length range of 24-720mm, covering wide-angle to telephoto perspectives to suit shooting from nearly any vantage point. Extending the magnification of this lens even further are Intelligent Zoom and Extra Optical Zoom (EZ) technologies, which work to effectively increase the zoom ratio even further with minimal image degradation.

    The lens construction integrates five aspherical elements, with 10 aspherical surfaces, and three extra-low dispersion elements to minimize chromatic aberrations throughout the zoom range while also contributing to overall image sharpness and clarity.

HYBRID O.I.S.+ and Level Shot Function
    HYBRID O.I.S.+ (Optical Image Stabilizer) works to effectively minimize the appearance of camera shake when shooting with longer shutter speeds or greater zoom magnifications in order to realize stable, sharp, and clear imagery. When recording video, this stabilization system effectively compensates for five types of camera movements-horizontal, vertical, axis of rotation, vertical rotation, and horizontal rotation-to render video in a smooth and realistic manner.

    Additionally, the Level Shot Function can automatically detect the horizontal line of the recording image and keep it level during recording, regardless of camera tilt, helping to achieve greater shooting stability.

Full HD Video Recording
    Full HD 1080p video recording is supported in multiple frame rates up to 60 fps in the high-quality AVCHD Progressive format or 30 fps in the Internet-friendly MP4 format. An onboard stereo microphone is incorporated into the camera's design to render clear-sounding audio with suppressed mechanical noise and, with the inclusion of an Auto Wind Cut function, lessened background noise.
The full 30x range of the optical zoom lens can be used during movie recording, which benefits from the HYBRID O.I.S.+ system to render smooth, shake-free videos. Additionally, high-speed HD 720p movie recording is possible with a sensor output frame rate of 120 fps. Camera Design
    Within the compact overall form of the camera is both a large 3.0" 920k-dot LCD monitor, with anti-reflective coating, and a 0.2" 200k-dot LVF (Live View Finder) for bright, clear monitoring, review, and menu navigation. The electronic viewfinder features 100% frame coverage and can be set to provide a 60 fps refresh rate for clearer viewing of fast-moving subjects.

    Also offering versatility during use is a Control Ring, which surrounds the lens, and offers intuitive, tactile control over some of the most frequently used camera settings, such as manual focusing, zoom, aperture, shutter speed, and Creative Control filter selections. When working with manual focus, focus peaking is available to highlight edges of contrast to aid in achieving precisely-focused imagery. Benefitting image composition, a series of guides can be used during shooting with either the LCD or LVF, including: Rule of Thirds Offset, Diagonal Lines, Tunnel, Radiation 1, Radiation 2, and S-shape. Additionally, an electronic level gauge is available to help with precise alignment of horizontal and vertical lines during shooting.

Built-In Wi-Fi Connectivity and GPS
    The camera can quickly and easily be linked to mobile devices using NFC (Near Field Communication) or an intuitive QR code system, which can be recognized on the mobile device when using the Panasonic Image App to scan the code. Once connected, remote shooting and viewing, as well as image transferring and sharing, can be efficiently handled.

    Remote Shooting/Remote View: Using your linked mobile device, a live view image can be seen at a distance from the camera and zooming, setting focus, releasing the shutter, and recording settings like exposure compensation can all be controlled from a smartphone or tablet. Wi-Fi Features: Photos and videos, as well as Photo Collages, can instantly be uploaded and shared to a range of social networking sites, such as Facebook, Flickr, and Picasa. Wireless Image Transfer: The Instant Transfer function permits direct, automated sending of imagery to designated electronic devices after each exposure. You can also send imagery when in playback mode by simply tapping on the desired images. The Auto Transfer function further extends these capabilities by automatically transferring all imagery to a home computer or other compliant device when the camera is plugged in for charging and within a specified wireless network. Built-in GPS complies with GLONASS (Global Navigation Satellite System) to enhance detection accuracy for refined geotagging capabilities. This enables displaying of the name of the Country/Region, State/Province, Country/Township, City/Town/Village, and Landmark using internal data to give real-time information of your current setting while taking photos.

Other Camera Features
    iA (Intelligent Auto) mode automatically sets all camera exposure settings using a variety of shooting-assist functions, such as i-Food mode and Intelligent Handheld Night Shot, to clearly render the scene at hand, allowing you to simply compose and shoot. Furthermore, iA Plus mode lets you adjust background defocusing, exposure compensation, and white balance settings for even more control. Creative Control provides 15 different filter effects for modifying the appearance of your images: Expressive, Retro, Old Days, High Key, Low Key, Sepia, Dynamic Monochrome, Impressive Art, High Dynamic, Cross Process, Toy Effect, Miniature Effect, Soft Focus, Star Filter, and One Point Color. Additionally, many of these filters can be used during video recording. Creative Panorama mode automatically stitches together multiple images taken while swiveling the camera in order to realize one wide-spanning horizontal or vertical image. The included rechargeable lithium-ion battery can be conveniently charged in-camera using either an AC or USB power source and allows approximately 350 images to be recorded per charge. Language support: English and Spanish.

Specifications
Body type Compact  
Sensor
Max resolution 4896 x 3672  
Other resolutions 4896 x 3264, 2896 x 2752, 3664 x 3664, 4000 x 3000, 4000 x 2692, 4000 x 2248, 2992 x 2992, 3264 x 2448, 3264 x 2176, 3264 x 1840, 2448 x 2448, 2560 x 1920, 2560 x 1712, 2560 x 1440, 1920 x 1920, 2048 x 1536, 2048 x 1536, 1920 x 1080, 1536 x 1536, 640 x 480, 640 x 424, 640 x 360, 480 x 480  
Image ratio w:h 1:1, 4:3, 3:2, 16:9  
Effective pixels 18 megapixels  
Sensor photo detectors 19 megapixels  
Sensor size 1/2.3" (6.17 x 4.55 mm)  
Sensor type CMOS  
Processor Venus Engine  
Image
ISO Auto, 100, 200, 400, 800, 1600, 3200 (boost to 6400)  
White balance presets 4  
Custom white balance Yes  
Image stabilization Optical  
Image stabilization notes Hybrid Optical Image Stabilizer Plus  
Uncompressed format RAW  
JPEG quality levels Fine, standard  
Optics & Focus
Focal length (equiv.) 24720 mm  
Optical zoom 30  
Maximum aperture F3.3 - F6.4  
Autofocus
  • Contrast Detect (sensor)
  • Multi-area
  • Center
  • Tracking
  • Single
  • Continuous
  • Face Detection
  • Live View
 
Digital zoom Yes (2X)  
Manual focus Yes  
Normal focus range 50 cm (19.69)  
Macro focus range 3 cm (1.18)  
Number of focus points 23  
Screen / viewfinder
Articulated LCD Fixed  
Screen size 3  
Screen dots 920,000  
Touch screen No  
Screen type TFT LCD with AR coating  
Live view Yes  
Viewfinder type Electronic  
Viewfinder coverage 100%  
Viewfinder resolution 200,000  
Photography features
Minimum shutter speed 4 sec  
Maximum shutter speed 1/2000 sec  
Aperture priority Yes  
Shutter priority Yes  
Manual exposure mode Yes  
Subject / scene modes Yes  
Built-in flash Yes  
Flash range 6.40 m  
External flash No  
Flash modes Auto, Auto/Red-eye Reduction, Forced On, Slow Sync./Red-eye Reduction, Forced Off  
Continuous drive 10.0 fps  
Self-timer Yes (2 or 10 sec)  
Metering modes
  • Multi
  • Center-weighted
  • Spot
 
Exposure compensation 2 (at 1/3 EV steps)  
AE Bracketing 1 (3 frames at 1/3 EV, 2/3 EV, 1 EV steps)  
WB Bracketing No  
Videography features
Resolutions 1920 x 1080 (60p/60i/30p), 1280 x 720 (60p/30p), 640 x 480 (30p)  
Format MPEG-4, AVCHD  
Microphone Stereo  
Speaker Mono  
Storage
Storage types SD/SDHC/SDXC, Internal  
Storage included 12MB  
Connectivity
USB USB 2.0 (480 Mbit/sec)  
HDMI Yes (micro HDMI)  
Wireless Built-In  
Wireless notes 802.11 b/g/n with NFC  
Remote control Yes (via smartphone)  
Physical
Environmentally sealed No  
Battery Battery Pack  
Battery description Lithium-ion battery and USB charger  
Battery Life (CIPA) 300  
Weight (inc. batteries) 240 g (0.53 lb / 8.47 oz)  
Dimensions 111 x 64 x 34 mm (4.37 x 2.52 x 1.34)  
Other features
Orientation sensor Yes  
GPS BuiltIn  
GPS notes Built-in place name database


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Panasonic Lumix DMC-ZS40 Compact Digital Camera Reviewed by Gene Wright on . Rating: 4.5