Panasonic Lumix ZS10 Review (TZ20 / TZ22)

Panasonic Lumix ZS10 Review (TZ20 / TZ22)

The range of super-zoom compact cameras is very dense, so manufacturers have to think about the equipment if they want to stand out from the crowd. For example, the GPS receiver for determining the location of the shot is now an optional extra for extravagant cameras, as was already the case with the TZ10. The Panasonic Lumix ZS10 (TZ20 in the European Union and Britain and TZ22 in Germany) has retained this feature and added a touch-sensitive screen.

What else is hidden under the hood and how the original functions of the camera were implemented, we examine in this test.

Panasonic Lumix ZS10 Pros And Cons


  • Very effective image stabilizer
  • Simple operation
  • Extensive equipment
  • Good processing


  • Touch screen operation only half-heartedly implemented
  • Location takes a long time or costs electricity all the time
  • A quite long delay in video recording
  • Moderate image quality especially in telephoto

Ergonomics and Workmanship

You can’t see the Lumix ZS10 (TZ20 – TZ22)’s 16x zoom lens from the outside. It is just as slim as many other cameras with a smaller zoom range. Only the lens ring protruding about five millimeters out of the housing interferes with the slim camera shape, but this does not detract from its breast pocket suitability.

The photographer’s right hand has ample room on the left side of the camera body due to the arrangement of the lens. A slight thickening gives the right hand additional support.

Therefore, the camera can be held quite comfortably, the housing is one-handed and zooms are included. Only the flash unit runs the risk of being covered by a finger.



In addition to the openings for the stereo microphone and the speaker, the upper side contains the usual mode dial, a trigger each for photo and video recording and the main switch.

On the back, there is a small recess for the thumb, right next to it a slide switch for recording or playback operation and below it the obligatory four-way rocker. Three tiny yet easy-to-press buttons complete the controls.

One of the two lower buttons can be used to show different information on the display, the other calls up the quick menu, which can be used to directly influence important functions.

Finally, there is the “exposure button”, which allows the f-stop and time settings in the automatic and manual modes. All switches are easy to reach and have a solid pressure point, only the mode selector could be a bit more sluggish.

The Lumix can be connected via mini-HDMI to an appropriate television set or via the combined AV/USB socket. The cover for it is made of plastic but at least it is properly hinged, it makes a solid impression.

On the bottom side, the tripod thread and the battery/memory card compartment are located very closely together, so that access is not possible when using a tripod. The tripod thread itself is clearly beside the optical axis but made of solid metal.


From the outside, the Panasonic Lumix ZS10 (TZ20 – TZ22) offers compact and well-manufactured camera design. But what about the inner values? After switching on, the Lumix needs one second to bring the lens into the recording position. A lens about 2.5 centimeters long grows out of the slim metal housing, which only grows another two centimeters longer when fully zoomed out.

The travel Panasonic camera is therefore also extremely compact when ready for use. It takes a little more than a second to get ready to record. When pressing the shutter release button, the autofocus focuses quickly in good light conditions and the Lumix is also fixed when taking pictures: if you believe the datasheet, the Panasonic Lumix ZS10 (TZ20 – TZ22) even achieves ten frames per second in full resolution.

In our test, there were after all 14 pictures in a row that could be taken in just over 2.2 seconds (which corresponds to about six pictures per second). The small one is really big at the photo speed. Next to the shutter release button for photos is the shutter release button for video recordings. To avoid confusion, this one is slightly recessed. The advantage: no need to switch between photo and video mode, great!

The display with a diagonal of 7.6 centimeters is firmly installed, but wonderfully angle-independent. Even at a very oblique viewing angle, the colors and contrasts hardly change. The display has a resolution of 460,000 pixels and shows a very sharp and detailed image. With the display button, various information such as grids, exposure information and histogram can be switched on.

When the shutter-release button is pressed, the camera attempts to simulate the exposure. At least the photographer gets an impression of the effects of the exposure settings. However, the display shows colors that are clearly too bright, especially noticeable in green tones of grass, for example.

During excursions into the menu, one first gets four main groups to choose from, which differ according to the camera setting. In playback mode, for example, transition effects can be selected for the slide show.

An interesting feature is the possibility of adding location information to the pictures later on via GPS receiver. But also by hand texts can be stored in the images. A simple editing function is available for videos. The length of the menus also depends on the recording mode, following the simple formula “the more automatic, the shorter the menus”

The touch screen is of limited help with the operation. Although the four main groups can be selected with the finger, the individual menu items cannot be selected. There are a few more fingertip functions during operation: the focus point can be moved directly on the display and even triggered if required.

The Panasonic technicians have also come up with something for the touchscreen when zooming: A virtual zoom lever allows not only zooming in and out but also a quick run-through to the respective end stop.

However, some icons on the screen are too small to hit with your finger. Panasonic, therefore, supplies a small plastic pen. But this is awkward, because who always has this pen handy?


Equipment And Features

There is hardly anything to criticize about the equipment. From “intelligent” fully automatic, various scene automatics and classic semi-automatic to manual adjustment of almost all parameters, everything is available. The “intelligent” ISO and “intelligent” program modes are designed to produce even better image results by analyzing the subject. We could not find out in practical use, but it did not harm either. Maybe one or the other scene will be captured a little bit better with it.

The rapid photo speed of the Lumix can be individually configured in the quick menu. There the photographer chooses several options: From the already mentioned ten frames per second in full resolution up to 60 frames per second with then, however, strongly (to 1,920 x 1,440 pixels) reduced resolution.

Up to five frames per second the autofocus adjusts the focus, above that the value of the first shot is used. And from 40 frames per second, only the electronic shutter works.

Even higher recording frequencies are possible in scene mode as “High-speed video recording”. The result is a slow-motion of about eight times. Also hidden in the scene mode is the increased sensitivity up to ISO 6,400, but at which the resolution is reduced to three megapixels.

When starting video recording, the Panasonic Lumix ZS10 (TZ20 – TZ22) allows itself a long 2.5 seconds from the time the shutter button is pressed until recording starts, which is surprising given the speed shown in photo mode.

However, once the Lumix records, the videos can be used without restrictions. Panasonic has slightly slowed down the zoom drive for video recording, which is doubly useful for video recording: On the one hand, zooming becomes bearable in this way and on the other hand, zooming becomes almost noiseless.

The autofocus motor also does its job very discreetly, so that the sound of the video recordings is only affected by the usual wind noise. This could be improved with an external microphone, but unfortunately, this is not planned.

Right now, Panasonic is doing justice to the hype about three-dimensional images. In this setting, the camera takes a series of images while the photographer pans them about ten centimeters to the side. The resulting photo is saved in the 3D photo format MPO. For playback, a 3D-capable television with the appropriate accessories is required.

But the special features of the Panasonic Lumix ZS10 (TZ20 – TZ22) are without question the GPS receiver and the touch-sensitive screen.

According to Panasonic’s own information, the position of about one million interesting places and sights is stored in the camera. This shows the Lumix as soon as the GPS receiver has been able to collect enough satellite information.

And this is exactly where the main problem lies: After switching on, the GPS module sometimes needs several minutes to determine the location. If the receiver is set to continuous operation, the location information is available immediately after the first fix.

Unfortunately, the camera consumes power even when switched off, which is then missing when taking pictures. In the so-called flight mode, the receiver is only activated when the camera is switched on, but this again leads to delays in determining the position.

A dilemma, because the brief moment the camera is switched on for the shot is not enough to determine the location. Also inside buildings, the camera loses contact with the satellites, so the location information is practically only rarely available (Update April 2020. This is corrected with firmware. Please see below in this article the update with the new firmware for the Panasonic Lumix ZS10 (TZ20 – TZ22) ). It is a pity because, in principle, the geographical indication stored in the metadata (EXIF) of the image is a nice additional benefit.

Image Quality Of The Panasonic Lumix ZS10

We have put the image quality of the Panasonic Lumix ZS10 (TZ20 – TZ22) to the test both in practice and in with the testing software.

The measurement results show a rather divided picture. On the one hand, the camera handles almost ten f-stops of input dynamics. This value decreases by just one stop up to ISO 800, only to drop to 8.4 apertures at ISO 1,600. This is all the more remarkable as the signal-to-noise ratio is quite low even at low sensitivities.

The edge darkening is negligible at all apertures and focal lengths, the distortion is visible at wide-angle but hardly disturbing barrel-shaped, at long focal lengths unobtrusively cushion-shaped.

So much for the good news. However, the resolution once again reveals that mega zooms are a compromise. If the resolution at the short end of the focal length still reaches acceptable values, which decrease slightly in the corners of the image, the ratio is dramatically reversed in the long and longest focal lengths.

There, the Panasonic Lumix ZS10 (TZ20 – TZ22) only resolves 15 line pairs per millimeter (converted to 35mm), and even fading does not bring any improvement.

A large part of this quality is obviously due to the noise or the noise suppression that is obviously necessary at this pixel density. Already at ISO 100 the typical “watercolor pattern” can be detected. Details such as brickwork and grass seem to be painted. As expected, this effect increases with the ISO number starting at 400.

You can’t call the spotted looking photos useless, but you can call them strange. Surely a sensor, if it has to be as small as a fingernail, would produce much better results with ten megapixels.

Conclusion: Is The Panasonic Lumix ZS10 Worth It?

With the Panasonic Lumix ZS10 (TZ20 – TZ22), you acquire a fully equipped camera with a zoom range that extends from a clearly wide-angle 24 millimeter to a long-distance lens with over 7x magnification. Those who are not yet satisfied with this will have the opportunity to use this spectrum for video recordings in FullHD.

In addition, every automatic and manual operation is possible. The additional function of the location determination is to be regarded as a nice gimmick, because the GPS receiver consumes a lot of power in continuous operation (which is then missing in the photos) or it simply takes too long to find the location safely.

The touch screen, which really makes operation easier, makes more sense. But Panasonic has to take the strongest criticism in spite of the promotionally effective Leica optics in terms of image quality.

Fourteen megapixels are simply too much for the tiny sensor and the large zoom range does the rest. For pictures in the size 18 cm x 24 cm this is still ok. But 6 megapixels are always enough for this.

Profile For The Panasonic Lumix ZS10 (TZ20 – TZ22)

Manufacturer Panasonic
Model Panasonic Lumix ZS10 (TZ20 – TZ22)
Price approx. 300 dollars at market launch
Sensor Resolution 14.1 megapixels
Max. Image resolution 4.320 x 3.240
(aspect ratio) 4:3
Lens F3.3-5.9/24-384mm
Filter thread
Dioptre compensation
LCD monitor 3″
Resolution 460.000
as Viewfinder yes
Video output AV and HDMI, each PAL/NTSC
Automatic programming yes
Automatic aperture control yes
Automatic timer yes
manual exposure yes
BULB long time exposure
Scene mode programs
Portrait yes
Children/baby yes
Landscape yes
Macro yes
Sports/action yes
More 24 additional scene modes are available
Exposure metering Multi-field, centre-weighted Integral, Spot
Flash yes
Flash connection
Remote release
Interval recording
Storage medium SD/SDHC/SDXC, MMC
Video mode
Format AVCHD or MOV
Codec H.264 or Motion-JPEG
Resolution (max.) 1.920 x 1.080
Frame rate (max.) 50 fields/s
automatically ISO 100 – 400
extended ISO 1.600 – 6.400 (with reduced resolution)
manually ISO 100-1,600
White balance
Automatic yes
Sun yes
Clouds yes
Fluorescent lamp
Incandescent lamp yes
Miscellaneous Shadows
Manually yes
Number of measurement fields 23
AF auxiliary light yes
Speed approx. 0.2-0.3 s
Languages English
More 15 additional languages
(Ready for operation)
222 g
Zoom adjustment Ring rocker
Single-handed operation
(zoom and shutter release)
Triggering during storage possible.
Battery life approx. 260 pictures according to CIPA
– = “not applicable” or “not available


This test of the Panasonic Lumix ZS10 (TZ20 – TZ22) was created with DXOMARK Analyzer.

Brief assessment


  • Very effective image stabilizer
  • Simple operation
  • Extensive equipment
  • Good processing


  • Touch screen operation only half-heartedly implemented
  • Location takes a long time or costs electricity all the time
  • Quite long delay in video recording
  • Moderate image quality especially in telephoto

Firmware Update 1.2 for the Panasonic Lumix ZS10 (TZ20 – TZ22): More accurate GPS

The Panasonic Lumix ZS10 (TZ20 – TZ22) also aims to improve the image quality by better processing of the image details by the camera. The updates can be downloaded from Panasonic’s Japanese support website and installed using the English-language instructions provided there.  If you do not feel confident about the procedure, you should contact Panasonic Service or your dealer.

Panasonic Lumix ZS10 (TZ20 – TZ22) Datasheet


Sensor CMOS sensor 1/2.3″ 6.2 x 4.6 mm (crop factor 5.6
)15.1 megapixels (physical), 14.1 megapixels (effective)
Pixelpitch 1.4 µm
Photo resolution
4.320 x 3.240 pixels (4:3)
Image formats JPG
Color depth 24 bits (8 bits per color channel)
Metadata Exif (version 2.21), DCF standard
Video resolution
1.920 x 1.080 (16:9) 25 p
848 x 480 (16:9) 30 p
640 x 480 (4:3) 30 p
Video format
MOV (Codec Motion JPEG)
AVCHD (Codec H.264)
MPG4 [codec MPEG-4]
Audio format (video) WAV


Focal length 24 to 384 mm (35mm equivalent) 16x
digital zoom
Sharpness range 50 cm to infinity (wide angle) 200 cm to infinity (telephoto)
Macro area 3 cm (wide angle) 100 cm (telephoto)
Aperture F3.3 to F6.3 (wide angle) F5.9 to F6.3 (telephoto)
Autofocus yes
Autofocus functions Single autofocus, continuous autofocus, AF auxiliary light

Viewfinder and Display

Monitor 3.0″ TFT LCD monitor with 460,000 pixels


Exposure metering Center-weighted integral measurement, matrix/multi-field measurement, spot measurement
Exposure times 1/2,000 to 60 s (automatic)
Exposure control Programmed automatic, Shutter priority, Aperture priority, Manual
Exposure bracketing function Exposure bracketing function with a maximum of 3 shots, 1/3 to 1 EV increments, HDR function
Exposure Compensation -2.0 to +2.0 EV with step size of 1/3 EV
Photosensitivity ISO 80 to ISO 1,600 (manual)
Remote access non-existent
Scene modes Baby, fireworks, skin, high sensitivity, candlelight, landscape, aerial view, night landscape, night portrait, party, portrait, self-portrait, sunset, food, sports, starry sky, beach/snow, animals, and underwater
Picture effects HDR effects, Saturated color reproduction, Natural color reproduction, Warm tone, and cold tone filters
White balance Automatic, Clouds, Sun, Fine-tuning, Fluorescent lamp, Manual
Continuous shooting Continuous shooting function max. 10 fps at the highest resolution and max. 15 stored photos, high-speed function 60 fps at 3.5 megapixels and 16:9 aspect ratio
Self-timer Self-timer with 2 s interval, special features: or 10 s (optional)
Recording functions Live histogram

Flashgun Of The Panasonic Lumix ZS10

Flash built-in flash
Flash range 0.6 to 5.0 m at wide angle1
.0 to 2.8 m at telephoto flash range
at ISO auto
Flash functions Auto, Flash On, Flash Off, Slow Sync, Red-eye Reduction

Equipment And Features

Image stabilizer optical image stabilizer
Internal memory yes (18 MByte)
GPS function internal
Power supply unit Power supply connection
Power supply 1 x lithium-ion (Li-Ion) battery (3.6 V, 895 mAh) 260 pictures according to CIPA standard
Playback functions Image index, slide show function
Voice memo Voice memo (WAV format)
Face recognition Face recognition, face recognition
Image parameters Sharpness, contrast, noise reduction
Grille can be faded in during recording yes
Special functions Orientation sensor
Connections Data interfaces: USB USB type
: USB 2.0 High SpeedVideo output
: yes (HDMI output Micro (Type D))
Supported direct printing methods PictBridge
Tripod thread 1/4″
Special features and miscellaneous Venus-Engine-HD-II signal processorIntelligent-Zoom
21xStabilizer-Active mode
for video recording3D functionStateCityand sight from a database of 500,000 sights in 73 countries)
Switchable optical image stabilizer (Power-OIS)
11/3/1-point autofocus (some with high-speed mode) with Spot AF functionFace recognition
AF (photo and video)
High ISO setting 1600-6400Digital
red-eye reductionAdditional
3:2 image resolution of 4.320 x 2,880 pixels2-step
adjustment of the color tone (cool/warm)
15, 30 or 60 s Exposure time in the program mode “Starry sky”
World time functionShake warningIntelligentResolution TechnologyContrast/sharpness/saturation/noise reduction
/- 2-step contrast optimizationFilm exposure automaticsOrientation sensor20SCN video modes

Size and weight

Weight 219 g (ready for operation)
Dimensions W x H x D 105 x 58 x 33 mm


standard accessory Li-ion battery chargerUSB connection cableAudio/Video cableStylus penStrap


editing software

PhotoFun Studio 6.1 HD LiteUSB device driver

additional accessories Panasonic DMW-MCTZ20E Underwater HousingReplacement Battery Power SupplyRemovable Memory CardCamera Bag
USB 2.0 High Speed

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