CAMERAS Panasonic ZS5 (Lumix DMC-TZ8) Review

Panasonic ZS5 (Lumix DMC-TZ8) Review


Panasonic ZS5 (Lumix DMC-TZ8) Review

Home CAMERAS Panasonic ZS5 (Lumix DMC-TZ8) Review

Panasonic ZS5 (Lumix DMC-TZ8) Review

panasonic zs5

For the Panasonic ZS5 (Panasonic Lumix TZ8 elsewhere) travel zoom camera, the bar was set quite high right from the start.

On the one hand, she follows in the footsteps of the successful models and ZS3 (TZ7), on the other hand, her big sister ZS7 (TZ10) has passed the test with us quite brilliantly.

The TZ8 has to do without GPS and AVCHD-Lite video recording. Its 2.7-inch screen with 230,000 pixels is smaller and has a lower resolution than the ZS7 (TZ10).

The Video recording button, HDMI connection, and stereo microphone are also omitted. Whether the Venus Engine VI processor with an effective resolution of 12.1 megapixels in combination with the optical 12x zoom from 25 to 300 mm (KB) still does an equally good job is something our test will show.

In this update, I would like also to include this link to download the most recently updated firmware for the Panasonic ZS5.

Panasonic ZS5 Pros And Cons


  • HD video function
  • Good processing, robust exterior
  • Manual mode and semi-automatic
  • Reliable automatic functions that do the photographer’s work for him
  • 12x optical zoom with intelligent extension for every photo situation


  • Microphone mono only
  • Flash position unfavorably close to the zoom and shutter release, and danger of covering with your finger
  • Slow continuous shooting or fast shooting at the expense of resolution

panasonic zs5

Ergonomics and Workmanship

The Panasonic ZS5 (Lumix TZ8) comes in the usual solid metal housing. There’s no fault with the workmanship, and the flaps for the battery, memory card, and USB port also make a robust impression.

The matt surface, which is available in either silver or black, looks noble and is insensitive to fingerprints.

A few of the equipment details that have been saved compared to the TZ10 leave their mark on the case. For example, the stereo microphone is missing on the top of the camera, the Panasonic ZS5 (Lumix TZ8) can only work mono.

Most noticeable, however, is the omission of the GPS receiver. The video button on the back is also eliminated. Here, the e-zoom button, which Panasonic has already installed in older models, comes into play again.

If you want to film with the Panasonic ZS5 (Lumix TZ8), you have to operate the mode dial. This also selects the iA intelligent automatic mode, P program mode, aperture and shutter priority (A or S), M manual mode, SCN scene mode, MS mode for the most frequently used scene mode, memo pad, and CUST custom setting mode.

This allows three sets of customized settings of the P, A, S, M, MS and SCN modes to be stored for faster recall.

The zoom rocker, which is mounted around the shutter release button, is easy to use but requires some sensitivity at first. The switches on the back are kept rather small. New in this TC generation is the so-called exposure button. It is used to activate the control for the manual mode and the semi-automatic S and A. The display then shows the respective aperture and shutter values and the arrow keys highlighted in color, which must be pressed to change the value up or down.

This operation is cleverly conceived for such a compact camera and can be implemented immediately without any practice.

Panasonic has saved on the monitor. Instead of the saturated 3 inches and 460,000 pixels of the TZ10, the Panasonic ZS5 (Lumix TZ8) only has 2.7 inches with 230,000 pixels. This is sufficient but not as comfortable as with its big sister.

The automatic brightness adjustment works well, and you can see the screen clearly in almost any lighting situation. The metal tripod thread is located in the middle of the bottom of the camera, off the optical axis. Access to the memory card and battery is not possible in tripod mode.

All in all, the Panasonic ZS5 (Lumix TZ8) is easy to operate and sits comfortably in the hand.


panasonic zs5

Equipment And Features Of The Panasonic ZS5

Despite the slimming cure compared to the TZ10, the Panasonic ZS5 (Lumix TZ8) still has a rich feature set, starting with the 12x optical zoom, which allows focal lengths between 25 and 300 mm (KB).

This is followed by the intelligent zoom, which extends the focal length to 16x without any loss of quality visible to the naked eye.

panasonic zs5

panasonic zs5

The laboratory does not necessarily share this opinion, but it can certainly be used for the domestic use of the pictures. The optical extra zoom (EZ) even reaches a magnification of 23.4x. The price is a reduced resolution. This allows the camera to operate repeatedly, e.g. flash series, high-sensitivity or fast-series modes.

If you give priority to speed instead of quality, you can achieve up to ten frames per second. Those who want the full resolution for continuous shooting will pay the price of a considerable loss of speed. The Panasonic ZS5 (Lumix TZ8) then achieves a maximum of 2.3 frames per second, and after three shots it usually ends.

panasonic zs5

panasonic zs5

At the request of users, Panasonic has added full manual operation and semi-automatic S and A controls to the new TZ generation.

The Panasonic ZS5 (Lumix TZ8) benefits enormously from this, as it can be used in intelligent automatic mode (iA) as well as manually adjusted. The iA automatically detects the shooting situation, activates (forcibly) the intelligent zoom and calculates the optimal settings based on the information of face, brightness, distance, and movement.

In practice, the camera is positioned correctly in about 80 percent of cases. If that is not enough for you, you can take action yourself. However, there is not much room for maneuver with regard to aperture: at aperture 6.3, the end is reached.

This means that in the telescopic position there are just four gradations between 4.5 and 6.3 available. Those who like to leave most of the work to the camera but still like to make some corrections are, as it is the case of the previous models, also in good hands with the program automatic in which one can, for example, adjust the exposition step by step.

In SCN mode, Panasonic provides, as usual, a whole range of options for all kinds of situations such as starry sky, beach, snow, candlelight, etc. There are various standard functions, high sensitivity or an extended dynamic range.

Although not AVCHD-Lite, the Panasonic ZS5 (Lumix TZ8) offers a very good HD video function. The disadvantage is that you can’t film for more than eight minutes in 16:9 HD. If you reduce the quality, it will still be 15 minutes.

The movies are saved using Motion-JPEG compression. The optical zoom remains operational and moves pleasantly slowly. Many settings cannot be made, the camera controls most things automatically. Only white balance, backlight compensation, and color effects can be specified.

Unlike the TZ10, face recognition does not work in video mode. For still images, you can even register and save certain frequently photographed faces. The camera will recognize it, display its name and a pre-defined icon, and focus on it when face AF is activated. However, it happens that the face is not recognized.

The tracking AF works very well in the intelligent automatic. Once logged in, it tracks the subject as long as it is in the camera viewfinder.

The Panasonic ZS5 (Lumix TZ8) also offers the “classic” autofocus functions such as multi-field, single-field and spot AF. The single-field autofocus is also available as a high-speed version.

The flash of the Panasonic ZS5 (Lumix TZ8) is dangerously close to the mode dial and the shutter release. Depending on the position of your fingers, you may accidentally cover it up. Otherwise, it does a good job for a compact camera flash of this size and usually controls the light correctly according to the situation.

The slow sync/red-eye only flash mode is available for program exposure and aperture priority. It is missing in manual mode and for shutter priority. If red eyes cannot be prevented by preflash, the camera’s internal retouching does a good job.

The options for editing images in playback mode include cropping, resizing, straightening, rotating, changing the aspect ratio, protecting, copying, calendar, face detection, adding to favorites, and print settings.

panasonic zs5

Image Quality Of The Panasonic ZS5

The image quality of the Panasonic ZS5 (Lumix TZ8) is mainly due to the 12x optical zoom, the 1/2.33″ RGB CCD sensor with 12.1 megapixels and the Venus Engine VI.

Of course, as is now common practice, the Panasonic ZS5 (Lumix TZ8) also uses various camera-internal correction mechanisms in order to achieve the highest possible image quality. And the Lumix is doing well in the lab.

The resolution holds up very well from the center of the image to the edge in the wide-angle and telephoto range and drops slightly more at 75 mm.

Both pillow and barrel distortion are within barely noticeable limits, and the values for edge darkening are so good that the Panasonic ZS5 (TZ8) gets a smooth 1.2 in the laboratory, in perceptibility, it is even enough for a 1.0.

With regard to sharpness, the Panasonic ZS5 (Lumix TZ8) behaves as discreetly as the TZ10. Their measurement curves are somewhat more uneven, and the color channels are also further apart. Here, Panasonic could make some improvements, because with a shoot-to-print camera like the Panasonic ZS5 (Lumix TZ8), one usually expects results that don’t require any post-processing – in this case re-sharpening.

As for artifacts, the camera shows small weaknesses in the test image.

panasonic zs5

The noise behavior of the Panasonic ZS5 (Lumix TZ8) shows consistently good results. At ISO 400, the curve shows a slight hump; this is the maximum value. Even if the results are good, caution is always advised. With high ISO numbers and the powerful Power-OIS image stabilization system, the temptation to shoot anything without flash is great.

Thereby, in practice, some color noises appear occasionally and for large-sized printouts, the maximum ISO limit is best left at 200 in order to capture enough image details.

For everyday use and album prints, you can also reach higher, where the intelligent resolution technology also does a good job. It analyses the images and divides them into contours, finely structured areas and low-contrast surfaces. Edges are enhanced, the resolution in detailed areas is increased and the noise in the homogeneous areas is suppressed.

The intelligent resolution helps to achieve consistently useful results in practice. The well-working white balance, autofocus and exposure metering also help here. They are rarely off-target, and the photographer always has the option of adjusting them himself.

You can rely on the automatics, but you don’t have to. The input and output dynamics of the Panasonic ZS5 (Lumix TZ8) are in the absolute green range. The camera processes f-stops in the various ISO ranges from 8.1 to 8.9, which are very good values for a compact camera. The output dynamics are also okay.

Ultimately, the Panasonic ZS5 (Lumix TZ8) can score points in terms of autofocus speed; compared to other cameras, it’s ahead of the pack.

Conclusion: Is The Panasonic ZS5 Worth It?

If you decide to purchase a Panasonic ZS5 (Lumix TZ8) , you have to be aware that it is the economy version of the TZ10 and that some partly comfortable equipment details like a high-resolution screen or the video button are omitted.

You pay less for this and get at least as much offered by the quality of the camera. The Panasonic ZS5 (Lumix TZ8) scores with many adjustment options, including the manual mode, its good workmanship, and the consistently good image results.

It is suitable for beginners and ambitious hobby photographers alike. You can choose whether you want to set it yourself or trust the camera. One of the smaller weaknesses of the Panasonic ZS5 (Lumix TZ8) is, for example, the small margin of aperture values in manual mode.

Profile For The Panasonic ZS5 (Lumix TZ8) 

Manufacturer Panasonic
Model Panasonic ZS5 (Lumix TZ8)
Price approx. 270 dollars at market launch
Sensor resolution 12.1 megapixels effective
Max. Image resolution 4.000 x 3.000
(aspect ratio) 4:3
Lens F3.3-4.9/25-300 mm
Filter thread
Dioptre compensation
LCD monitor 2,7″
Resolution 230.000
as Viewfinder yes
Video output 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 (2)
Landscape yes
Macro yes (2)
Sports/action yes
More 24 additional scene modes
Exposure metering Spot, centered, multi-field
Flash yes
Flash connection
Remote release
Interval recording
Storage medium SD (HC or XC)
Video mode
Format Quicktime (MOV)
Codec Motion-JPEG
Resolution (max.) 1.280 x 720
Frame rate (max.) 30 frames/s
automatically ISO 80-1.600 (upper limit adjustable)
extended ISO 1,600-6,400
manually ISO 80-1,600
White balance
Automatic yes
Sun yes
Clouds yes
Fluorescent lamp
Incandescent lamp
Miscellaneous Shadows
Manually yes
Number of measurement fields 11
AF auxiliary light yes
Speed approx. 0.4-0.6 s
Languages English
More 15 additional languages are available
(ready for operation)
214 g
Zoom adjustment motorized via ring rocker
One-hand operation
(zoom and shutter release)
Triggering during storage possible.
Battery life approx. 340 pictures according to CIPA
– = “not applicable” or “not available

Brief assessment


  • HD video function
  • Good processing, robust exterior
  • Manual mode and semi-automatic
  • Reliable automatic functions that do the photographer’s work for him
  • 12x optical zoom with intelligent extension for every photo situation


  • Microphone mono only
  • Flash position unfavourably close to the zoom and shutter release, danger of covering with your finger
  • Slow continuous shooting or fast shooting at the expense of resolution

Panasonic ZS5 (Lumix DMC-TZ8) Datasheet


Sensor CCD sensor 1/2.3″ 6.2 x 4.6 mm (crop factor 5.6) 14.5 megapixels (physical), 12.1 megapixels (effective)
Pixelpitch 1.5 µm
Photo resolution
4.000 x 3.000 pixels (4:3)
3.264 x 2.448 pixels (4:3)
2.560 x 1.440 pixels (16:9)
1.600 x 1.200 pixels (4:3)
640 x 480 pixels (4:3)
Image formats JPG
Color depth 24 bits (8 bits per color channel)
Metadata Exif (version 2.21), DCF standard
Video resolution
1.280 x 720 (16:9) 30 p
848 x 480 (16:9) 30 p
640 x 480 (4:3) 30 p
Video format
MOV (Codec Motion JPEG)
Audio format (video) WAV


Focal length 25 to 300 mm (35mm equivalent) 12x zoomDigital zoom 4x
Sharpness range 50 cm to infinity (wide angle) 200 cm to infinity (telephoto)
Macro area 3-200 cm (wide angle) 100 cm (telephoto)
Aperture F3.3 to F6.3 (wide angle) F4.9 to F6.3 (telephoto)
Autofocus yes
Autofocus functions Single AF, Continuous AF, Manual, AF Assist Light

Viewfinder and monitor

Monitor 2.7″ TFT LCD monitor with 230,000 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 Bracketing function with a maximum of 3 shots, 1/3 to 1 EV increments
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 Saturated colour reproduction, natural colour reproduction, warm tone and cold tone filters
White balance Automatic, Clouds, Sun, Fine tuning, Fluorescent lamp, Manual
Continuous shooting Continuous shooting function max. 2.3 fps at highest resolution and max. 3 stored photos, high-speed mode with 6 fps or 10 fps (speed priority) with max. 3 megapixel resolution;1.8 fps continuous shooting
Self-timer Self-timer with 2 s interval, special features: or 10 s (optional)
Recording functions Live histogram


Flash built-in flash
Flash range 0.6 to 5.3 m at wide angle1
.0 to 3.6 m at teleflash 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 (40 MByte)
Power supply unit Power supply connection
Power supply 1 x lithium-ion (Li-Ion) battery (3.6 V, 895 mAh
)340 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
Connections Data interfaces: USBUSB 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 VI signal processor switchable
optical image stabilizer (Power-OIS)
11/3/1-point autofocus (some with high-speed mode) with spot AF functionFace Detection
AF (photo only)
High ISO setting 1600-6400Digital
Red-eye ReductionMulti-format function
(with simultaneous recording of 4:3, 3:2 and 16:9)
Additional 3:2 image resolution of 4.176 x 2,7842-step
hue adjustment (cool/warm)
15, 30 or 60 s Exposure time in Starry Sky program
modeWorld time functionShake warningIntelligentResolution Technology (photo only)
Contrast/sharpness/saturation/noise reduction /- 2 steps

Size and weight

Weight 214 g (ready for operation)
Dimensions W x H x D 103 x 60 x 33 mm


standard accessory Li-ion battery chargerUSB connection cableAudio/video cableStrap

loopPhotoFun Studio 5 HD

image editing software

additional accessories Panasonic DMW-MCTZ10E Underwater HousingReplacement Battery Power Supply Removable Memory CardCamera Bag
USB 2.0 High Speed


Peter Dench
Peter Dench
I am Peter Dench. Digital Photographer, born in London 1972, currently living in Deerfield, near Chicago. I have numerous photography expositions and also working in model photography. In this website, PhotoPoint, I usually review cameras provided by local dealers in Illinois and by the manufacturers. Sometimes I, Peter Dench, review lenses too, but only when I have a suitable camera for them. Please let me know in the comments if I can improve any of these articles.


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