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Need specific info on Panasonic Lumix DMC ZS-15 and ZS-19 cameras

21 Oct 2013 2:19AM
Hello. I have had a succession of Panasonic Lumix cameras, and several years ago Sam's club was closing out the DMC-ZS1, and I bought one. It's been a real delight to use, but when the ZS-19 came out I started drooling and waiting for a new model to come out so the price would drop on the ZS-19. The feature that really attracts me is being able to do panoramas with the camera simply by moving it, and right now I am using Panorama Maker 5 which is a lot more work than panning a camera! The price on the ZS-19 is starting to drop, but yesterday I just found out that the ONLY way the 20X optical zoom feature works is in the Intelligent Auto (iA) mode, and if you switch it to Program mode, which is what I normally use, the 20X zoom feature is only a DIGITAL zoom!! So for a 20X digital zoom shot, you are losing 95% SadSad of your resolution and pixels!! This is completely unacceptable, so the ZS-19 is out!!

The question I have concerns the ZS-19's cheaper sibling, the DMC ZS15 with 16x optical zoom, 12.1 instead of 14.1 megapixels, and no touch screen. (I have huge hands and fingers, so a 3" touch screen is an invitation to total frustration.) My question is as follows: Does the ZS15 allow the 16X optical zoom to work in Program mode, or is it cursed like its bigger brother to only offer optical zoom capabilities if you chose the IA mode and get your picture Panasonic's way?? I would be very grateful if anybody with some experience with a ZS-15 could give me a definitive answer to this question.


Seismic Sam

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joshwa Plus
7 839 United Kingdom
21 Oct 2013 12:02PM

I don't know where you've got the information that you can only use 20x digital zoom in program mode? The ZS19 has a 20x optical zoom lens, and you can use the optical zoom in any mode.

The ZS19 is the same as the ZS20, but without GPS. The ZS20 is called the TZ30 in the UK (and Europe), and you can find our review here:

Hope this helps,

21 Oct 2013 3:29PM
Thank you very much Josh!! There is apparently a bad review running around loose about 3 levels down on some website that gives that incorrect information, and when I went to Target much to my surprise the sales associate who helped me confirmed that information (?!?), which was a real bummer. Obviously, he must have run into the same bad info I did. It's 9 AM here, so thank you for making my day!!

As an aside, it appears that the nextgen Lumix is on the horizon, and it apparently is equipped with Wi-Fi, whose purpose confused me at first, but I came to find out that it allows people to instantly send their shots in original form without any fine tuning or cropping to all their Facebook (and perhaps Twitter?) friends in the heat of the moment. Just what every one needs in their Inbox in the morning: six pictures of someone else's baby drooling on their stuffed toy... Technology is becoming an increasingly sharp double edged sword..

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