Panasonic SZ1

Panasonic Lumix DMC-SZ1 front
  • 16MP - 1/2.3" Sensor
  • 3" Fixed Screen
  • ISO 100 - 6400
  • Optical Image Stabilization
  • 1280 x 720 video
  • 25-250mm (F3.1-5.9) lens
  • 131g - 99 x 59 x 21mm
  • Introduced January 2012
  • Read full specs
  • Alternatives
  • Size Comparison
  • FAQ

Panasonic SZ1 overview

Panasonic SZ1 is Panasonic's Small Sensor Compact digital camera originally introduced on January of 2012. It includes a 16 MegaPixel, CCD 1/2.3" sized sensor and has a maximum resolution of 4608 x 3456.

The SZ1 places at #67 out of 261 in Small Sensor Compact cameras & all-around #840 out of 1465 for cameras in our collection. Remember to try out our Advanced camera finder to get camera ratings based on your customized requirements.

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Below is a graph of specific criteria used in the scoring system.

Panasonic SZ1 history

The Panasonic SZ1 is part of a family of cameras. You can view the detailed range below.

ModelVisualizeLensResolutionSensor SizeReleased
Panasonic-Lumix-DMC-SZ10 front thumbnailPanasonic SZ10
SZ1 vs SZ10
Panasonic-Lumix-DMC-SZ8 front thumbnailPanasonic SZ8
SZ1 vs SZ8
Photography Glossary
Panasonic-Lumix-DMC-SZ3 front thumbnailPanasonic SZ3
SZ1 vs SZ3
Panasonic-Lumix-DMC-SZ5 front thumbnailPanasonic SZ5
SZ1 vs SZ5
Panasonic-Lumix-DMC-SZ7 front thumbnailPanasonic SZ7
SZ1 vs SZ7
Panasonic-Lumix-DMC-S2 front thumbnailPanasonic S2
SZ1 vs S2
Samsung Releases Faster Versions of EVO MicroSD Cards
Panasonic-Lumix-DMC-SZ1 front thumbnailPanasonic SZ125-250mm
Panasonic-Lumix-DMC-S1 front thumbnailPanasonic S1
SZ1 vs S1
Panasonic-Lumix-DMC-S3 front thumbnailPanasonic S3
SZ1 vs S3

Panasonic SZ1 Pros and Cons

Below is a selection of benefits and drawbacks of the Panasonic SZ1 based on criterias that are normally viewed as essential in a digital camera.

built-in flash
built in zoom lens (25-250mm 10.0 x zoom)
decent sensor resolution (16 megapixels)
great min ISO (100)
has image stabilization (Optical)
lighter than competitors in class (131g)
nice screen size (3 inch)
pretty wide (25mm)
supports face detection autofocus
supports tracking autofocus
very long reach (250mm)
can't change lenses (fixed lens mount)
cannot use external flash
lack of manual exposure
low quality video (1280 x 720 resolution)
manual focus not available
max zoom aperture not good (f5.9)
no aperture priority
no external microphone support
no HDMI out
no headphone support
no moving screen
no phase detect autofocus
no RAW format
no shutter priority
no Timelapse mode
screen has low resolution (230 thousand dots)
screen is not selfie friendly
sensor is tiny (1/2.3")
slow fps (1.0 frames/s)
somewhat slow maximum aperture (f3.1)
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Panasonic SZ1 Sensor specifications

The sensor dimension in the Panasonic SZ1 is 6.08mm x 4.56mm (1/2.3"). The 28 mm² sensor has the ability to resolve 4608 x 3456 pixels at aspect ratios of 1:1, 4:3, 3:2 and 16:9. The camera comes with Image Stabilization (Optical). Sensor stabilization is more desirable than digital stabilization as the latter can cause cropping.

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The CCD sensor has 16 megapixels and features a standard ISO range of 100 - 6400. Sadly, RAW format is not supported which means that the user has less margin for error.

The picture below displays the SZ1's sensor dimensions in comparison to other popular sizes. The SZ1 sensor has a crop factor of 5.9 and is shown in green.

Panasonic Lumix DMC-SZ1 sensor size Sora from OpenAI releases its first ever music video

To get an idea of specific aspect ratios, you can refer to the graphic below.

Camera sensor aspect ratios

Panasonic SZ1 dimensions

Panasonic SZ1 weighs 0.29 pounds (131g / 4.62 ounces) & has outer size of 99mm x 59mm x 21mm (3.9" x 2.3" x 0.8"). The weight of normal Small Sensor Compact camera is 174g so the Panasonic SZ1 is lighter when compared with its rivals.

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Below is a visual of the Panasonic SZ1 with a softdrink to help you get a sense of its scale.

Panasonic Lumix DMC-SZ1 dimensions scale

The top view directly below will show you the button arrangement on the SZ1.

Panasonic Lumix DMC-SZ1 topview buttons dials

Panasonic SZ1 Lens specifications

The SZ1 houses a fixed lens providing a focal range of 25-250mm giving it a 10.0 x zoom which isn't really ideal however it may be valuable in certain circumstances.

At the widest 25mm, the lens comes with an aperture of f3.1 and that's quite slow and not very good for low light situations and you may find it hard to get good bokeh. You will likely also have to raise the ISO setting which results in noisy images. For the tele end, 250mm is superb zoom and comes at f5.9 which is fairly slow and you might need to utilize slower shutter speeds.

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Panasonic SZ1 Connectivity

The SZ1 has the following connectivity:

  • USB Yes

Cameras that include NFC and / or Bluetooth support can easily be used wirelessly through smartphones. You can send images and in some cases change camera settings without the hassle of connecting directly to the camera.

Several applications even give a Liveview and click the shutter in case you aren't near the camera. If the camera includes a HDMI port, it could be hooked up to an external screen. Almost all cameras will allow you to recharge the battery through the USB port.

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Panasonic SZ1 Video specifications

The maximum video resolution in the Panasonic SZ1 is 1280 x 720 and you can capture in MPEG-4 file format. 720p is terrible for today's standards. You really should go for a minimum FUll HD resolution for good video. The camera doesn't feature a microphone and / or headphone port which means you have no control over the sound. It is perhaps a better idea to find another camera if you need better sound for your videos.

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Panasonic SZ1 Weather Sealing

Panasonic SZ1 doesn't include weather sealing so rainy conditions can easily damage the camera.

Panasonic SZ1 Screen and Viewfinder

The Panasonic SZ1 includes a 3 inch fixed screen boasting a resolution of 230 thousand dots.

Sadly the screen isn't a touch screen.

Panasonic Lumix DMC-SZ1 screen and viewfinder Body cameras now worn by bakery staff to deter stealing

The View Finder details for Panasonic SZ1 are below:

  • ViewFinder None

Viewfinders can be rather beneficial for bright outdoor situations which will make the camera screen washed out and very difficult to see.

Panasonic SZ1 Shutter specifications

Panasonic SZ1 has the ability to shoot continuously at 1.0 frames/s. The max shutter speed is 1/1600 seconds.

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Panasonic SZ1 Flash and Hot shoe specifications

Panasonic SZ1 comes with only built-in flash lacking external flash ability.

Panasonic SZ1 Autofocusing specifications

Panasonic SZ1 comes with just Contrast Based AF & doesn't have Phase Detect AF. Phase Detection focusing is a lot faster & precise when compared with Contrast Based focusing. The camera includes Face detection making it handy for taking portraits of people.

It includes 23 focus points to select from. It also boasts Tracking AF for moving things. Panasonic SZ1 lacks manual focusing. Manual focusing mode is useful for low light situations or you require more precise control on focus.

Photography Glossary

Panasonic SZ1 Battery life

The battery in the Panasonic SZ1 is built to last for 250 pictures with respect to the CIPA requirements making it about the same as it's competition. The general Small Sensor Compact camera battery life is 241. Fujifilm X30 comes with the highest possible (470) battery life for this range of cameras.

Below is a number of Small Sensor Compact cameras that have the best battery life:

Panasonic SZ1 for varying kinds of photography

The following diagram provides a analysis of the Panasonic SZ1 for varying kinds of photography. To check out more, go to the specific paragraph below.

Panasonic SZ1 Portrait photography info

The Panasonic SZ1 gets a rating of 34 which is low, and means the camera is just not very good to use for portraits. Taking portraits leans greatly towards sensor size, support for RAW photos together with the ability to use external lighting.

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megapixel count good (16MP)
comes with face detect focusing
no manual focus
no manual exposure
can't use external flash
very small sensor size (1/2.3")
doesn't have RAW support

Panasonic SZ1 Street photography information

Getting a nice score of 63, the Panasonic SZ1 is a fine fit for street photography. A good street photography camera comes with a good balance of image quality and portability.

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has image stabilization (Optical)
lighter than competitors (131 grams)
screen is fixed
tiny sensor (1/2.3")
no RAW format

Panasonic SZ1 Sports photography information

A low sports photography points total of 40 indicates the Panasonic SZ1 is just not very good for shooting sports. A camera should have good tracking and fast shutter speeds for sports photography.

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has image stabilization (Optical)
decent megapixels (16 megapixels)
provides tracking focus
continuous shooting slow (1.0 frames/s)
lack of shutter priority mode
tiny sensor (1/2.3")
does not have phase detect AF

Panasonic SZ1 Travel photography factors

Size is extremely critical when selecting a travel camera. All things considered, the Panasonic SZ1 gets a above average 70 as a travel camera which is a fine option to purchase for your travels.

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lighter than competitors in class (131g)
megapixel count good (16MP)
flash built-in
relatively wide (25mm)
long zoom (250mm)
doesn't have Time Lapse recording
display isn't selfie friendly
somewhat slow max aperture (f3.1)

Panasonic SZ1 Landscape photography features

If you are looking to choose a digital camera for landscape photography, the most essential factor will no doubt be image quality. The Panasonic SZ1 with it's low grade of 43 as a landscape camera is just not very good amongst it's competition.

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pretty wide (25mm)
screen is a decent size (3 inch)
image stabilization (Optical)
decent megapixels (16MP)
lack of manual focus
cannot switch lenses (fixed lens mount)
slow maximum aperture (f3.1)
lack of manual exposure
sensor is small (1/2.3")
does not have RAW support
does not have Timelapse mode

Panasonic SZ1 Vlogging info

A vlogging camera ought to offer a moving screen, mic input and if possible image stabilization. Taking everything in to account, the Panasonic SZ1 is just not very good as a vlog camera as it gets a low rating of 32.

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pretty wide (25mm)
image stabilization (Optical)
supports face detection autofocus
lighter than competition (131 grams)
sluggish max aperture (f3.1)
screen is not selfie friendly
video res low (1280 x 720 pxls)
no external mic socket

Panasonic SZ1 Alternatives

If you are in the market for replacements to the SZ1, below is a number of the top ranked cameras that fall in to the family of Small Sensor Compact.

The diagram underneath will give you a summary of the SZ1 versus it's highest ranking competitors suggested earlier.

These are various other cameras you may look at as alternate options. To look at a complete comparison, just click on the "compare" link.

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General Information
Model type
Panasonic Lumix DMC-SZ1
Small Sensor Compact
Physical type
Sensor Information
Sensor type
Sensor size
Sensor measurements
6.08 x 4.56mm
Sensor surface area
Sensor resolution
Anti alias filter
Aspect ratio
1:1, 4:3, 3:2 and 16:9
Maximum resolution
4608 x 3456
RAW data
Maximum native ISO
Min native ISO
Manual focusing
Autofocus touch
Continuous autofocus
Autofocus single
Autofocus tracking
Selective autofocus
Autofocus center weighted
Autofocus multi area
Autofocus live view
Face detection autofocus
Contract detection autofocus
Phase detection autofocus
Total focus points
Lens mount type
fixed lens
Lens zoom range
25-250mm (10.0x)
Max aperture
Macro focusing distance
Crop factor
Type of screen
Fixed Type
Screen size
3 inch
Screen resolution
230 thousand dots
Selfie friendly
Touch operation
Screen tech
Viewfinder Information
Viewfinder type
DXO scores
DXO All around rating
not tested
DXO Color Depth rating
not tested
DXO Dynamic range rating
not tested
DXO Low light rating
not tested
Slowest shutter speed
Maximum shutter speed
Continuous shooting rate
1.0 frames/s
Shutter priority
Aperture priority
Expose Manually
Set white balance
Image stabilization
Built-in flash
Flash distance
5.60 m
Flash options
Auto, On, Off, Red-Eye reduction
Hot shoe
AE bracketing
WB bracketing
Multisegment metering
Average metering
Spot metering
Partial metering
AF area metering
Center weighted metering
Video features
Supported video resolutions
1280 x 720 (30 fps), 640 x 480 (30 fps)
Maximum video resolution
Video format
Microphone support
Headphone support
USB 2.0 (480 Mbit/sec)
Environment sealing
Water proofing
Dust proofing
Shock proofing
Crush proofing
Freeze proofing
131g (0.29 lbs)
99 x 59 x 21mm (3.9" x 2.3" x 0.8")
Battery life
250 images
Form of battery
Battery Pack
Self timer
Yes (2 or 10 sec)
Time lapse feature
Storage type
SD/SDHC/SDXC, Internal
Card slots
Cost at launch