Panasonic SZ3

Panasonic Lumix DMC-SZ3 front
  • 16MP - 1/2.3" Sensor
  • 2.7" Fixed Display
  • ISO 100 - 6400
  • Optical Image Stabilization
  • 1280 x 720 video
  • 25-250mm (F3.1-5.9) lens
  • 126g - 95 x 56 x 22mm
  • Introduced January 2013
  • Read full specs
  • Alternatives
  • Size Comparison
  • FAQ

Panasonic SZ3 summary

Panasonic SZ3 is Panasonic's Small Sensor Compact camera first launched on January of 2013. The camera has a 16MP, CCD 1/2.3" sized sensor and has a max resolution of 4608 x 3456.

The SZ3 is placed #87 out of 261 in Small Sensor Compact cameras and overall #907 out of 1465 for digital cameras in our list. You should use our Advanced camera filter to see camera results based on your personal factors.

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Below is a graph of multiple factors used in the rating system.

Panasonic SZ3 family

The Panasonic SZ3 is part of a family of digital cameras. You can view the complete range underneath.

ModelVisualizeLensResolutionSensor SizeReleased
Panasonic-Lumix-DMC-SZ10 front thumbnailPanasonic SZ10
SZ3 vs SZ10
Panasonic-Lumix-DMC-SZ8 front thumbnailPanasonic SZ8
SZ3 vs SZ8
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Panasonic-Lumix-DMC-SZ3 front thumbnailPanasonic SZ325-250mm
Panasonic-Lumix-DMC-SZ5 front thumbnailPanasonic SZ5
SZ3 vs SZ5
Panasonic-Lumix-DMC-SZ7 front thumbnailPanasonic SZ7
SZ3 vs SZ7
Panasonic-Lumix-DMC-S2 front thumbnailPanasonic S2
SZ3 vs S2
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Panasonic-Lumix-DMC-SZ1 front thumbnailPanasonic SZ1
SZ3 vs SZ1
Panasonic-Lumix-DMC-S1 front thumbnailPanasonic S1
SZ3 vs S1
Panasonic-Lumix-DMC-S3 front thumbnailPanasonic S3
SZ3 vs S3

Panasonic SZ3 Pros and Cons

Below is a selection of good and bad points of the Panasonic SZ3 based on features which are generally considered important in a camera.

fairly wide (25mm)
flash built-in
good megapixels (16MP)
good zoom range (25-250mm 10.0 x zoom)
great minimum ISO (100)
great zoom (250mm)
has image stabilization (Optical)
has tracking focus
lighter than others in class (126g)
can't use external flash
does not have a selfie friendly display
does not have phase detect autofocus
does not have RAW files
fixed lens (fixed lens mount)
lack of manual focus
lack of shutter priority mode
manual exposure not possible
no aperture priority
no HDMI out
no headphone support
no mic support
no Time Lapse function
pixelated screen (230 thousand dots)
screen is fixed
screen is somewhat small (2.7 inches)
sensor is small (1/2.3")
slow at full zoom (f5.9)
slow max aperture (f3.1)
very slow continuous shooting (1.0 fps)
video quality not great (1280 x 720 resolution)
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Panasonic SZ3 Sensor details

The sensor spec in the Panasonic SZ3 is 6.08mm x 4.56mm (1/2.3"). The 28 mm² sensor can capture 4608 x 3456 pixels . The camera has got Image Stabilization (Optical). Optical stabilization is superior than digital stabilization as the latter may cause cropping.

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The CCD sensor boasts 16MP and has a native ISO range of 100 - 6400. Unfortunately, RAW format is not saved which means that the user has less room to maneuver in post.

The image underneath shows the SZ3's sensor dimensions when compared to other common sizes. The SZ3 sensor comes with a crop factor of 5.9 and is pointed out in green.

Panasonic Lumix DMC-SZ3 sensor size Sony Japan Introduces 5G Transmitter for Alpha Cameras

To get a sense of different aspect ratios, you should refer to the visual below.

Camera sensor aspect ratios

Panasonic SZ3 dimensions

Panasonic SZ3 is 0.28 lbs (126g / 4.44 oz) and features outside proportions of 95mm x 56mm x 22mm (3.7" x 2.2" x 0.9"). The weight of typical Small Sensor Compact camera is 174g so the Panasonic SZ3 is less heavy when compared with its competitors.

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Underneath is a image of the Panasonic SZ3 alongside a softdrink to help you to have a sense of its scale.

Panasonic Lumix DMC-SZ3 dimensions scale

The top view just below will show you the button layout on the SZ3.

Panasonic Lumix DMC-SZ3 topview buttons dials

Panasonic SZ3 Lens specs

The SZ3 has an inbuilt lens providing a focal range of 25-250mm making it a 10.0 x zoom which is not at all exceptional nevertheless it would certainly be invaluable in a few cases.

At the widest 25mm, the lens provides an aperture of f3.1 making it very slow and not good in low light occasions and you will likely find it hard to capture a shallow depth of field. You might also need to boost the ISO which causes noisy files. With the tele end, 250mm is incredible zoom and comes at f5.9 which is really slow and you will need to use slow shutter speeds.

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Panasonic SZ3 Connectivity

The SZ3 has the following connectivity:

  • USB Yes

Digital cameras that incorporate NFC or Bluetooth connectivity are able to be controlled wirelessly via smartphones. You can easily transfer photos and oftentimes alter camera settings without connecting straight to the camera.

Several applications even give a Liveview and hit the shutter whenever you are not near the camera. If the camera provides a HDMI out, it can easily be connected to an external monitor. Almost all cameras enable you to recharge the battery pack through the USB socket.

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Panasonic SZ3 Video specs

The max video quality in the Panasonic SZ3 is 1280 x 720 and it can capture in Motion JPEG format. 720p is awful by today's requirements. You really should shoot for at least 1080p quality for video recording. The camera does not have a mic or headphone socket which means you have got no control over your audio. It is perhaps best to take a look at a different model in case you need good audio in your video clips.

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Panasonic SZ3 Weather Sealing

Panasonic SZ3 does not include environment sealing so damp conditions can easily affect the camera.

Panasonic SZ3 Display and Viewfinder

The Panasonic SZ3 has a 2.7 inch fixed display boasting a resolution of 230 thousand dots.

Unfortunately the display is not a touch screen.

Panasonic Lumix DMC-SZ3 screen and viewfinder Playful Manatee Swipes Diver’s GoPro to Capture Hilariously Wobbly Video

The ViewFinder details regarding Panasonic SZ3 are below:

  • ViewFinder None

Viewfinders are pretty useful during sunny outdoor conditions which will make the camera display washed out and difficult to view.

Panasonic SZ3 Shutter specs

Panasonic SZ3 continuous shooting rate is 1.0 fps. The maximum shutter speed is 1/1600 sec.

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Panasonic SZ3 Flash and Hot shoe specs

Panasonic SZ3 has got only integrated flash lacking external flash support.

Panasonic SZ3 Autofocus specs

Panasonic SZ3 has got just Contrast Detect Auto Focus and is missing Phase Detect Auto Focus. Phase Detection focusing is a lot faster & accurate when compared with Contrast Detect focusing.

It has 23 focus points to choose from. It also includes Tracking Auto Focus for moving things. Panasonic SZ3 lacks manual focus. Manual focus mode is useful during low light or you need to have more accurate focus control.

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Panasonic SZ3 Battery life

The battery pack on the Panasonic SZ3 is made to last for 250 images based on the CIPA measurements which is comparable with its competition. The usual Small Sensor Compact camera battery life is 241. Fujifilm X30 features the maximum (470) battery life within this type of cameras.

Following is a number of Small Sensor Compact cameras having the best battery life:

Panasonic SZ3 for specific forms of photography

The following chart presents a summary of the Panasonic SZ3 for specific forms of photography. To check out more, check out the specific section underneath.

Panasonic SZ3 Portrait photography information

The Panasonic SZ3 has a points total of 30 which is awful, meaning that it is not suitable for portrait images. Shooting portrait images favors heavily to sensor specs, RAW support along with the ability to work with off-camera flash.

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megapixel count decent (16 megapixels)
lack of manual focus
lack of manual mode
no external flash support
tiny sensor (1/2.3")
no RAW support

Panasonic SZ3 Street photography factors

Coming in at a nice score of 64, the Panasonic SZ3 is a good pick for street photography. A good street photography camera has a good balance of image quality plus portability.

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image stabilization (Optical)
lighter than competition in class (126g)
fixed screen
very small sensor size (1/2.3")
has no RAW format

Panasonic SZ3 Sports photography highlights

A awful sports photography score of 41 suggests the Panasonic SZ3 is not suitable for taking pictures of sports. A camera really should have fantastic autofocus plus fast continuous shooting for sports photography.

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image stabilization (Optical)
decent sensor resolution (16 megapixels)
supports tracking focus
very slow continuous shooting (1.0 fps)
no shutter priority
tiny sensor size (1/2.3")
lack of phase detect autofocus

Panasonic SZ3 Travel photography information

Portability is really crucial when picking a travel camera. In general, the Panasonic SZ3 gets a above average 71 as a travel camera which is a good choice to take with you on your journeys.

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lighter than competitors in class (126g)
sensor resolution is decent (16 megapixels)
flash built-in
really wide (25mm)
great zoom (250mm)
missing Time Lapse function
screen isn't selfie friendly
slow maximum aperture (f3.1)

Panasonic SZ3 Landscape photography details

If you're looking to purchase a camera for landscape photos, the biggest aspect will be image quality. The Panasonic SZ3 at it's awful score of 39 for a landscape camera is not suitable in the current market.

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decently wide (25mm)
has image stabilization (Optical)
MP count good (16MP)
manual focus not available
fixed lens (fixed lens mount)
slow maximum aperture (f3.1)
tiny screen (2.7 inches)
manual exposure not available
sensor size is very small (1/2.3")
has no RAW files
missing Timelapse function

Vlogging with Panasonic SZ3

A vlogging camera preferably should posses a articulating screen, mic input and preferably IBIS. Considering everything, the Panasonic SZ3 is not suitable as a vlog camera as it delivers a awful score of 31.

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relatively wide (25mm)
image stabilization (Optical)
lighter than competitors (126 grams)
somewhat slow max aperture (f3.1)
doesn't posses selfie friendly display
video resolution low (1280 x 720 pixels)
no external mic support

Panasonic SZ3 Alternatives

If you are looking for replacements to the SZ3, below is a range of the highest ranked cameras that fall within the class of Small Sensor Compact.

The chart underneath gives you a summary of the SZ3 vs it's highest scoring competitors shown earlier.

Following are additional cameras you may take into account as alternatives. To read through a complete comparison, just click on the "compare" link.

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General Information
Panasonic Lumix DMC-SZ3
Small Sensor Compact
Physical type
Sensor Information
Sensor type
Sensor size
Sensor dimensions
6.08 x 4.56mm
Sensor area
Sensor resolution
16 megapixel
Anti aliasing filter
Highest Possible resolution
4608 x 3456
RAW pictures
Maximum native ISO
Min native ISO
Manual focus
Touch to focus
Autofocus continuous
Single autofocus
Tracking autofocus
Selective autofocus
Center weighted autofocus
Multi area autofocus
Autofocus live view
Face detect focus
Contract detect focus
Phase detect focus
Number of focus points
Lens mounting type
fixed lens
Lens focal range
25-250mm (10.0x)
Highest aperture
Macro focus distance
Focal length multiplier
Display type
Fixed Type
Display diagonal
2.7 inches
Display resolution
230 thousand dots
Selfie friendly
Touch display
Display technology
Viewfinder Information
Viewfinder type
DXO scores
DXO Overall score
not tested
DXO Color Depth score
not tested
DXO Dynamic range score
not tested
DXO Low light score
not tested
Min shutter speed
Max shutter speed
Continuous shutter rate
Shutter priority
Aperture priority
Manually set exposure
Custom white balance
Image stabilization
Integrated flash
Flash range
4.10 m
Flash settings
Auto, On, Off, Red-eye, Slow Syncro
External flash
Auto exposure bracketing
White balance bracketing
Multisegment metering
Average metering
Spot metering
Partial metering
AF area metering
Center weighted metering
Video features
Video resolutions
1280 x 720 (30 fps), 640 x 480 (30 fps)
Maximum video resolution
Video data format
Motion JPEG
Mic support
Headphone support
USB 2.0 (480 Mbit/sec)
Environmental sealing
Water proof
Dust proof
Shock proof
Crush proof
Freeze proof
126g (0.28 lb)
95 x 56 x 22mm (3.7" x 2.2" x 0.9")
Battery life
250 photos
Type of battery
Battery Pack
Self timer
Yes (2 or 10 sec)
Time lapse recording
Type of storage
SD/SDHC/SDXC, Internal
Card slots
Retail price