Panasonic ZS20

Panasonic Lumix DMC-ZS20 front
  • 14MP - 1/2.3" Sensor
  • 3" Fixed Display
  • ISO 100 - 6400
  • Optical Image Stabilization
  • 1920 x 1080 video
  • 24-480mm (F3.3-6.4) lens
  • 206g - 105 x 59 x 28mm
  • Announced April 2012
  • Additionally Known as Lumix DMC-TZ30
  • Earlier Model is Panasonic ZS15
  • Replacement is Panasonic ZS25
  • Read full specs
  • Alternatives
  • Size Comparison
  • FAQ

Panasonic ZS20 summary

Panasonic ZS20 is Panasonic's Small Sensor Superzoom camera originally launched on April of 2012. The camera houses a 14MP, CMOS 1/2.3" sized sensor and has a max resolution of 4320 x 3240. It is also known as "Lumix DMC-TZ30" in some countries.

Panasonic released this camera to update the earlier Panasonic ZS15 (Read Full Comparison) and then brought out the more recent Panasonic ZS25 (Read Full Comparison) in an effort to replace this camera.

The ZS20 is positioned #121 out of 244 in Small Sensor Superzoom cameras and overall #666 out of 1465 for digital cameras in our list. You should test our Smart camera filter to find camera rankings based on your personalized requirements.

Photography Glossary

Here is a graph of various factors used in the rating system.

Panasonic ZS20 family

The Panasonic ZS20 comes with a history of related digital cameras. Down below, you can view all previous and brand new models alongside main specs.

ModelVisualizeLensResolutionSensor SizeReleased
Panasonic-Lumix-DC-ZS80 front thumbnailPanasonic ZS80
ZS20 vs ZS80
Panasonic-Lumix-DMC-ZS70 front thumbnailPanasonic ZS70
ZS20 vs ZS70
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Panasonic-Lumix-DMC-ZS60 front thumbnailPanasonic ZS60
ZS20 vs ZS60
Panasonic-Lumix-DMC-ZS45 front thumbnailPanasonic ZS45
ZS20 vs ZS45
Panasonic-Lumix-DMC-ZS50 front thumbnailPanasonic ZS50
ZS20 vs ZS50
Panasonic-Lumix-DMC-ZS35 front thumbnailPanasonic ZS35
ZS20 vs ZS35
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Panasonic-Lumix-DMC-ZS40 front thumbnailPanasonic ZS40
ZS20 vs ZS40
Panasonic-Lumix-DMC-ZS25 front thumbnailPanasonic ZS25
ZS20 vs ZS25
Panasonic-Lumix-DMC-ZS30 front thumbnailPanasonic ZS30
ZS20 vs ZS30
Panasonic-Lumix-DMC-ZS15 front thumbnailPanasonic ZS15
ZS20 vs ZS15
Panasonic-Lumix-DMC-ZS20 front thumbnailPanasonic ZS2024-480mm
Apple Innovates by Creating Next-Level Optical Stabilization for iPhone
Panasonic-Lumix-DMC-ZS8 front thumbnailPanasonic ZS8
ZS20 vs ZS8
Panasonic-Lumix-DMC-ZS7 front thumbnailPanasonic ZS7
ZS20 vs ZS7
Panasonic-Lumix-DMC-ZS10 front thumbnailPanasonic ZS10
ZS20 vs ZS10
Panasonic-Lumix-DMC-ZS5 front thumbnailPanasonic ZS5
ZS20 vs ZS5
Panasonic-Lumix-DMC-ZR3 front thumbnailPanasonic ZR3
ZS20 vs ZR3
Panasonic-Lumix-DMC-ZR1 front thumbnailPanasonic ZR1
ZS20 vs ZR1
Panasonic-Lumix-DMC-ZS3 front thumbnailPanasonic ZS3
ZS20 vs ZS3

Panasonic ZS20 Pros and Cons

Below is a shortlist of pluses and minuses of the Panasonic ZS20 based on criterias that are normally considered useful in a camera.

comes with HDMI out
features focus via touch
flash built-in
great minimum ISO (100)
has image stabilization (Optical)
incredible zoom range (24-480mm 20.0 x zoom)
lighter than average in class (206g)
megapixel count good (14 megapixels)
provides tracking autofocus
relatively wide (24mm)
screen is a good size (3 inch)
touchscreen functionality
very long reach (480mm)
video resolution high (1920 x 1080 resolution)
bad battery pack (260 CIPA)
can't change lens (fixed lens mount)
cannot use external flash
display is not selfie friendly
has no phase detect auto focus
has no RAW support
lack of external mic support
lack of headphone support
lack of manual focus
lack of Time Lapse mode
low resolution screen (460 thousand dots)
no articulating screen
slow at tele end (f6.4)
slow max aperture (f3.3)
tiny sensor (1/2.3")
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Panasonic ZS20 Sensor details

The measurement of the sensor on the Panasonic ZS20 is 6.08mm x 4.56mm (1/2.3"). The 28 mm² sensor has the capability to capture 4320 x 3240 pixels at aspect ratios of 1:1, 4:3, 3:2 and 16:9. The camera includes Image Stabilization (Optical). Sensor stabilization is more desirable than digital stabilization since the latter can easily lead to cropping.

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The CMOS sensor boasts 14 megapixels and delivers a native ISO range of 100 to 6400. Sadly, RAW format is not supported therefore you have less room to maneuver in post.

The graphic below illustrates the ZS20's sensor dimensions compared to other common sizes. The ZS20 sensor comes with a crop factor of 5.9 and is outlined in green.

Panasonic Lumix DMC-ZS20 sensor size Japan-exclusive Leica Leitz Phone 3 features big sensor and new modes

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

Camera sensor aspect ratios

Panasonic ZS20 dimensions

Panasonic ZS20 weighs about 0.45 lb (206 gr / 7.27 oz) and the over all size of the camera is 105mm x 59mm x 28mm (4.1" x 2.3" x 1.1"). The weight of typical Small Sensor Superzoom camera is 387 gr and the Panasonic ZS20 is less heavy compared with its rivals.

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Listed below is a pic of the Panasonic ZS20 next to a softdrink so you're able to have a feel for its scale.

Panasonic Lumix DMC-ZS20 dimensions scale

The top view below will show the button design on the ZS20.

Panasonic Lumix DMC-ZS20 topview buttons dials

Panasonic ZS20 Lens specs

The ZS20 provides a built in lens and a focal range of 24-480mm making it a 20.0 x zoom which is ideal and is going to enable you to zoom right in.

At the widest 24mm, it offers an aperture of f3.3 making it kind of slow and not very good in low light events and you will likely struggle to capture a shallow depth of field. You will also need to increase the ISO which causes noisy files. With the tele end, 480mm is amazing zoom and comes with f6.4 making it very sluggish and you may need to apply slow shutter speeds.

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Panasonic ZS20 Connectivity

The ZS20 has the following connectivity:

  • USB Yes
  • HDMI Yes
  • GPS Yes

Digital cameras that come with NFC and / or Bluetooth support can easily be controlled wirelessly via smartphones. You can send pictures and oftentimes change camera settings without connecting directly to the camera.

Some applications even allow a Liveview and hit the shutter if you are not close to the camera. If the camera features a HDMI out, it could be attached to an external monitor. Nearly all cameras will allow you to charge the battery pack with the USB socket.

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Panasonic ZS20 Video specs

The max video quality on the Panasonic ZS20 is 1920 x 1080 and it can capture in MPEG-4 and AVCHD format. 1080p quality can provide a good balance between quality and file sizes but 1080p will not leave you with much room to crop. The camera does not have a mic and / or headphone socket which means that you get no control over your sound. It is probably a better idea to consider a different camera should you need better sound in your video clips.

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Panasonic ZS20 Weather Sealing

Panasonic ZS20 does not include environment proofing so rainy conditions might damage the camera.

Panasonic ZS20 Display and Viewfinder

The Panasonic ZS20 is equipped with a 3 inch fixed display boasting a resolution of 460 thousand dots.

Moreover the display is touch friendly which means you can easily shift focus point and adjust settings with your finger.

Panasonic Lumix DMC-ZS20 screen and viewfinder Photography Glossary

The ViewFinder specs regarding Panasonic ZS20 are below:

  • ViewFinder None

Viewfinders are very handy during bright outdoor conditions which might make the camera display washed out and difficult to view.

Panasonic ZS20 Shutter specs

Panasonic ZS20 has the capability to shoot continuously at 10.0 fps. The max shutter speed is 1/2000 sec.

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Panasonic ZS20 Flash and Hot shoe specs

Panasonic ZS20 includes only built-in flash with missing external flash support.

Panasonic ZS20 Autofocusing specs

Panasonic ZS20 includes just Contrast Based Autofocus and doesn't have Phase Detect Autofocus. Phase Detection autofocusing is more faster & precise compared with Contrast Based autofocusing.

It supports 23 focus points to pick from. Panasonic ZS20 has touch to focus. You are able to use your fingers to adjust focus points. It also comes with Tracking Autofocus for moving subjects. Panasonic ZS20 doesn't have manual focusing. Manual focusing mode can be useful during low light conditions or you need more precise focusing control.

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Panasonic ZS20 Battery life

The battery pack on the Panasonic ZS20 is designed to last for 260 pictures as per the CIPA measurements making it less as compared with its competition. The usual Small Sensor Superzoom camera battery life is 316. Fujifilm HS35EXR has got the maximum (600) battery life within this kind of cameras.

Following is a number of Small Sensor Superzoom cameras with the best battery life:

Panasonic ZS20 for various kinds of photography

The following chart indicates a outline of the Panasonic ZS20 for various kinds of photography. To read more, go to the specific paragraph below.

Panasonic ZS20 Portrait photography information

The Panasonic ZS20 has a score of 30 which is subpar, and means the camera is not really very good for portrait photos. Taking portraits leans greatly towards sensor size, support for RAW photos along with the flexibility to utilize external flash.

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good MP (14MP)
lack of manual focus
can't use external flash
very small sensor size (1/2.3")
doesn't have RAW support

Panasonic ZS20 Street photography features

Having a above average rating of 65, the Panasonic ZS20 is a fine fit for street photography. A good street photography camera comes with a good balance of picture quality and portability.

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image stabilization (Optical)
supports touch to focus
lighter than competitors (206g)
fixed screen
tiny sensor (1/2.3")
no RAW support

Panasonic ZS20 Sports photography details

A average sports photography points total of 47 indicates the Panasonic ZS20 is fairly acceptable for taking pictures of sports. A camera needs to have fantastic tracking plus fast continuous shooting for sports photography.

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amazing zoom range (24-480mm 20.0 x zoom)
image stabilization (Optical)
MP count decent (14 megapixels)
supports tracking autofocus
tiny sensor (1/2.3")
bad battery power (260 shots)
lacks phase detect autofocus

Panasonic ZS20 Travel photography info

Weight is pretty critical in buying a travel camera. Over-all, the Panasonic ZS20 gets a nice 68 for a travelling camera which makes it a fine choice for your vacations.

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lighter than average in class (206g)
provides touch focus
sensor resolution is decent (14MP)
has built in flash
really wide (24mm)
long zoom (480mm)
lack of Timelapse function
terrible battery (260 per charge)
doesn't have selfie friendly screen
somewhat slow maximum aperture (f3.3)

Panasonic ZS20 as a Landscape photography camera

For anybody who is looking to pick a digital camera for landscape photographs, the most significant factor is going to be image quality. The Panasonic ZS20 and it's subpar grade of 42 as a landscape camera is not really very good amongst its competitors.

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pretty wide (24mm)
screen is a decent size (3")
has image stabilization (Optical)
megapixel count decent (14 megapixels)
manual focus not available
fixed lens (fixed lens mount)
sluggish max aperture (f3.3)
sensor is tiny (1/2.3")
has no RAW files
not so great battery life (260 per charge)
doesn't have Timelapse mode

Panasonic ZS20 Vlogging info

A camera for vlogging should come with a articulating screen, mic port and ideally image stabilization. Considering everything, the Panasonic ZS20 is not really very good as a vlog camera as it comes to a subpar score of 34.

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decently wide (24mm)
has touchscreen
image stabilization (Optical)
high video quality (1920 x 1080 resolution)
lighter than competitors (206g)
somewhat slow max aperture (f3.3)
does not have selfie friendly display
doesn't have mic jack

Panasonic ZS20 Alternatives

If you are searching for replacements to the ZS20, here is a collection of the top placed cameras that fall under the class of Small Sensor Superzoom.

The graph listed below gives you an overview of the ZS20 versus it's highest rated rivals listed previously.

Here are a few more cameras you may regard as alternative options. To see a full comparison, click the "compare" link.

Photography Glossary


General Information
Model type
Panasonic Lumix DMC-ZS20
Also Known as
Lumix DMC-TZ30
Small Sensor Superzoom
Physical type
Sensor Information
Sensor type
Sensor size
Sensor dimensions
6.08 x 4.56mm
Sensor area
Sensor resolution
14 megapixel
Anti alias filter
Aspect ratio
1:1, 4:3, 3:2 and 16:9
Highest Possible resolution
4320 x 3240
RAW images
Maximum native ISO
Min native ISO
Focus manually
AF touch
AF continuous
AF single
Tracking AF
Selective AF
AF center weighted
Multi area AF
AF live view
Face detect focusing
Contract detect focusing
Phase detect focusing
Total focus points
Lens mount type
fixed lens
Lens zoom range
24-480mm (20.0x)
Highest aperture
Macro focusing range
Crop factor
Display type
Fixed Type
Display diagonal
3 inch
Resolution of display
460 thousand dots
Selfie friendly
Touch capability
Viewfinder Information
Viewfinder type
DXO scores
DXO Overall rating
not tested
DXO Color Depth rating
not tested
DXO Dynamic range rating
not tested
DXO Low light rating
not tested
Min shutter speed
15 secs
Max shutter speed
1/2000 secs
Continuous shutter rate
Shutter priority
Aperture priority
Manual mode
Exposure compensation
Set WB
Image stabilization
Built-in flash
Flash distance
6.40 m
Flash modes
Auto, On, Off, Red-eye, Slow Syncro
Hot shoe
WB bracketing
Multisegment metering
Average metering
Spot metering
Partial metering
AF area metering
Center weighted metering
Video features
Video resolutions
1920 x 1080 (60 fps), 1280 x 720 (60, 30 fps), 640 x 480 (30 fps), 320 x 240 (220 fps)
Maximum video resolution
Video data format
Mic support
Headphone support
USB 2.0 (480 Mbit/sec)
Environment sealing
Water proofing
Dust proofing
Shock proofing
Crush proofing
Freeze proofing
206 grams (0.45 pounds)
Physical dimensions
105 x 59 x 28mm (4.1" x 2.3" x 1.1")
Battery life
260 photographs
Type of battery
Battery Pack
Self timer
Yes (2 or 10 sec)
Time lapse shooting
Type of storage
SD/SDHC/SDXC, Internal
Card slots
Cost at release