Panasonic ZS3

Panasonic Lumix DMC-ZS3 front
  • 10MP - 1/2.3" Sensor
  • 3" Fixed Display
  • ISO 80 - 6400
  • Optical Image Stabilization
  • 1280 x 720 video
  • 25-300mm (F3.3-4.9) lens
  • 229g - 103 x 60 x 33mm
  • Released May 2009
  • Alternative Name is Lumix DMC-TZ7
  • Read full specs
  • Alternatives
  • Size Comparison
  • FAQ

Panasonic ZS3 overview

Panasonic ZS3 is Panasonic's Small Sensor Superzoom camera first announced on May of 2009. It uses a 10 MegaPixel, CCD 1/2.3" size sensor with a maximum resolution of 3648 x 2736. It is referred to as "Lumix DMC-TZ7" in other regions.

The ZS3 is placed #237 out of 244 in Small Sensor Superzoom cameras & all around #1091 out of 1465 for cameras in our database. Remember to try out our Smart camera filter to find camera rankings based on your customized factors.

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Here is a chart of multiple criteria used in the scoring system.

Panasonic ZS3 family

The Panasonic ZS3 is part of a family of cameras. You can see the detailed list underneath.

ModelVisualizeLensResolutionSensor SizeReleased
Panasonic-Lumix-DC-ZS80 front thumbnailPanasonic ZS80
ZS3 vs ZS80
Panasonic-Lumix-DMC-ZS70 front thumbnailPanasonic ZS70
ZS3 vs ZS70
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Panasonic-Lumix-DMC-ZS60 front thumbnailPanasonic ZS60
ZS3 vs ZS60
Panasonic-Lumix-DMC-ZS50 front thumbnailPanasonic ZS50
ZS3 vs ZS50
Panasonic-Lumix-DMC-ZS45 front thumbnailPanasonic ZS45
ZS3 vs ZS45
Panasonic-Lumix-DMC-ZS35 front thumbnailPanasonic ZS35
ZS3 vs ZS35
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Panasonic-Lumix-DMC-ZS40 front thumbnailPanasonic ZS40
ZS3 vs ZS40
Panasonic-Lumix-DMC-ZS30 front thumbnailPanasonic ZS30
ZS3 vs ZS30
Panasonic-Lumix-DMC-ZS25 front thumbnailPanasonic ZS25
ZS3 vs ZS25
Panasonic-Lumix-DMC-ZS15 front thumbnailPanasonic ZS15
ZS3 vs ZS15
Panasonic-Lumix-DMC-ZS20 front thumbnailPanasonic ZS20
ZS3 vs ZS20
Apple Innovates by Creating Next-Level Optical Stabilization for iPhone
Panasonic-Lumix-DMC-ZS8 front thumbnailPanasonic ZS8
ZS3 vs ZS8
Panasonic-Lumix-DMC-ZS7 front thumbnailPanasonic ZS7
ZS3 vs ZS7
Panasonic-Lumix-DMC-ZS10 front thumbnailPanasonic ZS10
ZS3 vs ZS10
Panasonic-Lumix-DMC-ZS5 front thumbnailPanasonic ZS5
ZS3 vs ZS5
Panasonic-Lumix-DMC-ZR3 front thumbnailPanasonic ZR3
ZS3 vs ZR3
Panasonic-Lumix-DMC-ZR1 front thumbnailPanasonic ZR1
ZS3 vs ZR1
Panasonic-Lumix-DMC-ZS3 front thumbnailPanasonic ZS325-300mm

Panasonic ZS3 Pros and Cons

Here is a selection of positives and negatives of the Panasonic ZS3 based on things which are generally viewed as essential in a camera.

does have HDMI port
fairly wide (25mm)
has built in flash
has image stabilization (Optical)
in built zoom lens (25-300mm 12.0 x zoom)
lighter than competitors in class (229 grams)
screen is a good size (3 inch)
very good min ISO (80)
very long zoom (300mm)
cannot change lens (fixed lens mount)
display isn't selfie friendly
doesn't have phase detect autofocus
doesn't have RAW files
lack of headphone port
lack of manual focus
lack of manual mode
lack of microphone port
lack of shutter priority mode
lack of Timelapse function
low resolution screen (460 k dot)
max zoom aperture not good (f4.9)
no aperture priority mode
no external flash support
no moving screen
resolution not great (10MP)
slow continuous shooting (2.0 fps)
sluggish maximum aperture (f3.3)
tiny sensor size (1/2.3")
video res low (1280 x 720 pixels)
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Panasonic ZS3 Sensor specs

The sensor measurement on the Panasonic ZS3 is 6.08mm x 4.56mm (1/2.3"). The 28 mm² sensor has the ability to resolve 3648 x 2736 pixels using aspect ratios of 4:3, 3:2 and 16:9. The camera has Image Stabilization (Optical). In body stabilization is better than digital stabilization since the latter might produce cropping.

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The CCD sensor has 10MP and supports a native ISO range of 80 to 6400. Sadly, RAW format is not saved so you have less room to maneuver in post.

The picture underneath shows the ZS3's sensor size in comparison to other common sizes. The ZS3 sensor has a crop factor of 5.9 and is presented in green.

Panasonic Lumix DMC-ZS3 sensor size Photography Glossary

To get an idea of various aspect ratios, you can refer to the visual below.

Camera sensor aspect ratios

Panasonic ZS3 dimensions

Panasonic ZS3 weighs about 0.50 lb (229g or 8.08 oz) & has exterior size of 103mm x 60mm x 33mm (4.1" x 2.4" x 1.3"). The weight of normal Small Sensor Superzoom camera is 387g and the Panasonic ZS3 is lighter as compared to its competitors.

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Here is a shot of the Panasonic ZS3 next to a soda to help you get a feel for its size.

Panasonic Lumix DMC-ZS3 dimensions scale

The top view just below will provide the button arrangement on the ZS3.

Panasonic Lumix DMC-ZS3 topview buttons dials

Panasonic ZS3 Lens details

The ZS3 comes with a fixed lens offering a focal range of 25-300mm making it a 12.0 x zoom which is not at all very good but it will probably be valuable in a few scenarios.

At it's widest 25mm, it has an aperture of f3.3 and that is very sluggish and not the best for low light occasions and you will find it hard to get good bokeh. You might also have to increase your ISO setting which causes noisy pictures. For the long end, 300mm is exceptional zoom and comes at f4.9 making it fairly sluggish and you would have to set slow shutter speeds.

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Panasonic ZS3 Connectivity

The ZS3 has the following connectivity:

  • USB Yes
  • HDMI Yes

Cameras that feature NFC and / or Bluetooth support can easily be used wirelessly through smartphones. You can easily send photos and oftentimes change camera settings without connecting physically with the camera.

Some apps also allow a Liveview and click the shutter when you aren't close to the camera. If the camera provides a HDMI port, it could be connected to an external monitor. Virtually all cameras enable you to charge the battery through the USB socket.

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Panasonic ZS3 Video details

The maximum video resolution on the Panasonic ZS3 is 1280 x 720 and you can record in AVCHD Lite format. 720p is awful for today's standards. You really should try to get at least 1080p resolution for video recording. The body doesn't feature a microphone and / or headphone socket so you get absolutely no control over the audio. It is probably a better idea to look at another model should you require good audio for your video clips.

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Panasonic ZS3 Weather Sealing

There is no weather proofing for the Panasonic ZS3 so you have to be cautious in wet and dusty situations.

Panasonic ZS3 Display and Viewfinder

The Panasonic ZS3 houses a 3" fixed display having a resolution of 460k dots.

Please be aware that the display screen has no touch support.

Panasonic Lumix DMC-ZS3 screen and viewfinder Snapchat Adds Watermarks to AI-Created Images

The View Finder specs for Panasonic ZS3 are as follows:

  • ViewFinder None

For sunny outdoor situations that make the camera screens washed out and challenging to see, viewfinders can be particularly useful.

Panasonic ZS3 Shutter details

Panasonic ZS3 has the ability to shoot continuously at 2.0 fps. The max shutter speed is 1/2000 seconds.

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Panasonic ZS3 Flash and Hot shoe details

Panasonic ZS3 has just integrated flash lacking external flash ability.

Panasonic ZS3 Autofocus details

Panasonic ZS3 has only Contrast Detect Auto Focus & is missing Phase Detect Auto Focus. Phase Detection autofocusing is a lot more faster and accurate as compared to Contrast Detect autofocusing.

The AF system boasts 11 focus points to pick from. Panasonic ZS3 does not have manual focus. Manual focus option can be good in low light or you require more accurate depth of field control.

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Panasonic ZS3 Battery life

The general Small Sensor Superzoom camera battery life is 316. Fujifilm HS35EXR has got the highest possible (600) battery life in this class of cameras.

Underneath is a list of Small Sensor Superzoom cameras with the best battery life:

Panasonic ZS3 for specific types of photography

The following illustration presents a analysis of the Panasonic ZS3 for specific types of photography. To understand more, check out the specific section underneath.

Panasonic ZS3 Portrait photography information

The Panasonic ZS3 gets a rating of 19 which is low, and means the camera is simply not good to use for portraits. Photographing portrait photos leans greatly towards sensor dimensions, RAW support in addition to the ability to use external flash.

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lack of manual focus
no manual mode
can't use external flash
megapixel count low (10 megapixels)
sensor is small (1/2.3")
no RAW format

Panasonic ZS3 Street photography info

Coming in at a moderate score of 60, the Panasonic ZS3 is reasonably adequate for street photography. A decent street photography camera provides a perfect balance of image quality and portability.

Photography Glossary
has image stabilization (Optical)
lighter than competitors (229g)
fixed screen
very small sensor size (1/2.3")
lack of RAW files

Panasonic ZS3 Sports photography highlights

A low sports photography points tally of 24 means the Panasonic ZS3 is simply not good for taking photos of sports. A camera needs to have very good tracking plus shutter speeds for sports photography.

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built in image stabilization (Optical)
painfully slow continuous shooting (2.0 frames per second)
no shutter priority mode
low megapixels (10 megapixels)
sensor size is small (1/2.3")
doesn't have phase detect auto focus

Panasonic ZS3 Travel photography highlights

Portability is really crucial when buying a travel camera. On the whole, the Panasonic ZS3 gets a above average 63 as a travelling camera which is a good pick to purchase for your trips.

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lighter than competition in class (229 grams)
has built in flash
rather wide (25mm)
long zoom (300mm)
does not have Timelapse function
low resolution sensor (10 megapixels)
doesn't have selfie friendly screen
somewhat slow max aperture (f3.3)

Landscape photography with Panasonic ZS3

If you're looking to buy a digital camera for landscape photos, the most essential factor will no doubt be image quality. The Panasonic ZS3 at it's low grade of 35 for a landscape camera is simply not good in the current marketplace.

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really wide (25mm)
decent sized screen (3")
has image stabilization (Optical)
manual focus not available
fixed lens (fixed lens mount)
sluggish max aperture (f3.3)
lack of manual exposure
megapixel count low (10MP)
sensor size is small (1/2.3")
lack of RAW format
no Timelapse function

Panasonic ZS3 Vlogging highlights

A camera for vlogging ought to posses a moving screen, mic input and ideally IBIS. Taking all things in to account, the Panasonic ZS3 is simply not good for vlogging as it delivers a low rating of 30.

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really wide (25mm)
has image stabilization (Optical)
lighter than competitors (229 grams)
somewhat slow max aperture (f3.3)
screen is not selfie friendly
low quality video (1280 x 720 pxls)
does not have microphone support

Panasonic ZS3 Alternatives

If you are interested in alternatives to the ZS3, below is a collection of the top placed cameras that fall within the family of Small Sensor Superzoom.

The graph below provides you a bird's eye view of the ZS3 compared to it's highest ranked competitors listed previously.

Following are additional cameras you may consider as alternatives. To read through a comprehensive comparison, visit the "compare" link.

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General Information
Brand Name
Panasonic Lumix DMC-ZS3
Also referred to as
Lumix DMC-TZ7
Small Sensor Superzoom
Body design
Sensor Information
Sensor type
Sensor size
Sensor measurements
6.08 x 4.56mm
Sensor surface area
Sensor resolution
Anti aliasing filter
Aspect ratio
4:3, 3:2 and 16:9
Highest resolution
3648 x 2736
RAW images
Highest native ISO
Lowest native ISO
Focus manually
AF touch
AF continuous
Single AF
AF tracking
AF selectice
Center weighted AF
Multi area AF
Live view AF
Face detect AF
Contract detect AF
Phase detect AF
Number of focus points
Lens mounting type
fixed lens
Lens focal range
25-300mm (12.0x)
Maximal aperture
Macro focus range
Focal length multiplier
Range of display
Fixed Type
Display sizing
3 inch
Display resolution
460k dot
Selfie friendly
Touch functionality
Viewfinder Information
Viewfinder type
DXO scores
DXO All around score
not tested
DXO Color Depth score
not tested
DXO Dynamic range score
not tested
DXO Low light score
not tested
Slowest shutter speed
60 seconds
Maximum shutter speed
1/2000 seconds
Continuous shooting speed
Shutter priority
Aperture priority
Manually set exposure
Custom WB
Image stabilization
Integrated flash
Flash range
5.30 m (Auto ISO)
Flash modes
Auto, On, Off, Red-Eye reduction, Slow Sync
Hot shoe
AE bracketing
WB bracketing
Multisegment exposure
Average exposure
Spot exposure
Partial exposure
AF area exposure
Center weighted exposure
Video features
Video resolutions
1280 x 720 (30 fps), 848 x 480 (30 fps), 640 x 480 (30 fps), 320 x 240 (30 fps)
Highest video resolution
Video data format
Microphone jack
Headphone jack
USB 2.0 (480 Mbit/sec)
Environmental seal
Water proof
Dust proof
Shock proof
Crush proof
Freeze proof
229g (0.50 lbs)
103 x 60 x 33mm (4.1" x 2.4" x 1.3")
Self timer
Yes (2 or 10 sec)
Time lapse shooting
Type of storage
SD/MMC/SDHC card, Internal
Storage slots
Cost at launch