Panasonic Lumix DMC-ZX1 Review

4.5
October 15, 2009 | Mark Goldstein |

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#1 Matt

Argh! This makes the decision process (between TZ7, SX200, etc) even harder. Thanks Panasonic!

And thanks for another fine review.

11:29 pm - Thursday, October 15, 2009

#2 morey

Well, I can make it a bit easier.  don’t bother with the SX200.
Although, you could consider the Fuji F70.  27-270mm in an even smaller package with great IQ and Fuji’s incredible dynamic range and good low light (high ISO) performance.
Downside- no HD video.

5:08 am - Friday, October 16, 2009

#3 Cesare

Frankly I do not consider the FujiF70EXR as a possible competitor of the ZX1. I own the TZ7 since April and at the end of August I bought the F70EXR because I was searching a smaller and lighter camera. Well , after many shots in comparison between the TZ7, F70 and also my F200 EXR I sold last week the F70EXR as the IQ is, in my opinion, very far from the TZ7 .
Obviously all depends from our needs and what we exactly mean as good IQ.

7:40 am - Friday, October 16, 2009

#4 sida   

Hello
Wow its really amazing.I like that attractive red color of digital camera.Now I have to think about to buy this panasonic camera.Thank you very much for sharing this with us.

10:47 am - Friday, October 16, 2009

#5 Tarek

Excellent low ISO performance, but the lens sharpness deteriorates a lot when at 200mm. Look at all the examples in the gallery. It reminds me of my S5IS end of the zoom, fuzzy and lacking detail. TZ7 lens is less compromised. F70exr has quite a perfect 40mm-270mm, but horrible wide angle.It’s thinner than ZR1 too. The reviewer when speaking about the HD video forgot that Panasonic improved the continuous focus fixing the most annoying TZ7 problem, slow focus catch-up when zooming. I’ve seen some ZR1 videos in the net, and they are better from that perspective. Waiting for ZR2, I picked F70exr to complement my LX3.

8:11 pm - Friday, October 16, 2009

#6 Mark

I’ve seen the ZX1 for £219.98 at panasoniclumixdigitalcameras.co.uk. Oh and the red does look good but saying that it looks good in blue too.

4:23 pm - Monday, November 2, 2009

#7 Sascha

I am very disappointed about this camera.I bought this camera to replace my old Sony P200. The image quality is worst than the 5 years old Sony. I cannot believe it. even with flash is noise, not to talk in normal situation! I would like to give it back directly, but it is not possible. Even the Panasonic TZ5 from my parents which is 2 years older, has less noise. I thought Panasonic did work on their noise problem (which they have already since entered the market) but- NO. Never again a Panasonic! I regret haven’t bought the Sony WX1!!!

4:00 am - Sunday, November 22, 2009

#8 Piero

Hi,
help me, ZX1 or TZ6?

11:08 am - Thursday, December 10, 2009

#9 Sascha

I already stated above! This is a bad cam! Poor picture Quality. I don’t know TZ6. My parents have TZ5 and its already much better than ZX1. So, hand off ZX1!!!!!!

12:36 pm - Thursday, December 10, 2009

#10 Max

I have no idea what has gone wrong with Sascha’s camera - I have been playing with this unit for the last 24 hours and am frankly astonished - I am getting fantastic pictures out of this thing.

Its interesting that the conclusion on this camera is that it is not as good for video as its larger brother - the TZ7. Whilst this is true in terms of the supporting hardware and software compression it is not true in terms of practical video taking. The new focus system simply kills the old one. I took several videos of people coming towards the camera and away from the camera to test the focusing and it coped FAR FAR better than the TZ7.

Initially I had planned to get the TZ7 - but as I have work arounds for the lack of HDMI this is my choice for now.

I can also confirm that the zoom is silent in video mode - even on my main stereo. A wind cut option would have been nice but I can live without it.

9:35 am - Saturday, December 19, 2009

#11 abna

I have had a sony p200 7mb camera for the past 3 yrs and wanted something with bigger zoom and more features.  I am dissapointed that pictures in low light/ internal pictures are not of the quality of my old sony but apart from that the zoon is great, lcd screen is fantastic, menu;s are easy to use and wide lens is good.  Video is much better than the old sony but not as goood as I would expect from a 2009 camera but maybe my standards are too high.  Taking into account its shortcomings especially a small battery life (which can be fixed by buying a new battery which you can find under £20) it is a good overall camera with features that will educate amateur photographers into shooting with a multitude of settings/ features.  Would recommend this camera as despite the sony wx1/ tx1 having better low light pictures just dont have the features/ zoom that will keep you happy over the camera’s life

10:50 am - Tuesday, January 19, 2010

#12 abna

I have had a sony p200 7mb camera for the past 3 yrs and wanted something with bigger zoom and more features.  I am dissapointed that pictures in low light/ internal pictures are not of the quality of my old sony but apart from that the zoon is great, lcd screen is fantastic, menu;s are easy to use and wide lens is good.  Video is much better than the old sony but not as good as I would expect from a 2009 camera but maybe my standards are too high.  Taking into account its shortcomings especially a small battery life (which can be fixed by buying a new battery which you can find under £20) it is a good overall camera with features that will educate amateur photographers into shooting with a multitude of settings/ features.  Would recommend this camera as despite the sony wx1/ tx1 having better low light pictures just dont have the features/ zoom that will keep you happy over the camera’s life

10:51 am - Tuesday, January 19, 2010

#13 mish

just bought this camera because my FX100 broke. This camera is a pretty big disappointment! Firstly… why is the dial placed in such a way that you have you stretch your finger over it to take photos?! And they have removed the ability to change shutter speeds.

2:02 pm - Friday, January 22, 2010

#14 Ellen

I bought a new ZR1 (ZX1) and returned it to Panasonic in less than 2 months because of dirt in the lens. Amazingly, they sent me a refurbished ZS3 (TZ27) in its place.  I had originally rejected the TZ27 because of its greater bulk.  Panasonic must have thought the TZ27 was an “upgrade” because of the 12X rather than 8X zoom.  But now I’m wondering whether I should bother sending it back yet again. If the image quality were any better I’d be tempted to just hang on to the TZ27. Any thoughts on the ZX1 vs. TZ27?

8:31 pm - Thursday, January 28, 2010

#15 Rob

I bought this camera and the Fuji F200EXR at the same time because I couldn’t make up my mind.  An hour with both and the Fuji was boxed up and promptly returned.  I found the IQ, noise, and video to be far superior on the ZR1.  Some say that to get the best out of the Fuji you should shoot at 5MP but if I wanted a 5MP camera I would have bought one.  The ZR1 images were perfect in iAuto without any tinkering with menus. You can zoom when shooting video and there is practically no camera noise while doing so and the focus is almost instantaneous.  The F200 sucked at video.  The image stabilization on the ZR1 is superb and blew the F200 away.  Awesome LITTLE camera!

1:40 am - Friday, February 19, 2010

#16 Rob

Forgot…just in case Panasonic reads this, I agree with Mish that the position of the mode dial is stupid.  The mode dial and shutter button should trade places.  My only other quibble is having to flick a switch to change from playback to shooting mode, just a minor thing but it can be annoying. I would rather just touch the shutter button like most other cameras.  Other than that, I wouldn’t change a thing…

1:45 am - Friday, February 19, 2010

#17 Ryan

Ahh to many cameras, so little time.
Ive been looking for a compact camera for me to just carry around in my pocket. I was looking at the Nikon S8000 but the picture quality looks quite bad which is a same because the camera itself is quite the looker. Next was the FujiFilm F70EXR but i dont think the quality is that good either.
So that left me with the Ricoh CX2 but now i have come across this camera so im back in a bit of a pickle. Im not really after video so that isnt a concern but what do you guys/gals think?

12:40 am - Saturday, March 13, 2010

#18 m3 ds real

After all the reviews stating that the camera took bad indoor shots I was a little worried that I might have purchased the wrong camera that cnet spoke so highly of. I found the in door shots to be natural looking without a lot of light brighting up areas that are dark to begin with. The picture I took look exactly like I see it. I love this camera its a perfect replacement for my old like new condition Olympus D40.

6:44 am - Friday, March 26, 2010

#19 STRUGGLING TO CHOOSE

PANASONIC LUMIX ZR1 OR CANON IXUS 100IS ??? I NEED HELPPP PLEASE….

3:42 pm - Thursday, May 20, 2010

#20 Sascha

None of both! Take the Canon S90

6:07 pm - Thursday, May 20, 2010

#21 berrieve

Sacha sells Canon !?

8:50 am - Tuesday, June 1, 2010

#22 Sascha

??? I have the Panasonic….

9:44 am - Tuesday, June 1, 2010

#23 maryanc

Panasonic Lumix DMC-ZX1 Review features a 25mm ultra wide angle LEICA DC VARIO-ELMAR lens and powerful 8x optical zoom (equivalent to 25-200mm on a 35mm film camera) together with a 12.1-megapixel high resolution CCD into a compact body. The 25mm ultra wide-angle feature is ideal for both broad landscapes and tight indoor shots like parties, restaurants or just in the home, letting photographers capture a wider view. Add to this the impressive 8x optical zoom lens and you can effortlessly zoom in and capture subjects in the distant, with dynamic perspective – ensuring you never miss that special moment.  Perfect for concerts, festivals or even just when out and about, this powerful zoom also works during motion picture recording. Further, in 3-megapixel resolution mode, the Extra Optical Zoom function uses the centre part of the CCD to provide additional magnification, extending the zoom power to 15.6x.The Panasonic Lumix DMC-ZX1 is a great little camera that delivers an unprecedented zoom range for its size and also manages to produce clearer and sharper pictures than the majority of its rivals. Its build quality is excellent and its controls are clear and straightforward.maryanc

7:46 pm - Friday, June 11, 2010

#24 ionescu

I just bought one black. It is what I was looking for: pocket-size long-zoom. The price: 125 euro.
I want to now if Hahnel batteries are accepted by this camera. It is written on the battery: “replace Panasonic BCG10E” but I don’t want to waste money. Could someone clarify this ?
10x

5:52 am - Wednesday, July 21, 2010

#25 Peter Taylor

I have one. I love using it. I only make prints up to 10x12inches. Most look calendar quality. There are now cameras with longer more powerful zooms, but you cannot focus as close with them as you can with this one. I chose it for the closeness of its macro and a good zoom. As far as I’m concerned, it has no barrel effect when taking pictures of documents or architecture. The lens is wonderful. My other camera is a large format film camera. I’m used to taking time to set up and compose pictures - mainly landscape, natural history and macro. It works beutifully for all that I do and the way that I work. BUT be very careful. Do not put it in your pocket unprotected. Lint and dust will get on to the sensors very easily and the cost to clean them is mighty expensive.

7:20 am - Friday, July 30, 2010

#26 Don

I agree with Sascha. I just bought the zx1 and got lot of noise from its photos!!! I only can try a boring clean with photoshop….
My previous cameras, Olympus c5050z and SRL Canon 350d… Lumix to replace Olympus, of course…:-) no noise problem with those.
But noise is evident also when compared with sample photos on site review… uhm… very very strange…
If we have defective cameras… where is quality control in Panasonic factory???

5:56 pm - Tuesday, August 10, 2010

#27 Peter Dotchev

I bought this camera because of the Highly Recommended rating on this site and the affordable price.

I use iA (auto) mode almost always. I just don’t have time to select the proper mode (among 20+) each time I want to take a shot.

I am disappointed by the picture quality. Often the pictures are too grainy (high ISO) or blurry even at good light conditions.
Looking at 100% zoom theare are always artefacts, so I think these 12MP are not much use.
Sometimes I think my old Pentax Optio 30 did better pictures on auto mode.

Still the videos are good but eat my SD card quickly.

Also the wide angle and telephoto are very handy.

12:50 pm - Wednesday, August 11, 2010

#28 Sascha

At Don: we don’t have bad samples!
See the new FZ100 from Panasonic.
FZ is upper class of Panasonic cameras. But if you see the ISO400 of this camera, I am speechless. Panasonic still does not get the point. Here is the example and check out the picture with the car mirror, same poor as 4 years ago:
http://dpreview.com/galleries/reviewsamples/albums/panasonic-dmc-fz100-preview-samples/slideshow

At Peter: You blame a camera which you not even try to understand!?!?! The picture quality is bad, yes. But you can make it a bit better. Before you shout out loud, ask for help!
Here it is: change always to auto mode, not inteligent automode and change in the menue the iso settings to max 400 for example. This will make the pictures a bit less grainy as the camera cannot switch to iso 800 what it does in iA mode!
If you complain about 100% view you should change to a DSLR, this is still a compact camera!

1:29 pm - Wednesday, August 11, 2010

#29 jeah

I have this compact camera since it comes out. Previously I have other compact cameras. All I can say for this one is that I am very sattisfied with the photo quality. It is one of the best compact cameras in his class. It takes the same photo quality as TZ series, but lack of some features that TZ have. For thoose that says that the camera is bad… get some help and learn shooting photo ;)
I have some friends with pro dslr class cameras… and like very much the quality of ZX1

10:55 pm - Thursday, September 2, 2010

#30 Kim Vexborg

Just got this camera delivered this morning, and I must say that it is really way smaller than I expected.

Coming from an old Minolta Dimage 7i, the size is amazing!

12:45 pm - Monday, September 6, 2010

#31 Seppo

This is really a perfect camera for backpackers trip (weight 160g), I especially bought this before my journey to Albania. It was hanging all time (2 weeks) from my belt as I was going around. The picture quality is good, if needed the zoom can extend to >15x at 3 megapixel setting and moreover, good video quality. Even at 480p, my videos are technically better than I could hope from a basic pocket camera! Just allow max. ISO400 and the noise will be low enough! The lens quality also seems to do justice to the high megapixel number of the sensor. In all, best buy at 200 euro!

11:30 am - Friday, October 29, 2010

#32 VENKATARAMAN KK

I just bought this camera last week.  Pictures are really good.  However, there is lot of wind noise while taking video outdoors.  Any idea how to eliminate the noise?

7:14 am - Wednesday, November 3, 2010

#33 sind

Great review, read it after buying the zx1! I’ve bought these zx1 because of the 8x zoom, as I allready owned a sony DSC T2 ( incredible macro! mm away) only 3x zoom.
I payed 110€ for a new zx1 ! the next evening I took pictures and filmed at my 4 years old doughter aniversary, and after seeing the shots on my pc , I thought I have found the reason for the incredible low price…., all the indoor pictures were blurry, owerlighted.After this, I started experimenting, and I think I’ve found the perfect settings for the zx1:
iexposure-off, ISO max800, shutter min1/250 cAF , mode2 shake redd, do not use iAuto with kids ( party) . use iAuto when in a hurry, especialy in low light natural condition ( outside early evening) The rest is great, way better digital-noise reduction than my Sony T2!
P.S. try using the mem face recognition its cute! Everyytime zx1 recognises my doughter ( Alexia) appears on the screen along With a heart!
is it possible to “deactivate” the barrel efect…..

10:44 pm - Wednesday, November 24, 2010

#34 sind

.... concerning the ” Main Rivals” area I personaly don’t think tz6/7 rivals the zx1 , the last one appealing people like me who would never buy a twice as heavy camera bit bigger for the sake of +2x zoom and 2,1 mpx less! Its like comparring donkeys with horses , (from far,far away they lookalike , but come closer and you’ll find one or two diffs ).So what if there’s MOV instead of AVCHD, apps like I Am Too Mpeg (encoder) exist and you can transform your movies in DIvx HD (75%) the original quality!
Believe me when traveling with a 4YO (backpak
multipurpose) the extra counts
I sincerrely hope I did not offend anyone , hope you’ve found my toughts helpfull in a way,,, Good night!

11:14 pm - Wednesday, November 24, 2010

#35 sind

Also noticed that under the same lighting conditions, the image is Darker in continous AF (CAF) and lighter in quick AF
QAF, I do not know why?
Tried it over and over, if I use I exposure , indoors twilight the image is well-balanced (light), but if the subject (kid) moves, the image ends up shaken!
what should I do?

10:07 pm - Tuesday, December 7, 2010

Entry Tags

hd video, hd, wide-angle, 720p, 12 megapixel, 2.7 inch LCD, lumix, panasonic, 8x zoom, zr1, zx1, dmc-zr1, dmc-zx1, Panasonic Lumix DMC-ZX1 Review