A review of the Panasonic Lumix ZS8 camera by The Study Abroad Blog
You might remember from my post about mistakes I made while studying abroad that one of my biggest mistakes was buying the wrong camera. I got a cheap camera that took cheap photos. Keep this in mind: This is a once-in-a-lifetime chance so you need to make the most of it and let the photos you take do your travels some justice. Since my last camera was lacking, I decided to do some in-depth research and read reviews so I could find the best camera for studying abroad This is what I discovered: The Panasonic Lumix ZS8 Digital Camera!
The Lumix ZS8 is one of Panasonic’s latest and greatest travel-zoom cameras, and it includes the Top 3 Must Have Features a study abroad student needs in a camera: 16x optical zoom, panorama setting, and image stabilization (in addition to Intelligent Auto and a variety of scene modes for beginners). Check these specs out:
16x Optical Zoom:
To me, this is by far one of the most important features of any camera, and Panasonic somehow managed to go above and beyond my expectations with a 16x optical zoom! Check out my picture below. If you can’t tell, the guy in argyle is George Lopez when he came to play a tournament on the Old Course in St. Andrews. Unfortunately, because the max optical zoom on my old camera was 4x, he looks like an orange and white dot in the distance. Optical zoom is one of the key features you need to look for in any camera, and with 16x, the ZS8 is at the top of the list.
Megapixels are the feature that seems to grab most beginners attention, but in reality, its not all too important anymore. 14 megapixels is becoming the standard now-a-days, and unless you are making life size posters of your photos, it will do the job with no problems.
Panorama Assist Mode:
This is the second most important feature I was looking for in a new camera. More times than I can count, I wish I had the panorama feature – the Old Course, the F.C. Barcelona Stadium, the Scottish Highlands, and a million more. This is a really handy function for aligning panorama photos. The afterimage of each previous shot is displayed, so you can use it to line up the second and third shots, digitally stitching together a scenic panorama.
Optical Image Stabilizer Shake Detection:
The 3rd of my must have features – Panasonic’s image stabilization. The guys over at Panasonic have worked on the “low-frequency vibration hand-shake component”, which is physically generated when pressing the shutter button or when shooting at night with a slow shutter speed. The POWER O.I.S. (Optical Image Stabilizer) almost doubles the hand-shake correction power of conventional O.I.S.
24mm ultra wide-angle lens:
This is actually pretty rare on compact cameras. It essentially gives you a 200% larger viewing space compared to that of 35mm camera.
iA (Intelligent Auto) Mode:
This was a feature I grew to love on my previous camera, and is great if you’re a beginner photographer. When you don’t know which mode will give you the best shooting results, or when a sudden photo op pops up and you don’t have time to make any settings, all you have to do is choose the iA Mode, aim, and shoot. The detection and correction functions are automatically activated and optimized, so even if you don’t know what you’re doing, you get great photos.
Motion Picture Recording HD Movie:
No need for a flip cam, the ZS8 can record video in HD, not to mention the 16x optical zoom is available in movie recording.
Dimensions (W x H x D) 4.13″ x 2.27″ x 1.31″:
You can’t beat it. A travel camera with a 24mm 16x optical zoom lens and its still only a little over an inch thick, easily fitting in your pocket or purse. No wonder its rated as one of the top travel cameras!
Other cool features:
- 3.0-inch High-resolution LCD Screen
- Face Recognition
- Intelligent Resolution technology
- Intelligent ISO Control – Motion Detection
- Intelligent Exposure – Light Detection
- Digital Red Eye Correction – Red-Eye Removal
- Facebook compatible automatic image upload
- PHOTOfunSTUDIO 6.0
I recommend getting it from Amazon like I did because it’s actually about 30% cheaper than on Panasonic.com.
|My Price Comparison|
If you have any other questions or comments please feel free to leave them below and I’ll get back to you!