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Panasonic Lumix ZX1 review

Panasonic squeezes a full 12MP sensor into this tiny compact camera

Our Verdict

For

  • Quick and responsive
  • 12.1-megapixel sensor
  • 8x optical zoom (25-200mm equivalent focal length range)
  • Lots of hi-tech and helpful Scene and Ai modes
  • Neat and compact

Against

  • Tiny buttons on the top and rear
  • No manual or semi-auto shooting modes
  • The zoom lever can be difficult when making finite adjustments
  • Noise levels at anything above ISO 200
  • Flash problems with macro photography

The DMC-ZX1 is Panasonic's all-new 'Super Compact Camera'. Squeezed into a matt silver casing no bigger than a packet of Marlboro Lights you'll find a 12.1-megapixel machine ready and eager to take snaps at the push of a button.

The DMC-ZX1 is the latest addition to the award-winning Panasonic Lumix range of cameras. It's the younger sibling to the more powerful Panasonic TZ series, with the DMC-ZX1 trying to push the boundaries of what we've come to expect from today's truly compact compacts.

The DMC-ZX1 incorporates an 8x optical zoom lens in its slim body. Panasonic has been able to get such a whopper of a lens into such a trim casing thanks to a newly developed lens unit which features the world's first 0.3mm super-thin aspherical lens.

Panasonic dmc-zx1-9

This 8x zoom lens provides a 'super zoom' focal length range equivalent to 25-200mm (on a 35mm film SLR or full-frame DSLR) so the DMC-ZX1 is all set to capture expansive landscape on its wide end, then with a quick zoom, you can focus on the main points of interest with your chosen scenes. You can also use this ultra-wide-to-telephoto zoom lens to take group portraits of friends or family, then quickly zoom in to get individual portraits.

Panasonic dmc-zx1-8

That's an optical zoom, by the way, not the naff digital zooms some cameras have which isn't a zoom at all, just a cheap way of pretending to zoom in digitally and ruining image quality as a result.

You'll find a roomy 2.7-inch LCD on the rear of the DMC-ZX1 to clearly compose your photos, and with a flick the Record/Playback selector switch, you'll be able to accurately review your shots on the same sizeable screen, zooming in to check for sharpness.

Other highlights we'll explore in more detail in this review are the DMC-ZX1's improved Face Recognition technology – which can be set up to 'remember' faces and prompts you to focus on that person when taking group shots so their faces are bright and in focus.

There's also five iA (intelligent Auto) shooting modes on offer to help enhance your photography the easy way. Plus the Intelligent ISO Control which aims to reduces motion blur by adjusting the ISO sensitivity if your subject moves.

As we've come to expect from the latest and greatest compacts, the DMC-ZX1 comes primed with new and improved image stabilisation tech (POWER Optical Image Stabiliser) to make sure your chances of sharp shots are significantly increased. Plus, there are the ubiquitous Scene Modes – all 29 of 'em, including such modes as Candle Light, Sunset, Fireworks and, er, Underwater!

With online prices around £220, the DMC-ZX1 still has room for a 'Motion Picture' mode which can record HD 1280 x 720p, 30fps videos you can view full-screen on HD TVs.

However, all this hi-techery doesn't mean jack if this new, slick Panasonic compact can't take decent photos. Read on to see what we really think of the DMC-ZX1…

Tech Specs

Product TypeCompact Camera
Battery Size SupportedProprietary Battery Size
Maximum Video Resolution1280 x 720
Effective Camera Resolution12.1 Megapixel
USBYes
Product FamilyLumix ZX
Image StabilizationOptical
ColourRed
Optical Zoom8x
Digital Zoom4x
Brand NamePanasonic
Screen Size6.9 cm (2.7")
Video FormatsQuickTime Motion JPEG
Viewfinder TypeNo
Weight (Approximate)138 g
Flash Memory Capacity40 MB
Minimum Focus Distance30 mm
Maximum Image Resolution4000 x 3000
Maximum Frame Rate30 fps
Number of Batteries Supported1
Battery Built-inNo
Battery RechargeableYes
Battery IncludedYes
Display Screen TypeLCD
Total Camera Resolution12.7 Megapixel
HD Movie ModeYes
Memory Card SupportedSecure Digital (SD) Card, Secure Digital High Capacity (SDHC) Card
Height54.6 mm
Width97.8 mm
Depth26 mm
Autofocus Points11
Product SeriesZX
Focal Length4.50 mm to 36 mm
Image FormatsJPEG
Flash ModesAuto Flash, Flash OFF, Flash ON, Red-eye Reduction
Focus ModesAuto
ManufacturerPanasonic
Product ModelDMC-ZX1
Product NameLumix DMC-ZX1 Compact Camera
Product LineLumix
Aspect Ratio16:9
Manufacturer Part NumberDMC-ZX1EB-R
Manufacturer Website Addresshttp://www.panasonic.co.uk
Marketing Information

Compact Digital Camera ZX1 25mm Wide-angle 8x Optical Zoom Leica DC Lens in a Ultra-compact Body. Panasonic achieved the world's first incorporation of 0.3mm super thin aspherical lens and industry first 0.3mm spherical lens into the newly developed lens unit. This makes it possible to fit the 25-200mm high performance lens in a slim and compact body.

Battery Life330 Shot
Package Contents
  • Lumix DMC-ZX1 Compact Camera
  • Battery Charger
  • Battery Pack
  • Battery Case
  • AV Cable
  • USB Cable
  • AC Cable
  • Hand Strap
  • CD-ROM
Display Resolution230000 Pixel
Limited Warranty1 Year
Built-in DevicesMicrophone, Speaker