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Panasonic DMC-ZS20 Digital Camera Review$349.99
Lens & Sensor
The lens on the ZS20 telescopes out from the body, providing an optical zoom range of 20x, with a 35mm equivalent zoom range of 24-480mm (actual focal length range is 4.3-86mm). The lens has a maximum aperture range of f/3.3-6.4, with a minimum aperture of f/8.0 across the zoom range. The lens extends several inches out from the body itself, and the telescoping segments are not weather sealed, so you'll want to make sure you keep the camera away from sand or moisture that can get inside.
The sensor on the ZS20 is a 14.1-megapixel CMOS (Live MOS, by Panasonic's parlance) image sensor. It has a gross megapixel count of 15.3, with a standard color filter array. The sensor is a standard point-and-shoot size of 1/2.33 inches across. It's a slight upgrade over last year's ZS10, which also had 14.1 effective megapixels, but was a slightly different sensor overall.
The rear display on the ZS20 is a 3-inch touchscreen LCD, with a resolution of 460k dots. The screen is as responsive as we saw on the ZS10, which was the same size and resolution. The LCD has an auto power function, but can be adjusted by the user depending on conditions. It features an anti-reflective coating, but we didn't notice it to be any easier to read in direct sunlight than similar screens from Canon's travel zoom model, the SX230 HS.
The ZS20 includes two connectivity ports behind a small plastic door on the right side of the body. The port flips open and stays open easily, exposing a mini-HDMI and proprietary USB port. The USB/AV port allows you to output video to a television, as well as transfer information to and from the camera itself. It's also the main method of charging the battery, as the camera can charge via USB or with the included USB-AC adapter. For those who don't want to charge the battery in the camera, Panasonic unfortunately does not list a separate charging cradle for the included DMW-BCG10PP battery.