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Panasonic DMC-ZS20 Digital Camera Review$349.99
The Panasonic DMC-ZS20 features full HD video recording, with options for AVCHD 1080/60p (28Mbps), 1080/60i (17Mbps), and .MP4 1080/30p (20Mbps) recording. The sensor output in AVCHD modes is a full 60p, while that drops to 30p in the 1080/30p .MP4 settings. (In the PAL model, the TZ30, the framerates are 50p, 50i, and 25p respectively.
You can also record in 720/60p (AVCHD, 17Mbps) and 720/30p (.MP4, 10Mbps), with the PAL model recording in 50p and 25p, respectively. Users wanting smaller video files can also record VGA video in .MP4 30p (4Mbps). The camera also features high speed video recording options, with QVGA (320x240) resolution at 220fps in Motion JPEG. Find out how the performed in our video image quality test./r:link_to_content
There isn't much in the way of manual control when recording video on the Panasonic TS20, though you do have the use of autofocus and optical zoom control. The camera doesn't feature a dedicated video record mode, so it will generally inherit whatever settings it can from the still mode you were using prior to beginning a video.
The TS20 allows users to begin recording a video at almost any time, with the only exception being the camera's 3D shooting mode. This means that certain creative settings such as the camera's creative control mode and color modes will continue on functioning even while the video is being recorded. This includes, for the most part, exposure settings, though the camera is obviously limited in what exposure it can use while recording a video. There is no manual override for exposure, however, and certain other functions (subject tracking, flash, etc.) are not available when recording video. When recording video in the intelligent automatic mode, the camera will automatically apply certain preset scene settings to cope with the scene.
The camera's zoom functionality is slowed significantly when recording video, in order to provide a smooth transition from wide to telephoto focal lengths. There's no exposure control that we can find, though the camera does seem to inherit some of the same exposure settings when you switch from still photography to recording video by pressing the dedicated record button on top of the camera.
Focus on the ZS20 is handled continuously while recording video by default, though you can deactivate this if you like by going into the motion picture submenu in the main menu. This doesn't necessarily set the camera to focus on single press, as it seems to simply maintain focus at whatever plane it was at prior to the video beginning.
Aperture and shutter speed are automatically set when recording video in all modes, including manual exposure mode. ISO is not specified in the manual, but the camera seems to enhance gain where necessary to achieve an appropriate exposure in most modes. Without a dedicated video record mode (and no ISO option in the motion picture submenu), there's no way to know exactly what ISO setting is going to be employed.
The Panasonic DSC-ZS20 includes a stereo microphone on top of the camera, but no real control over audio input while recording video. There is a wind cut feature in the motion picture menu, however, that will help to reduce the rustling noise captured when wind passes over the mics.