The announcement of the Panasonic S series is a complete acceptance that smaller m4/3 sensors are not the future but the past. As now Canon, Nikon, Fuji, Sony, Leica and now Panasonic have shifted priorities to Full Frame Sensors as mirrorless has allowed the smaller form factor without compromising low light performance and absolute stills image quality. Fuji is also going strong on Medium Format stills oriented cameras like the new portable GFX 50R which meshes a rangefinder camera with a huge MF sensor.
The move by Panasonic, which had been leading in mirrorless frame rates in continued recording with their Lumix GH5 and GH5s Series up to 240fps 1080p, will now focus on larger sensors that produce more heat and may be much slower to read at high speeds. Sony has so far been able to only have 120fps 1080p recording in their a7 series for example. If the Panasonic S1 at 24MP can only do 120fps 1080p which is still unknown, it will not bode well for slow motion frame rates for some time.
Panasonic announced two new cameras this week the ZS200 America / TZ200 Europe which offers the worlds longest wide to super zoom range in a 1″ sensor form factor with a 24-360mm equivalent F3.3-6.4 lens and the larger sensor 4/3ds 20MP “Same as GH5″ Lumix GX9 which tops out at 60fps 1080p which we will not cover any further. We have a cut off of 120fps for slow-motion cameras. The ZS200, however, looks to be Panasonic’s answer to the excellent and full-featured RX series of cameras like the RX10 IV and RX100 V.
The main selling point of this camera is the appeal of carrying a 15X zoom in your pocket along with a 1″ sensor which beats most superzoom cameras that use tiny 1/1.8″ or 1/2.5” sensors. Panasonic is able to do this by extending the lens to almost 3 times the camera’s width footprint including lens ring which looks kind of ridiculous but is effective at contracting enough to fit on a large pocket. The image below shows only 3/4ths of the extension.
Panasonic has released a new compact super zoom camera in the Lumix DC-ZS70 (TZ90 outside of US & Canada). The camera is no slouch with a 20.3 MP new MOS Sensor with their Lumix Depth from Defocus or DFD AF technology; present in cameras like the GH5 & GX85. The camera also re-stocks the bundle with the compact lens that is able to offer 30X, 24-720mm in 35mm equivalent terms.
The camera also has 4k video at 30fps but excludes for some reason the 24p mode which film makers crave. Slow motion features are present but modest at 1080p 60fps and 720p 120fps which work across the entire 30x zoom range. This camera is a powerful point & shoot option that won’t break the bank at $447.99 USD MSRP.
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