The Pansonic Lumix DMC-ZS3 is the evolution of the ZS1 I reviewed about 18 months ago. Now the DMC-ZS3 is the 2nd newest Panasonic Lumix line of cameras as it has been replaced with the ZS7. This is not a bad thing. If you’re familiar with electronics and technology, you know that the best bang for the buck is usually not the very latest product. This is definitely true of digital cameras and the Lumix ZS3 proves that point. I paid $249.00 for my ZS1 at Costco. Just one and a half years later, I’m inclined to upgrade to the ZS3. So, what is it about this new model that would make me ever so inclined to upgrade so soon?
Comparing the ZS1 to the ZS3
The ZS3 has a few things I’d love to have on my antiquated ZS1:
- Higher-Resolution, LCD Screen: 3.0” 460K – The ZS1 was 2.7” at 230K
- 720P HD Video Recording at 60 FPS- The ZS1 recorded in 848 x 480 (30 fps)
- Dolby Stereo Sound Video Recording as Opposed to Mono on the ZS1
Who wouldn’t want to be able to record high speed, HD Video without having to grab an HD Video Camera? The ability to capture such close-up, 12X, wide-angle shots is amazing and stays the same on the ZS3. Having the larger, 3”, 460K Resolution LCD Screen makes it so much easier to use the camera in the bright sun. On the other hand, what good does it do to have these tremendous features, if the image and video quality isn’t good? There’s more to the story though and in fact, this is where it really gets good with the Panasonic ZS3.
User Reviews of the Lumix DMC-ZS3
The ZS3 has got to be the most positively reviewed product of any digital camera on the market. Nearly 700 DMC-ZS3 users have rated their experience with the camera on Amazon and have given it an average rating of 4.5 stars. Considering there are always a few bad apples in the bunch of every review, a 4.5 rating is astounding. These lofty ratings go beyond the mere appreciation of the huge zoom lens and HD Video recording. Users marveled over the quality of the images, video and the color prints they are getting from the Lumix ZS3. Only a couple of bad experiences with lemons and warranty issues from a very small, tiny few of the 700-users, kept the camera from getting a perfect score. If the actual users of the camera are not enough to get you excited about owning a ZS3 or a ZS1 checkout the professional camera reviews. The Panasonic ranks 4.7 out of 5 for image quality.
Other Cool Facts about the DMC-ZS3
If the image and video quality alone are not good enough reasons to upgrade, the performance of the camera gets high marks in a couple of areas where other digital cameras fall short: For instance, the active zoom lens during video recording is practically silent. Have you ever listened to your own video recordings or others from You Tube and been disappointed to find out you can’t hear what people are saying as they are zooming in and out? This is not a problem with the DMC-ZS1. One other thing: Users reported that the Battery Life on the DMC-ZS3 is better than competitive cameras in its same class like the Canon SX200 IS. It’s not that we don’t all love Canon cameras, but they have enjoyed the monopoly on this market for too long. So, what’s not to like about the new Panasonic model and will you buy one while there are still a few left on the shelves? The DMC-ZS3 has had two upgrades: from the ZS7 and now to the DMC-ZS10 with more powerful optical lens and 14 Megapixels among numerous other technological advances. I will get to the ZS10 in a future review.