The Panasonic Lumix ZS80 / TZ95 is the follow up to the very popular ZS70 which Panasonic has had a lot of success with over the past couple of years. With their latest camera the, Panasonic Lumix ZS80 / TZ95 Panasonic are not reinventing the wheel with this thing. It is not really an essential upgrade if you already have their ZS70, but this camera does have some great features that make it well worth looking at if you are in the market for a new camera.
The Panasonic Lumix ZS80 / TZ95 is not the kind of camera that a professional photographer is going to go and “snap” up. This is more aimed that those casual photographers who want to take a good camera on vacation with them or snap high-quality images of the kids when they are playing basketball at school or performing in the school play.
Panasonic has made this as easy to use as possible and no matter if you want to take a quick selfie or take a picture of a tree as you drive past as you feel artistic. You will be able to do that with this, quickly, easily and then be happy with how high quality the photo is. It is important to note early in this Panasonic Lumix ZS80 / TZ95 review that this is a camera that is aimed more at the average joe and families than a hardcore photographer.
Getting a camera that can do 4K is not cheap and Panasonic cameras, in general, are not what you would ever call cheap. However, Panasonic never really cut corners and that is the case here. That makes the asking price of this rather reasonable. You can get this camera for around the $420 to $520 price mark. Which for a camera of this quality is not that bad at all.
If you have been using your camera on your phone for years and think that you are ready for a more “professional” approach to capturing those special moments. Then this asking price really is not that out of line at all.
When you put the Panasonic Lumix ZS80 / TZ95 next to the previous model the changes are not huge leaps. There are improvements and you would have to say (as most camera reviews do) that the Panasonic Lumix ZS80 / TZ95 is the better camera when next to its older brother.
The big draw for this is the viewfinder. The OLED panel has 2.3 million dots which is more than the 1.3 million that Panasonic had on their ZS70. That does not sound like a lot, but this will result in a crisper and sharper image. It is also a much better size than on the previous model which helps you take better photos and makes using the camera, in general, a lot easier.
The 4K UHD video that this can shoot is great. Some of the other Panasonic Lumix ZS80 / TZ95 reviews state that not much has changed over the previous model with the 4K capabilities. However, a few tweaks have been made and while it still films at 30 frames per second, you do have a couple of features that you can play with. Most people using this to record special moments on vacation or a family members birthday are going to be blown away with the video quality.
The image quality is nice and sharp and of course, you can play with various settings and change the shutter speed to get it just the way you want. Some people have reported that there is a little softness around the edges of images that this takes, but that really is in the eye of the beholder. Most people will be more than happy with the image quality out of the box. Eventually, though, have a play around with the settings and see what fits your style best.
The focusing of the Panasonic Lumix ZS80 / TZ95 is truly awesome, the autofocus on cameras can sometimes take so long to get itself sorted that your shot has gone! You will be very happy at how quick the autofocus with this thing is. If you look at other camera reviews that are in this price range, you will see that some do struggle with their autofocus, you will not have that trouble here. If you are taking photos of the kids, getting them to stand still is a nightmare so having a camera that can focus nice and quickly is really ideal.
One feature that is really cool is the way you can use that awesome 3-inch touch screen to zoom in. Not only that you can flip that thing up so you can take a selfie with it. This is a great little feature and one that many people will probably get a whole lot of use out of.
One thing that Panasonic cameras do very well make them nice and easy to get the best out of. That is the case with the Panasonic Lumix ZS80 / TZ95 and they have a few features that at first glance do not sound like a big deal. However, when you actually use the camera you will take them for granted as they do make using the camera so much easier.
For example, it has Bluetooth, but the Bluetooth is always on but in a low power state. This means that you can access your camera easily and transfer files this way. It also can use wi-fi which again makes transferring things from the camera to your computer, phone or wherever very easy.
The battery life has not improved over the original, but that is not actually a bad thing. You see the Panasonic Lumix ZS80 / TZ95 offers around 380 frames before you need to charge it. For a camera of this size and at this price that is more than fair when it comes to the battery life.
Speaking of the battery life, the Panasonic Lumix ZS80 / TZ95 does not require a big bulky charger or dock to charge it. You can use a USB which is great as when you are on vacation carrying a USB charging cable is way less hassle than a big charging brick!
The Panasonic Lumix ZS80 / TZ95 does take little longer than you would like to get up and running. However, on the flip side of this, once the camera is on, Panasonic has made this very easy to use. While around 500 bucks may seem like a lot of money for a “first camera” this one here would actually be ideal as it is so easy to use.
One thing that the pictures do not do justice is the size of the camera. What puts some people off getting a dedicated camera is that they are worried about the size of it. This is especially true if you want to take it on vacation or take it to your kids’ school when they are in the play. The Panasonic Lumix ZS80 / TZ95 is a very compact camera and it has this very nice rubber grip that makes it easy to keep hold of with one hand.
The actual dimensions of the camera are only 1.6 x 4.4 x 2.7 inches and the weight is only 10.2 ounces. That right there lets you know how compact and lightweight this camera is. You could have this in your bag or backpack and it is not going to take up much space at all.
One thing that many other Panasonic Lumix ZS80 / TZ95 reviews have praised is the build and we are of the same thinking. The plastic they have used is very thick, but the front plate is actually made from this very strong and high-quality feeling metal. This really gives the camera a nice weight to it and it makes it feel very sturdy and solid, but not at the expense of the form factor of the camera.
As far as Panasonic cameras go, we think that this is great. If you read any other Panasonic Lumix ZS80 / TZ95 review, you will notice that they all say it is not a huge step up from the previous model. However, Panasonic really has done a great job with this and we have a hard time imagining anyone being really disappointed with this camera.
It may not be worthwhile if you have the previous model. But if you are looking for a new camera that is high quality, can shoot in 4K, is nice and compact and is very easy to get the hang of. Well, you will struggle to find a better one than the Panasonic Lumix ZS80 / TZ95 review at under 500 bucks.
The autofocus is very fast and awesome
Touchscreen is great
It is very easy to use
The 4K video looks great
The whole camera has a very solid feel to it, but the small form factor
Not a huge update from the previous model
It is a little slow to turn on