Panasonic Lumix DMC-ZS50 Camera Review

Panasonic Lumix DMC-ZS50 Review Black Friday & Cyber Monday Deals
Written by zeeshan

This is a review of the panasonic lumix DMC ZS 50 digital camera this is the camera I discarded a couple of days ago I bought it from B&H photo and I’m going to be talking a lot about this camera I’m very familiar with this lumix product line from Panasonic because years ago I got a Panasonic zs7 and I really like this camera it took pretty good pictures and it did pretty good video although the video resolution topped out at only 720p all things considered it was pretty darn good 720p video in fact I shot several videos with this camera that are on YouTube and a couple of them have made some pretty good money so I’ve made some money with the z7 now I got a problem with the z7 so I decided to replace it with the CS 20 the cs 20 was a bit of a disappointment it shot pretty good video and it would do 1080p video so that was pretty good however the pictures that I got from this although it was a little higher resolution were not as good quality as the z7 both pictures and video are important to me I do a lot of photography I do a lot of videography and I do both of those things in the expectation that I’ll earn money with them and although this is not really a professional kind of camera nonetheless it has many features that work well for me the cs50 just like the two I showed you before it can easily fit in a pocket.


Panasonic Lumix DMC-ZS50 Camera

I’m going to be going to trade shows and other places where I’m a reporter and I need to have very quick access to all my tools and they can’t be bulky and heavy and consume a lot of space so this camera will really fit the bill in that regard so let’s talk a little bit about some of the features of the cs50 now one of the features that really appeal to me is the ring around the lens which can be set to a variety of functions I was really anxious to confirm that this works for focus because one of the things that I like to do is set the focus manually so it doesn’t drift nothing makes a video look more amateurish than a focus that drifts in and out and in and out so I have confirmed that there is a setting for this to do manual focus and by the way it’s pretty good I’m going to talk a little bit more about that looking around the camera up on top you’ve got a dedicated video button you have the on/off switch that’s right there this is the shutter button and around the shutter button is the zoom control and there’s a dial to select the various functions of the camera on the back is a eyepiece viewfinder this is an electronic viewfinder and it’s very high resolution in the cs50 now just before the cs50 came out Panasonic released the CS 40 the CS 40 also has this eyepiece electronic viewfinder but it’s not as high a resolution as it is in the cs50 the screen back here is a three inch diagonal LCD screen also pretty nice resolution it does not fold out it’s fixed flat in place however in the daylight in bright sunlight I’m actually impressed that you can see this screen fairly well however if you can’t see this screen or for whatever reason if you want more support by holding the camera to your eye you’ve got the eyepiece viewfinder which will of course block out all of the ambient light the controls on this are virtually identical to the controls on my two other Panasonic cameras so that really works for me one additional control is a Wi-Fi control and to be honest with you I haven’t used that very much so if I talked about that it’s only because I’ve had a few minutes experience underneath this little flap here there’s a two connectors the top one is an HDMI connector and the bottom one is a semi proprietary USB port Panasonic does give you a USB cable and a USB charger so that you can charge the battery in the camera there is no separate charger that Panasonic supplies with the camera there probably is a separate charger but you’ll have to pay extra for it it doesn’t come with the camera now one of the things I wondered about was whether the battery was the same battery as my two previous cameras because the bat those two batteries are identical in the zs7 and ZS 20 I can swap between the two cameras and that worked really well for me especially since the z7 came with an external charger however this battery and the cs50 is slightly different in size and shape than my two other cameras batteries so I can’t use this battery and those cameras or those batteries in this camera it’s got its own battery so at the moment I have only one battery for the zsm and of course under the flap here is also where the chip goes for the camera and I believe this the cs50 will take SD x-c chips so you can use chips that at the moment you can buy them up to 128 gigabytes so that’s a look at the camera there’s two loops one on either side for a strap I like my strap on the right side of the camera so I’ve got that there so let’s go ahead and take a look at some of the more interesting features of the camera including its picture quality and video quality first to look at the video these are some animal shots I got in my backyard and these show the range of the thirty times zoom lens on the cs50 it can really get in close if you like to shoot wildlife so this test is to demonstrate the quality of the internal microphones in the cs50 right now the camera is about three and a half feet away from me so you can judge by the sound quality what the quality of the microphones built into the cs50 is the cs50 does slow motion video including 640 by 480 VGA quality at 240 frames per second as well as 720p HD video quality at 120 frames per second both are good but the VGA quality if you can use it is just buttery smooth this is my cat Maddy drinking a stream of water at 240 frames per second now let’s look at some pictures this is my house and it looks very clear it’s in bright Sun so it was very sharp however if you look at the far right-hand side this is a close-up that shows that that tree is out of focus that’s only ten or twelve feet from the house and I don’t think that’s out of focus because it’s in the background so much I think that there are some lens focusing issues at the edges of the lens now there is a shot of me when in front of a bright window without a flash and then with a flash clearly it’s better with the flash but it did a pretty good job without the flash – getting some catch light in the eyes here’s a flower that looks pretty nice when you go to full resolution on the flower that looked pretty good very nice and smooth not much noise here’s a white flower a crocus also it came out very well we then got a couple of shots in a restaurant here’s a table setting and here is a plate of food all things considered considering that was just natural light I thought those are pretty good now let’s look at a portrait setting this is the scene setting called portrait and that’s me in the shot and when you go into full resolution notice that the eyes are soft and it seems to be focused a little more like on my sideburn on the right-hand side there of my face and then I tried the redeye reduction the upper part of this image is without redeye reduction and the lower part is with redeye reduction as you can see this is my wife she’s very susceptible to redeye and she has a lot of red eye on both of these although a little bit less in the lower shot where the redeye reduction was turned on the cs50 like the other zs family members before it has a built-in flash on the front face of the camera so it’s always there if you need it it’s not a fantastic flash but it does serve a useful purpose however you have to be careful because it’s easy to block the flash with the finger on this camera it’s easier to block it on this camera than it is to block it on some other cameras I’ve used one of the features are really looking forward to using with the cs50 is its manual focus and the ability to control that focus with this ring around the lens I like to set a camera to mota to manual focus and then have it focused on who’s at a podium or at an object and then have it stay focused on that thing regardless of what happens around it because I found that when a point-and-shoot camera hunts for its correct focus and often just it looks very amateurish and I don’t like it at all so I’m very glad that this camera has an easy to use manual focus other cameras have manual focus but this one is easy to use so to use the manual focus here’s what you have to do first of all the setting dial on top of the camera has to be in some other mode than automatic it can’t be an automatic mode I often run my camera in the p4 program mode and the manual focus will work in that mode so if it’s in the p4 program or shutter mode or aperture mode you come back here and you touch the the macro focus button and that accesses auto focus macro focus and em down here for manual focus MF it says so touch manual focus hit the button and now you’re in manual focus when you do that you’ll see there’s an on-screen indication of where the focus is what are the really cool features of the cs50 is the fact that it can do slow motion okay other cameras can do slow motion too but for a point-and-shoot camera something you could slip in your pocket it does pretty good slow motion now getting to the slow motion setting is a little tricky you have to turn the camera to see mode so to get to scene mode you have to rotate the mode dial to see mode which says SC n so that’s C mode come down here and now it puts all the various scene modes on the screen touch the center button I have it actually pre adjusted to get to the high speed here so I’m going to touch it and I also have it pre adjusted to do the different frame rates so I’m going to go ahead and touch that so now it’s preset to do the 120 frame per second 720p video now if you want to change seed modes all you do is rotate this dial and you’ll rotate through the various different scene modes as they they go from left to right the one that’s next to the last is the high-speed video it’s a little tricky to find that that’s where I found it if you wanted to do the slow motion video with the yes fifty one of the things that you’ll probably have to do on the camera is to adjust the exposure if you have a point-and-shoot camera adjusting the exposure is pretty much the same on that as it is on this one here this upper button here on the control dial is the exposure button you touch it and then you can swing this around to adjust the exposure and it works very well you’ve got a pretty nice display on the screen now you can also set this up by going into the menu so that this ring around the lens can be set so that it controls exposure I can see where that’s a good idea in certain situations but I expect to primarily use the ring for focus since I’m so concerned about keeping a steady focus so what’s the bottom line about all of this the bottom line is the cs50 is a good camera I especially like the video features I especially like the manual focus I like the really smooth ultra slow motion that you get with the VGA and even the somewhat faster slow-motion but still slow motion you get with 720p I really like that I really like the 30 times zoom lens it gets you in so much closer especially since I like to do a lot of wildlife stuff so I like that a lot however the photography quality the quality of the photographs are not what I was hoping it would be I was hoping that when this camera stepped down in resolution from 18 megapixel to 12 megapixel that it would make a difference in the video no excuse me the picture noise the digital noise you get with photographs and it doesn’t really seem to make a difference I have a Z s 20 and it is maybe a little worse than the cs50 but the cs50 still has some of that now this has raw capability and we’ve just started getting into processing them with raw to see if that makes a difference in terms of this noise but the fact is that this is a $400 camera now in a couple months it will probably be discounted to 350 or 325 but it’s a $400 camera it has a small sensor there’s only so much of the physics that you can get around when you try to compare it with a camera with a large sensor you can’t get a large sensor camera with a thirty time zone doesn’t happen you can’t get a large sensor camera in this smaller package at least not one that has integrated lens so this camera has a lot of things going for it if you need the compactness unfortunately I would say the photo quality is fair to good at best the video quality is good – very good I like the lens a lot I like the functionality I like being able to adjust the manual focus I like the way the the buttons work and the menus are even though it was a little tricky finding where the slow motion was now that I know where it is I know where to look so I like a lot of things about this and I in general will give it a recommendation not a extremely positive recommendation you have to know your needs if you need the long zoom this has it if you want really good photos you might want to look elsewhere a camera with a larger sensor might be what you’re looking for if you want really broadcast quality videos you probably need a larger sensor camera for that as well however if you want good quality videos that will be fine on YouTube and possibly even for some other applications this will do okay so that is my overall feeling and review of the panasonic lumix DMC cs50.

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