Panasonic Lumix ZX1 review

Panasonic squeezes a full 12MP sensor into this tiny compact camera

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Overall we enjoyed playing with the pocket-sized Panasonic Lumix DMC-ZX1. It's a fun, easy to use and responsive compact camera. Its optical zoom was impressive, as was its wide-angle capabilities, and it's packed with helpful 'intelligent' tech to make it easier to take half-decent photos.

Image quality

So, down to the all important image quality. We're pleased to report that image results were, overall, very good. Colours were accurately recorded, the vast majority of the time we were able to capture sharp shots (regardless of how far we'd zoom in – something that can cause other compacts to lose image quality) and the DMC-ZX1 performed okay when shooting in mixed lighting conditions when bright sunshine was mixed with dark shadowy areas in scenes.

Even when we relied on the camera's iA modes it returned accurate images, although we did find it was sometimes over keen to use the flash which caused a few overexposures.

However, when the ISO was automatically upped to around ISO 500 or 800 (such as when using the Night Scene mode which doesn't use flash) the noise levels crept up dramatically. In fact, we found that with anything over the base ISO 80 level the noise was noticeable – even at around ISO 250 or 320 pictures are unpleasantly grainy when you look closely (we were zooming in to images in Photoshop at 100 per cent view) which means poor print quality.

That might sound a bit harsh considering the DMC-ZX1 is a compact priced at barely over £200, but images taken at ISO 400 or below shouldn't really be revealing so much noise in our book.

Tech Specs

Product TypeCompact Camera
Battery Size SupportedProprietary Battery Size
Maximum Video Resolution1280 x 720
Effective Camera Resolution12.1 Megapixel
Product FamilyLumix ZX
HD Movie ModeYes
Memory Card SupportedSecure Digital (SD) Card, Secure Digital High Capacity (SDHC) Card
Image StabilizationOptical
Optical Zoom8x
Digital Zoom4x
Brand NamePanasonic
Screen Size6.9 cm (2.7")
Video FormatsQuickTime Motion JPEG
Viewfinder TypeNo
Weight (Approximate)138 g
Maximum Image Resolution4000 x 3000
Display Screen TypeLCD
Height54.6 mm
Width97.8 mm
Depth26 mm
Product SeriesZX
Focal Length4.50 mm to 36 mm
Image FormatsJPEG
Focus ModesAuto
Product ModelDMC-ZX1
Product NameLumix DMC-ZX1 Compact Camera
Product LineLumix
Aspect Ratio16:9
Manufacturer Part NumberDMC-ZX1EB-R
Manufacturer Website Address
Marketing Information

Compact Digital Camera ZX1 25mm Wide-angle 8x Optical Zoom Leica DC Lens in a Ultra-compact Body. Panasonic achieved the world's first incorporation of 0.3mm super thin aspherical lens and industry first 0.3mm spherical lens into the newly developed lens unit. This makes it possible to fit the 25-200mm high performance lens in a slim and compact body.

Package Contents
  • Lumix DMC-ZX1 Compact Camera
  • Battery Charger
  • Battery Pack
  • Battery Case
  • AV Cable
  • USB Cable
  • AC Cable
  • Hand Strap
  • CD-ROM
Limited Warranty1 Year