Despite lacking some of the Panasonic TZ30/ZS20's high-end trimmings, the Panasonic ZS15 offers a range of desirable features and excellent responsiveness.
In fact, in terms of picture quality and performance, the Panasonic ZS15 represents better value for money than its higher priced stablemate - particularly if you don't need the GPS functionality.
The Panasonic ZS15's versatile zoom range, quick focus and creative shooting options are all excellent.
The battery life proved underwhelming during our tests, and USB recharging isn't for everyone. Having to physically switch between shooting and playback can be tiresome, too.
The Panasonic ZS15 is a camera that has something to offer photographers of all abilities. If you're a beginner, dial in Intelligent Auto. This point-and-press mode gets it right more often than it gets it wrong, matching the camera settings to the shooting situation with a fair degree of accuracy.
It is a little too keen to unleash HDR mode when it detects backlighting, though - at one point, even a pale wall behind a portrait sitter set it off - and this adds several seconds to the image processing time.
More advanced photographers will welcome the control that the P, A, S, M modes bring to a camera with such potential, although the aperture range is a little narrow at the full telephoto zoom setting (f/5.9-6.3).
Overall, the Panasonic ZS15 is a fast performer with lots of genuinely useful features, and it's capable of producing smooth, attractive images. It represents very good value, giving both the Canon PowerShot SX260 HS and the Samsung WB750 a run for their money.