Panasonic Lumix ZS20: The Slimmest 20x Zoom Camera Yet

The Panasonic Lumix ZS20 crams a 20x Leica zoom lens into a camera that measures just 2.8cm thick. But it's more than just a slender beauty -- the ZS20 is packed with tech from some of Panasonic's most advanced compact cameras.

Beyond the zoomy lens, the ZS20 shoots with a 14.1MP MOS sensor, and uses Panasonic's snappy Venus engine, which can shoot at up to 10fps. That's the same image processor, by the way, in Panasonic's excellent, high-end GX1. The camera's 3-inch, 460,000-dot LCD touchscreen also has the same touch autofocus and touch shutter release found in more expensive Panasonic compacts. The ZS20 shoots 1080/60p AVCHD video and also carries built-in GPS. That's quite a lot of features in a tiny camera for $US350.

Panasonic has also updated its line of excellent rugged cameras and introduced a new one to the line, the TS20. The new camera is a cheaper, more compact alternative to Panasonic's existing TS cameras. The TS20 is waterproof down to 5m, will survive a 1.2m drop, and is freeze-proof down to -10C. It's not quite as resilient as the newly updated TS4 tough camera, but pretty darn good for a camera that's less than an inch thick with a budget-friendly $US179 price tag. [Panasonic]

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