Panasonic Lumix ZS100

Heads up! I am sad to say that this camera does not communicate with my 2022 Macbook Air. Here's what Panasonic tech support wrote to me:

"However, we are afraid that we are not creating drivers for computers, either if they operate on Windows or other operating systems, like your Mac."

This seems like a really poor business decision. They also had a WiFi upload service called LUMIX CLUB which they discontinued in May, 2022. One can use the Panasonic "Image App" to extract photos using the camera's WiFi, but it's cumbersome and early indications are that it's glacially slow. One can presumably use an SD (SDXC) card reader; I need to buy one. Otherwise, I'll use an old computer (or maybe buy an iPad) to get my photos and they'll be transferred to my new computer via iCloud. Or I might be selling this camera.

Ok, back to the original article.

I own a unique camera which I think might have wide appeal, so here's a little about it. It's a one-piece "point-and-shoot" compact camera with many features. The best feature is its size; while it's a little too bulky to fit comfortably in your pants pocket, it fits well in a coat pocket. That means it's easy to grab and capture a shot that you might otherwise miss. On bike trips, I keep it in my handlebar bag and have been known to pull it out and take a picture while riding. That's something you just can't do with a large camera.

It has the largest sensor of any compact camera -- one inch -- so it's pretty good under low light conditions. And it has a 25-250mm zoom, good for shots where you can't get close to your subject. There are very few cameras which cram all that into a compact form, and Panasonic was the first with this camera. I'm told it's popular at concerts where they don't allow "regular" full-size cameras.

It has two esoteric features which I don't use a lot, but are fun to talk about.

  • You can put the camera into a mode where you focus after you've shot the photo. The camera captures many photos at a variety of focal points and you select the one you want later.

  • It has several burst modes; the most impressive is where it takes a total of sixty pictures beginning from one second before(!) you press the shutter button to one second after. You then select the photo(s) you want (using a slightly clunky interface). When you see those photos of wildlife at just the right time, that's how photographers are doing it; they weren't just lucky with timing.

More practical features include a fast focus, touch screen, image stabilization (I took that blood moon shot freehand), tripod mount, RAW mode, and a flash.

While not perfect, I still recommend this camera (but less enthusiastically than before); it's a nice blend of features. While I've never used it, I can also recommend the similar Sony RX100 V. It's better in low light and has a better lens, but only 24-70mm zoom and no touch screen. RX100 VI and beyond are more like the Lumix (touch screen, better zoom), but like this Lumix, lose some quality.

There's a newer version of this camera called the ZS200 which has a longer zoom than the ZS100, but the lens is slower. I prefer the ZS100, but if you're only going to shoot pictures where there's good light and you want more zoom, check it out!

The photos on this page and the vast majority on my photography page were taken with this camera.

Here's a more in-depth review of the ZS100 Lumix camera from another source.

Ice nugget on the surface of Monona Bay catching the late afternoon sun. Not sure how this formed.
Water Avens (Geum rivale), or Prairie Smoke (Geum triflorum), outside of Kirkby-Stephen, England
Super Blood Wolf Moon, January 2019..