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clschmalz Oct 20, 2017 11:56 PM

Panisonic ZS series build quality.
Is it just me or has there been a decline in the construction quality of recent Panasonic travel zooms? My ZS5 is a solidly built, metal camera that is still giving great service. I later added a ZS25 for the longer zoom reach. It has been my carry everywhere camera that slips easily into a pants pocket, but does not seem to be as solidly built as the ZS5. Recently the ZS25 has developed a dark spot in the upper corner that is objectionable when there is clear sky in that area. Shopping for a replacement I've looked at ZS50 and ZS60 models but they appear to have cheaply made plastic bodies and reported problems with the printing rubbing off controls. Am I imagining things?

JR1 Oct 21, 2017 1:34 PM

What has to be taken into account is that you get what you pay for, and as the cameras are very cheap, something has to "give" and here it is materials used

Same with cheap DSLRs, you get what you pay for.


Hawgwild Oct 24, 2017 6:00 AM

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I have a ZS 8 which is all but useless to me. A few months after purchase, it developoed dust spots either on the sensor or the back side of the lens. Some pictures were correctable, some were not. After extensibv googling. I founde this to be a widespread problem. And for that reason, I would not trust another ZS camera from Panasonic' Their other cameras don't seem to suffer from this malady.

The spots got worse in daylight. I still have the camera, it is now seven years old, and has been relegated to paperweight, since I could not, in good concience, sell it, at any price.

clschmalz Oct 24, 2017 4:46 PM

Me too
I'm seeing similar artifacts on my ZS25. I've heard of this problem from other ZS series owners too. For this reason I bought a used Canon SX260 today to replace it (I'm hung up on 12mp in a 1/2.3" sensor). Originally I was going to go with a ZS50 but was put off by the apparent flimsy construction and reports of printing rubbing off as well as the artifact problem.

JR1 Oct 25, 2017 7:40 AM

Would be nice to see your review after a month :)

clschmalz Apr 15, 2018 12:04 PM

After months of checking out various alternative cameras without finding satisfactory replacements I finally gave up and had my ZS5 and ZS25 sensors professionally cleaned. Even though it cost $80 each the total was less than replacing one of them. The current ZS models just don't appear as well built as earlier versions and their image quality suffers from trying to stuff too many pixels on a 1/2.3" sensor. Lesson learned from this is don't carry camera in pants pocket. I've invested in a Canon PSC3200 belt case for future use.

SIMON40 Apr 15, 2018 6:14 PM

clschmalz... I think it's fair to say that in most areas of life- many things are less well built as their predecessors... though it's probably also fair to say that such devices were probably less affordable back in the day....
I have a 38 year old TV in my bedroom- working perfectly... but that TV in today's money would be hugely expensive.... roughly 1200...!

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