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If you’re shopping for the best Panasonic digital camera, you’ve got your heart set on either a mirrorless or a point-and-shoot camera. Depending on your budget and comfort level with photography, you could be in the market for a compact, lightweight solution or something akin to traditional DSLR cameras with a modern twist.
Panasonic is a trusted electronics brand that has been creating quality products for years. While not as competitive as more dedicated camera manufacturers, they make a commendable product that’s ideal for novices and budding photographers alike. Of course, to better understand all that’s available on the market, you might want to check out our guide for the best digital cameras.
That said, keep reading our Panasonic digital camera buying guide to learn how they compare to competitors and understand what you need to prioritize as you shop for a camera.
Award: TOP PICK
WHY WE LIKE IT: This camera has an excellent 1,166K-dot viewfinder and 1,040K dot touchscreen display, enabling accurate framing. The camera records detailed 3840×2160 QFHD footage and supports internal focus stacking.
The Panasonic LUMIX ZS100 20.1MP digital camera is a portable camera with plenty of advanced features. This camera features a 1-inch 20.1MP MOS sensor that delivers crisp photos, just like the Akaso V50 Pro. Equipped with a Leica DC Vario-Elmarit 25-250 mm lens, this camera is capable of up to 10x optical zoom. It also has a 1,166K dot touchscreen LCD, providing high-resolution previews even in sunlight. However, the LCD on this model doesn’t flip.
An eye-level electronic viewfinder supports accurate framing. The camera captures QFHD videos at resolutions of up to 3840 x 2160. It has an Optical Image Stabilization system that reduces photo distortion. This camera has 4K photo capture and 4K post focus features, allowing users to set the desired focus points after taking the photo. A lens-mounted control ring offers intuitive exposure control. This camera charges via a USB interface for convenience. It has built-in Wi-Fi connectivity, offering easy media transfer.
Award: HONORABLE MENTION
WHY WE LIKE IT: This camera has a rugged weather-sealed design suitable for excursions and wildlife photography. It has an excellent double image stabilization system that works with all sorts of lenses.
The Panasonic LUMIX GH5 20.3MP digital camera has a micro four-thirds sensor capable of capturing high dynamic range photos. Featuring a splash-proof, freeze-proof, and dust-proof magnesium alloy build, this camera is the ultimate model for camping trips and wildlife photography. This camera has a built-in five-axis dual image stabilization system that effectively reduces camera shake on all sorts of lenses. However, it struggles a bit in low-light conditions.
Like the Panasonic G85, this camera records 4K QFHD videos at 60fps, making it a favorite of documentary makers. It features a 3.5mm port for connecting headsets and other sound systems. A USB 3.0 interface enables fast file transfer. This camera has an HDMI port, so users can connect directly to various display devices. It has dual UHS-II U3 SD card slots, offering plenty of space for video storage. This camera comes with a shoulder strap for easy carrying.
Award: BEST OPTICAL ZOOMING
WHY WE LIKE IT: This camera has a rich collection of connectivity options that include USB, HDMI, and WiFi, which could make it a great digital camera with WiFi. It has a powerful photo capture system with excellent zooming ability.
The Panasonic LUMIX FZ80 18.1MP digital camera and a simple point-and-shoot system in a DSLR body. This camera uses an 18.1MP MOS sensor to capture vibrant, colorful images. With a DC Vario 20-1110mm lens, this camera offers up to 60x optical zoom. The lens has a built-in optical image stabilization system for capturing clear photos. This camera also has a USB 2.0 port for transferring media. However, it is a bit heavy.
This digital camera also records excellent videos, capturing at resolutions of up to 3840 x 2160. It has 4K Video Pause and Save and 4K photo modes for extracting high-res images from videos. The camera is well suited to low-light photography. It has a USB interface for charging. This model also has built-in Wi-Fi for connecting to computers and mobile devices. A micro HDMI D connector enables plugging into monitors and TVs easily.
Award: BEST FOR VIDEOGRAPHERS
WHY WE LIKE IT: This camera captures high-quality UHD footage. It has a rugged design that holds up well when exposed to the elements, making it a good choice for professional users.
The Panasonic LUMIX FZ300 12.1MP digital camera excels at video capture. It records at 4K resolutions, making it a good choice for vloggers and documentary makers. This camera has a 4K photo feature that extracts high-resolution photos from 4K videos. It uses a Leica DC Vario Elmarit 25-600mm lens with up to 24x optical zooming ability. An auto-white balance mode enables effortless customization. However, this model’s MOS sensor produces low-resolution 12.1-megapixel photos.
A five-axis Optical Image Stabilizer Plus system helps to reduce the likelihood of capturing blurred photos. This camera has a rugged body suitable for professional users. It is splash-proof and dust-proof, so it’s suitable for outdoor use. The camera has a level shot function that captures excellent photos even when the camera is tilted. This camera has Wi-Fi tech for transferring media to various devices. It boasts Depth-From-Defocus (DFD) autofocus tech for instant focusing.
Award: BEST RUGGED CAMERA
WHY WE LIKE IT: This Panasonic camera has a rugged build that is suitable for the outdoors. It is water-resistant and has a compact design suitable as a great travel camera, as well as for swimmers and divers.
Featuring a rugged design, the Panasonic LUMIX TS20 16.1MP digital camera excels in the outdoors. This camera has a rechargeable 680mAh lithium-ion battery pack for providing power on the go. A 2.7-inch LCD helps with framing and previewing media. This device is waterproof, allowing photographers to use it in light rain and underwater. It has a stylish design that stands out. However, this camera only manages to record relatively low-resolution HD videos.
This Panasonic camera is available in a variety of brilliant colors, including orange, red, and blue. It has a compact design that fits in pockets and purses for hassle-free transportation. Equipped with a 25mm lens, this device captures good wide-angle shots. It has an underwater shooting mode that will appeal to swimmers and divers. This camera has several outdoor scenes, so it’s ideal for taking photos outdoors. It has noise reduction tech for reducing camera gain.
Award: BEST FOR VLOGGING
WHY WE LIKE IT: A touchscreen display on this model tilts 180 degrees, allowing users to take epic selfies. The camera records QFHD UHD videos, so it’s a good choice for vloggers.
The Panasonic LUMIX LX10 20.1MP digital camera has a 1-inch MOS sensor that captures very detailed images. It’s equipped with a LEICA DC Vario-Summilux 24-72 mm lens with up to 3x optical zoom. This lens has a minimum focal distance of 3cm, capturing excellent close-ups. We love the tilting display that enables users to take photos. This 3-inch 1,040K dot LCD is touch-enabled for changing settings easily. However, this camera doesn’t have a built-in GPS.
A lens-mounting control ring enables users to adjust the exposure compensation fast. The camera is compact, enabling easy transportation. It captures QFHD videos at resolutions of up to 3840 x 2160. A USB interface provides convenient charging. This camera has a 4K photo feature for extracting detailed images from 4K videos. A micro-HDMI type D port allows connecting to TVs and monitors. The camera has a Power Optical Image Stabilizer (O.I.S) for fighting camera shake.
Formally known as Panasonic Corporation, the Japanese electronics brand was established in 1918 and is currently headquartered in Osaka, Japan. The brand prides itself on making people the central focus of all its inventions and is well-known for creating a wealth of electronics and appliances that make everyday life easier and more intuitive for consumers.
While Panasonic does make camera equipment, the brand is synonymous with quality consumer appliances. They have a formidable presence in multiple sectors, including audio and visual equipment, kitchen appliances, health and beauty solutions, and home care solutions. Additionally, Panasonic also provides commercial solutions for various biomedical, communications, automotive, and aviation industries.
Panasonic’s digital camera offerings tend to be targeted toward consumer and prosumer audiences. Unlike the top three digital camera manufacturers — Sony, Canon, and Nikon — Panasonic doesn’t offer a DSLR (digital single-lens reflex) option. Instead, they focus solely on mirrorless and point-and-shoot cameras.
However, these compact cameras have powerful optical zooms, larger sensors, touchscreen interfaces, and an ergonomic case design for an enhanced tactile shooting experience. As a result, these can be excellent beginner cameras for photography hobbyists before graduating to traditional mirrorless or DSLR models from alternative brands.
(Pro 1) A Wider Range of Compact Camera Models: The compact camera niche is becoming smaller every year as smartphone cameras continue to improve in functionality. While most other camera brands are shrinking their compact segment in favor of mirrorless and DSLR models, Panasonic has a healthy compact camera catalog, including some of the best point-and-shoot cameras for birding.
(Con 1) No DSLR Options: While mirrorless cameras continue to gain on the DSLR market, there are plenty of photographers and camera aficionados who refuse to ditch the DSLR camera. However, Panasonic doesn’t offer DSLRS, opting instead to provide several mirrorless options.
(Pro 2) More Accessible Price Points: If you have your heart set on a mirrorless digital camera, Panasonic offers several that are well under $1,000. Compared to other brands like the best Nikon digital camera or even the finest Kodak digital cameras, you can get a quality enhanced camera that shoots 4K video at a steal. This makes Panasonic ideal for photography beginners.
(Con 2) Not All Models Support Easy Connectivity: While some Panasonic models support Bluetooth or NFC wireless connections, this isn’t standard. Compare this with more robust Nikon cameras that do allow for both connections.
(Pro 3) 4K Video Support: High-quality video in 4K is virtually standard these days in everything from smartphones to televisions. Panasonic’s cameras natively shoot video in 4K, making them an excellent image quality solution for a wide array of videography needs.
(Con 3) Not All Models Are Weatherproof: If you frequently shoot outdoors or in harsh weather conditions, many of Panasonic’s camera offerings might not be up to the challenge without the use of a special waterproof casement.
Cameras are a personal purchase. So beyond the raw specifications to compare one camera against another, you also need to consider other factors which might heavily influence your purchasing decision. In particular, accessories aren’t always interchangeable between camera brands.
For example, assume you purchased a Sony camera several years ago and accumulated several camera accessories over the years. You might be hesitant to jump to a new brand when you know that those accessories may not be compatible with a different manufacturer.
Still, if you’re interested in embracing mirrorless technology, which is quickly becoming a hot new favorite over DSLRs, or want a compact point-and-shoot model with robust features including 4K video capture, you can’t go wrong with Panasonic. The brand has created a solid niche product with breakout models that, at times, can go head-to-head with more popular camera brands like Canon and Sony.
Likewise, if you’re ready to graduate to a mirrorless camera but have a smaller budget, Panasonic has several affordable options with competitive functionality but is priced well under $1,000. Unfortunately, the same can’t be said for top competitors in this niche.
As with any other camera, the physical casement can last for quite a while if you treat your camera like it’s an investment that you want to last. The real question is, what is the shutter actuation or total shutter count you can expect to achieve before the mechanical shutter breaks down.
Historically, this figure is considered more important for DSLR cameras but is also relevant for mirrorless digital cameras. While mirrorless models also employ a digital shutter, you always have the option to use the manual controls for the shutter instead. If you’re the type who prefers to use mechanical methods, then shutter actuation will matter.
Shutter actuation ranges can vary widely across camera brands. In some cases, they can be as low as 50,000 to as much as 500,000 or more. Although Panasonic doesn’t provide an expected shutter count range for their compact or mirrorless cameras in the product description, you can easily check this information independently through two methods.
First, you can rely on the EFIX data compiled for every image shot. To do this, upload the image to a photo editing software where you can determine the shutter count. Alternatively, you can often find this information directly on the camera, sometimes hidden in the menu.
Keep in mind that if you’re purchasing a second-hand camera, your purchase might have a lower lifespan depending on how many pictures were taken before you received it.
Panasonic has a fairly standard one-year mail-in repair warranty for their cameras and a 90-day warranty for camera accessories, including rechargeable batteries. However, extending the digital camera warranty to three years for select digital cameras within their LUMIX series is possible. To get the three-year extension, you need to register your device after purchasing it.