Panasonic’s were among the first compact cameras with video capability in HD. I have previously tested another Lumix with very good results. The build quality of the camera seems sturdy, and there is no cracking or failure in the camera body.
If you have used a Panasonic compact camera before, you should not run into any problems here. Most options can be set via the Quick menu, so you can easily open with the press of a button on the back. The rest of the settings can be found in the main menu.
Lumix ZX3 shoots movies in 720p, and the recordings are stored in AVCHD format so that you can play them on a Blu-ray player. The recordings are good quality, low grain and noise if you only have enough light during shoots. Another positive is that you can zoom during recording.
The resolution of the ZX3 is of 14.1 megapixels, and without the sensor it is made somewhat larger than at lower resolution cameras. It may be the reason that there is evidence of noise in the images even at low ISO values, but not much.
Not unexpectedly detail rendering falls somewhat when you’re shooting at full telephoto. The camera has an optical zoom of 8x and provides a wide-angle 25 mm. It’s a good combination, and many will probably appreciate having such a powerful zoom in a camera that is not too large. 8x optical zoom may not compete with the mega-zoom cameras, but is certainly good for a compact camera like this.
It’s starting to get very many good cameras in the price range Lumix ZX3 has settled in, making the competition tougher. It delivers good, crisp images and video function is both useful and provide good shooting. This is a good choice for those who want a little extra in a small camera housing.