Nikon D2Xs vs Panasonic ZS70
The Nikon D2Xs and the Panasonic Lumix DC-ZS70 (labelled Panasonic TZ90 in some countries) are two digital cameras that were officially introduced, respectively, in June 2006 and April 2017. The D2Xs is a DSLR, while the ZS70 is a fixed lens compact. The cameras are based on an APS-C (D2Xs) and a 1/2.3-inch (ZS70) sensor. The Nikon has a resolution of 12.2 megapixels, whereas the Panasonic provides 20.2 MP.
Below is an overview of the main specs of the two cameras as a starting point for the comparison.
|Nikon D2Xs||Panasonic ZS70|
|Digital single lens reflex||Fixed lens compact camera|
|Nikon F mount lenses||24-720mm f/3.3-6.4|
|12.2 MP, APS-C Sensor||20.2 MP, 1/2.3" Sensor|
|no Video||4K/30p Video|
|ISO 100-800 (800 - 3,200)||ISO 80-3,200 (80 - 6,400)|
|Optical viewfinder||Electronic viewfinder (1166k dots)|
|2.5 LCD, 230k dots||3.0 LCD, 1040k dots|
|Fixed screen (not touch-sensitive)||Tilting touchscreen|
|5 shutter flaps per second||10 shutter flaps per second|
|Weathersealed body||not weather sealed|
|3800 shots per battery charge||380 shots per battery charge|
|158 x 150 x 86 mm, 1252 g||112 x 67 x 41 mm, 322 g|
Going beyond this snapshot of core features and characteristics, what are the differences between the Nikon D2Xs and the Panasonic Lumix DC-ZS70? Which one should you buy? Read on to find out how these two cameras compare with respect to their body size, their imaging sensors, their shooting features, their input-output connections, and their reception by expert reviewers.
An illustration of the physical size and weight of the Nikon D2Xs and the Panasonic ZS70 is provided in the side-by-side display below. The two cameras are presented according to their relative size. Three consecutive views from the front, the top, and the rear side are shown. All size dimensions are rounded to the nearest millimeter.
The ZS70 can be obtained in two different colors (black, silver), while the D2Xs is only available in black.
If the front view area (width x height) of the cameras is taken as an aggregate measure of their size, the Panasonic ZS70 is considerably smaller (68 percent) than the Nikon D2Xs. It is worth mentioning in this context that the D2Xs is splash and dust resistant, while the ZS70 does not feature any corresponding weather-sealing.
The above size and weight comparisons are to some extent incomplete and possibly misleading, as the ZS70 has a lens built in, whereas the D2Xs is an interchangeable lens camera that requires a separate lens. Attaching the latter will add extra weight and bulk to the setup. You can compare the optics available for the D2Xs and their specifications in the Nikon Lens Catalog.
Concerning battery life, the D2Xs gets 3800 shots out of its EN-EL4a battery, while the ZS70 can take 380 images on a single charge of its DMW-BLG10 power pack. As can be seen in the images above, the D2Xs has a battery grip built in. This facilitates image-taking in portrait orientation and gives it additional battery power. The power pack in the ZS70 can be charged via the USB port, which can be very convenient when travelling.
The table below summarizes the key physical specs of the two cameras alongside a broader set of comparators. If you want to switch the focus of the display and review another camera pair, just select a new right or left comparator from among the camera models in the table. Alternatively, you can also move across to the CAM-parator tool and choose from the broad selection of possible camera comparisons there.
|Nikon D2Xs||6.2 in||5.9 in||3.4 in||44.2 oz||3800||Y||Jun 2006||4,699|
|Panasonic ZS70||4.4 in||2.6 in||1.6 in||11.4 oz||380||n||Apr 2017||449|
|Canon SX730||4.3 in||2.5 in||1.6 in||10.6 oz||250||n||Apr 2017||399|
|Canon SX720||4.3 in||2.5 in||1.4 in||9.5 oz||250||n||Feb 2016||379|
|Canon 1D Mark III||6.1 in||6.2 in||3.1 in||40.7 oz||2200||Y||Feb 2007||4,499|
|Nikon D300S||5.8 in||4.5 in||3.2 in||33.1 oz||950||Y||Jul 2009||1,799|
|Nikon D3||6.3 in||6.2 in||3.5 in||45.9 oz||4300||Y||Aug 2007||4,999|
|Nikon D40X||4.9 in||3.7 in||2.5 in||18.4 oz||520||n||Mar 2007||729|
|Nikon D300||5.8 in||4.5 in||2.9 in||32.6 oz||1000||Y||Aug 2007||1,799|
|Nikon D80||5.2 in||4.1 in||3.0 in||23.6 oz||600||n||Aug 2006||999|
|Nikon D200||5.8 in||4.4 in||2.9 in||32.5 oz||400||Y||Nov 2005||1,699|
|Nikon D2X||6.2 in||5.9 in||3.4 in||44.2 oz||3800||Y||Sep 2004||4,999|
|Nikon D1H||6.2 in||6.0 in||3.3 in||38.8 oz||1200||Y||Feb 2001||4,499|
|Nikon D1||6.2 in||6.0 in||3.3 in||38.8 oz||..||Y||Jun 1999||5,499|
|Panasonic ZS80||4.4 in||2.7 in||1.7 in||11.5 oz||380||n||Feb 2019||449|
|Panasonic FZ80||5.1 in||3.7 in||4.7 in||21.7 oz||330||n||Jan 2017||399|
|Panasonic FZ150||4.9 in||3.2 in||3.6 in||18.6 oz||410||n||Aug 2011||499|
Notes: Measurements and pricing do not include easily detachable parts, such as add-on or interchangeable lenses or optional viewfinders.
(1) Number of images that can be taken on a full battery charge according to the CIPA-standard; (2) Official announcement.
Any camera decision will obviously take relative prices into account. The manufacturer’s suggested retail prices give an idea on the placement of the camera in the maker’s lineup and the broader market. The ZS70 was launched at a lower price than the D2Xs, despite having a lens built in. Usually, retail prices stay at first close to the launch price, but after several months, discounts become available. Later in the product cycle and, in particular, when the replacement model is about to appear, further discounting and stock clearance sales often push the camera price considerably down.
The size of the imaging sensor is a crucial determinant of image quality. A large sensor will generally have larger individual pixels that offer better low-light sensitivity, provide wider dynamic range, and have richer color-depth than smaller pixels in a sensor of the same technological generation. Moreover, a large sensor camera will give the photographer more control over depth-of-field in the image and, thus, the ability to better isolate a subject from the background. On the downside, larger sensors tend to be more expensive and lead to bigger and heavier cameras and lenses.
Of the two cameras under consideration, the Nikon D2Xs features an APS-C sensor and the Panasonic ZS70 a 1/2.3-inch sensor. The sensor area in the ZS70 is 92 percent smaller. As a result of these sensor size differences, the cameras have a format factor of, respectively, 1.5 and 5.6. The sensor in the D2Xs has a native 3:2 aspect ratio, while the one in the ZS70 offers a 4:3 aspect.
Despite having a smaller sensor, the ZS70 offers a higher resolution of 20.2 megapixels, compared with 12.2 MP of the D2Xs. This megapixels advantage comes at the cost of a higher pixel density and a smaller size of the individual pixel (with a pixel pitch of 1.18μm versus 5.52μm for the D2Xs). However, it should be noted that the ZS70 is much more recent (by 10 years and 10 months) than the D2Xs, and its sensor will have benefitted from technological advances during this time that make it possible to gather light more efficiently. Coming back to sensor resolution, it should be mentioned that the ZS70 has no anti-alias filter installed, so that it can capture all the detail its sensor resolves.
The resolution advantage of the Panasonic ZS70 implies greater flexibility for cropping images or the possibility to print larger pictures. The maximum print size of the ZS70 for good quality output (200 dots per inch) amounts to 25.9 x 19.4 inches or 65.8 x 49.4 cm, for very good quality (250 dpi) 20.7 x 15.6 inches or 52.7 x 39.5 cm, and for excellent quality (300 dpi) 17.3 x 13 inches or 43.9 x 32.9 cm. The corresponding values for the Nikon D2Xs are 21.4 x 14.2 inches or 54.5 x 36.2 cm for good quality, 17.2 x 11.4 inches or 43.6 x 28.9 cm for very good quality, and 14.3 x 9.5 inches or 36.3 x 24.1 cm for excellent quality prints.
The Nikon D2Xs has a native sensitivity range from ISO 100 to ISO 800, which can be extended to ISO 800-3200. The corresponding ISO settings for the Panasonic Lumix DC-ZS70 are ISO 80 to ISO 3200, with the possibility to increase the ISO range to 80-6400.
Since 2007, DXO Mark has published sensor performance measurements that have been derived using a consistent methodology. This service determines an overall sensor rating, as well as sub-scores for low-light sensitivity ("DXO Sports"), dynamic range ("DXO Landscape"), and color depth ("DXO Portrait"). Of the two cameras under review, the D2Xs provides substantially higher image quality than the ZS70, with an overall score that is 23 points higher. This advantage is based on 3.1 bits higher color depth, 0.3 EV in additional dynamic range, and 2.2 stops in additional low light sensitivity. The following table provides an overview of the physical sensor characteristics, as well as the sensor quality measurements for a selection of comparators.
|Canon 1D Mark III||APS-H||10.1||3888||2592||none||22.7||11.7||1078||71|
|Nikon D3||Full Frame||12.1||4256||2832||none||23.5||12.2||2290||81|
Many modern cameras cannot only take still pictures, but also record videos. The ZS70 indeed provides for movie recording, while the D2Xs does not. The highest resolution format that the ZS70 can use is 4K/30p.
Apart from body and sensor, cameras can and do differ across a range of features. For example, the ZS70 has an electronic viewfinder (1166k dots), while the D2Xs has an optical one. Both systems have their advantages, with the electronic viewfinder making it possible to project supplementary shooting information into the framing view, whereas the optical viewfinder offers lag-free viewing and a very clear framing image. The viewfinders of both cameras offer the same field of view (100%), but the viewfinder of the D2Xs has a higher magnification than the one of the ZS70 (0.57x vs 0.46x), so that the size of the image transmitted appears closer to the size seen with the naked human eye. The table below summarizes some of the other core capabilities of the Nikon D2Xs and Panasonic ZS70 in connection with corresponding information for a sample of similar cameras.
|Canon 1D Mark III||optical||Y||3.0||230||fixed||n||1/8000s||10.0||n||n|
One feature that is present on the D2Xs, but is missing on the ZS70 is a top-level LCD. While being, of course, smaller than the rear screen, the control panel conveys some of the essential shooting information and can be convenient for quick and easy settings verification.The ZS70 has an articulated screen that can be turned to be front-facing. This characteristic will be appreciated by vloggers and photographers who are interested in taking selfies. In contrast, the D2Xs does not have a selfie-screen.
The reported shutter speed information refers to the use of the mechanical shutter. Yet, some cameras only have an electronic shutter, while others have an electronic shutter in addition to a mechanical one. In fact, the ZS70 is one of those camera that have an additional electronic shutter, which makes completely silent shooting possible. However, this mode is less suitable for photographing moving objects (risk of rolling shutter) or shooting under artificial light sources (risk of flickering).
The D2Xs writes its imaging data to Compact Flash cards, while the ZS70 uses SDXC cards.
For some imaging applications, the extent to which a camera can communicate with its environment can be an important aspect in the camera decision process. The table below provides an overview of the connectivity of the Nikon D2Xs and Panasonic Lumix DC-ZS70 and, in particular, the interfaces the cameras (and selected comparators) provide for accessory control and data transfer.
| WiFi |
|Canon 1D Mark III||Y||-||-||-||-||-||2.0||-||-||-|
It is notable that the D2Xs has a hotshoe, while the ZS70 does not. This socket makes it possible to easily attach optional accessories, such as an external flash gun.
Studio photographers will appreciate that the Nikon D2Xs (unlike the ZS70) features a PC Sync socket, so that professional strobe lights can be controlled by the camera.
Both the D2Xs and the ZS70 have been discontinued, but can regularly be found used on eBay. The D2Xs was replaced by the Nikon D3X, while the ZS70 was followed by the Panasonic ZS80. Further information on the two cameras (e.g. user guides, manuals), as well as related accessories, can be found on the official Nikon and Panasonic websites.
So what is the bottom line? Is there a clear favorite between the Nikon D2Xs and the Panasonic ZS70? Which camera is better? The listing below highlights the relative strengths of the two models.
Advantages of the Nikon D2Xs:
- Better moiré control: Has an anti-alias filter to avoid artificial patterns to appear in images.
- Better image quality: Scores substantially higher (23 points) in the DXO overall assessment.
- Richer colors: Generates images with noticeably better colors (3.1 bits more color depth).
- Better low-light sensitivity: Requires less light for good images (2.2 stops ISO advantage).
- Brighter framing: Features an optical viewfinder for clear, lag-free composition.
- Larger viewfinder image: Features a viewfinder with a higher magnification (0.57x vs 0.46x).
- Easier setting verification: Features an LCD display on top to control shooting parameters.
- Faster shutter: Has higher mechanical shutter speed (1/8000s vs 1/2000s) to freeze action.
- More flexible: Can take a variety of interchangeable lenses, including specialty optics.
- More portrait friendly: Features an integrated vertical grip for easier portrait shooting.
- Longer lasting: Can take more shots (3800 versus 380) on a single battery charge.
- Better sealing: Is weather sealed to enable shooting in dusty or wet environments.
- Better lighting: Features a hotshoe and can thus hold and trigger an external flash gun.
- Better studio light control: Has a PC Sync socket to connect to professional strobe lights.
- More heavily discounted: Has been available for much longer (launched in June 2006).
Reasons to prefer the Panasonic Lumix DC-ZS70:
- More detail: Has more megapixels (20.2 vs 12.2MP), which boosts linear resolution by 26%.
- Maximized detail: Lacks an anti-alias filter to exploit the sensor's full resolution potential.
- Broader imaging potential: Can capture not only stills but also 4K/30p video.
- More framing info: Has an electronic viewfinder that displays shooting data.
- Larger screen: Has a bigger rear LCD (3.0" vs 2.5") for image review and settings control.
- More detailed LCD: Has a higher resolution rear screen (1040k vs 230k dots).
- More flexible LCD: Has a tilting screen for odd-angle shots in landscape orientation.
- Fewer buttons to press: Has a touchscreen to facilitate handling and shooting adjustments.
- More selfie-friendly: Has an articulated screen that can be turned to be front-facing.
- Faster burst: Shoots at higher frequency (10 vs 5 flaps/sec) to capture the decisive moment.
- Less disturbing: Has an electronic shutter option for completely silent shooting.
- Ready to shoot: Comes with an integrated lens, while the D2Xs requires a separate lens.
- More compact: Is smaller (112x67mm vs 158x150mm) and will fit more readily into a bag.
- Less heavy: Has a lower weight even though it has a lens built in (unlike the D2Xs).
- Easier travel charging: Can be conveniently charged via its USB port.
- Sharper images: Has stabilization technology built-in to reduce the impact of hand-shake.
- Easier fill-in: Has a small integrated flash to brighten shadows of backlit subjects.
- Easier file upload: Has wifi built in for automatic backup or image transfer to the web.
- More affordable: Was introduced at a lower price, despite coming with a built-in lens.
- More modern: Reflects 10 years and 10 months of technical progress since the D2Xs launch.
If the count of individual advantages (bullet points above) is taken as a guide, the ZS70 is the clear winner of the contest (19 : 15 points). However, the pertinence of the various camera strengths will differ across photographers, so that you might want to weigh individual camera traits according to their importance for your own imaging needs before making a camera decision. A professional wildlife photographer will view the differences between cameras in a way that diverges from the perspective of a family photog, and a person interested in architecture has distinct needs from a sports shooter. Hence, the decision which camera is best and worth buying is often a very personal one.
How about other alternatives? Do the specifications of the Nikon D2Xs and the Panasonic ZS70 place the cameras among the top in their class? Find out in the latest Best DSLR Camera and Best Superzoom Camera listings whether the two cameras rank among the cream of the crop.
In any case, while the comparison of the spec-sheets of cameras can offer a general idea of their imaging potential, it remains incomplete and does no justice, for example, to the way the D2Xs or the ZS70 perform in practice. User reviews that are available, for instance, at amazon can sometimes shed light on these issues, but such feedback is all too often partial, inconsistent, and inaccurate.
This is where reviews by experts come in. The adjacent summary-table relays the overall verdicts of several of the most popular camera review sites (cameralabs, dpreview, ephotozine, imaging-resource, and photographyblog). As can be seen, the professional reviewers agree in many cases on the quality of different cameras, but sometimes their assessments diverge, reinforcing the earlier point that a camera decision is often a very personal choice.
|Nikon D2Xs||..||..||..||o||..||Jun 2006||4,699|
|Panasonic ZS70||+ +||..||4/5||..||4/5||Apr 2017||449|
|Canon SX730||+||..||4/5||..||4/5||Apr 2017||399|
|Canon SX720||+||..||4/5||..||4.5/5||Feb 2016||379|
|Canon 1D Mark III||..||..||..||o||..||Feb 2007||4,499|
|Nikon D300S||+ +||82/100||4/5||5/5||4.5/5||Jul 2009||1,799|
|Nikon D3||..||+ +||5/5||o||4.5/5||Aug 2007||4,999|
|Nikon D40X||79/100||+ +||4/5||o||4/5||Mar 2007||729|
|Nikon D300||+ +||+ +||5/5||o||4.5/5||Aug 2007||1,799|
|Nikon D80||+||+ +||o||4.5/5||4.5/5||Aug 2006||999|
|Nikon D200||+ +||+ +||o||5/5||..||Nov 2005||1,699|
|Nikon D2X||..||+ +||..||o||..||Sep 2004||4,999|
|Nikon D1H||..||+ +||..||o||..||Feb 2001||4,499|
|Nikon D1||..||+ +||..||..||..||Jun 1999||5,499|
|Panasonic ZS80||+ +||..||4.5/5||..||..||Feb 2019||449|
|Panasonic FZ80||+ +||..||4.5/5||..||4.5/5||Jan 2017||399|
|Panasonic FZ150||+ +||76/100||4/5||5/5||4.5/5||Aug 2011||499|
|Notes: (+ +) highly recommended; (+) recommended; (o) reviewed; (..) not available.|
Care should be taken when interpreting the review scores above, though. The assessments were made in relation to similar cameras of the same technological generation. Hence, a score should always be seen in the context of the camera's market launch date and its price, and comparisons of ratings among very different cameras or across long time periods have little meaning. Also, please note that some of the review sites have changed their methodology and reporting over time.
Other camera comparisons
Did this review help to inform your camera decision process? In case you are interested in seeing how other cameras pair up, just make a corresponding selection in the search boxes below. Alternatively, you can follow any of the listed hyperlinks for comparisons that others found interesting.
- Canon 250D vs Nikon D2Xs
- Canon T3i vs Panasonic ZS70
- Leica SL vs Panasonic ZS70
- Nikon D1X vs Panasonic ZS70
- Nikon D2Xs vs Nikon D40
- Nikon D2Xs vs Nikon D700
- Nikon D2Xs vs Panasonic FZ82
- Nikon D3100 vs Panasonic ZS70
- Panasonic LX100 vs Panasonic ZS70
- Panasonic ZS70 vs Sony A7R III
- Panasonic ZS70 vs Sony A850
- Panasonic ZS70 vs Sony RX0
Specifications: Nikon D2Xs vs Panasonic ZS70
Below is a side-by-side comparison of the specs of the two cameras to facilitate a quick review of their differences and common features.
|Camera Model||Nikon D2Xs||Panasonic ZS70|
|Camera Type||Digital single lens reflex||Fixed lens compact camera|
|Camera Lens||Nikon F mount lenses||24-720mm f/3.3-6.4|
|Launch Date||June 2006||April 2017|
|Launch Price||USD 4,699||USD 449|
|Sensor Specs||Nikon D2Xs||Panasonic ZS70|
|Sensor Format||APS-C Sensor||1/2.3" Sensor|
|Sensor Size||23.7 x 15.7 mm||6.17 x 4.55 mm|
|Sensor Area||372.09 mm2||28.0735 mm2|
|Sensor Diagonal||28.4 mm||7.7 mm|
|Sensor Resolution||12.2 Megapixels||20.2 Megapixels|
|Image Resolution||4288 x 2848 pixels||5184 x 3888 pixels|
|Pixel Pitch||5.52 μm||1.18 μm|
|Pixel Density||3.28 MP/cm2||71.80 MP/cm2|
|Moiré control||Anti-Alias filter||no AA filter|
|Movie Capability||no Video||4K/30p Video|
|ISO Setting||100 - 800 ISO||80 - 3,200 ISO|
|ISO Boost||800 - 3,200 ISO||80 - 6,400 ISO|
|DXO Sensor Quality (score)||59||36|
|DXO Color Depth (bits)||22.2||19.1|
|DXO Dynamic Range (EV)||10.9||10.6|
|DXO Low Light (ISO)||489||106|
|Screen Specs||Nikon D2Xs||Panasonic ZS70|
|Viewfinder Type||Optical viewfinder||Electronic viewfinder|
|Viewfinder Field of View||100%||100%|
|Viewfinder Resolution||1166k dots|
|Top-Level Screen||Control Panel||no Top Display|
|LCD Framing||Live View|
|Rear LCD Size||2.5inch||3.0inch|
|LCD Resolution||230k dots||1040k dots|
|LCD Attachment||Fixed screen||Tilting screen|
|Touch Input||no Touchscreen||Touchscreen|
|Shooting Specs||Nikon D2Xs||Panasonic ZS70|
|Focus System||Phase-detect AF||Contrast-detect AF|
|Manual Focusing Aid||no Peaking Feature||Focus Peaking|
|Max Shutter Speed (mechanical)||1/8000s||1/2000s|
|Continuous Shooting||5 shutter flaps/s||10 shutter flaps/s|
|Electronic Shutter||no E-Shutter||up to 1/16000s|
|Fill Flash||no On-Board Flash||Build-in Flash|
|Storage Medium||CF cards||SDXC cards|
|Second Storage Option||Single card slot||Single card slot|
|Connectivity Specs||Nikon D2Xs||Panasonic ZS70|
|External Flash||Hotshoe||no Hotshoe|
|Studio Flash||PC Sync socket||no PC Sync|
|USB Connector||USB 2.0||USB 2.0|
|HDMI Port||no HDMI||micro HDMI|
|Wifi Support||no Wifi||Wifi built-in|
|Body Specs||Nikon D2Xs||Panasonic ZS70|
|Environmental Sealing||Weathersealed body||not weather sealed|
|Battery Life (CIPA)||3800 shots per charge||380 shots per charge|
|In-Camera Charging||no USB charging||USB charging|
158 x 150 x 86 mm
(6.2 x 5.9 x 3.4 in)
112 x 67 x 41 mm
(4.4 x 2.6 x 1.6 in)
|Camera Weight||1252 g (44.2 oz)||322 g (11.4 oz)|
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