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Panasonic DMC-ZS40S Digital Camera

Overall Rating

Senior Friendly Features

Cool Factor


Digital Camera Type :


LCD size :

3 in or more

Image Stabilizer :


Weight :

4 oz to 8 oz

Quick Specs

LCD size: 
3 in or more
Digital Camera Type: 
More than 12 megapixels
+ See more specifications

Panasonic’s DMC-ZS40S digital camera features a Leica lens, which makes it seem even more like a tiny version of an old Leica rangefinder camera.

The 18.1 megapixel sensor provides images large enough to print and hang on your wall, and ISO up to 6400 for shooting indoors/in low light. The control ring around the lens can act as a focus ring or to control a variety of functions. You can set it to control focus, zooming, aperture, shutter speed or even Creative Control Filters.

The Leica Vario-Elmar lens is very sharp and is the equivalent of 24mm to a whopping 720mm! It actually extends out, at full zoom, to make the camera longer than it is wide. It will get you VERY close to the action. When it’s closed up, it’s completely flush with the focus ring, with a built-in lens cover.

Panasonic DMC-ZS40S best Digital Cameras for seniors

Speaking of action, it also can shoot at up to 10 frames per second, or 5 fps with focus tracking. So if for example your grandkids are doing a summersault perpendicular to you, you can set the focus once and shoot 10 frames per second. If they’re coming toward you (or away from you), you may want to stick to 5 frames per second with focus tracking.

The optical image stabilization keeps you steady on 5-axes, AND can keep your shots level even if you have the camera tilted.

The back of the camera shows the simple controls for navigating the menu and shooting. The tiny electronic viewfinder comes in very handy on bright, sunny days when the large LCD isn’t bright enough to see. There’s a diopter adjustment knob on the EVF (Panasonic calls it an LVF, for “Live View Finder”) so you can set it to be able to use it without glasses. The raised rubber cladding on the upper right makes a great grip for your thumb, making the camera comfortable and easy to hold onto.

It also shoots full 1080p HD video at up to 60 frames per second.

Panasonic DMC-ZS40S best Digital Cameras for seniors

The top view of the camera reveals the simple controls. In “M” mode, the ring around the lens can help set exposure, etc. The zoom control is placed predictably around the shutter release button, and there’s a dedicated but recessed button for shooting video.

Panasonic DMC-ZS40S best Digital Cameras for seniors

It has built-in GPS so you know where you shot your photos or video, and Wi-Fi and NFC so you can easily transfer or print your pictures, or use a smartphone app to control your camera.


Panasonic DMC-ZS40S best Digital Cameras for seniors Black It’s available in silver for $305 or in black for $369, because apparently it’s REALLY expensive black paint/anodizing. Or you can get the silver with a 16 GB SD card and a nice case for only $294 from Amazon. As with all cameras, we recommend buying an extra battery, as well.


Auto Focus Technology
  • Contrast Detect (sensor)
  • Multi-area
  • Center
  • Tracking
  • Single
  • Continuous
  • Face Detection
  • Live View
Autofocus Points 23
Battery Average Life 300 Photos
Color Silver
Continuous Shooting Speed 10 fps
Digital Zoom 2x
Display LCD
Display Fixture Type Fixed
Display Resolution Maximum 920000
Expanded ISO Maximum 6,400
Expanded ISO Minimum 100
Exposure Control Type
  • Intelligent Auto
  • Program
  • Aperture priority
  • Shutter priority
  • Manual
  • Custom 1/2
  • Panorama Shot
  • Scene
  • Creative Control
External Memory Included Yes
File Format JPEG (DCF Exif 2.3), RAW (RW2), MPO
Flash Memory Installed Size 12
Flash Memory Type SD/SDHC/SDXC, Internal
Flash Type Built-In Flash
Flash Type No
Focus Description 23-pt contrast detect
Focus Type Includes Manual Focus
Form Factor Compact
GPS BuiltIn
HDMI Type micro HDMI
ISO Range Auto, 100, 200, 400, 800, 1600, 3200 (boost to 6400)



Image Aspect Ratio 1:1, 4:3, 3:2, 16:9
Image Stabilization Optical
Included Components DMW-BCM13 Lithium-Ion Battery Pack, USB 2.0 Type A
Item Dimensions 2.52 x 1.34 x 4.37 inches
Item Weight 0.53 pounds
Lithium Battery Voltage 3.6 Volts
Lithium Battery Weight 15 grams
Macro Focus Range 3 cm
Maximum Aperture Range F3.3 – F6.4
Maximum Focal Length 720 mm
Maximum Shutter Speed 1/2000 of a second
Maximum horizontal resolution 4,896
Metering Multi, Center-weighted, Spot
Minimum Focal Length 24 mm
Minimum Shutter Speed 4 seconds
Optical Sensor Resolution 18.1 MP
Optical Zoom 30x
Photo Sensor Technology CMOS
Processor Description Venus Engine
Remote Control Description via smartphone
Self-timer Yes
Sensor Cleaning Method No
Shipping Weight 0.95 pounds
Supported Battery Types Lithium-ion battery and USB charger
USB 2.0 1
Video Capture Format MPEG-4, AVCHD
Video Capture Resolution 1920 x 1080 (60p/60i/30p), 1280 x 720 (60p/30p), 640 x 480 (30p)
Viewfinder Description 200000 dots
Viewfinder Type LCD
Weather Resistance No

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