Overall, the photos produced by the ZR1 are very good to excellent depending on if you care about how pictures look when viewed or printed at the full 4,000x3,000-pixel resolution. There's visible noise at all ISOs, but it isn't until ISO 400 that it and noise suppression combine to soften detail. At ISO 800, photos take on a painterly appearance, but fine detail is still fairly good. Though there's still some detail at ISO 1,600, photos are for the most part unusable because they are covered in faint yellow splotches along with a good amount of noise.
At 100 percent, its photos can look a touch fuzzy; however, overall the ZR1 can produce some sharp images for a megazoom camera with very good fine detail.
Despite its 8x zoom range and 25mm-equivalent wide-angle lens, there was just some minor barrel distortion at its widest position (top).
Purple fringing was minimal in high-contrast areas, though it did still appear on occasion as in this shot. In fact, this is one of the few test shots where it was visible and it's pretty faint at that.
Panasonic's Intelligent Exposure in action. On the left, the feature is turned off while shooting in the camera's Normal Picture mode. Turn it on and you get the image on the right, which obviously brings out the ground cover below the flower without overexposing the white. While the left is more dramatic, the right is more natural. Intelligent Exposure is always on in Panasonic's Intelligent Auto mode.
These are the extremes of the lens. The 8x zoom (right) is enough to get you closer to your subject without adding too much weight or size to the camera.
How good is the new Power OIS system? Good enough for me to take this shot with one hand and with my arm fully extended after three cups of coffee. (And I have very long arms.)
The ZR1 produces bright, natural colors that are reasonably accurate. White balance and exposure were also very good.