The Panasonic Lumix DMC-ZS3 is a compact digital camera that is also known as the Panasonic Lumix DMC-TZ7 in Europe. These two models, the ZS3 and the TZ7, both can record HD video in the AVCHD Lite video format and the Motion JPEG video format. The ZS3 and TZ7 are identical except when it comes to their HD video recording time limits. The main difference is that the Panasonic ZS3 can record continuous video of unlimited length for HD video (no time limit, maximum video length depends on memory card), while the TZ7 has time limits on the length of continuous HD video it can record.
To find out if the Lumix ZS3 or TZ7 that you are considering has a HD video recording time limit, the only factor to consider is the model number. No, the ZS3 does not have any time limits for recording HD video. Yes, the European model TZ7 does have time limits for recording HD video.
Panasonic Lumix DMC-ZS3 – No Video Time Limit
The Panasonic Lumix DMC-ZS3 is capable of recording 720p HD video (1280×720) in the AVCHD Lite video format.
There is no video time limit, or maximum video length, for the video while recording in the AVCHD Lite video format. The video length is only limited by the size of the SD memory card.
On the ZS3, the Motion JPEG video format has a 2 GB size limit, but no specific time limit or maximum length. The video length will only depending on the SD memory card capacity and the ZS3 video quality setting (HD, WVGA, QVGA, VGA) that is used.
From the DMC-ZS3 manual (p. 61):
A maximum of approx. 2 GB of continuous motion pictures can be recorded in MOTION JPEG format. (Even if there is more that 2 GB of available space on the card, the available recording time will be calculated for a maximum of 2 GB.) To record more than 2 GB, press the motion picture button again. In AVCHD Lite format, recording may be continued until the card is full.
Panasonic Lumix DMC-TZ7 – Video Has Time Limit
The Panasonic Lumix DMC-ZS3 is known as the Panasonic Lumix DMC-TZ7 in Europe. The Panasonic Lumix DMC-TZ7 has the same HD video capabilities of the ZS3 when it comes to video quality, but the video lengths of HD video are restricted by certain time limits.
The TZ7 model has a 15 minute video time limit for AVCHD Lite HD Video:
Individual video clip is limited to 15 minutes.
This time limit is also referred to in the original press release for the ZS3/TZ7:
*Motion pictures can be recorded continuously for up to 15 minutes in some countries.
There is also a time limit for the Panasonic Lumix DMC-TZ7, when recording in the Motion JPEG video format:
For Europe, motion pictures can be recorded continuously for up to 29 minutes 59 seconds. The maximum continuous recording time (up to 29 minutes 59 seconds) is displayed on the screen.
Approximate Lengths of Panasonic Lumix ZS3 Videos
For the Panasonic Lumix DMC-ZS3, the approximate maximum video lengths are shown at the official ZS3 product page for different size memory cards and different video quality settings:
|AVCHD Lite Video||Motion JPEG Video|
|L (9 Mbps)||H (13 Mbps)||SH ( 17 Mbps)|
|2 GB||29 min||20 min||15 min||8 min 20 sec|
|4 GB||1 h||40 min||30 min||16 min 20 sec|
|8 GB||1 h 54 min||1 h 20 min||1 h||33 min 30 sec|
|16 GB||4 h||2 h 40 min||2 h||1 h 7 min|
|32 GB||8 h||5 h 20 min||4 h||2 h 15 min|