Friday, December 18, 2009

Panasonic Lumix DMC - TS1 Review 12.1MP Waterproof Shockproof

I've tested the Olympus, Fuji, Canon and several other cameras and I pretty much liked the Lumix a lot.

Here are the specs from

Panasonic Lumix DMC-TS1
Panasonic Lumix DMC-TS1
Panasonic's first rugged digital compact and the world's first to feature AVCHD lite HD video recording. The TS1 (FT1 in Europe) is designed to be dustproof, waterproof up to 3 meters and shockproof up to 1.3 meters. It incorporates AVCHD Lite video compression in 3 quality levels to allow longer HD video recording. Sporting a 12.1MP sensor, 28-129mm equivalent lens and 2.7" LCD, the camera also includes features such as Intelligent Auto Mode, Optical Image Stabilizer and Face recognition. April 2009
 More information
Waterproof Camera Group Test (Q2 2009)
Announced 27-Jan-09
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 Owners opinions
(Overall rating: 3.69999994550432)(Overall rating: 3.69999994550432)(Overall rating: 3.69999994550432)(Overall rating: 3.69999994550432)(Overall rating: 3.69999994550432)(Overall rating: 3.69999994550432)

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 Price (street)    
 Also known as    
Panasonic Lumix DMC-FT1
 Release Status    

Click for help Max resolution    
4000 x 3000
Click for help Low resolution    
4000 x 2672, 4000 x 2248, 3264 x 2448, 3264 x 2176, 3264 x 1840, 2560 x 1920, 2560 x 1712, 2560 x 1440, 2048 x 1536, 2048 x 1360, 1920 x 1080, 1600 x 1200, 640 x 480
Click for help Image ratio w:h    
16:9, 4:3, 3:2
Click for help Effective pixels    
12.1 million
Click for help Sensor photo detectors    
12.7 million
Click for help Sensor size    
1/2.33 " (6.13 x 4.60 mm, 0.28 cm²)
Click for help Pixel density    
43 MP/cm²
Click for help Sensor type    
Click for help Sensor manufacturer    

Click for help ISO rating    
Auto, 80, 100, 200, 400, 800, 1600 (1600-6400 with boost)
Click for help Zoom wide (W)    
28 mm
Click for help Zoom tele (T)    
128 mm (4.6 x)
Click for help Digital zoom    
Yes, 4x
Click for help Image stabilization    
Yes, Optical
Click for help Auto Focus    
TTL autofocus (11-point with face detection)
Click for help Manual Focus    
Click for help Normal focus range    
50 cm
Click for help Macro focus range    
5 cm
Click for help White balance override    
6 positions plus manual
Click for help Aperture range    
F3.3 - F5.9
Click for help Min shutter    
60 sec
Click for help Max shutter    
1/3000 sec
 Built-in Flash    
 Flash range    

 External flash    
 Flash modes    
Auto, On, Off, Red-Eye reduction, Slow Sync
Click for help Exposure compensation    
-2 to +2 EV in 1/3 EV Steps
Click for help Metering    
Intelligent Multiple, Center-Weighted, Spot
Click for help Aperture priority    
Click for help Shutter priority    
Click for help Focal length multiplier    

 Lens thread    
Click for help Continuous Drive    
Yes, 2.3 fps, 5 images
 Movie Clips    
Yes, 1280 x 720, 30 fps, 848 x 480, 30 fps, 640 x 480, 30 fps, 320 x 240, 30 fps
 Remote control    
Yes, 2 or 10 sec
Click for help Timelapse recording    
 Orientation sensor    
Click for help Storage types    
SD/MMC/SDHC card, Internal
Click for help Storage included    
40 MB Internal
Click for help Uncompressed format    
Click for help Quality Levels    
Fine, Standard
Click for help Viewfinder    
Click for help LCD    
2.7 "
Click for help LCD Dots    
Click for help Live View    
Click for help USB    
USB 2.0 (480Mbit/sec)
Click for help HDMI    
Click for help Wireless    
 Environmentally sealed    
Yes, Waterproof, Shockproof, Dustproof
Click for help Battery    
Lithium-Ion rechargeable & charger
 Weight (inc. batteries)    
189 g (6.7 oz)
98 x 63 x 23 mm (3.9 x 2.5 x 0.9 in)
First rugged compact with AVCHD Lite HD recording
 Resolution Chart

 Colour Patches

Firstly, the Lumix TS-1 does take HD videos at 720p, which is pretty good for something this size and waterproof. With a 2.7" LCD Screen in the back and Leica "Lens" image stabilization, I would say the specifications are slightly better then the rest of the class.

So far, I've brought it out to the cold, dropped it from 5ft to the ground, soaked it in the bathtub, it is still performing well.

The photos are pretty good for day shot, and the speed of 1/3000 is not bad for a camera like that. I like the button locations, and how the dial worked, but still, with gloves, it is hard to switch and call up the menu.

The colors are pretty good and image looks sharp too. I guess for most cameras, taking pictures outdoors in the day is not much of a test, but for a waterproof and shock proof point and shoot, being able to do 1/3 Steps in EV is pretty good.

Being able to do a little bit of setting modification control is pretty important to take photos at unusual locations. The above photo did not come out at all in my phone camera, and most cameras give a fuzzy white cloud. Lumix did pretty well.

The flash works pretty ok, and there are a few flash modes, sync flash, red eye reduction, etc,  and they do come in handy at times.

Here is a comparison on photos with and without flash.

The photo taken at ISO 3200 isn't that noisy for a 4" x 6" print, and taking with the flash shows that it is snowing. I would say that the Lumix TS1 is the best weatherproof camera for night shots as it seemed to have the least noise at ISO 800 and still ok photos at ISO 1600. (Photos taken without tripod) It has F3.3 at 28mm

Well, I would say that if any camera could take photos with just the street lamps, and the photo is still clear and without tripod and flash, then the camera is indeed pretty good for night photos.

Other cameras tested:

Canon D10 (ISO 400) relatively good at night, but anything more gets noisy.
Fuji Z33 seemed to have  high noise even at low ISO 200, and image quality is not good.
Olympus Stylus Tough 8000 has very noisy images at ISO 400 and up, and image seemed to lack contrast at night. I did not test the flash, but heard the flash sync is slow.

Overall, I would say the Lumix TS1 has good images throughout the test, Canon D10 has great images at ISO 100 as well, but for the other cameras, the quality is no where close to the 12.1 MP of the Lumix DMC-TS1.

Likes: HD Video, Good images to ISO 1600, Sharp images in day, Weatherproof, Good metering, Optical Image Stabilization, High Battery Capacity, Histogram, Dedicated Movie record button, Built in wind buffer to keep wind noise low.

Dislikes: Terrible power button, very unresponsive, Slow zooming, Does not take burst shots at -1/3 EV intervals, uses Panasonic Lumix connector to USB on camera, no RGB Histogram, average sound quality.

-- Reviewsguru


neil said...

This is a good camera for the price. It is simple to use and takes clear, crisp pictures. Also, the battery life is good. And the price makes it affordable to take good pictures.


Iron Bowl said...

The zoom was not impressive at 4.6, but with 12.1MP, and very clear images, a nice crop would solve the problem!