Panasonic Lumix DMC-TS3
A new high-end camera
Panasonic Lumix DMC-TS3 is a new high-end camera coming from the famous Japanese company. They have so far released other two high-end models in past years and with this new one they’re hoping to win the hearts of customers worldwide. Did it work? Here come our test and review.
First of all, let’s discuss specifications: 64.0mm (H) x 26.5mm (W) x 103.5mm (D), 197.0 g, 2.7-inch LCD, 4.6x advanced zoom, 6x digital zoom, 100.0 viewfinder coverage, A/V connectivity options, removable lithium-ion battery, 100/200/400/800/1600/3200/6400 ISO, 12.1 MP, HD video capture, 2.28 seconds boot time, 1.2 recycle time, 3D photo mode and GPS.
12-megapixel high-speed CCD sensor
Other key specifications are a 28mm wide-angle lens featuring a 4.6x internal zoom and a 12-megapixel high-speed CCD sensor. The latter comes with Panasonic’s Venus Engine FHD processor.
In terms of design, this model comes in silver, orange, red and blue metallic colors. It looks solid, but it’s not crushproof, as our tests revealed. The camera’s body is waterproof up o 12m, dustproof, freezeproof up to -10⁰C and shockproof to around 2m. The optical zoom lens uses a window for protection, but you’ll have to clean it quite frequently, as it gets dirty quickly.
The DMC-TS3 features a bright built-in LED lamp which is very good when you want to shoot in dark environments. The LCD contains 230K and it shows motion blur. An important plus is the easy to use interface: it features a quick menu, a regular menu and buttons for timer, video recording, flash and other useful options.
Very good speed
This gadget works extremely fast: 2.3 seconds were enough to press the power button and snap a photo. There’s a 0.5 shutter lag and 1.2 seconds wait time. The quality of the pictures we took was decent: they looked good in direct sunlight, but without enough sharpness once indoors. Noise performance at normal ISO values was good, no complaints there, but once we chose higher ISO points, the quality of the pictures suffered.
In shallow water, the new DMC-TS3 works very well: images are clear and detailed. Colors depend on the ISO: they are vibrant and bright at low ISO and washed out at higher ISO (400).
In terms of exposure, our tests revealed no problems.
Full HD movies included
Video quality is better when compared to HD pocket video cameras. This product offers the possibility to record 720p 30 videos at 6 megabits-per-second or 1080p 30 at 17-megabits-per-second. The zoom lens works very well and the noise doesn’t get picked up by the mics. However, you’ll have to be careful not to cover it with your fingers, if you want to actually hear what you’re recording. There are three indoor shooting modes available with this camera: Mode, Normal Picture and Intelligent Audio, four outdoor modes for when you want to snap beach, snow and water scenes and, finally, 25 other scene modes.
We were also able to shoot 3D images. However, if you want the quality to be top notch, the subjects have stand still; otherwise, the quality will leave something to be desired. This camera takes 20 shots in a few seconds, chooses the two best ones and merges them into a 3D MPO file. This file can then be played back on PCs, TVs and digital frames that are 3D-enabled. The camera also features an SDXC slot compatible with SDHC and SD cards.
Shooting performance is great: shutter lag is low, time from off to first shot is 1.9 seconds and continuous burst reaches up to 2.5fps.
The built-in GPS is a good addition to the new Panasonic Lumix DMC-TS3. It is easy to use: all you have to do is turn the receiver on and it will retrieve GPS information for the location you are in: country, city, landmark and so on. This all takes from less than a minute to several minutes.
Other features of this gadget are: an altimeter, a built-in compass and a barometer. Battery life is good: you can take 130 pictures on a charge.
In conclusion, after the tests performed for this review we can say that if you want a camera that lets you snap photos in conditions where the competition’s products fall behind, then you will find that this Panasonic Lumix DMC-TS3 is the right gadget for your needs.
|Maximum resolution||12.1 MP|
|Digital Zoom||4 x|
|Battery||1 x Li-ion rechargeable battery – 940 mAh|