Panasonic Lumix DMC-TS3 Review
The Panasonic DMC- TS3 sports a new durable body design and better waterproofing up to depths of 12m compared to its predecessor the TS2 (up to 10m). Like the TS2 it is also dustproof, shockproof against a drop of up to 2m, and freezeproof down to -10°C.
The Lumix DMC-TS3 adds features such as built-in GPS, altimeter, barometer and a compass. The 12MP CCD-based camera with a 2.7 inch LCD and 28-128mm equiv. lens also features 1080i60 HD movies (from 30p sensor output) and comes with the company's latest 3D photo mode.
The Panasonic Lumix DMC-TS3 is available in blue, red and orange for an estimated retail price of $379.99 Canadian.
Panasonic Lumix DMC-TS3 Major Features:
4.6x Optical Zoom LEICA DC Lens
Altimeter, and Barometer
With the DMC-TS3 it is possible to use the GPS (Global Positioning System) function to record data on the shooting location. You can view images for each geographical location by using the included software PHOTOfunSTUDIO 6.1 HD Lite Edition to manage the images by date and location.
4 Active Outdoor
(Optical Image Stabilizer) and Active Mode
In addition to the conventional POWER O.I.S., the Active Mode effectively suppress blur in movie recording especially at wide angle while walking or playing with your children.
Screen with 230K resolution
LUMIX's acclaimed Intelligent LCD function also automatically adjusts the brightness in 11 steps according to shooting conditions. In addition, the AR (anti-reflective) coating LCD minimizes glare and provides clear images, for high visibility even in outdoor brightness.
The energy-saving Venus Engine FHD image processing engine and the efficient, rechargeable lithium-ion battery work together to extend the shooting time of the DMC-TS3. This lets users take approx. 310 shots on a single battery charge.
Format Movies with Sound
The IA (Intelligent Auto) Mode is also available in movie recording. The IA Mode automatically and simultaneously activates 4 advanced detection functions including the POWER O.I.S
When the camera is set to IA Mode, the Intelligent Scene Selector feature automatically sets the Scene Mode to one of Scenery, Portrait, Macro, Night Portrait, Night Scenery or Sunset.
The Intelligent Exposure function which is also activated in IA mode instantly analyzes the framed image and adjusts the brightness in areas that are too dark due to dim lighting, backlighting or use of the flash. Adjusting the brightness of dark areas, this produces natural images that are close to the way they actually look to the human eye.
AF/AE with Face Recognition
Face Detection also allows for Digital Redeye Correction (Redeye Removal). The camera takes care of the redeye effect that often happens when shooting with a flash, to ensure attractive facial expression.
3D Photo Mode
Panasonic Lumix DMC-TS3 Overview:
In terms of operation, the Panasonic Lumix DMC-TS3 provides user friendly features that will appeal to those that desire point and shoot simplicity, and can manage without extended manual exposure control options.
The On/Off button, shutter release and one touch movie recording button are located on the top of the DMC-TS3, with the remaining controls being placed on the back of the camera.
The camera's zoom is controlled by pressing one of two buttons. Press the (W) button to go wide in order to capture sweeping landscapes or group shots of people, or press the (T) button to zoom in on the action for a closer look.
The playback button is located below the Tele zoom button (T). Pushing the playback button displays the last image or movie taken.
The Mode button is found below the playback button, and is used to select the desired shooting or playback mode. Playback options include; Normal Play, Slide Show, Filtering Play, and Calendar (by date).
The available shooting mode options on the Panasonic Lumix DMC-TS3 include:
Intelligent Auto Mode: When shooting stills, the TS3 automatically selects an appropriate Scene mode (from Portrait, Scenery, Macro, Night Portrait, Night Scenery, Sunset, Baby) to match the subject conditions as detected by the camera. No need to worry about camera settings, just point and shoot.
Normal Picture Mode: The subjects are recorded using your own settings.
Sports Mode: Use this mode to take pictures of sporting events, etc.
Snow Mode: This allows you to take pictures that show the snow as white as possible at a ski resort or a snow-covered mountain.
Beach & Snorkeling Mode: This mode is optimal for taking pictures underwater and at the beach.
Underwater Mode: This is optimal for taking pictures underwater deeper than 12m (40 feet) by the use of the marine case (DMW-MCFT3; optional)
When you select a Scene Mode to match the subject and recording situation,
Available Scene modes include: Portrait, Soft Skin, Transform, Self-portrait, Scenery, Panorama Assist, Night Portrait, Night Scenery, Handheld Night Shot, Food, Party, Candle Light, Baby1/Baby2, Pet, Sunset, High-Sens., Hi-Speed Burst (up to 7fps at 3MP), Flash Burst, Starry Sky, Fireworks, Aerial Photo, Pin Hole, Film Grain, High Dynamic Range, and Photo Frame.
3D Photo Mode: Takes a 3D picture. Pictures are recorded continuously while moving the camera horizontally, two pictures selected automatically are combined to make a single 3D picture. To view 3D pictures, a television that supports 3D is required.
The Lumix TS3 features a 4-way push button control pad surrounding the inner Menu / Set button. The 4-way control pad is used to navigate menus and make changes to camera settings.
Pushing on the right of the 4-way control pad activates the camera's flash settings. Options in Normal Picture shooting mode include; Auto Flash, Redeye Reduction Flash (pre-flash), Fill Flash, Slow Sync./Redeye, Flash Off.
Pushing on the bottom portion of the 4-way control pad displays the camera's Macro AF (Close-up) settings, including; AF Macro, Macro Zoom and Macro Off. The Panasonic Lumix DMC-TS3 will allow you to focus down to 5cm from your subject with the lens set to wide-angle.
Pressing on the left of the 4-way control pad provides options for the camera's Self-Timer menu. The three settings include; 10 sec, 2 sec and off.
Simply press the top button on the 4-way control pad to activate the DMC-TS3's exposure compensation settings. Exposure can be adjusted by +/- 2 EV in 1/3 steps (to brighten or darken the image in difficult lighting conditions).
The MENU / SET button found in the middle of the 4-way control pad is used to activate camera settings menus and to confirm adjustments.
Options available in the REC Menu vary by the selected shooting mode. In Normal Picture mode the following settings can be adjusted;
Aspect Ratio, Picture Size, Quality (image compression), ISO Sensitivity, White Balance, AF Mode, Quick AF, Face Recognition, i.Exposure, Min. Shutter Speed, i.Resolution, Digital Zoom, Burst Mode, Colour Mode, AF Assist Lamp, Redeye Removal, Stabilizer, Date Stamp, Clock Set.
The bottom two buttons found on the back of the Lumix DMC-TS3 include the Display and Delete Quick Menu buttons. Pressing the Display button repeatedly cycles through the cameras various LCD display options.
In Normal Shooting mode the LCD display choices include; full screen display with no information, superimposed grid lines to aid in composition, superimposed camera settings information, or superimposed GPS + Compass + Altimeter and Barometer settings.
In Playback mode pushing the Display button repeatedly cycles through the following display options; full display with no shooting information, image with limited shooting information (seen below), image with superimposed exposure settings, image with superimposed GPS + Compass + Altimeter and Barometer settings.
The Delete button is located to the right of the Display button and is used to Delete an image, a group of images or a movie, when the camera is set to playback mode.
In normal shooting mode pushing the Delete button superimposes a Quick Menu on the camera's LCD monitor. Using the 4-way push pad controller it is possible to change commonly used settings on the fly.
The Panasonic Lumix DMC-TS3 offers two HD movie recording options in the AVCHD format, including [GFS] and [FSH] at 1920 x 1080 pixels 60i (CCD output is 30 fps). Motion Jpeg video recording is also available (best for PC viewing) at 1280 x 720 pixels 60p (CCd output is 30 fps).
Movie recording settings
can be accessed in the camera's movie menu as seen below.
The GPS function on the Panasonic Lumix DMC-TS3 can be disabled if so desired. The GPS Menu is used to activate GPS and other measurement settings.
With GPS activated and once the positioning is successful, the following information is stored in the images and movies recorded in [MotionJPEG] or [AVCHD] set to [GFS] or [GS].
Latitude / Longitude
The memory card slot, battery compartment, and interface connections on the DMC-TS3 are found behind a waterproof hinged protective door located on the side of the camera.
The Panasonic Lumix DMC-TS3 offers an HDMI output to connect the camera to an HDTV. An HDMI cable (HDMI Micro D-type) does not come supplied with the DSC-TS3 which is common to most cameras.
The DMC-TS3 also offers a standard A/V connection which also serves as the USB cable connection to a computer. A standard combination Audio/Video and USB cable is included in the box. The Panasonic Lumix DMC-TS3 uses Secure Digital (SD) or SDHC media memory cards. The camera does not come supplied with a memory card. A small amount of memory is built-in to the camera, good for a few shots in a pinch.
The DMC-TS3 runs on a Lithium-Ion rechargeable battery which provides up to approximately 310 shots per charge. The camera comes supplied with one battery and a charger that plugs right into the wall socket.
Panasonic Lumix DMC-TS3 Review User Experience:
With a rugged protective design, underwater capabilities, GPS tagging and advanced measuring technologies (compass, barometer and altimeter), the Panasonic Lumix DMC-TS3 lends itself well to active lifestyle, family and travel type photography.
Based on our tests with the Panasonic Lumix DMC-TS3, the 4.6x optical zoom with Mega Optical Image Stabilizer technology, delivers good sharpness throughout the zoom range. Some edge softness and noticeable barrel distortion (curvature of vertical lines) is seen in wide-angle images although this is fairly common to most point and shoot cameras in this class.
The Lumix DMC-TS3's versatile Auto focus system does a good job at maintaining focus, and the camera's Face Recognition system is very responsive and quickly locked in on faces in the scene. The metering system performed well overall. Taking advantage of some of the camera's built-in selectable scene modes and exposure compensation allowed us to compensate and get the desired shot that might not have been as achievable by simply using point and shoot Auto mode.
We found the 2.7-inch screen to be adequate, although the monitor could have benefited by being higher resolution (230k below average for today's standards and price point), and featuring better anti-reflective properties.
The menu interface on the Panasonic Lumix DMC-TS3 is intuitive and geared towards simple operation. In general we enjoyed using the Panasonic Lumix DMC-TS3 and felt the camera was easy to handle and use, and delivered some of the better image and movie quality that we have seen come from this type of an enhanced rugged all weather compact camera.
If you are looking for a user friendly, sleek and compact digital camera that can easily be brought along wherever your travels take you, we do not hesitate to recommend the Panasonic Lumix DMC-TS3.
Based on our experience with the DMC-TS3 we assign the camera an 8.5/10 for a combination of image quality, construction, performance and handling. In our opinion one of the best models in its class.
To buy the Panasonic Lumix DMC-TS3 we recommend checking out Amazon
Panasonic Lumix DMC-TS3 Review Sample Image Gallery:
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