Nikon AW100 vs Panasonic DMC-TS3

Started Sep 17, 2011 | Discussions thread
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Stunna
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Nikon AW100 vs Panasonic DMC-TS3
Sep 17, 2011

Hi, I'm in the market for an underwater camera, and it's come down to the AW100 vs the TS3. I'm mostly a DSLR user, so this will be a beat-up cam that I use for outdoors. My mind tells me I should get the TS3 as it has features that matters to me, but my heart desires the aw100 as it's a brand new camera and I'm just intrigued by it.

Here's what I like and dislike about the cameras:

1. TS3's build appears to be metallic, while the Nikon appears to be plastic.

2. The TS3 has an underwater housing available, which means should I choose to scuba dive I may have the option. The Nikon doesn't offer this accessory and doesn't seem to have a great history of supporting its cams with underwater housings (although ikelite or some other supplier may make one if this cam sells well.) Currently I don't scuba dive, so that's not an absolute deal breaker.

3. The Nikon shares the same Sony cmos sensor used in the Sony TX10, and in the most recent DPReview rugged camera roundup, the TS3 came up first while the Sony was second.

4. The TS3 is rated higher for depth as well as shock-proof. I don't know if it really means anything in reality, but if it's rated higher I'm assuming it's relatively more rugged.

5. The TS3's price has dropped quite a bit since it's a 6-month old camera. It is currently at least $80 cheaper than the AW100.

6. AW100 has high/slow motion speed shooting (although it's only in low resolution mode). It's an interesting function. I believe the AW100 also has panorama shooting.

7. AW100 has a better LCD screen (slightly larger and double the resolution.)

8. AW100 has a built-in map and possibly a better gps (the TS3s gps is almost useless, so the Nikon's gps can't be worse.)

9. AW100 has a shake-menu function that allows you to shake the camera to easily change settings. This may be useful when you're wearing gloves in the snow.

10. The two video formats are different, with the TS3 shooting 1080p only in avchd lite while the Nikon shoots 1080p in MPEG-4 AVC/H.264. I'm assuming this doesn't matter too much as both formats should be supported in Adobe Premiere/Final Cut type of software. Those of you who have an opinion regarding this please comment.

So what do you guys think? Would you choose the TS3 or the AW100? I'll be posting this in the Nikon forum and the Panasonic forum to get some different opinions. Thanks in advance for any input.

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