Nikon AW100 vs Panasonic DMC-TS3

Started Sep 17, 2011 | Discussions
Stunna
Regular MemberPosts: 142
Like?
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.

Don Erway
Contributing MemberPosts: 998
Like?
Re: Nikon AW100 vs Panasonic DMC-TS3
In reply to Stunna, Sep 17, 2011

panasonic dominates contrast detect auto focus. For shooting underwater, where the light is less than full, and everything is moving, you, the water, and the fish, you want a camera that will take a shot when you push the button, not some time later, after it wracks the focus in and out, and the fish is long gone from the scene.

Go ts3.
--
Don Erway
http://picasaweb.google.com/onederway
http://www.pbase.com/derway

Reply   Reply with quote   Complain
ChicagoMike
Regular MemberPosts: 104
Like?
Re: Nikon AW100 vs Panasonic DMC-TS3
In reply to Stunna, Sep 17, 2011

Interesting post. I'm also in the market for a waterproof, rugged camera and had also decided on the TS3, only to have my attention drawn by Nikon's offering. The TS3 looks like the best choice for me, though, since I do scuba dive and need an underwater housing. Also, Panasonic has been making these for years, while this is Nikon's first offering of this type. Most manufacturers need at least a generation to work out the kinks.

Reply   Reply with quote   Complain
primozp
Contributing MemberPosts: 719Gear list
Like?
Re: Nikon AW100 vs Panasonic DMC-TS3
In reply to ChicagoMike, Sep 17, 2011

ChicagoMike wrote:

Interesting post. I'm also in the market for a waterproof, rugged camera and had also decided on the TS3, only to have my attention drawn by Nikon's offering. The TS3 looks like the best choice for me, though, since I do scuba dive and need an underwater housing. Also, Panasonic has been making these for years, while this is Nikon's first offering of this type. Most manufacturers need at least a generation to work out the kinks.

I have not (yet) have the opportunity to test the new AW100, but I can show you what TS3 (FT3) camera is capable to do underwater during snorkeling and freediving to a depths up to 15 meters:

http://public.fotki.com/Primoz/sharm-el-sheikh-may2011/
http://www.youtube.com/user/PrimozP#grid/user/938C0ED84445496C

3m deep

5m deep

10m deep

14m deep

-- hide signature --

My (mostly underwater) photos and videos made with
compact UW cameras (Pentax Wxx & Panasonic TSx/FTx):
photos @ http://public.fotki.com/Primoz/
video footage @ http://www.youtube.com/user/PrimozP#g/p

 primozp's gear list:primozp's gear list
Panasonic Lumix DMC-TS20 Panasonic Lumix DMC-TS5
Reply   Reply with quote   Complain
dmanthree
Veteran MemberPosts: 4,427Gear list
Like?
Re: Nikon AW100 vs Panasonic DMC-TS3
In reply to primozp, Sep 18, 2011

Nice! How does the TS3 handle underwater? Any issues with shooting, changing settings, etc?
--
-------------------------------------------------
'Hit Refresh if pix do not appear. Flaky ISP at work.'

 dmanthree's gear list:dmanthree's gear list
Panasonic Lumix DMC-TS4 Sony Cyber-shot DSC-HX30V Panasonic Lumix DMC-GX1 Panasonic Lumix DMC-GH3 Panasonic Lumix G Fisheye 8mm F3.5 +7 more
Reply   Reply with quote   Complain
ChicagoMike
Regular MemberPosts: 104
Like?
Re: Nikon AW100 vs Panasonic DMC-TS3
In reply to primozp, Sep 18, 2011

Nice shots! Thanks for sharing. The underwater shots by the TS3 that I've seen all show pretty good colors, like these. Impressive job getting those deeper shots while freediving, by the way.

Reply   Reply with quote   Complain
primozp
Contributing MemberPosts: 719Gear list
Like?
Re: Nikon AW100 vs Panasonic DMC-TS3
In reply to dmanthree, Sep 18, 2011

dmanthree wrote:

Nice! How does the TS3 handle underwater? Any issues with shooting, changing settings, etc?
--

No, no problems at all. On the contrary, this camera is incredibly fast and right underwater shows its best face.

-- hide signature --

My (mostly underwater) photos and videos made with
compact UW cameras (Pentax Wxx & Panasonic TSx/FTx):
photos @ http://public.fotki.com/Primoz/
video footage @ http://www.youtube.com/user/PrimozP#g/p

 primozp's gear list:primozp's gear list
Panasonic Lumix DMC-TS20 Panasonic Lumix DMC-TS5
Reply   Reply with quote   Complain
Stunna
Regular MemberPosts: 142
Like?
Re: Nikon AW100 vs Panasonic DMC-TS3
In reply to primozp, Sep 22, 2011

Thanks for all your input. I decided to purchase the Panasonic TS3 and just received the camera today... it is very nice and easy to use. The build quality is excellent and the case is mostly metal, unlike the plastic body on the Nikon. Got all the settings setup within a few minutes without having to read the manual.

I'm sure the AW100 is also a great camera, but so far I'm pretty pleased with my new TS3. Thanks again!

Reply   Reply with quote   Complain
Stunna
Regular MemberPosts: 142
Like?
Re: Nikon AW100 vs Panasonic DMC-TS3
In reply to Stunna, Sep 22, 2011

One thing I'd like to add for those of you who owns the TS3 is that there's an updated firmware (1.2) available if you google "Panasonic TS3 firmware update". It improves some GPS functions. My camera came with firmware 1.0.

Reply   Reply with quote   Complain
jhinkey
Senior MemberPosts: 2,326Gear list
Like?
Re: Nikon AW100 vs Panasonic DMC-TS3
In reply to Stunna, Oct 2, 2011

Have any of you found the focusing speed of the TS3, especially at the tele end, to be kind of slow? I just did a side-by-side comparison of the TS3 and Nikon AW100 and found the TS3 to be pretty slow focusing at full tele and the Nikon to be very very quick. At full wide they both feel pretty fast.

John

 jhinkey's gear list:jhinkey's gear list
Panasonic Lumix DMC-TS3 Panasonic Lumix DMC-LX7 Panasonic Lumix DMC-GH2 Nikon D800 Panasonic Lumix DMC-G5 +19 more
Reply   Reply with quote   Complain
primozp
Contributing MemberPosts: 719Gear list
Like?
Re: Nikon AW100 vs Panasonic DMC-TS3
In reply to jhinkey, Oct 3, 2011

jhinkey wrote:

Have any of you found the focusing speed of the TS3, especially at the tele end, to be kind of slow? I just did a side-by-side comparison of the TS3 and Nikon AW100 and found the TS3 to be pretty slow focusing at full tele and the Nikon to be very very quick. At full wide they both feel pretty fast.

John

Where and how you did "a side-by-side comparison of the TS3 and Nikon AW100"?

-- hide signature --

My (mostly underwater) photos and videos made with
compact UW cameras (Pentax Wxx & Panasonic TSx/FTx):
photos @ http://public.fotki.com/Primoz/
video footage @ http://www.youtube.com/user/PrimozP#g/p

 primozp's gear list:primozp's gear list
Panasonic Lumix DMC-TS20 Panasonic Lumix DMC-TS5
Reply   Reply with quote   Complain
norcaldakar
New MemberPosts: 7
Like?
Re: Nikon AW100 vs Panasonic DMC-TS3
In reply to Stunna, Oct 3, 2011

Nikon AW100 just released at Costco for $319!! that may change some peoples minds about the price being high. Includes case and 4gig SDHC 100X card.

Great value with costco's warrenty.

Reply   Reply with quote   Complain
jhinkey
Senior MemberPosts: 2,326Gear list
Like?
Re: Nikon AW100 vs Panasonic DMC-TS3
In reply to primozp, Oct 3, 2011

primozp wrote:

jhinkey wrote:

Have any of you found the focusing speed of the TS3, especially at the tele end, to be kind of slow? I just did a side-by-side comparison of the TS3 and Nikon AW100 and found the TS3 to be pretty slow focusing at full tele and the Nikon to be very very quick. At full wide they both feel pretty fast.

John

Where and how you did "a side-by-side comparison of the TS3 and Nikon AW100"?

Here in Seattle at Glazer's camera. They had both in the case. Wish I could have taken images with each, but I didn't have an SD card with me.

John
--

 jhinkey's gear list:jhinkey's gear list
Panasonic Lumix DMC-TS3 Panasonic Lumix DMC-LX7 Panasonic Lumix DMC-GH2 Nikon D800 Panasonic Lumix DMC-G5 +19 more
Reply   Reply with quote   Complain
primozp
Contributing MemberPosts: 719Gear list
Like?
Re: Nikon AW100 vs Panasonic DMC-TS3
In reply to jhinkey, Oct 3, 2011

jhinkey wrote:

primozp wrote:

jhinkey wrote:

Have any of you found the focusing speed of the TS3, especially at the tele end, to be kind of slow? I just did a side-by-side comparison of the TS3 and Nikon AW100 and found the TS3 to be pretty slow focusing at full tele and the Nikon to be very very quick. At full wide they both feel pretty fast.

John

Where and how you did "a side-by-side comparison of the TS3 and Nikon AW100"?

Here in Seattle at Glazer's camera. They had both in the case. Wish I could have taken images with each, but I didn't have an SD card with me.

John
--

Sorry, but I still don't understand how do you find that the AW100 is faster than TS3. It seems impossible to me (I owned and tested allmost all UW cameras) because TS3 is by far the fastest camera in this class. What settings (program) you used in TS3 and what in AW100?
--
My (mostly underwater) photos and videos made with
compact UW cameras (Pentax Wxx & Panasonic TSx/FTx):
photos @ http://public.fotki.com/Primoz/
video footage @ http://www.youtube.com/user/PrimozP#g/p

 primozp's gear list:primozp's gear list
Panasonic Lumix DMC-TS20 Panasonic Lumix DMC-TS5
Reply   Reply with quote   Complain
jhinkey
Senior MemberPosts: 2,326Gear list
Like?
Re: Nikon AW100 vs Panasonic DMC-TS3
In reply to primozp, Oct 3, 2011

primozp wrote:

jhinkey wrote:

primozp wrote:

jhinkey wrote:

Have any of you found the focusing speed of the TS3, especially at the tele end, to be kind of slow? I just did a side-by-side comparison of the TS3 and Nikon AW100 and found the TS3 to be pretty slow focusing at full tele and the Nikon to be very very quick. At full wide they both feel pretty fast.

John

Where and how you did "a side-by-side comparison of the TS3 and Nikon AW100"?

Here in Seattle at Glazer's camera. They had both in the case. Wish I could have taken images with each, but I didn't have an SD card with me.

John
--

Sorry, but I still don't understand how do you find that the AW100 is faster than TS3. It seems impossible to me (I owned and tested allmost all UW cameras) because TS3 is by far the fastest camera in this class. What settings (program) you used in TS3 and what in AW100?
--

Well, like I said, it was only at full telephoto zoom position did the TS3 become slow to AF. I gave the camera to the sales guys (two in fact) and they made sure all the settings were appropriate and it was still slow to AF - We tried many different AF settings and it seemed to make no difference. Perhaps it was defective in some way? Unless I try another sample that's all I have to go on.

Have you actually tested the AW100? It just came out.

John

 jhinkey's gear list:jhinkey's gear list
Panasonic Lumix DMC-TS3 Panasonic Lumix DMC-LX7 Panasonic Lumix DMC-GH2 Nikon D800 Panasonic Lumix DMC-G5 +19 more
Reply   Reply with quote   Complain
primozp
Contributing MemberPosts: 719Gear list
Like?
Re: Nikon AW100 vs Panasonic DMC-TS3
In reply to jhinkey, Oct 3, 2011

jhinkey wrote:

Well, like I said, it was only at full telephoto zoom position did the TS3 become slow to AF. I gave the camera to the sales guys (two in fact) and they made sure all the settings were appropriate and it was still slow to AF - We tried many different AF settings and it seemed to make no difference. Perhaps it was defective in some way? Unless I try another sample that's all I have to go on.

Have you actually tested the AW100? It just came out.

John

I had the opportunity (at an exhibition) to test (pre?)production version of AW100, which was slower (also in telephoto) than my TS3 (with Q-AF ON). Also the image quality (IQ) of AW100 in full automatic mode was inferior to TS3.

AW100 version which is now on the market is obviously faster, but IQ (as I can see on published photos) is still inferior to TS3. The only advantage of AW100 (in my opinion) is at ISO greater than 800.

I don't want to criticize Nikon AW100, on the contrary, I would (will) immediately buy this new Nikon, or any other UW camera, if it was better than the Panasonic TS3!
--
My (mostly underwater) photos and videos made with
compact UW cameras (Pentax Wxx & Panasonic TSx/FTx):
photos @ http://public.fotki.com/Primoz/
video footage @ http://www.youtube.com/user/PrimozP#g/p

 primozp's gear list:primozp's gear list
Panasonic Lumix DMC-TS20 Panasonic Lumix DMC-TS5
Reply   Reply with quote   Complain
jhinkey
Senior MemberPosts: 2,326Gear list
Like?
Re: Nikon AW100 vs Panasonic DMC-TS3
In reply to primozp, Oct 3, 2011

Tomorrow I may go back to the store and bring an SD card with me. I will also have them pull a new TS3 out of a box to see if it has better focusing speed than the display model.

I very much liked the TS3 build and controls better than the AW100, but I liked the AW100's water-tight door better and the focusing speed. We'll see about the IQ.

John
--

 jhinkey's gear list:jhinkey's gear list
Panasonic Lumix DMC-TS3 Panasonic Lumix DMC-LX7 Panasonic Lumix DMC-GH2 Nikon D800 Panasonic Lumix DMC-G5 +19 more
Reply   Reply with quote   Complain
jhinkey
Senior MemberPosts: 2,326Gear list
Like?
Re: Nikon AW100 vs Panasonic DMC-TS3
In reply to jhinkey, Oct 4, 2011

Got back from my side-by-side comparison and my initial impressions are:

  • The TS3 does indeed have quick AF in reasonable light - just as fast as the AW100, but in lower light levels (indoors) the TS3 seems to lag just a bit. The different TS3 that I used today seemed to have less of a hard time than the model I tried a couple of days ago. So, overall I'd say this is not an issue.

  • The image IQ of the AW100 seems to be a notch below the TS3 at base ISO at both wide and tele zoom positions. It looks to me that there are just too many pixels in the AS100 - at minimal .jpg compression the AW100 looked blotchy and a tad soft while the TS3, though not without artifacts, appeared to be crisper/more detailed.

  • At ISO 800 using a contrasty poorly lit indoor scene they looked pretty similar as far as noise and detail. I think the Panasonic lens had better corners at the wide end of the zoom.

  • Both seemed to have decent video, though the 1080 of the AW100 is noticeably larger looking than the 720p of the TS3

  • The memory card/battery door of the Nikon certainly felt more secure, but the one used by the TS3 did not seem insecure by any means, so it's probably a draw.

  • I did like the external controls of the Nikon a bit more, but I liked the menu system of the Panasonic much better.

Which one will I get? I'm going to study the stills and video a bit more and then make my decision.

Thanks - John
--

 jhinkey's gear list:jhinkey's gear list
Panasonic Lumix DMC-TS3 Panasonic Lumix DMC-LX7 Panasonic Lumix DMC-GH2 Nikon D800 Panasonic Lumix DMC-G5 +19 more
Reply   Reply with quote   Complain
math guy
Senior MemberPosts: 2,285Gear list
Like?
Thanks, John
In reply to jhinkey, Oct 5, 2011

Thanks for the side-by-side comparison of these two. Your comments about the megapixels are consistent with what I would expect -- too many can be too much on a small sensor. In fact, I even question 12mp on a 1/2.33 sensor. I also appreciate your comment about the door latch. That is one thing which I found very attractive about the AW100, so it would good to hear that while the AW100's is better, you didn't think the TS3's was anything to worry about.

I do have one follow-up question. You compared the AW100's 1080 video to the TS3's 720 video. I thought the TS3 had full 1080HD video. Is that not the case?

-- hide signature --

-- Joe S.

"We make a living by what we get; we make a life by what we give." ~ Sir Winston Churchill

http://www.pentaxphotogallery.com/josephschmitt

 math guy's gear list:math guy's gear list
Pentax K-x Tamron SP AF 70-200mm F/2.8 Di LD (IF) MACRO Pentax smc DA 55-300mm F4.0-5.8 ED Pentax smc DA 21mm F3.2 AL Limited Pentax smc DA 70mm F2.4 AL Limited +4 more
Reply   Reply with quote   Complain
jhinkey
Senior MemberPosts: 2,326Gear list
Like?
Re: Thanks, John
In reply to math guy, Oct 5, 2011

math guy wrote:

Thanks for the side-by-side comparison of these two. Your comments about the megapixels are consistent with what I would expect -- too many can be too much on a small sensor. In fact, I even question 12mp on a 1/2.33 sensor. I also appreciate your comment about the door latch. That is one thing which I found very attractive about the AW100, so it would good to hear that while the AW100's is better, you didn't think the TS3's was anything to worry about.

I do have one follow-up question. You compared the AW100's 1080 video to the TS3's 720 video. I thought the TS3 had full 1080HD video. Is that not the case?

Yes, I somehow only recorded the TS3 in 720P instead of full HD, so it's totally my error.

Thanks -

John
--

 jhinkey's gear list:jhinkey's gear list
Panasonic Lumix DMC-TS3 Panasonic Lumix DMC-LX7 Panasonic Lumix DMC-GH2 Nikon D800 Panasonic Lumix DMC-G5 +19 more
Reply   Reply with quote   Complain
Keyboard shortcuts:
FForum MMy threads