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Panasonic launches rugged DMC-TS4 / FT4

By dpreview staff on Jan 31, 2012 at 05:00 GMT

Panasonic has announced the DMC-TS4 (FT4 outside North America), the latest in its rugged series of compact cameras. The TS4 gains an altimeter, compass and barometer in addition to the GPS that appeared in the TS3. The camera comes with a DVD of maps that can be loaded onto the camera, helping the camera add better location data to its pictures' EXIF. Beyond this it's a pretty familiar affair, with a 12MP CCD capable of 1080p video housed in Panasonic's familiar industrial-looking tough-camera body and a 4.6x 28-128mm equivalent zoom.

Jump to:

Press Release:


The LUMIX TS4, the Optimal Outdoor Companion, Combines a GPS, Compass, Altimeter, Barometer with Waterproof*2, Shockproof*3 and Freezeproof Features, Allowing it to Excel in Photo and Video Capture Under Many Conditions

SECAUCUS, NJ (January 31, 2012) – Panasonic today announced the LUMIX DMC-TS4, the company’s top-of-the-line rugged digital camera with features such as a built-in GPS*1 system, compass, altimeter, barometer, plus outstanding toughness, including: waterproof*2 to approximately 40 feet (12 meters), shockproof*3 to approximately 6.6 feet (2 meters), freezeproof to temperatures as low as 14ºF, and dustproof*2. Beyond its rugged design, the LUMIX TS4 also excels in photo and video quality, offering the best of both worlds with a LEICA DC VARIO-ELMAR lens with a 4.6x optical zoom (35mm equivalent: 28-128mm), a 12.1-megapixel Hi-Speed CCD sensor and the advanced image processing LSI Venus Engine, and the ability to shoot 1,920 x 1,080 full-High Definition (HD) video in AVCHD and MP4 formats. 

“The LUMIX TS4 is the latest addition to our successful line of rugged digital cameras, which offer users the freedom to take high-quality photos and video under a variety of conditions thanks to a design that is waterproof, dustproof, shockproof and freezeproof. Plus, with added GPS and compass capabilities, the TS4 is the perfect travel companion,” said David Briganti, Senior Product Manager, Imaging, Panasonic Consumer Marketing Company of North America. “Beyond its top-of-the-line rugged features, the LUMIX TS4 captures exceptional photos and videos, also making it the ideal “worry-free” everyday digital camera for those life mishaps, like an accidental drop or a spilled drink.” 

The LUMIX TS4 is ideal for active outdoor use and the altimeter works as an indicator for depth underwater. The barometer log is available to help users forecast the climate and then log the barometric trends. The altitude measurements can be improved when using the camera’s GPS data, which is enhanced when compared to its predecessor, the LUMIX DMC-TS3.  The new GPS system has more than a million landmarks and 82 countries/regions covered in the maps available on the bundled DVD.  Geo-tagged images are automatically sorted and can be played back along a map so that users can literally trace their photographic journey.  The LUMIX TS4 shows the name of the Country/Region, State/Prov./County, County/Township, City/Town/Village and Landmark – all which is saved in the EXIF data. 

Thanks to its high-speed, large-capacity signal processing Venus Engine, the LUMIX TS4 is not just rugged on the outside, but powerful from within as well. The Venus Engine integrates advanced signal processing capabilities to power Intelligent Noise Reduction, thus producing stunning still photos and videos.  In addition, the Venus Engine powers high-speed burst shooting and super-fast response times, with Sonic Speed AF, allowing the user to catch those spur-of-the-moment memories.  

New to the LUMIX TS-Series, the LUMIX TS4 offers users manual operation, allowing adjustment of shutter speed and aperture for more creative photography. Plus, with modes such as Time Lapse Shot, Miniature Effect, and Panorama Shot – photography is even more fun.  With the Time Lapse Shot, once the start time, interval and the number of photos to shoot are set, the camera automatically records the images based on the settings and the LUMIX TS4 can be left to record stationary subjects, such as flowers coming into bloom, clouds, or an animal. Once the data is captured, during playback the footage is condensed to give a unique sense of time. The Miniature Effect mode, in which the peripheries are defocused while saturation and contrast is emphasized, makes the photo look like a diorama. For videos recorded in this mode*4, playback is 10x fast forward, making it comical and amusing to watch. Panorama Shot makes it is possible to shoot a maximum 360-degree of horizontal / vertical panoramic image by taking consecutive shots and overlaying the photos.

For those who are looking for an intuitive shooting option, the LUMIX TS4 includes Panasonic’s popular iA (Intelligent Auto) mode – a suite of technologies that are automatically engaged to allow the camera to select the most appropriate settings to take high-quality photos and videos. 

Plus, a dedicated video record lets the user instantly start recording videos while shooting photos without having to go through any additional menu options.

The Panasonic LUMIX TS4 will be available in orange, blue, black and silver options in mid-March 2012 with a suggested retail price of $399.99. For more information on Panasonic LUMIX digital cameras, visit

*1 GPS may not work in China or in the border regions of countries neighboring China. Depending on the locations, it may not be possible to correctly receive the signals from GPS satellites. In such cases, positioning may not be possible, or a significant positioning discrepancy may occur. Information measured on this unit is only a rough indication. Do not use it for technical purposes.

*2 Waterproof/Dustproof Performance

Waterproof/dustproof rating complies with the “IPX8” and “IP6X” ratings. Provided the care and maintenance guidelines described in this document are strictly followed, this camera can operate underwater, to a depth not exceeding 12 m (40 feet) for a time not exceeding 60 minutes. This means that the camera can be used underwater for specified time in specified pressure in accordance with the handling method established by Panasonic.  This does not guarantee no destruction, no malfunction, or waterproofing in all conditions.

Handling of the camera

•Waterproofing is not guaranteed if the unit is subject to an impact as a result of being hit or dropped etc. If an impact to the camera occurs, it should be inspected (subject to a fee) by a Panasonic’s Service Centre to verify that the waterproofing is still effective.

• When the camera is splashed with detergent, soap, hot spring, bath additive, sun oil, sun screen, chemicals, etc., wipe it off immediately.

•Waterproof function of the camera is for sea water and fresh water only.

• Any malfunction caused by customer misuse, or mishandling will not be covered by the warranty.

• The inside of this unit is not waterproof. Water leakage will cause malfunction.

• Supplied accessories are not waterproof (excluding Hand Strap).

• Card and battery are not waterproof. Do not handle with a wet hand. Also, do not insert wet card or battery into the camera.

• Do not leave the camera for a long period of time in places where temperature is very low (at ski resorts or at high altitude etc.) or very high [above 40ºC (104°F)], inside a car under strong sunlight, close to a heater, on the beach, etc. Waterproof performance may be degraded.

*3 Shockproof Performance

Complies with “MIL-STD 810F Method 516.5-Shock”. The camera has cleared a drop test from a height of 2 m (6.6 feet) onto 3 cm (0.1 feet) thick plywood. In most cases this camera should not sustain any damage if dropped from a height not exceeding 2 m (6.6 feet). However, the drop height was changed from 122 cm (4 feet) to 200 cm (6.6 feet) dropping onto 3 cm (0.1 feet) thick plyboard. (Disregarding appearance change such as loss of paint or distortion of the part where drop impact is applied.)

*4 Sound will not be recorded with [MINIATURE EFFECT] in Creative Control Mode and approximately 1/10 of the time period is recorded. (If you record for 10 minutes, the resulting motion picture recording will be approximately 1 minute long)

Panasonic DMC-TS4/FT4 specifications

Body type
Body typeCompact
Max resolution4000 x 3000
Other resolutions4000 x 3000, 4000 x 2672, 4000 x 2248, 2992 x 2992, 2816 x 2112, 2816 x 1880, 2816 x 1584, 2112 x 2112, 2048 x 1536, 2048 x 1360, 1920 x 1080, 1600 x 1200, 1600 x 1064, 1600 x 904, 1504 x 1504
Image ratio w:h1:1, 4:3, 3:2, 16:9
Effective pixels12 megapixels
Sensor photo detectors13 megapixels
Sensor size1/2.33" (6.08 x 4.56 mm)
Sensor typeCCD
ProcessorVenus Engine FHD
ISOAuto, Hi Auto (1600-6400), 100, 200, 400, 800, 1600
White balance presets4
Custom white balanceYes (1)
Image stabilizationOptical
Uncompressed formatNo
JPEG quality levelsFine, Standard
File format
  • JPEG (Exif v2.3)
  • 3D: MPO
Optics & Focus
Focal length (equiv.)28–128 mm
Optical zoom4.6×
Maximum apertureF3.3 - F5.9
  • Contrast Detect (sensor)
  • Multi-area
  • Center
  • Tracking
  • Single
  • Continuous
  • Live View
Autofocus assist lampYes
Digital zoomYes (4.6x)
Manual focusNo
Normal focus range30 cm (11.81)
Macro focus range5 cm (1.97)
Number of focus points23
Screen / viewfinder
Articulated LCDFixed
Screen size2.7
Screen dots230,000
Touch screenNo
Screen typeTFT LCD
Live viewYes
Viewfinder typeNone
Photography features
Minimum shutter speed60 sec
Maximum shutter speed1/1300 sec
Exposure modes
  • Program
  • Manual
Scene modes
  • Portrait
  • Soft Skin
  • Scenery
  • Panorama Shot
  • Night Portrait
  • Night Scenery
  • Hand Held Night Shot
  • Food
  • Baby1
  • Baby2
  • Pet
  • Sunset
  • High Sensitivity
  • Glass Through
Built-in flashYes
Flash range5.60 m
External flashNo
Flash modesAuto, On, Off, Red-eye, Slow Syncro
Drive modes
  • Single
  • Continuous
  • Self-timer
Continuous drive4 fps
Self-timerYes (2 or 10 sec)
Metering modes
  • Multi
Exposure compensation±2
WB BracketingNo
Videography features
Resolutions1920 x 1080 (60, 30 fps), 1280 x 720 (60, 30 fps), 640 x 480 (30 fps)
Storage typesSD/SDHC/SDXC, Internal
Storage included20 MB Internal
USB USB 2.0 (480 Mbit/sec)
Remote controlNo
Environmentally sealedYes (Waterproof, Shockproof, Freezeproof, Dustproof)
BatteryBattery Pack
Battery descriptionLithium-Ion rechargeable battery & charger
Battery Life (CIPA)310
Weight (inc. batteries)197 g (0.43 lb / 6.95 oz)
Dimensions103 x 64 x 27 mm (4.06 x 2.52 x 1.06)
Other features
Orientation sensorYes
Timelapse recordingYes
GPS notesand Barometer, Compass and Altimeter

Additional images

I own it
I want it
I had it
Discuss in the forums


Total comments: 75
By RPS123 (Apr 14, 2012)

Panasonic has announced that it suggests replacing the watertight seal each year. Presently they charge $180 for the work. But they may redo their pricing if enough people complain. There are only two screws in the door and the seal can be replaced. Soo simple yet they do not yet have their act together. I called the service center and they assured me that they were trying to get headquaters to redo pricing.

Is there any way we can use an o-ring spray or vaseline to protect the seal?

Comment edited 2 times, last edit 1 minute after posting
By Toby80 (Feb 8, 2012)

Weak upgrade. This is worse than apples iPhone "s" models being considered an upgrade. Nothing changed with this camera!!! They didn't address the door latch and lock moving in the same direction. They didn't move the microphone to someplace a finger won't be. They didn't even give it a better screen. Let alone a CMOS sensor! Everything that was "upgraded" could have been done to the TS3 with a firmware upgrade. SO STUPID!

Increase screen resolution. Widen the lens and/or increase the zoom to full 5x like everyone else. AND WILL SOMEONE DEVELOP A SWEEP PANORAMA LIKE SONY!!!! It's by far the best out there but Sony insists on touch screens... Leave that to the cell phone market and give me buttons!

Sorry for the rant but I've been waiting for the new models of all rugged cameras to come out to buy one. After reviewing the specs of all the new models, I decided to pick up a TS3 for cheap while they're still out there. Almost 50% off retail and they're going like hot cakes!!!!!

By RPS123 (Feb 21, 2012)

Increasing the screen resolution will eat up a lot more power. This is important if you are up on the top of a mountain etc. The screen, (the camera), I believe, was designed with this thought in mind.

1 upvote
By JayJackson (Mar 17, 2012)

Not that weak of an upgrade when you consider you now have manual control of the shutter and or aperture. For me that's the icing on the cake, no need for more megapixels/noise. ;-)

Comment edited 3 minutes after posting
1 upvote
Finepix pro
By Finepix pro (May 9, 2012)

Very well justified rant @Toby80. I don't see what you're talking about with the door latch, but the old CCD and microphone location are in need of improvement.

However, I disagree on the suggested improvements. More pixels in a screen use more power, and that's bad. There's a limit to the lens performance that you can fit into a little box like that. And have you seen the other 5X rugged cameras? They have very dim apertures at the wide end. Panasonic prefers to stick to f/3.3 and deliver better image quality, if less zoom.

This camera is a huge improvement over the TS3 and adds a dozen new functions for a mere $30 price difference. 360 panorama, manual control and 60fps Full HD are especially good.

Hey, when it comes down to it, this is the bes sub-$500 rugged camera out there. Except perhaps for the Sony's, but the idiots went and stuck a touchscreen on those. Definitely getting this model.

Comment edited 19 seconds after posting
By AllanZ (Aug 8, 2012)

How is a CMOS sensor better? -_-

1 upvote
By dan_hill (Oct 2, 2012)

Well it's an 60i from 30p interlaced 60 frames.

By thanos (Feb 5, 2012)

I have the TS3 and in Europe compass and barometer are very good. Ok the compass has a granularity of 45 degrees (meaning it doesn't display for example 32 degrees) and the barometer is not that accurate. I don't know if they improved these functions. Other than that the only new thing is the time lapse and manual settings. I don't see this as a worthy upgrade.
If Panasonic added something like the SONY intelligent panorama then we would be talking.

Comment edited 37 seconds after posting
By CAcreeks (Feb 5, 2012)

What makes you think it is NOT like Sony intelligent panorama? Fuji has this and I believe it works as well on the X10 as it does on any Sony model.

Amnon G
By Amnon G (Feb 4, 2012)

I have the TS3 and it has both a compass and barometer, probably with less software features than TS4, but to say TS4 gained those features is inaccurate.

1 upvote
Deleted pending purge
By Deleted pending purge (Feb 3, 2012)

How long will it take for manufacturers to comprehend the proper watertighting principle? Why they absolutely refuse to apply age-proven O-ring system and quit selling those "maximum 60 minutes water resistance" hogwash? It's as if they want their cameras to flood and force users into buying another one! Dumb flimsy aprons and thin rubber stretches over electrical contacts are unreliable to the extreme. All they have to do is use o-rings on a maximum of three (3!) places: between two halves of the casing, on the one and only battery/contacts/memory card hatch cover, and eventually on the base of interchangeable lenses. All commands can be aranged with absolutely no other opening through the casing, by means of internally placed reed switches and corresponding outside magnets... This has been used for decades, and yet the industry seems to work like "we don't want it good, we want it by next Thursday". Poor show.

By AlanSP (Feb 4, 2012)

Yes, this is exactly reason they do this in this way: You need to purchase new camera after year or two of use.

They don't want to produce something that will last for years to come, as they every year has new model with slightly upped features.

For example, this year model (TS4) have only some software modifications I'm pretty sure are only firmware based. Who would by new camera if the old one still works?

I bought TS3 because my old camera broke down (Olympus 1030SW), not because I thought I need new.

By Redatil (Mar 4, 2012)

I'm in the market for a replacement for my Olympus 850SW and chose the TS3 for a replacement, waiting for $ to go down , when I saw TS4. Very upset that Olympus no longer services mine, but seems like the TS3 or 4 will produce much better quality photos from my kayak. How happy are you with the TS3? Should I fork it out for the TS4?

By CAcreeks (Feb 3, 2012)

In the USA, the TS3 has compass and barometer/altimeter (same mechanism). Just verified with a friend who has one. So the writeup above is wrong. The TS4 seems to have nothing new except panorama mode, which is an extremely useful feature.

By snegron (Feb 4, 2012)

I have "Panorama" mode on my TS3; it let's you select images at 16x9 ratio.

By CAcreeks (Feb 4, 2012)

This is different, I believe. It is sweep or motion panorama, 360 degrees. We shall see when the TS4 finally appears.

By historianx (May 28, 2012)

TS3 does not have manual controls; TS4 does.

Max Pometun
By Max Pometun (Feb 2, 2012)

Would any manufacturer produce a rugged camera with an APS-C-sized sensor already? I would buy one in an instant! All these features are great, but if a camera takes noisy, grainy pictures - I'm not interested.

1 upvote
Finepix pro
By Finepix pro (May 9, 2012)

Excellent, good sir, you have hit the nail on the head. Use bigger sensors already!

Stefan Geens
By Stefan Geens (Feb 1, 2012)

I've been trying to get Panasonic to elaborate what they mean by footnote 1:

"*1 GPS may not work in China or in the border regions of countries neighboring China. [...]"

Can anyone shed some light on this? GPS works fine across China, though mapping is not allowed without a license, so perhaps geotagging photos would fall under that category. But still: Why should a camera manufacturer care? Would Panasonic really hobble its firmware globally so that if the camera detects GPS coordinates within China, these coordinates get scrambled or disabled? I can hardly believe that this is what they would do, but can't think of another explanation.

In any case, if it were to be illegal to sell a camera in China that allows geotagging in China, why punish the rest of the world with a broken camera? If I want to take geotagged photos in China, just as I and many others do with my iPhone, that should be my decision.

...Unless I am reading their footnote wrong. Does anyone have more info?

Comment edited 2 minutes after posting
By AlanSP (Feb 4, 2012)

This is GPS related thing, not TS3.

GPS system is USA military owned and they are not in very friendly relations with China.

Stefan Geens
By Stefan Geens (Feb 5, 2012)

GPS works fine in China. I've used GPS devices on many occasions, and millions of iPhones in China use it everyday to give their users location-based services.

In the meantime, I've confirmed that the camera does indeed turn off the GPS function by its own initiative if it detects it is in China (using GPS coordinates, ironically). There is a special screen message to that effect documented in the manual, for both the TS3 and TS4.

Gayle S
By Gayle S (Feb 1, 2012)

I am currently using a Canon D10 for snorkeling, rain, and kayak photos/video. One of the big problems is that as soon as the lens gets wet, with rain, splash or underwater use, it is no longer viable for out-of-the-water shooting as it is too smeared or has drops on it. I don't see that any of these other cameras will fix that problem. What am I doing wrong?

Deleted pending purge
By Deleted pending purge (Feb 3, 2012)

You might try an old and proven anti-fogging method that works well. The principle is to prepare glass surface not to form droplets, but merge them together in an uniform water film. Rub some saliva over D10 lens port, rinse quickly, and there won't be any drops to interfere. When snorkeling in the sea, you can use a piece of algae to rub the lens port with (or the inside of the face mask glass), to achieve the same effect. :)

Gayle S
By Gayle S (Feb 12, 2012)

Thanks for the advice -- with that in mind, I will probably spring for either a TS3 or TS4. I have until April to make up my mind.

By snegron (Feb 1, 2012)

I have the TS1 and the TS3. I love these little cameras! And yes, they are as tough as they say they are.

By jeffharris (Feb 1, 2012)

I can't believe they stuck with the crappy low-res 230,000 pixel display! Even the Olympus Tough TG-810 has 920,00 pixels!

By RPS123 (Feb 21, 2012)

They do this so as to save power. There is so much electronics packed into this camera they probably balanced it out.

1 upvote
By historianx (May 28, 2012)

think that is bad? the $8000 Leica M Monochrom B&W digital camera uses a 230K pixel display.

By sergueis (Feb 1, 2012)

TS and FT? Are these guys crazy? Do they think TS sounds offensive outside of North America? Or they think FT sounds offensive inside?

And please don't tell me this is because of different video specs. To change language is more difficult but cameras support several dozen of languages now. Changing video specs should be just one simple menu item. Or I missed something?

1 upvote
Cy Cheze
By Cy Cheze (Jan 31, 2012)

Green text warning: "Waterproofing is not guaranteed if the unit is subject to an impact as a result of being hit or dropped etc."

So it's drop-protected, but no longer water-proof once dropped? Great comfort that gives.

Paul Farace
By Paul Farace (Jan 31, 2012)

GPS, barometer, etc., why not a rectal THERMOMETER, a blood pressure cuff, and a nose hair trimmer!!!!!

Is this a camera or a weather station?

Salvador Moreno
By Salvador Moreno (Feb 1, 2012)

rectal thermometer?
what do you want do with the camera?

1 upvote
By pgphoto_ca (Jan 31, 2012)

No TimeLapse.......! next....

By ptox (Jan 31, 2012)


"With the Time Lapse Shot, once the start time, interval and the number of photos to shoot are set, the camera automatically records the images based on the settings and the LUMIX TS4 can be left to record stationary subjects, such as flowers coming into bloom, clouds, or an animal"

1 upvote
Cy Cheze
By Cy Cheze (Jan 31, 2012)

Was time lapse available on the prior model? Can it be used in conjunction with long shutter settings for night sky shots?

By Jogger (Jan 31, 2012)

.. now, i understnad why the TS3 have been on fire sale everywhere i look

By GodSpeaks (Jan 31, 2012)

And once again... no RAW.

By ispress (Jan 31, 2012)

Time to buy a TS3 on close-out! All I see are lots of new battery draining features and no improvement in IQ. Frankly, this also makes the new $179 TS20 look like a bit of a bargain.

Finepix pro
By Finepix pro (May 9, 2012)

A bargain indeed, for a sensor with even more pixels packed into it, a smaller zoom lens and a dimmer aperture.

Cy Cheze
By Cy Cheze (Jan 31, 2012)

How fast or slow does the GPS calibrate when you turn the camera on at a new location? Will the meta data of photos taken continue to report an old coordinate until the GPS has enough time (minutes?) to update?

Are the barometer and altimeter readings reliable? Do they have to be calibrated every so often? What do they signify under water? Can the pressure reading really differentiate 35' from 39'? Captain Schettino insisted depth mattered less than the shore view.

Rupert Brun
By Rupert Brun (Jan 31, 2012)

I have a TS3 and the GPS takes a very long time to find itself even if left in battery-draining "on" mode, where the GPS is on even if the camera is off. Let's put it this way, if you set the power to turn off after 2 minutes I don't think it ever works out where it is, even if you have just moved 10 miles since it was last on a week earlier. With it set to stay on 5 minutes it does find the new location before turning off..

Peter Galbavy
By Peter Galbavy (Feb 1, 2012)


Comment edited 39 seconds after posting
By TattieSoup (Apr 3, 2012)

I have the TS3 and I was a bit disappointed that the GPS took so long to update, but then I realised you can refresh it manually from the menu. It is easy and quick to do so now I just do that and it isn't a problem anymore.

By HowaboutRAW (Jan 31, 2012)

How about RAW shooting!

How about a faster lens! (Yes, I know that would require the case to be bigger, but then it could float--or be neutrally buoyant in sea water.)

And how about fewer mega pixels--say 10--on a CMOS sensor not a CCD!

Then if Sony and Fuji are doing back illuminated senors for small cameras, it's time Panasonic start!

1 upvote
By dmanthree (Jan 31, 2012)

No kidding! RAW support would be really nice on an underwater camera! Besides, what image quality improvements has Panny made, if any, on this model? New Venus engine?

Finepix pro
By Finepix pro (May 9, 2012)

We would all love these features, but it would be the feature - and PRICE - equivalent of a Ferrari. Good, true, but costly. The camera makers cater to people with less money in their pockets.

By historianx (May 28, 2012)

actually, the CCD sensor is perfect for the aerial movies we shoot as a hobby with a TS3 attached to a 8-rotor remote helicopter (we've had the TS3 up to 300 feet). CMOS sensors are susceptible to electronic interference from the rotor motors, which causes a "jelly" like wavy effect in the videos. CCD does not have this issue.

1 upvote
Ibida Bab
By Ibida Bab (Jan 31, 2012)


Comment edited 3 minutes after posting
By StarkMtn (Jan 31, 2012)

I've been waiting with baited breath for the TS4 to come out and alas a bit of a let down. If these specs are correct, there's not a whole lot of difference from the TS3 other than some software additions and full manual. I read a lot of gripes about the GPS function of the TS3, so hopefully this feature performs better (more than just adding enhancements). I have owned the TS1 since they first came out and it has been the absolute best rugged P&S camera I've ever owned (between camping, hiking, snowboarding, rock climbing, snorkeling and caving, things tend to get beat up and put to the test!) I think I will now "upgrade" to the TS3 (not the 4) while I still can. :(

1 upvote
Finepix pro
By Finepix pro (May 9, 2012)

NOO! Get the TS4! It's packed with much better features for only a meager price increase. And I've heard some complaints about the TS3's images coming out soft.

By Streicher (Jan 31, 2012)

As I understand the TS3 already featured both a compass and an altimeter ( see ), so I have a hard time seeing exactly what it is that has been added hardware wise. Any ideas?

1 upvote
Brian Steele
By Brian Steele (Jan 31, 2012)

That's correct. I have the TS3 and it has both of those features. Even the images in this report look exactly like the TS3 (except for the litle "TS4" lettering, of course).

Peter Galbavy
By Peter Galbavy (Feb 1, 2012)

Yep, sounds like a marketing "mandatory annual update" model. The only feature that sounds new is the loading of maps.

By CAcreeks (Feb 3, 2012)

Panorama mode is the only new feature of importance. More focus points, although that could be a drawback. Also it's no longer available in red.

1 upvote
Franz Kerschbaum
By Franz Kerschbaum (Jan 31, 2012)

I can skip this one, its only minor pollishing from the TS3, which still makes me happy everytime I use it!

1 upvote
Cy Cheze
By Cy Cheze (Jan 31, 2012)

How often has it been dropped or descended to 30' under water? I get the impession that many rugged or tough models get used like any other camera, and that the stress events are too few to know whether the added cost is worth it. I'm sure they survive a few dives. But how about 25? Does vapor accumulate inside the lens? Does the paint scratch? Does the battery / SDHC chamber start to leak? Do the gaskets become brittle?

Rupert Brun
By Rupert Brun (Jan 31, 2012)

I use my TS3 for some pretty serious snorkelling and I've not had a problem with water getting in but it is VERY prone to misting up inside - much much more so than the Canon D10 under the same circumstances. Having said that, when it's not misted up the underwater results are great.

Franz Kerschbaum
By Franz Kerschbaum (Feb 1, 2012)

I used it for 3 snokelling vacations and 2 skiing ones. To avoid condensation I always changed battery and card in airconditioned environments (snorkeling). For applications in the winter it is good to change card and battery outside in cold air and not to do this in house. By this you always avoid to have warm water saturated air inside that condeses when temperature drops (in water or during skiing).

For the rest I have my DSLRs.

By jedix (Feb 7, 2012)

I used the TS2 for snorkelling & two scuba dives to ~30ft (the max for this camera). It worked quite well, but I did hit the misting issue with this model while in the Dominican Republic. The air is very moist all the time and the A/C didn't fully remove the moisture in the room is my guess as to why it happened. I wish they would seal the main camera from the battery & sd card compartment so that this would never happen.

Simon Zeev
By Simon Zeev (Jan 31, 2012)

12m is nice, but I would prefer a real diving camera that can go to 50m.
Until then I will use my E-PL2 with the housing.

1 upvote
By DRNottage (Jan 31, 2012)

Love my TS2, but please, Panasonic, control the noise! No, it's not smudged like my Sony WX10, but it's nasty and blotchy. Otherwise, it seems a well-designed, rugged machine- unlike the new all-touch screen Sonys!

By JadedGamer (Jan 31, 2012)

I have the FT3/TS3 and cannot say I've had many noise issues there - maybe the upgrade will be worth it for you? To me it seems most changes from 3 to 4 is in shooting modes, but I can make do without timelapse and panorama modes. Just barely... :)

By jedix (Feb 7, 2012)

I have seen the noise on my TS2 as well. It looks like it's snowing under certain light conditions - even when it's not :P

Finepix pro
By Finepix pro (May 9, 2012)

Uhh, yeah. If you pack more pixels on a sensor, you're gonna get more noise.

By DioCanon (Jan 31, 2012)

fantastic specs,
great it doesnt have 20mpxls to overtake Sony,
but the display res is pretty poor, quite a turn off!

1 upvote
By LukeDuciel (Jan 31, 2012)

Well, it looks I still have to wait another iteration to replace my D10 for snorkel cam.

24mm on wide angle would be better since you got reduced FOV in water.

230k dots screen is tooooo old for 2012.

By kociasek (Jan 31, 2012)

You are absolutely right, wide angle is the single most important thing underwater. You will find it on Lumix TS20/FT20 also announced today, where it starts at 25mm.

1 upvote
Cy Cheze
By Cy Cheze (Jan 31, 2012)

Don't the LCDs become impossible to use at all under bright light?

Zoom is useless for dives, or even snorkeling, no matter how clear the water. The ideal angle is what aquatic creatures recommend: fish-eye.

1 upvote
By hesuper (Jan 31, 2012)

yeah the FT-4 looks great,
i wait for a long time for the "time lapse shot" shooting mode.
please correct dpreview spec. list also.

By KonstantinosK (Jan 31, 2012)

Does it have a single improvement in anything that matters about image quality? I don't think so, so it's only better than the previous one only in that it has that extra outdoor features. These are maybe great for those who will use them, but for the blokes like me, who won't and only need the underwater and shockproof ability, the FT3 may now become a bargain.

By kewlguy (Jan 31, 2012)

Interesting camera! Although I'd like to see higher res LCD for the price...

1 upvote
Anton Chernenko
By Anton Chernenko (Jan 31, 2012)

Great! I thought they would release it week ago, as they did with TS3 and TS2 and TS1. It is good to have all those extra features like altimeter etc. But it is not quite clear what is meant by Time Lapse. In the press release it says "Plus, with modes such as Time Lapse Shot, Miniature Effect, and Panorama Shot – photography is even more fun. With the Time Lapse Shot, once the start time, interval and the number of photos to shoot are set, the camera automatically records the images based on the settings and the LUMIX TS4 can be left to record stationary subjects, such as flowers coming into bloom, clouds, or an animal. Once the data is captured, during playback the footage is condensed to give a unique sense of time". And in the specifications list is says "no time-lapse". what is true then? I guess the press release is correct
So, please correct the list as well

By serioustribe (Feb 13, 2012)

Has anyone compared the TS3 gps accuracy and acquisition speed to an actual gps unit at the same time to see how good it is? Both seem to be of a similar size, but the gps system is designed for only that whereas the TS3 has all the camera functions. Does the size of the gps receiver or chip or whatever picks up the signal make a difference in acquisition speed and accuracy?

By madmapperak (Mar 29, 2012)

We use the TS3 as a field camera in Alaska. The accuracy of the GPS, Compass, and Altimeter (barometer) have been good - about what you would expect from an eTrex or other consumer GPS.

Our issue is that the camera doesn't refresh it's position from the GPS frequently enough. When taking pictures from a helicopter the photo points will cluster at the location of the latest point gathered from the GPS

Our workaround has been to instruct the field crews to turn the camera off and on between pictures. This forces the camera to grab a new location from the GPS. We also send an eTrex along to collect a track, and correct any bad positions to the track using Geotag. It works, but defeats the point.

I've spoken with "customer service" and the informed me that no additional firmware updates will be produces for the TS3 - and that there is no way to communicate a feature request back to engineering. Hopefully they'll just add a user-definable GPS update feature to the TS4 on their own!

Total comments: 75