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Design and Key Features

The Lumix DMC-TS5 is one of those cameras that you know is tough as soon as you pick it up. It's made almost entirely of metal, and the visible screws on the front and back make it look more like a tool that a camera. The lens receives some extra protection from a protruding metal flange that surrounds it. The TS5/FT5 is available in four colors (which may not be available in all regions): orange, blue, silver, and black.

While the TS5 has a good-sized grip (above), it's made of a slippery material that doesn't feel secure.

At left you can see that, like most of its peers, the controls on the rear of the camera are very cramped, with little room for your thumb.

The DMC-TS5 is 'proofed' in five different areas. It's waterproof to 13 meters (43 feet), shockproof from 2 meters (6.6 feet), crushproof to 100 kg (220 lbs), freezeproof to -10C (+14F), and dustproof.

The lens has both water-repellent and anti-fogging coatings. In our 'dunk' test, water fell right off the lens, though it did tend to collect at the bottom of the flange that surrounds it. The lens does seem to be quite the fingerprint magnet, so keep that cleaning cloth handy.

The TS5 has a single door - kept secure by two locks - that protect its I/O ports (USB+A/V output), battery, and memory card slot. As you'd expect on a rugged camera, there's a rubber gasket behind that door to keep water and dust from getting inside the camera.

All of the rugged cameras we've tested recently carry numerous warnings about using the cameras outdoors, especially underwater. They remind you to make sure there's no debris on the seal, and to lock the doors before you take the camera out into the elements. Panasonic has gone a different route, hassling you every time you turn on the camera - until you learn the 'trick' to turning it off.

That's easier said than done though - turning off the warning screen requires going to the setup menu and choosing 'Precautions' at the top of the list. Despite what is says on the first screen, you'll need to scroll through all twelve pages of warnings before you hit the Set button, at which point the warnings are finally gone.

The Lumix TS5/FT5 has a 3" LCD with 460,000 dots. The screen is sharp and colors are vivid, but the real story is its unmatched visibility outdoors (with Auto Power Monitor turned on). On the top of the camera you'll find the power, shutter release and dedicated movie recording button. There's also a lamp that illuminates when the GPS is in use.

The displays on the majority of rugged cameras that we've recently tested have middling to poor outdoor visibility - especially those of the OLED variety. Panasonic has figured out a way to make its displays just as bright outdoors are they are indoors, assuming that you've turned on the Auto Power Monitor function. As one might expect, brightening up the LCD will reduce battery life, though Panasonic doesn't say by how much.

The built-in flash has a maximum range of 5.6m at wide-angle and 3.1m at telephoto, though that's calculated with Auto ISO.

To the right of the flash is an LED illuminator, which can brighten up your subjects in movie mode. It's also serves as the TS5's AF-assist lamp.

While the TS5's flash numbers sound impressive, they don't reflect real-world usage, as they're calculated with the ISO sensitivity set to Auto. The maximum sensitivity in that mode is 1600, which will result in very noisy photos. If you reduce the sensitivity to a more reasonable ISO 400, the flash range drops to just 1.4m at wide-angle and 0.8 m at telephoto. Flash-lovers, you've been warned.

You can bring up a shortcut menu by pressing the Delete/Q.Menu button on the back of the camera. This menu covers the most popular options on the TS5. The main menu is well laid out, easy to navigate, and features descriptions of each item.

It's worth mentioning that in order to get to the recording menu shown above, you must first pass through a gateway menu, which lets you jump to movie, GPS, Wi-Fi, and setup options, as well.

Shooting Modes

The Lumix DMC-TS5 has a host of features for those who prefer a point-and-shoot experience. The highlight is certainly its Intelligent Auto mode, which handles scene selection, face detection and recognition, smart contrast adjustment, and an Auto ISO mode that detects motion and sets the sensitivity accordingly. The camera can also switch into its handheld night shot and HDR modes if it deems them necessary. If you want a bit more control over camera features, you can switch to a Programmed Auto mode.

There are plenty of scene modes available on the TS5. Some of the more notable scenes are handheld night shot (which combines several exposures into one, reducing noise and blur), HDR (combines three different exposures, improving the range of brightness captured), and starry sky (essentially a bulb mode). There's also a time-lapse mode, which captures photos over a period of time, which can be saved separately, or as a video.

HDR mode

HDR off, ISO 100, 1/640 sec, f/3.3
HDR on, ISO 200, 1/160 sec, f/10

Above you can see the HDR feature in action. While there's no doubt that HDR restores highlight tone and brightens shadows, it comes at a price. The HDR image is substantially softer and, if you look in the trees, really smudged. This may be due to the fact that the ISO is set to Auto in HDR mode, and the camera selected ISO 200 in this particular scene.

There are also four scene modes for more 'adventurous' photography. They include sports, snow, beach & snorkeling, advanced underwater modes. The beach & snorkel mode offers an 'underwater color reproduction' option, which helps remove the blue cast that often comes along with taking photos below sea level. The TS5 will use its depth gauge to warn you if you're approaching the camera's 13 meter limit.

Creative Controls

It goes without saying that the DMC-TS5 has a lot of special effects, which Panasonic calls Creative Controls. The usual suspects are all here, including expressive (pop color), toy camera, miniature effect, soft focus, and selective color.

The expressive Creative Control makes colors really pop. The soft focus filter certainly lives up to its name.

An added bonus on the Lumix DMC-TS5 are manual exposure controls. By pressing the Mode button and selecting 'M' mode, you will be able to adjust the shutter speed and aperture. The shutter speed range is 4 - 1/1300 seconds, while the aperture choices require a bit more explanation. At any given focal length you'll have two aperture choices to choose from. For example, at wide-angle, you can select from F3.3 or F10. At full telephoto, those numbers jump to F5.9 and F18. Those small apertures aren't really as reported - photos would look awful due to diffraction. The camera uses a three-stop neutral density filter to cut down on the amount of light coming through the lens, which simulates using a small aperture.

Other manual controls include white balance and exposure compensation. Speaking of which, the TS5 offers an auto-bracketing feature, which is one way to always ensure proper exposure.

Sweep Panorama mode

Like the vast majority of compact cameras released in the last year, the Lumix TS5 has a 'sweep panorama' feature that covers up to 180 degrees.. You simply press the shutter release button, pan the camera in your direction of choice, and press it again to stop. The image is stitched together instantly. More than likely, the camera is just using its video capture system to perform this trick.

Panasonic touts the fact that the TS5 is the first camera that lets you apply special effects to panoramas. All of the Creative Controls are available, save for soft focus and star filter. We're not sure if anyone's been clamoring for such a feature, but hey - it's there if you want it.

The above sample was stitched properly, with no visible seams, although the man at middle-right has been a bit mangled.

ISO 100, 1/160 sec, f/10

The maximum image size for horizontal panoramas is 8000 x 1080, while vertically oriented images are 1440 x 8000.

Wi-Fi

The Lumix DMC-TS5 has an extensive, but distinctly clunky Wi-Fi feature. On the surface, it sounds good: you can remotely control the camera, send photos to your mobile device or PC while photos are taken (or later), and view them on a Panasonic HDTV. What's more, the camera has built-in NFC (near-field communication), which lets you pair your camera and smartphone simply by tapping them. While the smartphone connectivity worked well, trying to connect to a Mac or PC, or use NFC is an exercise in frustration. It didn't help that the camera - which supports 802.11b/g/n - has really poor Wi-Fi reception.

Above you can see the general flow of setting up a Wi-Fi connection where the camera is the host. If you want to join a protected network, you'll have to use this clunky T9-style keyboard. Here's where a touchscreen display would've come in handy.

There are two routes you can take for getting Wi-Fi up and running on the TS5. You can connect to an existing network, or have the camera set up its own. Joining an existing network can be easy or frustrating. If it's an open network, it takes just a few button presses. On protected networks using WPS, it's still fairly simple. If your router does not have WPS then you'll have to enter the password using the old school keyboard pictured above, which requires a lot of button-pressing.

When you're finally connected, you'll have four options: remote shooting, playback on a DLNA-compatible TV, sending images as soon as they're taken, or browsing images already stored on the camera.

If you're using a smartphone or other mobile device, you'll find need Panasonic's Image App for iOS or Android. You can then pair the two on a shared network or set up a peer-to-peer connection. If you have a smartphone that supports NFC, then you can do everything (including photo transfer) simply by tapping it against the bottom of the camera - in theory. We tried using NFC on a number of phones (and two TS5s running the latest firmware) but were unable to get it to work (and we're not alone). We reached out to Panasonic, who was unable to provide us with a reliable way of making this feature work.

When composing a photo on your smartphone you can adjust the zoom and take a photo. In 'playback mode' you can view the photos on the camera, and choose which are transferred over. Once they're on your mobile device, they can be sent onward via e-mail or other services.

Once you get your smartphone connected, you can do a number of things. You can remotely control the camera with decent live view quality, and control of the most important functions. As mentioned above, you can also have the camera send photos to your smartphone as they're taken, or you can browse through what's already on your memory card.

Another thing you can do with the smartphone app is send photos to websites such as Facebook, Flickr, YouTube, or Panasonic's own cloud service. Like everything else related to Wi-Fi, getting this up and running is a chore, and requires that you join Panasonic's difficult-to-use Lumix Club service. You must then set up the services you want for every network you use, which is rather user-unfriendly. One important thing to do is save these networks as favorites - especially if they're on a protected network - otherwise you'll be entering passwords again and again.

You can also send photos to a Mac or PC, but setup is difficult, and despite repeated attempts we couldn't get it to work at all.

In summary, we found the Wi-Fi experience to leave much to be desired. The easiest option is to just use the camera as the network host and use the smartphone app to connect to it. Everything else just did not work reliably in our testing, despite our attempts to work with Panasonic to resolve these issues.

GPS

The Lumix TS5 has a pretty nice GPS system. It not only figures out your longitude and latitude, but also your altitude or depth (using a pressure meter), your direction, as well as any nearby landmarks. The only thing you won't find are pre-installed maps.

In playback mode you can see the landmark, basic shooting settings, and a graphic similar to the one at right showing tons of GPS info. In record mode you can press the display button a few times to see current GPS information. The graph at the lower-right tracks barometric pressure.

The DMC-TS5 has a decent database of landmarks, which covers a good portion of the world. If the camera doesn't pick the right one, you can choose from other options, type in your own, or delete it entirely.

The GPS can also do some other neat tricks. One of them is altitude logging, which does just as it sounds. If you're going for a hike in the mountains, you'll be able to see a graph showing altitude over a period of time. The camera can track your route as well, which you can output to a KML file, which can then be imported into Google Earth.

By default, the GPS is very slow to acquire its location. However, if you download the Assisted GPS data from Panasonic, it'll be much faster. In relatively open areas - such as the rooftop of DPReview HQ - the camera figured out where it was in 30-60 seconds. If you're in amongst buildings in the big city, forget about it - the TS5 will struggle and eventually give up. This is common on cameras with GPSs.

Movies

The Lumix DMC-TS5 is the only currently shipping rugged camera that can record movies at 1080/60p, with stereo sound. That means that you get smoother video compared to 30p, without the interlacing found on cameras that use 60i. If you don't want to use the default AVCHD format, you can switch to MPEG-4 - which some find easier to edit and share - though the frame rate drops to 30 fps. You can record up to 30 minutes of continuous video with AVCHD, and for a bit less using MPEG-4 (which is subject to a 4GB file size limit).

The camera lets you use the optical zoom and image stabilizer while you're recording a movie, and focus can be adjusted continuously, if you wish. The built-in LED illuminator can be used to brighten up your subjects, though its range is limited to just half a meter.

The only manual control in movie mode is a wind cut filter. Movies can be 'divided' in playback mode, which allows you to remove unwanted footage. It's also worth mentioning that GPS data can be embedded in a movie.

You'll find a few sample videos on the following page.

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Comments

Total comments: 70
Alki

I owned a TS3 and a Canon D10. The pictures of the TS3 were disappointing: skies were white and not blue, UW pictures were not clear, and the color was off. The D10 created much better pictures: colors were more real, and UW was absolutely great. I've used the D10 for 4 years. I'm wondering if the new sensor of the TS5 (cmos instead of ccd on the TS3) improves the quality of images?

0 upvotes
letable

I bought this camera last year and used it in the swimming pool for the first time yesterday. But today in the middle of taking pictures the camera turn off on its own, I thought it was low on battery. But after charging the battery I still cannot turn it on. I am sure that I closed and locked the battery door properly. I dried it properly as the manual said so too after using. Other than fogged inner lens, the flash also had droplets of water in it. I bought it from USA but I lived in south east Asia, I have no warranty on this camera. Anyone have the same problem? Any solutions other than taking it to Panasonic?

0 upvotes
Thanos700

I had a Canon 10D,a Pentax W90,a Panasonic TS3 and TS5.

I really liked the IQ of the Canon underwater!Outside medium and not so much the video quality. But i lent it to a friend who after the 1st dive,he just opened the battery door and water got inside! Never got the chance to send it to Canon for a service...

Pentax W90 was cheap.Really compact,but IQ was far behind.

Panasonic TS3 was really what i wanted! Long life battery,better wide-angle,better IQ,too many options in the menu and really amazing video quality!

What i liked most of all in TS3,is the option to control the minimum shutter speed! You can't expect to have a descent photo underwater,if your shutter-speed is under 1/125. So i could choose 1/125 and if i wanted i could bring up the ISO.If not,you can post process the brightness.

Even using the flash,this was very useful! With the other cameras the use of flash,came with the automatic slow shutter,(photo of fish under a rock etc)so photos shaken and useless!

0 upvotes
Thanos700

I used the TS3 for 10months in daily snorkeling and taking photos from the surface to 10-12 meters. Never had a problem with leaking water. Only problem was the long video recording,outside in bright sun! The humidity inside the camera with the heat,was going to the lens and screen,but it is expected.

I went for the TS5,only cause i dropped the camera on marble surface and hit exactly on the cover of the lens! Next dive,water went in the lens,so i stopped using it underwater and i was far from the country i had bought it.Still works perfect,but...

So i went for the TS5. The screen is much better,Wi-Fi works fine with lap-top and my phone,but i can't say there is much to upgrade from TS3 or TS4 i guess.

I was thinking about the new Canon,but i didn't see anywhere the "key" feature for me,which is the shutter control,which is what makes the difference.

0 upvotes
Thanos700

http://yourshot.nationalgeographic.com/photos/2037183/
http://yourshot.nationalgeographic.com/photos/2746263/
http://yourshot.nationalgeographic.com/photos/2746243/

0 upvotes
robgendreau

I just got a TS5 and so far like the little beast. I haven't had an underwater camera since Nikonos and Fuji film cameras. I used those in whitewater, not in diving. I'd say that I still wouldn't trust any of these in deep, salt, or forceful water without a case. It's just difficult to keep water out. I saw even more complaints about the AW series leaking.

The one feature I really wanted is a good screen for bright light, and the TS5 fills the bill. These are outdoor cameras; a crappy screen should be a fail (like my iPad outdoors...). I love the 60fps video, and the fast burst shooting. Very helpful for outdoors stuff, as is time lapse and remote shooting (nice for stalking wildlife). GPS acquisition seems to be slow, but I seem to have obtained geodata in the images even when the screen isn't reporting a position. Have to test that further. Makes a decent nanny cam if you have a good LAN connection. If you use GPS and/or wifi the battery drains quite quickly.

0 upvotes
DoctorZick

Panasonic Lumix DMC-FT5/DMC-TS5 video FOCUS TEST in dimly lit room. The sound of AutoFocus in operation that remained on the track can also be checked.
http://youtu.be/zsgOEeVnXV4

0 upvotes
J L Booth

Despite all the negative press many give the Panasonic Lumix DMC-TS5 on 'poor image quality', I am fully satisfied with the camera.

Sure there are things I *wish* this camera had. But I can get those things by paying more for them, in a different package.

I've been in the photography business for over 40 years. And if there is one thing you learn fast it is this: "You will never find everything you want in one camera."

I purchased the TS5 for recording streamside shots - stills and video - when outdoors. Because of both its size and price - I was vastly more likely to record images and video with this camera than I would with one weighing in at $1000+ or 3lbs+.

I have those cameras. And when I want the extended quality and ability they offer, they fit my needs and hands quite well.

So, if you're looking for the parameters this camera provides - jump in. You will enjoy - so long as your expectations are in line with the offerings.

2 upvotes
Brian Steele

DPreview, what would be interesting is a "long term" review on some of these cameras, as well as repair/service options for them. I own one of these Panasonics, the TS3, and the thing lasted just under two years before it died (Update: after 3 months in storage, it suddenly started working again!). Turns out that a few people I've met had the same or similar model - and ran into the same problem. OTOH, I know at least one person with one of the Pentax models and it's still going strong after several years of service.

1 upvote
PeteBertie

Has anyone got NFC working, especially with a Samsung S3 mini?
I like the wifi remote and file transfer but NFC and S beam would be great.

0 upvotes
Timmbits

Now that underwater smartphones are out, I doubt people will even bother with these cameras anymore.

These cameras all produce horrible images, so why bother?

Definitely not worth it. Upgrade your smartphone instead.

2 upvotes
Timmbits

I'm still waiting for something perceivably better than the TS3(FT3) which was last roundup's winner. I'm not impressed with it's IQ, and am not more impressed with this years' cameras either.

Perhaps they will have to start introducing 1/1.17" sensor models - because after years of underwater cameras, they aren't getting any better!

Resolutions are going up, but IQ stays about the same.

Comment edited 3 minutes after posting
1 upvote
peevee1

When comparing image quality at high ISO, don't forget to set ISO of Olympus TG-2 and Pentax WG-3 at 1-2 stops lower.
And strange that the cameras were compared at different focal lengths, and rather long in all cases. These cameras will be mostly used to shoot wide-angle beach and underwater scenes, not tiny headshots.

1 upvote
Timmbits

I feel that they should all be tested at base ISO, to show them at their best.
You are right about focal length though: they should all be tested at an identical focal length that all can do - say 50mm equivalent. their IQ isn't good enough to appreciate in wide angle landscape shots, and we almost always zoom in at 2x-3x most of the time for most shots anyways, and at 50mm that is a good middle - not wide angle, not telephone - but at a length they should all be near their sweetspot and perform ok.

1 upvote
Timmbits

*telephoto LOL (sometimes my fingers have a mind of their own)

0 upvotes
Leandros S

Well, I can't wait for the Pentax one. It is still coming, right?

0 upvotes
KonstantinosK

I'm still not impressed with image quality of the FT5 and its peers. I used to have the FT3 and although it worked faultlessly for a whole summer snorkeling and shallow diving, and I enjoyed using it, the pictures where just a huge smudge. I didn't have particularly high expectations but I expected the pics to be about as good as from my sweet DMC-TZ5. They weren't. The best picture I managed to have after a lot of post processing is probably this:

http://www.dpreview.com/challenges/Entry.aspx?ID=670732

I sold the camera in e-bay by autumn, hoping for something better to come up (with RAW). I'm still waiting...

1 upvote
primozp

Agree with you, image quality of FT5 and of other UW cameras could be better, however, FT5 produces better UW photos than other UW cameras, and most importantly, with less effort.

Maybe there was something wrong with your FT3, because I have totaly different experience. More than 90% of my UW photos (taken with Panasonic FT cameras) are totally acceptable. All were recorded during snorkeling and freediving sessions up to 18 meters deep. Photos are only slightly post processed with Picasa3.

Check my UW photos taken in Egypt in june 2013:
http://www.flickr.com/photos/primozp/sets/72157633781549649/

2 upvotes
KonstantinosK

I'd happily buy another UW camera if it had RAW, even without WiFi or GPS, which I don't need. I'd like to control the smudginess of the smudge in my smudgy pictures my self, please! (And WB for that matter...)

3 upvotes
HowaboutRAW

Fewer pixels would help too. Say around 10MP.

0 upvotes
primozp

Agree!!!

0 upvotes
Timmbits

I have a TS3 and I am also very disappointed with the image quality. I thought that the editor's highest ratings in the last UW roundup could be trusted. immensely disappointing.

0 upvotes
primozp

In last 8 years I was owner of 14 underwater cameras http://www.flickr.com/photos/primozp/sets/72157633756660405/ I also have the opportunity to test almost all other UW cameras. In 2010 I even spent my holidays in Egypt with 2 cameras: FT2 and 8010 http://public.fotki.com/Primoz/panasonic-ft2-ts2-v. 8010 very disappointed me and so does TG-1 few years later. TG cameras without a doubt has better optics, but in all other respects FT/TS cameras are better.

In last years I dive solely on breath, up to 18 meters deep, so seamless automatic operation is desirable and necessary, because down there I do not have time (and breath) to adjusting the camera.

So, I'm sure that for underwater use Panasonic FT5/TS5 camera is the best on the market (at the moment)!

My (mostly underwater) photos and videos taken with
Panasonic, Olympus and Pentax compact UW cameras:
photos @ http://www.flickr.com/photos/primozp/sets/
videos @ http://www.youtube.com/user/PrimozP/videos?view=1&flow=list&sort=dd

0 upvotes
HowaboutRAW

The Panasonic isn't rated for 18 meters.

The slower lens on the Panasonic lets in less light than say the Olympus TG2's F2.0 lens. And that faster lens means that you don't have to use as high an ISO.

What is it you like about the Panasonic tough cameras?

0 upvotes
primozp

Neither FT4 and neither FT5 aren't rated 18 meters, but both of them survived many 40 seconds long (free)dives to this depth.

TG cameras without a doubt has faster lens, but in all other respects FT/TS cameras are better, they simply produces better UW photos and in particular, better movies. FT5 produces better UW photos than all other UW cameras (even better than FT4), and most importantly, with less effort.

Faster lens means lower ISO, true, but it is interesting that all TG UW photos I saw, were taken at F bigger than 2.8. Camera selects F2.0 very rarely and almost never underwater, not even when the light conditions are poor.

In any case, if we want to take acceptable UW photos with any of this compact UW cameras, weather should be fine, sun should be very bright and water must be clear. Also, using zoom in UW conditions is not an option.

Considering all the above facts, the advantage of TG camera quickly melts.

Comment edited 4 minutes after posting
1 upvote
phongnguyen

Marianas Trench is the only test that matters.

2 upvotes
John Driggers

It's time for DPR (and other camera review sites) to develop some standard terms and definitions when describing increasingly popular WiFi features in cameras. Too often phrases like "control the camera via WiFi" are used when you can't control the camera via Wifi-all you can do is access one or two features like the zoom and the shutter release. Perhaps something like:

WiFi File Transfer-you can move images from the camera to a smart phone, tablet or computer wirelessly.

WiFI Remote Triggering-You can trip the shutter and access limited camera features via WiFi (list accessible features).

WiFi Tethering-Full control of the cameras essential features, including AF, ISO, Aperture, Shutter Speed, Exposure Compensation, Bracketing, Flash Setting, Etc (essentially everything on an Olympus SCP menu as an example).

Notes for the trolls: 1) if WiFi is unimportant to you, there is no need to tell us. 2) The options above are an example and NOT intended to be comphrehensive.

0 upvotes
Timmbits

some of us couldn't care less about wifi, some of us care a little bit, and some like it a lot.

when dealing with underwater photos, ergonomics/controls, poor image quality when out of the water and all the other stuff one needs to examine and worry about, wifi is really at the bottom of the list of our concerns.

2 upvotes
Actrurus

My DMC-FT2 is now badly corroded, I wouldn't buy another waterproof Panasonic for this reason. The rear case, where there is any edge to the alloy, is corroded, especially around the buttons and dials. Still works though, but looks ugly. Out of warranty, so Panasonic not interested in helping out.

0 upvotes
nicend

I have the same model camera (Panasonic DMCFT2) and have yet to experience any corrosion at all despite taking it into the ocean, into pools, and accidentally leaving it underwater for more than three times what it is rated for (I may have done that quite a few times).

The reason that my camera has no corrosion is because I frequently washed salt water off the camera with normal tap water after usage (salt water corrodes nearly anything). The manual recommends soaking the camera in tap water after any contact with salt water, and believe me it is a must if you want to keep your camera looking pristine.

0 upvotes
monomondo

Reading the verdicts it's hard to figure on why the Panasonic finishes behind the Nikon.

It might need a stronger flash and faster lens, but it has a high visibility screen vs the Nikon oled screen which you've said makes it "nearly impossible to see outdoors and underwater"

Now that is a pretty fundamental basic to get so badly wrong.

Surely this failure should have weighed much more heavily against the Nikon.

For me I think the better battery life of the Panasonic trumps the excellent full GPS mapping of the Nikon too.

Pity it seems there's not one camera in the group as tested so far with all the sweet and none of the bitter.

Comment edited 8 minutes after posting
3 upvotes
livefierce

I agree with your comment. As I read the review for the Nikon, the tone suggested to me it wasn't going to rate very well, and here thus far it's the best rated. (Though being new to DPReview.com, I'm not very familiar with the overall tone, so I very easily could be mis-reading). Either way, I too think cameras built for "rugged" use, i.e. outdoor/underwater, that have such flawed displays *outdoors and underwater* perhaps shouldn't score so highly.

But that's just me. :)

0 upvotes
colacat

for people who's going to buy the ts5, I would suggest you to hold on, and get a canon G series camera +underwater housing instead. I personally own a TS3, the first time, i use it 5 mins underwater with no problem, but on the second time, there was leak into the battery compartment, I pretty sure that I check if I have the button switch to locked position, I ended up back home with not even single underwater picture. The best thing is , Panasonic replace it for free, I then spent another couple hundred $$ for the housing for the ts3.

0 upvotes
Paul Farace

My TS4, purchased last August is sitting in a mailing box to be shipped to the Panasonic repair facility in Texas. On its second trip under water since it was purchased (and never more than six feet deep) it began to flash its rear panel display. Not a total flooding of the interior, but apparently a short in one of the control circuits. It didn't totally stop working but you couldn't do much with it ... I didn't pay $265 for this. Let's see what Panasonic says. I've used underwater cameras since my Nikon Action Touch 35mm in 1998 and I think I know something about maintaining O-ring seals... (I am skipper of a WW II submarine memorial!) All the Wi-Fi bells and whistles are fine, but if the camera fails at its primary mission, you have an expensive paperweight.

0 upvotes
Gully Foyle

The yellow fish is on all three reviews, Olympus, Nikon and now Panasonic! You had a contract or something with this pro? :)

Great reviews all three, BTW.

2 upvotes
SirLataxe

Quoted from the review:

"As is the case with all compact cameras, you'd be able to get technically better results from the TS5 if Raw mode was available, but that's not a feature you'll find in the rugged/waterproof class, for understandable reasons".

What are these "understandable reasons" to omit RAW from such cameras? I have the previous model and I want it to take RAW so I can use it for wet/sandy beach landscapes without suffering the tedious jpeg smudging of detail.

And what is the point of having 16MP if any detail captured by this pixel-dense sensor is smeared away by the jpeg processor yet cannot be got-at via RAW?

SirLataxe, also not requiring the spurious wifi and GPS stuff. (What next - a built-in printer to make postage stamp-size prints)?

4 upvotes
CameraLabTester

Now if these sort of gadgets can make a telephone call... wow, are they gonna blow the market!

.

1 upvote
Jefftan

Dpreview is not helping people by not emphasizing the slow lens of all these camera except TG-2 and WG-3

Giving similar score to these slow lens camera as TG-2,WG-3 is really not doing any good to the photographic community

They should get a much lower score to let everyone know that these are outdated and obsolete

7 upvotes
AllBrands

Any chance these cameras were actually tested to see how waterproof they really are? There are loads of consumer complaints about Panasonic waterproof cameras that got water inside and failed at, allegedly, the first hint of any water. Panasonic then denies warranty coverage claiming abuse or user error in each case. Sure there are a lot of dummies out there but many of the complaints I've read sound very credible. Doubly so in light of the many horror stories I've read time and again about Panasonic warranty support in general here in the USA. Just saying - I don't care how good the image quality is if the camera fails the first time it's used as designed. It would be good to test that too, no?

Comment edited 27 seconds after posting
2 upvotes
Barney Britton

We tested all these products underwater and had no issues with the Panasonic.

3 upvotes
Gesture

Yes, but did you take it down the Marianas Trench.

4 upvotes
CaseyComo

Marianas Trench is the only test that matters.

7 upvotes
paul_kew

How about the drop test etc?

0 upvotes
nicend

I have two Panasonic FT2 and have experienced no issues with water, despite leaving one of them underwater for close to 3 hours over the 'rated' usage. I have a friend with an FT1 that hasn't had any difficulties.

I suspect that either they had a batch with misaligned seals, or users that failed to 'lock' the camera's ports shut(or had something caught in the seals like sand or grit). Not sure which, but either way I have yet to have an issue despite the horror stories.

OTH, complaints about water entry issues with waterproof cameras is common and I don't believe that there is a single model that hasn't had a failure. Heck I've even seen complaints about the newer GoPro's seals failing. So unfortunately you kinda just have to risk it and choose a decent brand and hope they have good warranty support.

0 upvotes
snegron2

I own a TS1 and a TS3. My biggest gripe is the location of the lens. I wish Panasonic would move the lens to the middle or center of the body. Every time I reach for the camera to get it out of either my pocket or a small pouch I end up grabbing the corner where the lens is located thereby smudging the lens with my finger.

Other than the bad positioning of the lens I am quite happy with the TS3. The TS5 seems nice, but I will wait for the next model to upgrade; maybe Panasonic will move the lens to a better spot by then.

5 upvotes
FreedomLover

Wouldn't you usually place it grip up into the pocket?

1 upvote
snegron2

The grip on the TS3 is not very pronounced (it is non-existent on the TS1). Many times in a rush I place it in my pocket without paying attention to what direction the grip is in. Also, when I hand the camera to someone I would say 99% of the time they grab it by the corner where the lens is located!

2 upvotes
TacticDesigns

There are pros and cons either way. Have it in the center . . . and it may be easier to center the camera . . . have the lens towards one corner, its easier to stick it into tiny spots where dSLRs can't go. Better solution . . . buy one of each. <grin>

2 upvotes
Mikhail Tal

DPR Here are the cameras I want you to make TOP PROPRITY for review as soon as they are announced (roughly in the following order):

Olympus OM-D model(s)
Panasonic GX7
Sony NEX-7N
Any other interchangeable lens cameras from Olympus, Panasonic, and Sony

Thank you.

4 upvotes
Simon Joinson

i assume you checked with everyone else?

13 upvotes
snegron2

You forgot to mention the Panasonic G5. I'm still waiting patiently for the review of the G5! :)

3 upvotes
Seagull TLR

@Simon No, he didn't :) :) :)

1 upvote
Mikhail Tal

Simon I am not claiming to speak for "everyone else", my comment is meant to be taken at face value.

2 upvotes
Stephen Scharf

I'd just like to see the Fuji X100S review, for goodness sakes. Or, they could send me the camera and *I'll* write the review. At least it the darned thing will get done.

Comment edited 2 times, last edit 2 minutes after posting
1 upvote
tonywong

Is it me or does the photo of the camera on the sand look very 'flat'?

5 upvotes
Simon Joinson

well it's not a real photo. That's my 10 minute photoshop skills you're dissing :)

Comment edited 52 seconds after posting
13 upvotes
FreedomLover

They used cheap CGI, tonywong, without even adjusting the perspective. The sand looks like an office carpet :-)

Ah sorry, Simon, I assumed Panasonic made it :-)

Comment edited 1 minute after posting
2 upvotes
TacticDesigns

WARNING: Random Thought!

Since this is a website about photography (cameras), maybe the main shots should be pictures, not images that have been edited too much with photoshop.

Maybe even go so far as trying to take the main shot of the camera with a 2nd body of the same camera, so its mug shot can only be as good as the camera itself is?

Just a goofy idea . . .

<grin>

3 upvotes
arhmatic

I think you should stick with real photos everywhere in your reviews.
Like in one of your previous reviews, you were showing a camera floating in water, obviously photoshopped, with a note "camera does not actually float"...

Why do this??? Looks terribly amateurish.

2 upvotes
JohnEwing

I'm even happier now that I bought the TS3

1 upvote
maksa

I own the TS3 and I am rather dissapointed because of its incorrect auto white balance algorithms. Almost all pictures shot with AWB setting are too blue.

1 upvote
Random Asian Guy

I agree, I had the TS3 for my underwater and snapshot needs and really didn't like how the photos turned out. It wasn't even good enough to give away to my brother so I gave it to my brother in-law :)

I actually use gopro for underwater and NEX-5 has been demoted to snapshots when going out.

2 upvotes
mpgxsvcd

One very important thing to remember is that all of the other under water cameras are at F4.8 or F4.9 at full telephoto. This one is at F5.9. That is about 1/2 stop disadvantage for the TS5/FT5.

Underwater, light is pretty much everything. Some of the other cameras start at F2.0 wide angle where this one is F3.3. That is an absolutely huge difference in cameras that are ALWAYS in low light and really can't use more than ISO 800.

Give me an F1.4-F2.0 24mm-50mm underwater camera. With scuba depth water protection, RAW shooting, 1080p @ 60 FPS video, and full manual controls for stills and video and I will hand you my $600.

I don't care what size sensor it has. Under water all I need is a really fast lens and RAW capabilities and I can do the rest.

Comment edited 48 seconds after posting
1 upvote
BJN

The one's f/5.9 at full telephoto. I've never used telephoto under water. None of the cameras in this class are really designed for anything but snorkeling. You're asking for a new class of underwater digital cameras. A digital "Nikonos" (at least in terms of a capable camera that doesn't require a dive housing) could perhaps find a successful sales niche. But not at $600 and not as compact as these cameras.

2 upvotes
Adrian Van

Considering the sensor size, video was indeed very good! Panasonic always knew how to do video in compact cameras well. Real world samples shown at 100 and 160 iso on a bright sunny summer day look very good and crisp, including the first portrait of girl. Digital smearing at much higher iso/low light. For the intended audience, for beach, vacation, outdoors on a rainy day, or underwater use, perhaps a very good choice for some.

Comment edited 3 times, last edit 5 minutes after posting
3 upvotes
Red5TX

Why are there no rugged cameras that shoot raw?

4 upvotes
HowaboutRAW

In a specialized case that costs as much as say the Panasonic LX7.

1 upvote
InTheMist

Yeah, give me a rugged raw-shooting camera with an f2 lens at the wide end and I'd pretty much declare a winner.

1 upvote
robgendreau

How 'bout a Canon D10 with CHDK? Does DNG. The D20 is in alpha.

0 upvotes
Stephen Scharf

Nice, and thank you for posting this informative review.

Now, how about that Fuji X100S review? ;-)

Comment edited 29 seconds after posting
3 upvotes
Total comments: 70