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LUMIX Active Lifestyle Tough Camera
Most helpful customer reviews
288 of 306 people found the following review helpful.
Put this one at the top of your short list
[[VIDEOID:e503520681627d4c2bcd1d47773d7021]]As a professional photographer I have had quite a bit of experience in using my camera gear under unfavorable conditions, including underwater. However when I am taking family snapshots my first choice of camera when I am heading out the door for a fun time with the family and friends is ... well, my cell phone - because it's always with me and it takes good pictures. That puts me squarely in category of being the average person, but with the difference that I know a bit more about cameras and how to capture a good photo than average. And what would be my SECOND choice of the ideal camera to take along for a fun outing? A ruggedized, weather-resistant, easy-to-use snapshot camera that doesn't get in the way of having fun while capture great photo memories. And that is the kind of camera I recommend to you if you are looking for an everyday point-and-shoot digital camera.
Of all the brands and models available, Panasonic Lumix has carved the strongest niche into the ruggedized/weatherized camera market and this is one of their best all-around offerings to date. Here's why you should consider it, along with an explanation of what it lacks and why.
The DMC-TS30A is a brand-new model as of April 2015 and has a 16MP sensor, more than adequate to capture excellent photos. Thankfully the hype about more megapixels has long passed and most people realize that a good lens and a capable internal processor are at least as important (if not more) than how many megapixels the camera has. And Panasonic Lumix has the track record for producing high quality lens and processors, especially at this, the lower price range of cameras.
The lens is a 25-100mm (equiv), the most ideal range I could recommend for everyday picture taking. And it's fast for an entry-level point-and-shoot at f/3.9 meaning better low-light photos and less blur. The other specs like shutter speed and ISO rating are not stellar but they are well suited for a camera of this type and how it will be used.
Why is this camera the one you want to take along even if you have a decent camera in your cell phone? The manufacturer's advertising claims that is that it is submersible to 26ft, shockproof to 5ft, freeze-proof to 14 degrees F and also dustproof. Which means you won't have to baby it, just take it where you go and snap away. And the fact that it only weighs about 5 oz (slightly more than an iphone 6) and is MUCH smaller than the iPhone guarantees that it will not be a hassle to carry with you all day.
If you are into taking photos underwater (like shallow water snorkeling, not deep diving, this is NOT a dive camera) Panasonic has all the right answers for you including an underwater illuminator to help the colors "snap", and special circuitry to optimize underwater colors. By the way, that torch (as Panasonic calls it) is totally independent of the camera operation, very handy if you are trying to take a photo of someone or something in total darkness, you can turn it on to visually locate your subject for framing.
The feature list is impressive for its price: 1280 x 720 pixel HD video (that looks awesome), built-in time-lapse, 12 creative modes and 13 scene modes and a burst mode of 8 frames/second at reduced resolution. What is lacks is Wi-FI (which greatly reduces battery life - I never use it), NFC (nice on a cell phone, useless on a camera), and GPS (a nice feature to have but it also eats up your batteries much faster). One final note is that this camera has enough built-in memory to take about 30 or so pictures without a memory card. You may never use it but it's a great "just in case" backup for that once-in-a-lifetime shot.
For what it's designed for this camera doesn't really have any significant downsides. I've taken some nice sharp clear photos with it and in the fully-automatic mode it is really difficult to take a "bad" picture. The only reality check is that the rear LCD's resolution is only average, certainly not bad and definitely comparable to other cameras in the price range, but once you have used a camera with a higher resolution screen (or most new smartphones) you won't get excited about how ordinary the viewing screen is on this camera. Not really a con but a reality check is that the pictures this camera is capable of are sharp and the color reproduction is very accurate. The camera is capable of taking good pictures under good conditions. But it does have its limits.
Considering photo quality, features, extreme compact size, excellent shockproof and weather-resistant qualities AND a price that won't break your budget I would put this camera at the top of your short list of everyday fun cameras that you will want to take with you everywhere you go. I want to make it clear that a 5-star rating is because it rates well in its price range compared to competitive models. But don't expect DSLR quality and features out of a little point-and-shoot pocket camera, nor should you expect it to substitute for a true dive camera. You get what you pay for with any camera.
Check out the attached video for unboxing photos and a real-life glimpse at the first photos and videos I took with this camera. I've used it under a variety of conditions including some underwater video since I made the video and I will add those soon plus some photos/video I've shot in less-than-ideal conditions.
0 of 0 people found the following review helpful.
Poor image quality
By Sara Chapell
The pictures this camera takes area have consistently soft focus, like the auto-focus is broken or very stupid. The camera also handles high contrast images poorly, with the dark areas underexposed and light areas overexposed.
I was looking for a durable waterproof camera, and this camera performs that function well. But what's the point if there is no sharp detail in the pictures you bring home?
The cameras I have been using are my iPhone 6 and 7. Those both take far sharper pictures and the automatic HDR (high dynamic resolution) feature manages high contrast lighting very well. So this Panasonic Lumix camera is like going backwards about 20 years in time to the early days of digital point & shoot cameras.
0 of 0 people found the following review helpful.
Good camera for outdoors
Great camera for beach travel and was waterproof the whole time. I used it in the ocean, pools and a river. I never had a leak. The camera needs a LOT of light for clear photos. If you do have enough light, then great pictures for such an economical camera. When there is not enough light, the pictures get very grainy very fast. I used a 64GB card which it accessed with no problem (after formatting). I only opened the camera a couple of times to download photos. Each time it yells at you to make sure there is no sand or dirty bits. Overall great find for a water resistant pocket camera.