The Panasonic Lumix TS7 is the newest waterproof and shockproof compact camera in the Lumix lineup and it is all about being in water, sand or snow, all with no questions asked. Cell phones cameras never actually killed the point and shoot camera, they just made them tougher.
Not everything in photography is like that. With a tough camera, you don’t have to worry about fogging up the inner lens elements in the winter, or committing a dreaded “death-drop” with your expensive DSLR gear. Bringing this camera just about anywhere is not a worry so you can always get a shot of your adventures.
Here are some reasons to get a Panasonic Lumix TS7 tough camera before the summer is out:
The Lumix TS7 is Really Tough
Panasonic made sure to toughen up this camera for the outdoorsy types among us. I think that a lot of photographers could appreciate a camera that is impervious to the slings and arrows of camera use. With a tough camera, you don’t have to worry about fogging up the inner lens elements in the winter or a dreaded “death-drop” of your expensive DSLR gear. Bringing this camera just about anywhere is not a worry so you can relax and feel free to actually have your camera with you.
- Waterproof underwater to 102 ft. Perfect for scuba diving, kayaking, fishing, falling in pools, etc.
- Shockproof to 6.6 ft. and dustproof. Keeps you ready for mountaineering, rock climbing, and of course, dropping stuff.
- Freezeproof to 14ºF. Keeps you shooting when skiing, snowboarding, or just shivering.
- Pressure resistance to 220 lbf. Great for safe packing in luggage when traveling on vacation and business without needing to worry about the luggage cart crushing your gear.
The Power O.I.S. is Top Notch:
Sometimes it feels like optical image stabilization has been around so long that we take it for granted. It wasn’t too long ago when the slower shutter speeds had us all shaking in our boots, literally. The TS7 comes equipped with Power Optical Image Stabilization which helped me get some crisp images even at close to a full one-second exposure time. When the light gets low, great image stabilization can really make the difference between a usable shot and a throwaway shot.
The Lens is Nice and Sharp:
In photography without a good lens, you have nothing. I had a hard time noticing any flaws with this lens and felt like it was as good as you would expect on a compact camera. I had a good time shooting the TS7 and was pleasantly surprised at how it performed.
The Close Focus Macro is Great
Whether you are underwater or on solid ground, the minimum focus distance on the Lumix TS7 of just 5cm allows for some pretty nice macro images. I was surprised at how much detail this camera could render.
And don’t forget the Post Focus feature on the newest Lumix cameras. Post Focus allows you to press the trigger one time, while the camera takes multiple images at different focus points, allowing you to choose which depth of focus you would like after the shot. Then you simply save your favorite and get rid of the rest.
It has a viewfinder!!!
Wait, what? A high-resolution electronic viewfinder on a point and shoot camera? It is like finding a lost species that was thought to be extinct. The viewfinder is small, as would be expected on a relatively pocketable camera, but it is sharp. On a bright day at sea or in the mountain snow, the LCD screen on any camera becomes unusable. The EVF can be a lifesaver in very bright conditions.
So what are the cons? RAW capture not included
No RAW capture is probably my biggest complaint. If you are someone that likes to squeeze every last bit of goodness out of a big RAW file, this could be a dealbreaker for you. I think RAW capture could have made this camera more desirable to the “image quality” set in the photography world. And although there are some compression artifacts when you zoom way in on the files, that is expected at this sensor size.
More data is usually better for photographers, but not all photographers. If you are not interested in spending your evenings editing photos and filling up hard drives then RAW is a waste of space and time anyway.
Verdict: Tough and High Tech for Hobbyists, not for the Pros
The Lumix TS7 is very comfortable in the hand and really a pleasure to simply point and shoot. Overall, I think it is a great choice for a hobbyist looking for a rugged camera but falls short for the pro crowd with no RAW capture. I really like the TS7 and I would recommend it to any outdoor-loving photographer that wanted something that is easy to use, high tech and will take a beating.