Panasonic Lumix DMC-TS1

Panasonic Lumix DMC-TS1

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Have you ever wanted to jump in the pool with your camera? I know I have… I saw the new OLympus Tough recently and have not seen the Panasonic Lumix DMC-TS1 in the flesh as yet, but it seems like more and more people are wanting to do just that. With a 12.1mp sensor, Panasonic’s Ai features, a 28mm wide-angle LEICA DC VARIO-ELMAR lens and AVCHD (HD) video, the Panasonic looks like a fun all rounder that you can throw in the pool at the end of a long, hot day.

Panasonic Lumix DMC-TS1

The new Panasonic Lumix DMC-TS1 is waterproof down to ten feet and shock proof if it falls out of your hand at a height of upto five feet. This compact has a video mode called AVCHD Lite High Definition (HD) video recording (AVCHD Lite HD video, allows you almost double the recording time in HD quality compared with the conventional Motion JPEG format. The TS1 has Dolby Digital Creator to record high quality audio.)

I take a compact camera with me every time I go skiing and I have seen two cameras in the last two years fall victim to a small drop or a bit of snow sharing a pocket, it would be nice to just not worry about the camera so much and concentrate on staying upright! Maybe the Panasonic Lumix DMC-TS1 can help me with that!

Panasonic Lumix DMC-TS1 Press Release

PANASONIC INTRODUCES WORLD’S FIRST WATERPROOF,
SHOCKPROOF AND DUSTPROOF DIGITAL CAMERA
WITH AVCHD LITE HD VIDEO RECORDING CAPABILITIES
New LUMIX DMC-TS1 Digital Camera Features Tough and Rugged Design for
Capturing Still and Motion Images In Outdoor Activities
MIAMI, FL (January 27, 2009)

Panasonic today introduced the LUMIX DMC-TS1, the world’s
first waterproof, shockproof and dustproof digital camera to also feature AVCHD Lite High
Definition (HD) video recording capabilities. The TS1’s tough and rugged design makes it the
ideal choice for active users needing the ultimate hybrid for capturing both still and motion
images during outdoor activities. The LUMIX TS1, with a 12.1 megapixel resolution, features a
28mm wide-angle LEICA DC VARIO-ELMAR lens, a 4.6x optical zoom and Panasonic’s
proprietary iA (Intelligent Auto) mode, making this an easy-to-use, yet powerful camera that
packs advanced imaging features.
“Many consumers are hesitant to take their digital cameras on outdoor activities like skiing,
hiking, boating or even a day at the beach, for fear it will be damaged. With the introduction of
the LUMIX TS1, we offer a digital camera with a rugged design that consumers can feel
confident using in these tough environments,” said David Briganti, National Marketing Manager,
Imaging, Panasonic Consumer Electronics Company.

“Even more, with the ability to take both beautiful high-quality still images and High Definition video, with AVCHD Lite, the TS1 offers a powerful one-two punch to capture memories that can later be shared with friends and family.”

The TS1 is waterproof to a depth of 10 feet, shockproof from falls up to 5 feet, and dustproof.
With its rubber padding, reinforced glass and carbon resins inside the camera, the TS1 features
an airtight body protected against water immersion, dust and sand.

Starting at the 28mm wide angle, and zooming up to a useful 128mm in telephoto, the TS1
gives users the flexibility for a variety of shooting environments – especially underwater, where
movement is often restricted and the angle of view becomes important for composing shots.

The TS1 also features a 2.7-inch, 230,000-dot Intelligent LCD with a wide viewing angle,
enhancing visibility during recording and playback by automatic brightness control according to
the environment’s lighting conditions. Plus, the TS1’s LCD panel is deliberately thickened for
protection against pressure, allowing the display to operate with clear visibility even underwater.
The TS1 records AVCHD Lite HD video, allowing almost double the recording time in HD quality
compared with the conventional Motion JPEG format. The TS1 also features Dolby Digital
Creator to record high quality audio to match the high-quality motion images.

Also new in 2009, the TS1 features iA mode for both still images and in Movie Mode. For iA in
Movie Mode, the TS1 features Optical Image Stabilization (O.I.S.), which helps prevent
handshake when using high-powered zoom. Face Detection automatically detects a face in a
frame and adjusts focus, exposure, contrast, and skin complexion on the face.

Intelligent Exposure continually checks the ambient light level and adjusts the exposure setting as
conditions change to prevent blown highlights and blocked shadows. And Intelligent Scene
Selector automatically switches between Normal, Portrait, Macro, Scenery, and Low Light
modes according to the situation to optimize visual quality. AWind Cut function is also available
to block out most of the noise from background wind. Optical zoom can be used in motion
image recording. Users can start video recording by simply pressing a dedicated button on the
camera’s back panel.

The TS1’s iA for still image adds Face Recognition – a feature that “remembers” faces from
previous shots. When a registered face appears in the frame, the camera will prioritize focus
and exposure to capture it beautifully. With Face Recognition, when a familiar face is recorded
several times, the camera will prompt you to register the face. Once registered, if the face
appears into the frame again, the camera will display the name specified for that person and
prioritize focus and exposure so that the registered face is bright and sharply focused.
The imaging power of LUMIX has further evolved with the Venus Engine HD, which boasts two
CPUs to provide approx. 2.4x processing capability and support for Face Recognition, AVCHD
Lite and HDMI output. It integrates the numerous advanced functions with high performance,
and low-power consumption. Thanks to the Venus Engine HD, it’s easy to view photos or
movies recorded in AVCHD Lite. Simply insert the SD Memory Card from the camera in the
Panasonic VIERA® HDTV’s Image Viewer SD Memory Card slot to start playback, or connect
the camera via an optional HDMI mini cable to a VIERA Link™-equipped Panasonic VIERA
HDTV and use the TV’s remote control to run slideshows.
This multi-task image-processing engine also enables a fast response time. The TS1 starts up
quickly in 1.3 seconds and shutter release time lag is approximately 0.005 seconds, making it
easy to capture sudden, spur-of-the-moment photo opportunities. The Flash Burst mode makes
it possible to take consecutive shots with continuous emissions of the flash. The Venus Engine
HD also supports a High Sensitivity mode that lets the TS1 record up to ISO 6400, sensitive
enough to capture subjects in near-total darkness without using a flash. Despite its outstanding
performance, the high performance engine is also more energy efficient, extending the battery
life up to 340 shots (CIPA) per a single charge.

Other features of the LUMIX DMC-TS1 include:

New Scene Modes for Still Images: Beach & Surf mode gives users a single mode with
optimized auto white balance for optical shooting on the beach and in shallow water.
New Panorama Assist scene mode allows users to shoot a number of consistent
photos, either vertically or horizontally, by aligning them according to a guide that
overlaps the screen. Then using those photos and the bundled PanoramaMaker
software, users can create dramatic panoramic images.
Increased Scene modes for both still and motion image shooting – optimized for a
variety of situations. There are 26 scene modes for still image and 17 for motion image
(Portrait, Soft Skin, Transform, Self portrait, Scenery, Low light, Food, Party, Candle
light, Sunset, High sensitivity, Beach & Surf, Snow, Aerial, Pin hole, Film grain and
Underwater)
LED Illumination is available in motion image recording.
High-Speed Burst (Speed Priority) that fires off approximately10 shots per second.
Menus are clearer and easier to navigate with the Display Size option.
Macro Zoom function lets users pull subjects even closer to capture dramatic close-up
shots by using the 3x digital zoom in the wide-angle.
Bundled Software: The latest version of PHOTOfunSTUDIO 3.0 HD Edition allows users to
view, edit and archive captured content with greater ease and fun. Still and motion images
can be transferred to the computer via a USB cable for viewing and archiving. Using

PHOTOfunSTUDIO 3.0 HD Edition, users can edit and remove unwanted portions of video
clips recorded in AVCHD Lite. Contents recorded in AVCHD Lite can be burned directly
onto a DVD disc or converted to MPEG2 format. The software also incorporates the Face
Recognition function, which recognizes registered faces in photos stored on the computer,
making organizing and archiving photos with a specific person much easier. Additionally,
motion pictures can be uploaded directly to YouTube.
The Panasonic LUMIX DMC-TS1 will be available in silver, green or orange models in April
2009 for a suggested retail price of $399.95. For more information, please visit

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Sime (aka #gtvone) is the customer support manager for dPS, and lead blogger in our Cameras and Gear Blog. He's a Melbourne based photographer, www.gtvone.com and please feel free to follow him on Twitter and Instagram.

Some Older Comments

  • Jan May 14, 2010 06:50 am

    I bought this cam last fall. $450 cdn. ouch. but I wanted a cam that I can take swimming and to the beach. I also wanted a small cam for shot trips to the store and such. My D90 is far too bulky for trips like that and I always worried about having it stolen. I'm really looking forward to getting in the water with it and not worrying about sand at the beach this summer. As far as the image quality is concerned, it's no DSLR but does the job. After all, it's the 12 inched behind the cam that makes or breaks the shot.

    I tried it a few times this spring underwater and it has superior image quality. I also tried it in my kitchen sink playing around with bubbles. Did an excellent job. Here's one of the shots from the sink. Not the greatest, it's hard to hold the duck underwater and handle a cam at the same time.

    [eimg link='http://www.flickr.com/photos/shutterbug83photos/4604977594/' title='underwater' url='http://farm2.static.flickr.com/1324/4604977594_c07ac8ca83.jpg']

  • Adam April 25, 2010 09:51 am

    I tested this camera and the Canon D10 when they were released last summer. One of the things I did like about this camera was it's super macro function. However, the image quality was mediocre to say the least. I tested it and the D10 underwater, the D10 also came out on top. The one concession I have to make is the HD video on the TS1 is a step up from SD video the D10 is limited too.

  • digital June 12, 2009 06:59 pm

    High Definition (HD) video recording is good

  • BlaBlaBla April 7, 2009 07:19 pm

    Maybe becouse of the PAL and NTSC differences... but don't really know.

  • James March 31, 2009 11:03 am

    Apologies, in the UK a DMC-FT1, USA A DMC-TS1. I have no idea why they would have different model names for the same device

  • James March 31, 2009 10:58 am

    Now called a DMC-FT1 according to Panasonic's website

    http://www.panasonic.co.uk/html/en_GB/Products/LUMIX+Digital+Cameras/Stylish+Compact/DMC-FT1/Overview/2033765/index.html

  • BlaBlaBla March 1, 2009 01:33 pm

    Does anybody know where it is possible to buy one or where it will be avaible soon? I go to thailand in middle march and have to habe it before!!! Pls help! ;)

  • Paul R. Giunta February 16, 2009 02:00 am

    Underwater? Interesting.

  • charles February 14, 2009 08:45 pm

    It needs a scene mode for fish recognition

  • Slava33 February 14, 2009 04:13 am

    I've used Olympus 790SW when in weather or skiing, but the IQ leaves a lot to be desired. Also no manual modes and no image stabilization. Hoping this Lumix will do better, but IQ is usually sacrificed in weatherproof cameras.

  • Sime February 13, 2009 11:52 pm

    Alexandru, Not as such... (I don't know many compacts that do... Ricoh GRII?)

    It does have... "26 scene modes for still image and 17 for motion image
    (Portrait, Soft Skin, Transform, Self portrait, Scenery, Low light, Food, Party, Candle
    light, Sunset, High sensitivity, Beach & Surf, Snow, Aerial, Pin hole, Film grain and
    Underwater"

    Sime

  • Alexandru February 13, 2009 11:38 pm

    Does it have manual mode (setting shutter speed and aperture)? It seems Olympus Tough doesn't have it either.

    Is it such a hard thing to do to provide manual mode on ALL cameras?

  • Sime February 13, 2009 11:07 pm

    It will be interesting to see what they come up with, like I said - it seems a few manufacturers are going to have a dabble. I'd be interested to see if Canon release a bullet proof Canon Ixus!... :)

  • icedsoul photography February 13, 2009 10:30 am

    I am so tempted to get this one. at the moment it would be between the lx-3 and this one. no idea. gotta wait for pma and see what else might be there.