214 of 217 people found the following review helpful
4Good Camera, but...
ByVincent M. Gonzalez "Vince"on April 12, 2011
I am a serious photographer and I usually shoot with a pro Nikon camera. I purchased this camera because I did not want to expose my pro Nikon to the elements, and this camera is wonderful for that purpose.
I have added some sample shots for you to judge the quality for yourself. I have to agree with other reviews that the GPS function is ok at best. I have found that I need to be in clear view of the sky for the GPS to find the current location. I have noticed that while the GPS is searching, it really uses lots of battery power. I now geotag a few photos and then turn off the GPS to save on battery power.
In strong light, the camera sensor washes out some images... I would like to see a feature to allow for strong backlight as well.
It is very easy to put your finger in front of the lens by mistake.
If you use a Mac, the AVCHD (30 min recording at a time) mode does not play, I have to A) convert the file or B) set the camera to HD (10 min recording at a time) mode.
I have dropped the camera from 5 feet or so into the sand where it was 75% buried, I found that I needed to rinse the camera off under running water to get all the sand out before I opened the door. No damage or issues with this.
I have operated the camera in 20 degree weather for hours with no issues.
I have operated the camera in 90 degree weather for hours with no issues.
I love that I can simply push a button to start and stop the recording process.
If you have some basic knowledge of photography, you will be able to use all of the different available settings to your benefit. If you simply want to point and shoot, keep the camera in the iA mode and this will work out fine for you.
I really like the night shot mode because it allows me to hand hold the camera.
Overall, I really think that this camera is a very good buy, given all that it can stand and the places I can take it without having to worry about it. No the photos quality is not A+, but I am also not exposing a camera that costs thousands of dollars to the elements. I have in fact recommended this camera to other friends. I am enjoying this camera and I think you may enjoy it as well...
221 of 233 people found the following review helpful
3DETAILED COMPARISON OF Panasonic TS3 to Sony TX10
BySammiMuron August 20, 2011
First, some background on what I was looking for: I'm a casual photographer. I wanted a waterproof camera which would produce high-quality photos in all settings (indoor, outdoor, and underwater. My intention was to completely replace my 7.2MP Sony DSC-W7, which I LOVE. I wanted to add the underwater feature without compromising on other features. I did not want to spend more than about $400 for everything (camera, two 8GB memory cards (Class 10), two extra batteries with charger, and float strap. This left me with about $340 max to spend on the camera itself. I do NOT know a lot about photography. Terms like "ISO" and "white balance" are foreign to me. I like to use pre-programmed scene modes and auto features. I enjoy digital scrapbooking and I frequently zoom and crop. It takes a very high quality photo to crop out/enlarge a small figure without too much distortion. I began my search online and spent about 6 hours researching the cameras in my price range. The cameras I focused on most were the Canon D10, Sony TX10, Panasonic TS3 (sometimes referred to as FT3), Olympus TG-810, Olympus Tough 8010, Fujifilm XP30, and Pentax WG-1. I eliminated most of these options rather quickly based on their reviews, overall ratings, and the quality of photos that I reviewed. I narrowed my focus to the Canon D10, the Sony TX10, and the Panasonic TS3. I wanted to love the Canon D10, since it seems to be the overwhelming fan favorite, but I ultimately decided that it wasn't going to be a good fit for me. The price of the D10 is similar to the Sony and the Panasonic, but it's a 2.5 year old model which doesn't have HD video. The photo quality seemed about equivalent to the other two, so I decided to only focus on the two models with HD video. I would have been completely sold on the Sony, since I've used only Sony cameras most of my adult life and I've never been disappointed in one; however, there were some notable deficiencies which most reviewers found with this model (detailed below), so I was a bit hesitant to take the plunge. The Sony was also priced near the top of my budget ($329), whereas the Panasonic was only $275 at Amazon.com. The Panasonic reviews seemed to all be very positive, with the only significantly commonly-noted problem being lower quality indoor photos. However, all of the indoor, outdoor, and underwater photos that I reviewed online looked very good. I decided to take a chance on the Panasonic TS3 and I really, really, wanted to fall in love with it. I ordered it from Amazon and they delivered it the next day. I wasn't blown away by this camera. The outdoor photos were good. The video was very good. The underwater photos (taken in my large fish tank) were very good. The indoor photos were POOR. I decided to order the Sony TX10, hoping that I'd see better results. I ordered it from Amazon at 9pm that night and it was delivered at 1:00pm the next day (gotta love Amazon!). The photo quality of the Sony camera is outstanding. I'll be keeping the Sony TX10!!! For some people, however, the Panasonic might be the better choice. First, I'll provide my overall recommendations, then I'll add in all of the detail: BUY THE SONY TX10 IF: You value the quality of the photos/video above all else. You like touch screen devices. You don't plan to dive lower than 16 feet. You don't care if you can't adjust your settings (other than zoom) underwater. You want a VERY small camera. You always use a wrist strap.
BUY THE PANASONIC TS3 IF: You can live with grainy indoor photos. You don't typically enlarge your photos to 100% (because they will be distorted). You want a camera with GPS. You plan to dive deeper than 16 feet. You want a larger (but not too big) camera. You're looking for a less expensive option.
NOW FOR MY DETAILED COMMENTS ON BOTH MODELS:
PRICE - The Sony is +/- $50 more expensive than the Panasonic. SIZE - The Sony is significantly smaller and lighter than the Panasonic. I don't think one is better than the other, per se. It's a matter of personal preference. The Sony will fit in most pockets. The Panasonic probably wouldn't. RUGGEDNESS - Both cameras are rated very well in this area. I haven't "tested" them, but it seems like the Panasonic is built a bit tougher and would be less likely to get destroyed in a fall. Rather than test this feature, I'm going to just trust the experts that either one will hold up well if dropped.
This camera has exceed my expectations in every way. I've had the opportunity to use in the rain, the sea and in a pool. The image quality is far superior than I imaged, especially underwater. The HD video is very good both above and below water. The unit seems sturdy based on the abundant amount of metal use on the body. I wouldn't be worried if I drop it.
Why did I buy this? Well for one an upcoming Caribbean vacation, reviews and specifications. I plan to take video of Stingrays and turtles soon. Originally I purchased a Pentax WG-1 which really had terrible HD video and image stabilization on land. Admittedly, I am extremely picky about HD video quality (I do videos) and the Pentax just didn't cut it for me. So I returned it and obtained this unit. Glad I did.
Photos and video taken with the Ts3 underwater are sharp + balanced. The water tight seal seems adequate and did not fail after three hours in the pool and several excursions in the sea. The pictures taken on land are very good and appear 85% as good as a DSLR (this will never replace a DSLR). I enjoy using it and what appeals the most is that I can get it wet and not worry. I can accidentally drop it and not worry. Plus I can slip this camera in my pocket- its portable.
Things to know about this camera: 1) Don't expect to record your cannonball jump into the pool. The units water tight seals are not meant for impact in the water. Don't put it into rushing water like a creek or massive wave. 2) Sand- a sand grain got wedged into my shutter button and made the camera act as if it was attempting to focus all of the time (this made the other buttons on the camera useless). The camera comes with a little brush and I used it to take the sand out. Works fine but the whole experience was not a fun time. At least I've posted this for others. 3) If used in the sea, remember to soak it in tap water when you are done per the instructions. Then let it dry before opening. Don't rush it. 4) follow the instructions on caring for the unit such as making sure the seals are clean before going in the water. 5) Buy a CHUMS (float for the camera- search amazon) especially if you plan to use this in a pool. It came out of my pocket a few times and luckily I had a CHUM attached which allowed it to float instead of sinking.
I really like this camera.
update- Used this camera for 11 days in the Caymans and never had an issue. I made sure to allow the camera to dry before opening and closing the door. Also make sure to clean it each time with the little brush that comes with the package. I think some folks may ignore this and that's why they have issues with water entering, etc. I took about about 4000 pictures/video with this camera during my vacation. I did notice when you got into dark situations the camera had issues with focusing but really what do you expect for a camera at this price? It's a trooper in my opinion. Make sure to purchase the CHUMS flotation strap as that saved me from loosing my camera a couple time when it fell out of my pocket in the ocean.
For an idea of what this camera is capable of here is a link to view.. [...]
I purchased this camera as an upgrade from my Fuji xp10. I also bought an xp30 and the Panasonic consistently blows it away.
GPS: First sat aquisition takes a while, that is to be expected. After than in clear view (no trees, etc) I have gotten quick consistent signals in Hawaii and decent signals in Washington. Hawaii is much better as would be expected because there are more available sat's the closer to the equator. If you are expecting performance on par with your Garmin device, you will be disappointed. If you are expecting the tiny gps sensor to work under most reasonable circumstances, then you will be pleased. The GPS data on the display screen is a nice bonus but again, don't fool yourself into expecting dedicated gps device performance.
Underwater camera: I've snorkeled in 75 degree salt water for four days in a row for not less than 3 hours. In clear water the underwater pictures are amazing. I never got anything close to this quality out of the XP10 and it is a good camera. It completely blows the XP30 away. The full 1080 movies underwater are also excellent, though to be fair I've only watched them on the 720 laptop screen. The camera has gotten a rinse in fresh water after each ocean bath and plenty of time to air dry. So far very good. I can't say enough about how much better the images are from this device.
Battery: yet another custom sized battery and accompying charger. I'm not going to pick on companies for having a custom sized battery too much, but for my sanity, please just make the darn camera charge over a standard usb plug. I see how having a seperate charger coudl allow me to run with one and charge another but really, the battery life is very good (2-3 hours of actual snorkeling with the camera on all the time and still only using about 60% of the battery.
Outdoor picture quality: Good. lots and lots of specific modes (everything from portrait, to sunset, to fireworks, etc..) good enough general use that I left the canon SX100 at home but I do miss the 10x zoom. I'm willing to trade off the zoom for the one device and the massive improvement in ruggedness.
Haven't done much indoor shooting yet, but I wouldn't be surprised if this camera gives up a little bit in that side of things. There are LOTS of good cameras for shooting indoors, but there aren't many that you can take snorkeling in the morning, drop on the gravel road loading up the car, and then rise and dunk into a snowbank in the evening. This camera impresses me more every day of vacation. I brought the xp10 as a backup but it hasn't even gotten out of the suitcase.
Color Name: BlueSize Name: One SizeVerified Purchase
I purchased this camera for my backpacking trip through Thailand, which I recently returned from. I haven't purchased a digital camera in years as I've always assumed I'd end up breaking it. I did a ton of research before settling on the Lumix TS3, mainly for the new models extra features, added toughness, and the consensus that it takes the best quality photos of all the "tough" cameras.
11 days of backpacking through the heat of Thailand in the summer and 4 SCUBA dives later I can say this camera is awesome! I was very, very surprised how quickly the camera turns on and off. You hit the ON/OFF button and you can take a photo two or three seconds later. Great for saving battery since you don't have to worry about missing anything. Speaking of the battery, I think I only had to charge the camera three times. If you're just taking pictures, you'll easily get two or three days worth of power. I took a few long movies while SCUBA diving, and that drained the battery in after a few hours. One of the most impressive features of the camera was the depth it can tolerate underwater. I took the camera down with me on two dives, the first was to 12 meters (40 ft) which is the max depth the camera is guaranteed for. The second dive I took it all the down to 16 meters (~53 ft) and it still worked great! I was pretty nervous going down that far with it, and honestly I pushed it a bit further than I meant to. After maybe 30 minutes or so at 16 meters the auto focus seemed to not be as responsive so I decreased my depth some and everything went back to normal. Toughness wise I fortunately didn't have any bad drops, but it was in the pocket of my backpack which was thrown around constantly. No issues there.
The night handheld shot works great, no flash and no blurry pictures. Also the one minute exposure captured some really cool night shots. Some of the best pictures of my entire trip though were of a sunset over the Andaman Sea with the camera in sunset mode, really amazing pictures! The geotagging worked really well too, even in doors most of my pictures have a decent tag.
The one minor issue is that water does get stuck on the lens so you have to wipe or blow it off. Not a major issue at all, sometimes you just have to retake a picture. Certainly not something that bothered me much, I'm still 100% obsessed with the camera. I was skeptical about spending so much money on a camera but after a couple days I knew it was worth every penny!
I just got this camera last week and took it on a short vacation; I took about 800 pictures and I have to say I'm completely satisfied with this camera.
That said, my expectations for this camera may not be what your's are. So I'll give a breakdown.
What I expected: I'm not a DSLR user, and the only good quality camera I've had before is the Olympus 1030SW, a water proof, so I'm used to reduced picture quality for the sake of robustness. I know that I could easily get a camera that takes better pictures for half the price, but I spend alot of time outdoors and in water settings; so waterproof camera's are a must for me.
Picture Quality: The pictures I got from this camera are far better than my old 1030SW. The anti-blur and motion stabilization work great. I tend to take quick one handed shots, and I never had a blurry picture. All the outdoor shots are great, even those taken from a moving car or of moving objects. The down side is indoor shots can tend to be fuzzy, too dark, or over flashed if you are using the auto mode. I found the party mode makes these alot better, but let's face it you are getting an outdoor camera so outdoor shots are just better.
Good: The different scene modes are easy to switch to and from, though I mainly stuck with iAuto. The camera is really fast startup and between shots. Combined with the burst mode you can get all the action. Face tracking is good, but doesn't work when the subject reaches a certain distance; such as taking a landscape shot with a person in it. Battery life is also good, I took about 300 pictures a day, half with flash, and never went below the halfway point on the battery (though I did have GPS turned off).
Meh: I had no interest in the GPS and only tried to turn it on once at the airport. It took too long to connect so I just left it off after that. I don't have a 3D TV so I don't care about the 3D pictures. The face recognition, where you register a face and it names the person and gives the age, is cool; but it only worked selectively when the person was close. Plus it briefly confused my face with my girlfriend (I'm white and she's asian so yeah). Panorama pitures have to be done with the computer; I took one and it came out good, but there are other cameras that can stitch it together in camera. You basically have no idea when taking it if you lined them up right.
Bad: Poorer indoor quality, but it's still good for viewing on the computer.
Toughness: I haven't tried the water yet but I'll let you know. I'll assume that since it's good to 40ft it should be good for just about anything I do.
Overall I like this camera, yeah it's a little pricey but it does what I expected it too, take good pictures and handle a beating. If you are expecting the same as me (and can afford it) then I'd get it, otherwise look for something else.
Color Name: SilverSize Name: One SizeVerified Purchase
This camera has by far exceeded all of my expectations. My previous camera was a pentax optio w10 (also a waterproof camera) that I was satisfied with for several years. I wasn't sure how much of an improvement this camera would be, but it is definitely a huge upgrade. I know it is not the perfect camera for everyone, but it fits my lifestyle perfectly.
So far I have been able to use this camera to take tons of pictures and videos from my honeymoon to the Dominican Republic. I took it snorkeling, in the pool, hiking through the jungle, and jumping off of waterfalls. The only time that it struggled to take amazing pictures was while we were swimming through the narrow passageways between waterfalls where it was dark and wet. Like most any other camera, it struggled to focus on the subject and took awhile to snap the picture (it also didn't help that I was wading in the water and shivering from the cold water). Besides that, it has taken wonderful pictures that I was pretty satisfied with and only did minor touch ups on the computer.
Pros: - 4.6x zoom is a big improvement over my previous camera's 3x (wide angle pictures are also nice) - very quick response time from being off to focusing and taking a picture - clutz proof (I knocked it on a lot of rocks climbing up the waterfalls and haven't noticed even a single scratch) - dedicated video button makes it easy to switch between pictures and video - intelligent auto mode is pretty good most of the time (I leave it on this setting unless I have a few seconds before I need to take the picture in which case I will switch to the mode that best fits the situation) - burst mode works well for action pictures or even to compensate for the constant blinker (even works with the flash)
Cons: - size. it is much bigger than I thought it would be, but it feels great now that I have gotten used to it. - video button sometimes needs to be pressed twice to start recording. i have missed out on a few good memories because sometimes one button press will start videoing and sometimes it needs two (the first will just switch it to the video mode)... - LED light drains the battery, especially while videoing - like any other compact camera, the audio on videos is always muffled. also the microphone is where I normally hold the camera, so I have caught myself muffling the audio even worse many times - GPS feature is cool, but I won't really be using it as it is just more of a battery waster - because it is waterproof, you don't worry that it gets wet, but you also don't really notice that the drops of water on the lens are there and mess up your pictures
I am very satisfied with this camera and would definitely buy it again.
Color Name: OrangeSize Name: One SizeVerified Purchase
I've frozen and dropped a couple cameras into not working, so I purchased this ahead of what will probably be my last ski trip of the season. Bottom line: Dont get it for the GPS. Dont get it you want the best indoor/outdoor performing p&s out there. Get it if you love the outdoors and need the toughest camera you can find that you wont be afraid to take anywhere with you or drop...
Pros +As you can see from the pictures above, I managed to take a picture in the middle of a snow storm! I also dropped the camera once into about 12" of powder (did i mention the skiing was amazing?) and it didnt miss a beat. Also fell onto pocket it was in, had some snow get in with it, and still looks like new! +The burst shooting works amazingly well for a P&S. I'm sure part of it is the memory card choice, but still! +The IAuto mode works great for someone like me who doesnt want to fuss with settings, and the Optical Image Stabilization is a godsend while youre moving fast or if you just have shaky hands like me. +The GPS worked more often than not, which I wouldnt actually use except if I was really lost. (Hopefully improved with firmware updates in the future...) +Battery life was great. +I could see the screen outdoors in any condition, even while wearing ski goggles. +On time to first picture is wicked fast, I never missed a shot, on account of the camera anyway... see Cons.
Eh \I was hoping the orange would be a little bit closer to Rescue Orange and a lil less like metallic champaigne tangerine. I probs would go with the red if I could do it again. \It uses a lot of plastic. I know that cuts down on weight (I forgot it was in my pocket) and probably helps with insulation, but I'd feel better if it was metal. \Stupid underwater warning reminding you to batten down the hatches everytime you turn it on. If you hit the shutter button it does immediately go away, but I accidently took a few pictures trying to get it to go so i could set up a shot. \More features than I will ever realistically use.
Cons -Indoor shooting is subpar, but avg for a P&S, probs because of the sensor size and weak sauce flash. Had i manually adjusted the ISO settings it would have improved a bit I'm sure. But I really didnt get this camera for much indoor use. -They should make some of the buttons bigger and with more of a tactile feel for use with gloves. I did take some shots ok with my gloves on, but it was a challenge to work the focusing to shoot part. I realize most people dont use cameras with giant ski gloves, but thats the demo your targeting Panny! I can use all my switches on my FJ Cruiser with ski gloves :] -The lens is a little too high, again no doubt because of my gloves, my finger ended up blocking a few shots. They should find a way to drop it lower or differentiate the feel from the rest of the camera so I know not to stick my big fingers in front of it.
I will be snorkeling in Mexico a few months, I'm interested to see how it will do underwater picture quality wise, since disposable come out soooo terrible. I'm assuming it will survive my upcoming trips to Joshua Tree and the sand dunes of Pismo Beach without fail. I'll update if need be.
Edited to add:Timbuk2 Dime Bag Strap-On Accessory Pouch Thats the case I used when it wasnt just chillin in my pocket, its fleece lined and fits the camera like a glove. No extra pockets though if thats your thing.
Color Name: BlueSize Name: One SizeVerified Purchase
I purchased this camera for a snorkeling trip to the Caribbean. I was attracted to its high depth rating (not that I was snorkeling at 40 ft, but I figured if it's designed for 40 then it will be reliable at 10), the GPS, and the fact that it looks like a normal point-and-shoot for non-underwater situations.
The underwater photos came out great. Once I corrected the white balance in post-processing they were eye-poppingly good and will make for nice big prints. (I'm not giving any credit to my photography skills, I just pointed the camera towards the fish and held down the shutter.) The burst mode is fast and very useful for capturing fleeting moments. (One nice feature is that if you use the timer in burst mode, it takes three shots instead of just one. That solves the blinking problem.) There is some sensor noise in the shadows, but I am used to my Nikon D90 so it's about what I would expect from a point-and-shoot. The menu structure is easy to navigate and the quick menu (accessed with the delete key in shooting mode) is very handy. I had no trouble using the controls underwater.
When I purchased it I wished it cost less, but having used it daily for a week of snorkeling I think it is definitely worth the money.
Color Name: OrangeSize Name: One SizeVerified Purchase
This camera rocks. I had the TS2, which has apparently gone missing, so after much fruitless searching for the TS2, I got this one. I wasn't really sure how much of an improvement it would be, but really, I didn't need too much improving. The best thing about the camera is that you can take it anywhere without worry about it. I took the TS2 to the beach in Mexico, on a cruise, to the pool, and it was wonderful. It takes great photos - don't let these self-proclaimed "experts" fool you with all this pseudo-technobabble. Yes, it would be wonderful to have a giant sensor, but then the camera would be too big to be convenient, so it would be sitting on the shelf at home instead of being useful.
You can take awesome underwater photos of your kids AND you can record videos of them splashing about in the surf. Not many cameras you can do that with!!! The other reviewer who hadn't even tried it underwater ... well, I don't know why he/she even bought the camera. Of course it's not a SCUBA-diving camera, because there is no such thing. I have taken plenty of SCUBA trips to foreign countries and taken plenty of video 100-150' deep. What you do there is that you take the best camera, video or still, that you can afford, then you spend 1.5 to 2 times the cost of the camera on a housing that will withstand the pressure at 5 or 10 times the pressure at sea level. There is nothing magic or special about "dive" camera. If you want a housing for this camera, you can buy one - and after you've spent $5,000 on SCUBA equipment and learning to dive, it will be a good investment. But I promise, it will always cost you 1.5 to 2 times the cost of the camera to buy a housing for it. This camera is wonderful because you don't NEED a housing. I am not going to exceed 40' free-diving with this thing. If I'm free-diving, it'll be because I want to shoot fish with a speargun, not with a camera.
This camera was designed to take on vacation, and you can put a big enough memory card in here that you won't have to take your laptop along to offload the photos and video. I love it - works great (and I have take it underwater, both in fresh and salt water) and keeps ... dang, that would have been so good if I could have thought of something that sounded like "ticking." ;-)
Color Name: RedSize Name: One SizeVerified Purchase
I've added a video of some underwater & action videos I've taken with the Lumix - check it out! These videos play full screen on my 24" monitor with great clarity - they are of course reduced definition for the web.
I found that the Lumix took the best pictures and video of the three. I was really disappointed by the quality of the images that came from the other two. They really just weren't up to par - many came out unfocused and the video was low quality. The Panasonic if I remember correctly had a seriously horrible lag time when taking pictures as well. The Lumix was however the biggest one of the bunch, its just a bit bigger than most digital cameras now a days, but not terribly so. The Pentax had a great strap at the end and a clip, which I liked a lot, but I just wasn't willing to sacrifice picture quality for form factor. The Pentax also had some kind of macro mode, which I honestly couldn't figure out what on earth I would use it for.
Another thing I liked about the Lumix was the way they seal the camera - there is a door on the side which opens and has a switch to lock that conceals everything - the sdcard, the battery and the usb connection. The other cameras had multiple openings for these things and relied on little rubber things to keep the water out. So I chose the lumix and I have not regretted it!
So far this camera has been snorkeling (and I dive down 15 feet while snorkeling), its been to the beach many times, and its been to water parks where we took it down the slides and took videos of ourselves in the wave pool. I love that I can leave it around my wrist or in my pocket and not have to worry about my camera being left by the towels in a public place - or not get any pictures at all.
I have had no problem with the camera at all, and the pictures it takes are fabulous. Using a waterproof camera IS a bit more work though. You cannot simply hop out of the water pop it open and throw in another battery. I don't open the camera until its been allowed to air dry for a few hours after being toweled dry. I follow the directions and carefully check the seal on the camera and use the provided brush to remove any sand or debris from the seal area. When snorkeling I put the cameras leash tightly around my wrist and do not take it off. You also have to be careful about the temperature of the camera - if you leave it out in the hot sun, then plunge into the pool with it - the inside of the lens will fog up, this is not a problem with the camera, if you leave it somewhere to dry out it works fine again. The manual warns against this problem - its not something they can prevent, its chemistry. Try to keep the camera from getting too hot, don't leave it in direct sunlight. Also, when you are using the camera in and out of the water the lens will have water droplets on it, which can obscure your picture. It can be annoying to get them off especially if you are completely wet yourself. I've taken to blowing hard on it, though sometimes that can fog it up temporarily. I'm considering seeing if a big of shammy attached to the strap might be a useful tool for this problem.
Another thing to beware is since this camera is more rugged you start treating it more ruggedly - and leaving it around the cement pool deck to get kicked around will result in scratches to the LCD screen, etc - I invested in a screen protector. I also bought a float strap Olympus STRAP FLOAT ORANGE but DO NOT think you can use this out in open water where the camera cannot be retrieved it if sinks. The float strap is a great addition if you are using the camera in the pool and the kids want to play with it. The camera is shock proof but I don't want to test it by dropping it on the bottom of the pool repeatedly.
In conclusion - if this camera was just a slight bit smaller, I would make it my everyday regular 'purse' camera, the picture quality is that good. I love having a camera that I can take with me and not worry about the elements, if its raining or we are at the beach. And this camera has performed well underwater on numerous occasions. I'm very happy with it!
Color Name: OrangeSize Name: One SizeVerified Purchase
I previously owned an Olympus 770SW and wanted to upgrade to a newer rugged/waterproof camera. I bought the newest Olympus, the TG-810, and was rather disappointed. I decided to try the DMC-TS3 and like it a lot more than the Olympus in almost every way. The buttons and menu system on this camera are simple to navigate, well laid out, and the camera gives you detailed information about each option on the screen. Low-light performance is in the top of the class, and the aperture is a bit larger than the Olympus. It is FAST to shoot a picture when you fire it up, so you don't lose any special moments. Battery life is a bit less than I'd like, mostly because the GPS is trying to update itself frequently. You can turn that off, or do as I did--pick up some inexpensive spare batteries ($20 for 3 of them here on Amazon).
Pros: High quality photos and video Very good auto-exposure and auto-focus performance Fast to turn on and shoot Nice physical ergonomics, great button placement Easy to use menus with detailed hints on-screen Good low-light performance High-resolution (HD) video Lots and lots of features and modes
Cons: Does NOT work with the Eye-fi X2 cards, may or may not work with other Eye-fi cards (not supported) No automatic cover on the lens when turned off GPS is sometimes slow to acquire a new position when you go a long distance with it off Full HD video is AVCHD, shooting MPEG is slightly lower resolution (typical and not a surprise)
So I'm keeping this one, and returning the Olympus.
UPDATE: After a few weeks and about a thousand pictures, I'm still as pleased as I was originally with this camera. Battery life got much better after the second recharge cycle, and now after a weekend of shooting around 150 pictures, the battery icon is still on full. The ability to go from off to shooting instantly has been valuable. Ergonomics are good and it's easy to use in most any position. Flash picture quality is excellent though I do have to be careful not to cover the flash with my finger in certain positions, because the camera is so compact.