214 of 217 people found the following review helpful
on April 12, 2011
Color Name: RedSize Name: One SizeVerified Purchase
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...
272 of 279 people found the following review helpful
on May 31, 2011
Color Name: BlueSize Name: One Size
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.. [...]
145 of 146 people found the following review helpful
on May 1, 2011
Color Name: OrangeSize Name: One Size
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.
221 of 233 people found the following review helpful
on August 20, 2011
Color Name: SilverSize Name: One Size
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.
72 of 77 people found the following review helpful
on April 11, 2011
Color Name: BlueSize Name: One Size
Had my TS3 for about a week and I have to say it looks snazzy in blue. It has so many features that it is going to take a while to figure them all out. Actually most of the features allow the camera to take better pictures in a wide variety of conditions automatically (iA modes). It is definitely more rugged and ergonomic than the TS1 I lost :(. You do have to be careful how you hold the camera on the left side as a finger could easily block the lens or cover the mic.
I was very happy with my previous TS1 and I can already tell the TS3 it is as good or better in terms of picture quality. I have taken a series of indoor and outdoor shots, with and without flash, macro to full zoom, and overall the sharpness, color and light balance where very good. So far I liked the "intelligent" features like iExposure, iISO and iZoom and decided to leave them on. HD video looks great and the anti-shake works very well while walking with the camera.
GPS, one of the main reasons I bought this camera, is a little tricky. If you turn it on it stays on even when the camera is off so it can keep track of it's position, however I am not sure how the battery will last in this mode? The manual says it will eventually shut off if the camera is not used for an extend amount of time (doesn't state how long that is) or if the battery become to low. If you put it in the airplane mode, the GPS shuts off when you turn of the camera, which will conserve power, but it takes a few minutes to acquire when you turn the camera back on. I am probably going to leave it in the airplane mode but will switch to ON if I plan to take pictures for an extend amount of time so it is ready to go and I am sure for that short of time the drain won't be an issue. In any case it is good to have spare battery charged up in the camera case.
Speaking of cases I also picked up a Lowepro Rezo 30 compact case which fits the TS3 perfectly, and is very well built with an extra pocket that holds pretty much everything I could want including the case strap, extra memory card, USB SD card reader stick, and extra battery very nicely. Highly recommended and a great value. Lastly picked up two Wintec 16GB SDHC Class 10 Flash memory cards. I wanted 32 GB of memory to be able to record video and photos but didn't want to chance having one card in case it died so I bought two 16 GB cards. I am not a fan of Transcend cards from my experience with them on my TS1, so I did some searching and saw all 5 star reviews on every site I found the Wintec card. All I can say is these cards work great! I had no problem recording HD video and they are very fast at pulling off data with my USB2 reader. Add in a lifetime warranty and they are an amazing value!
Update: Be sure you update the camera to the latest firmware. Mine came with V1.0 and Panasonic recently released V1.1 which I installed and it definitely helps GPS acquisition and location handling.
Update 2: I finally had a chance to use the camera underwater in the Philippines on a several snorkeling trips. First trip was great, no problems, and got awesome pictures and video. Two days later on another trip, water got in the camera and it would not power on. Made sure seals were clean and rinsed it off with clean water afterwards, on each use. If you look at all the 1 star reviews on this camera most are related to water leak problems, which is about 10% of the 300 reviews! Luckily Panasonic replaced it under warranty, but it took about a month to get. Not wanting to get bit again, I also bought this Lewis N. Clark Waterproof Multi Purpose Pouch for double safety and found it to work great and it is a nice fit for this camera, highly recommended! I also notice problems with the GPS recognizing many of my locations in the Philippines, including Puerto Princessa, which is one of the largest cities and only about half of my pictures were geo-tagged even though GPS was set to "ON" all the time. If geo-tagging is important to you I highly recommend downloading Google's free photo editor "Picasa" which is great for viewing and editing geo-tag information. I orginally rated it 4 stars but because of problems I've had with waterproofing and GPS I changed it to 3 stars.
41 of 42 people found the following review helpful
on July 19, 2011
Color Name: SilverSize Name: One Size
I bought this camera for our Hawaiian vacation and for use while snorkeling and hiking. The TS3 performed beautifully. I also own a Panasonic Lumix G-1, their first 4/3 format camera with interchangeable lenses and filters. This TS3 performed similarly, although in many respects it is more versatile while I sacrificed little in terms of picture quality in most circumstances. I ended up using the TS3 more than the G1 due to weather, ease of carrying an even smaller camera + lenses, and the video capability. After a few days I usually only brought out the Lumix when I wanted a shot using a viewfinder, a shot with the ~400mm telephoto and/or the polarizing filter. The TS3 only records photos in JPG format - no RAW capability.
The TS3 doesn't take the place of higher end camera but it is good for better-than-average amateur snapshots.
After my initial tests in a swimming pool to get ready to take the camera into the ocean, I had to first overcome a lifetime of extreme care around water. Panasonic provides a thorough set of directions for using in the water, and after care.
The TS3's underwater photos I took while snorkeling are stunning. I used it to a depth of 6 feet, no more, although some of the subjects were in 15-20 feet. Conditions ranged from bright sun to mostly cloudy, during the morning, mid day and mid afternoon. The bright sunlight produced better underwater photos, as you might expect. As expected the photos have a blue cast underwater, as well as above, which is a Panasonic thing. The underwater videos were very good.
Even above-the-water photos in normal conditions were great too. The photos taken in extreme conditions (driving rain, fog, mist, light rain showers, wind, volcanic dust, volcanic steam, sand, bright mid-day sun, inside a dimly lit cave, in a tropical rainforest, on a boat) presented good colors with good exposures (in some cases minor adjustments were made as needed.)
I had no problem gripping the camera, or inadvertently blocking the lens, or the mic. (Can't figure that out at all as a criticism. That isn't a design flaw, that is a user-flaw.)
Prints (4 x 6) are sharp and bright.
1) ease of use (I am familiar with Panasonic cameras. I think the menus are intuitive.)
2) picture quality;
3) sound quality on videos; (I recently made a video of red-tail hawk and the tweety birds sounding alarms. I have since been able to draw interest from the hawk, numerous song birds, and other birds, and my cats in the sounds when the video is replayed outdoors.)
4) can zoom videos.
5) Battery life while snorkeling with the GPS OFF was great - I often got a few hours.
6) good view screen
1) annoying and unstoppable reminders regarding use around water every time it starts up. (so, on start-up, touch the shutter button and you won't have to go thru the message.)
2) Excepting typical underwater photos, colors sometimes tend toward the blue end which is also a Panasonic thing. Easily correctable.
3) The only real criticism I have is that, as many reviewers on many sites have said, out-of-the-box the auto settings tend to overexpose all photos, but my G1 does the same thing. The easiest remedy for this typical Panasonic flaw is to READ THE MANUAL and learn how to override the auto settings with custom settings. The top button on the menu control button actually helps with this problem.
4) Battery life is dismal while using the GPS. It isn't real accurate either. It is a throw-away feature.
1) I am very happy with my purchase. It met my expectations, and in fact, surpassed them in many cases.
2) I would not necessarily recommend this camera for someone who doesn't have some amateur photography experience, or is too disinterested or lazy to learn how to it.
3) Before going on the trip of a lifetime and coming home disappointed cause you don't know what you are doing: READ THE MANUAL. TRY the camera while reading the manual. TAKE TEST SHOTS (in a pool, or even the bathtub) in sunlight, in shadows, indoors, in the rain or at night, and BRACKET the shots. See what you like and what you don't, then make the custom settings accordingly.
4) For water use, get a strap that floats the camera if you lose your grip. The one I have is detachable and was not a problem while snorkeling.
5) Buy an extra battery and keep it charged. With care you can change it out without going through the whole cleanup procedure, EXCEPT drain the camera on a paper towel for a short while until no more water drains. I only had to change the battery once for an extended snorkeling trip.
6) If you really must use the GPS, turn it on for your first photo, establish your position, take a photo, then turn off the GPS. It isn't that accurate and drains the battery horribly.
7) For most typical conditions, in order to fix the overexposure, I simply set the eV to -1/3
This is a great little point-and-shoot camera.
36 of 37 people found the following review helpful
on January 26, 2012
Color Name: BlueSize Name: One SizeVerified Purchase
I bought this model after I did a lot of research and finally found out it seems the best water proof camera on market. I got it at 12/14 last year and bring it with my Hawaii vacation in Chrismas holiday. Before using it under water, I have read carefully about the instrument and the reviews from AMAZON, so I know the preparation work before using it underwater, and the clean work after using it underwater is very importment. But still, after the 1st day using underwater, the flash did not work. after the 2nd day using underwater, the camera can not power on. So I decided to send it back to the Texas service center, and begin from here, the real nightmare begins!!!!
Before I send back my camera, I have a web chat from panasonic with some customer service guy, they ask me to send my camera together with my contact info back to the service center, and "they will contact me", I WAS STUPID ENOUGH THEN TO BELIEVE THIS! So I use FEDEX ( Thanks god I decided to use FEDEX, because the tracking info by FEDEX is my only proof now) to send it back, then they got it at 01/03. So I called the customer service center's phone number (the phone is very hard to call in, because they are always busy picking other costmer's phone), and the assistant kick me from one guy to another guy ( totally 4 different people), so each transfer I have to wait for a long time under someone speak to me , then I explain to him/her about my story, and during the last transfer, the communication was dropped! Then I have to call in again, finally I was told I should contact another department and gave me a new number. So I use this new number to call in, it seems now it's the corret department.
Here comes the new story. They checked my info, and said there is no record in their system, and ask me for the serial number of my model, of course I did not remember the serial number because no one ask me to write down before send it out to the service center. After a long waiting, they finally find it in the warehouse (thanks FEDEX again, otherwise I think they will say they never got my stuff), and promise to call me back for update. The next day, some one called me said my camera is under warranty and the technican is working on it and gave me the work order number. I thought I would not worry more because next time when I call in, I have this number for easy tracking my status.
So today 01/26 I called in again, gave them the work order, and they told me this work order is for someone else with a different model. and, there is STILL NO RECORD of my camera in their system. And after a 30 minutes conversation (plus waiting time), they said they will check the warehouse again using my FEDEX tracking number, and call me back....
I don't know what to say...I think the slogan in their website " Panasonic, ideas for life" maybe should change to " Panasonic, SUFFERING YOUR LIFE"
Will be update later...
01/27/2012: They promised they would call me by the end of the day on the phone( 01/26/2012 ), now is 2PM 01/27, and still no one call me or leave a message or send me an email, I think next week I have to call them again and tell someone my story from the very beginning again ! wasting another 30 minutes or more...
48 of 51 people found the following review helpful
on June 8, 2011
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!
35 of 36 people found the following review helpful
on July 13, 2011
Color Name: OrangeSize Name: One Size
Purchased this camera just prior to leaving for Hawaii on 23-June-2011. Looked very hard at this camera, the Olympus Stylus Tough 8010, and Canon PowerShot D10. After looking at Amazon reviews and other website reviews, all three cameras had people complaining about color reproduction and indoor picture quality. However, all three cameras had good comments for underwater picture quality. This made the choice very difficult. I then visited a local professional camera shop to ask about the three cameras (they had all in stock) and they told me the lens quality on the Panasonic was superior than the other three. That's what finally helped us make a decision.
1. Only 1 battery and it seems to run out of power very quickly when the meter moves from 3 bars (full) to 2 bars. Battery must be removed to recharge and that means time to rinse and COMPLETELY dry before you open up the access door. Be careful and gently clean the door gasket per the instructions.
2. Underwater it works great! Really good pictures while snorkeling (less than 15' underwater) with the flash manually set to fire, no matter what. Did not use the video yet. When you want to take an above water picture when the camera is wet, the picture is usually blurry because of the water on the lens. We have potentially great pictures of each other smiling and laughing, that are 'bad' because the lens was wet. :( No easy way to wipe the lens properly while out in the middle of the water.
1. Buy a floating wrist strap. Any of these cameras will sink to the bottom in a heartbeat. It may be lost forever or scratch the lens on the rocks / coral.
2. But a very fast SDHC card, like the class 10. The faster the card, the faster the camera can record the picture and be ready to go again. Plus, it is necessary if you want to shoot video in full 1080. If price is an issue, go for the faster class 10 and smaller capacity card.
3. Familiarize yourself with and use the different settings. To achieve the best underwater, beach, and indoor picture quality, use the camera setting for that condition.
4. Be patient when rinsing and drying the camera after underwater use.
So far, we are happy after one trip and 600 underwater, beach, sunset, indoor, and scenery pictures.
44 of 47 people found the following review helpful
on April 6, 2011
Color Name: RedSize Name: One Size
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.
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.
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).
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.
Poorer indoor quality, but it's still good for viewing on the computer.
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.