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on April 5, 2013
So I was in the market for a new camera and I wanted a tough camera because well cell phones these days who really needs a basic point and shoot camera and also I Scuba Dive and previously had a Canon Elph with a waterproof enclosure. Every time I would take it in the water I had a moment where I crossed my fingers and hoped the case wouldn't leak. With the recent 2013 model releases I narrowed it down to the Nikon AW110 and the Panasonic Lumix TS5. I finally decided to go with the Lumix TS5 for 1 major reason. Panasonic sells an external enclosure in case you plan on going deeper then 43 feet. (not on the market yet but I plan on getting one)

I had read a lot of mix reviews on the TS4 about leaking which made me a bit nervous but I'm going to hope and assume they have rectified all the issues with the TS5. I've had the camera about a week now. I'm going to start off with a few negatives for me first (these are mostly pet peeves).


1. What is the deal with the battery charger? Why Panasonic didn't build the charger prongs into the charger is beyond me. Now you need to carry around a charger plus a cable to plug into the charger and the wall.

2. The manual states you can't keep the camera under water more then 60 minutes, that is not listed anywhere on their website would have been nice to know prior to purchasing.

3. The manual states, if you drop the camera and then it leaks its not covered under warranty. Um isn't the point of a tough camera so it can be dropped? Why is that voiding the warranty?

4. My biggest complaint though is this proprietary connector they use to connect to your computer (hello micro usb standard Panasonic?), also the connector looks almost identical to the micro HDMI slot) so you gotta pay attention to make sure your putting it in the correct slot because their smaller connector cable sort of fits in the micro hdmi port. (made that mistake by accident already once)


1. The picture quality seems very good. While I have only used the camera twice so far most of the pictures came out great. I took the camera to a concert the other day, being very dark I was concerned how the pictures would show up. The camera has a feature called Hand Held Night Mode, and it basically took a bunch of shots in a row and I'm guessing merged them together so the final photo was actually good looking. I had the camera on auto made and it automatically selected this.

2. The zoom is decent at 4.6X and adding the digital zoom up to 9.3X I had no issues getting a clear shot (even when it was dark).

3. The NFC is a nice feature as I own an Android phone and all you need to do is tap the phone and the camera together to pair them. You have to install the Panasonic App, but you can do a bunch of things with it. Remote control the camera, copy photos from the camera to the phone etc. (**disclaimer** occasionally I've had issues with the pairing on my HTC EVO LTE)

4. The video recording and sound is great. I record a 30 second clip while at the concert the other day and it was very clear and the picture looked great (from no zoom to fully zoomed).

5. Had no problems catching moving objects and even with my shaky hands the pictures came out un-blurred.


On a side note I needed to confirm some things with Panasonic the manual stated, Panasonic Tier 1 support is worthless, finally escalated to Tier 2 and they were a lot more helpful.

1. The camera has a rattling noise when it is off. Panasonic's response was: This is normal. The camera contains an Optical Image Stabilizer. When turned on the optical image stabilizer is engaged and thereby compensates for hand shake or camera movement. However, when it the camera is turned off the Optical Image Stabilizer is disengaged and allows movement of those components. This is the rattling or clicking that you hear.

2. The manual says "do not use for Scuba Diving" I wanted to confirm if that meant at any depth or in general. Their response was: Recreational Scuba diving goes to ~120 ft. We included this statement due to the camera's depth limitation.

3. The manual says "Waterproof function of the camera is for sea water and fresh water only." I wanted the make sure I could take the camera in the pool. Their response was: You can use it in a pool, which is fresh water. We included this statement as it cannot be used in hot tubs (due to high temp) or used as an inspection camera in hazardous situations such as polluted water, chemical spills and so on.

I have not yet taken the camera in the water or dropped it or used it as a "tough" camera so I can't really comment on any of that, hopefully I can update this review as I use it over the course of the next few months. But for now I will give it 5 stars as it hasn't shown me any reason to rate it lower just yet.
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on June 19, 2013
The Video is from a group of still pictures using the time lapse picture option. Then with the camera in the review,menu option you can create a time lapse video and select a group of time lapse photos. You can edit or remove each of the pictures prior to editing. Once a time lapse video is created you will have all of the still pictures as well as the newly created video. Very cool feature!

I bought this camera after mine broke on my first day of vacation. I wanted a tough, waterproof camera and this TS-5 was the best that I found after comparing it to several other waterproof cameras. This TS-5 had a larger battery, which allowed 340 pictures on a charge and that is about 100 more then the closest similar camera. By the way I bought additional batteries ( that allowed me to take 700 pictures on a charge.

This camera has a time lapse option that s a great feature when used with a tripod. You have several options such as 10 second intervals up to 30 minutes to take pictures of the changing sky or a blooming flower etc. once you have set and taken time lapse photos the camera has an option to convert it to a movie at 6 frames per second or 30 fps to create a seamless movie from the still pictures.

There is also a feature that will allow you, while reviewing video that you have already recorded, to save/convert any frame to a still picture. This will also keep the newly created still picture in perfect focus. I recorded a bird drinking and flying off and was able to create still pictures of it taking flight. This was a very cool effect and is simple to use.

I would recommend a tripod to use some of these options. I bought a flexible tripod, which allowed me to wrap the legs in a small tree and use the remote control function to take video of a birds nest feeding new born chicks. I found myself keeping the camera with me all the time to try to get familiar with the functions and I had a lot of fun doing it.

This camera was the only one that has built in WIFI. The remote control function uses this feature. The camera generates its own wifi signal and you just have to connect your tablet, I-Pad, I-Phone or other smart phone to that SSID wifi network, did use a I-Pad and an I-Phone 4s and each worked fine. You do have to download the free Panasonic app to use this feature. With the remote control function you can take video, still pic's and zoom. You can also review still pictures only with this, not video, as well as drag and drop them to save them on your smart phone or tablet. You can setup a link to apps like Facebook and send them right from the camera if you setup a Lumix Club account (free) and it will create a Lumix folder for uploads to Facebook and other apps.

Once you have connected to your own wifi setting you can go to the wifi history and rename that setting and save it as a favorite connection, this will remember your network SSID and password and connect quickly without having to re-enter your password, which can be a pain if you do this a lot. With the wifi you can automatically save pictures to your connected device as you take each picture. You can also use this to send pics to your pc without having to connect your camera or remove the mem card. However this did not work with my IMac, nor does the software that comes with the camera work on a Mac. This was not an issue for me as I did open the camera and put the mem card into the Mac and copied all pics that way.

The GPS, Altimeter,depth gauge and compass features are also very cool, but I have not used all of them yet. The camera can use the GPS to tag your city and your pictures. I have not been on a vacation to take advantage of this, but I am looking forward to trying it out in a remote setting.

This camera has a bunch of preset settings for different situations such as night time shots, pictures through glass, far off scenery etc. it also has an automatic setting that will automatically change according to each situation to take a great pictures. The camera powers up very fast, about 3 seconds so you can shut it off to save the battery and turn it on quickly to take fast shots. You can use burst shooting to take several frames with one push of the shutter button to make the best picture out of the many frames used. This camera focus quickly as well.

I haven't even used this under water yet and I absolutely love this camera. Is has these great features plus it is a waterproof (up to 43 feet), shock proof (for a drop up to 6 feet), dust proof and freeze proof and a rugged tough camera.

I would recommend extra batteries, a hard case, a tripod and a floating strap in case you drop it in the ocean. As some other reviewers stated you may want to use the heavy or thick part of the strap instead of the thin string to attach your strap to the camera.
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on April 13, 2013
First this is a great camera and a pretty reasonable price. The included features are fun and certainly creative.

Going to just put some thoughts down- positive and negative

1. Very slippery grip and I would purchase a floating grip. My last underwater camera was an Optio WG-1. Very different shape and that camera was surrounded by a non-skd type grip. This
only has them on either side. ( but is is comfortable )

2. The "manual mode is almost manual. I assumed that i could adjust aperture and shutter at my discretion. This only has two apertures available F3.3 and F10. The shutter speed is from fractions of a second to 4". I guess i was expecting DSLR manual. so milky waterfall scenes "could" get done- more playing with the exposure value- which can be done With Bracketing for you HDR fans ( still useful )

3. For the time lapse you can adjust the intervals from 10/20/30/40/50/60 seconds ( nothing else ) and then by the minute for up to 30 minutes with up to 1000 shots. ( unsure about this - to make nice cloudscapes you not only have to drag the shutter you have to keep a tighter interval then 10 second---but still fun! )

4. During TIME LAPSE the max open shutter speed is 4 seconds, I guess i was going to try some backyard astrophotography like my d7000 and show the rotation of the circumpolar stars but 4 seconds is really not enough to get the fainter details. Generally i use high aperture 1.8 and 30 seconds for milky way type shots ( still interesting and while not art is it fun )

5.Creative filters are fun and interesting. ( Beats trying to post edit them someplace when in-camera works great! )

6. Very fast autofocus and the IQ is very good! scene modes are fun and HDR is very good. ( can i keep saying this is a fun camera ? )

7. Starry skies scene mode -unlike above #4, is a long term open shutter 15 or 30 seconds-fixed. I can see this being useful for fireworks also. ( to cloudy to get a lot of use lately )

8. Stupid double buttom "menu/set". To access you must double click. This is just a gripe coming from a dlsr. My Optio was similar. ( just need to get used to using it )

9. NFC and wifi --well wifi works well but i cannot get app to work on iPhone--but works great on my daughters galaxy note. and no NFC for iPhone ( so just move along nothing to see folks )

10. The most important---most important button is the lower right "trash can/Q menu". While shooting in any mode and any scene pressing this will pull up a nice graphic interface of what is available for you to use or adjust. This is the creative side that we use when in other than program mode! White balance-ISO-mp size-video settings-burst mode ( up to 60 fps!- reduces mp size )

11. This has a dozen different video sizes and formats avchd and mp4 1080 i,p,g,- 720 same with 60 fps!! going to get twixtor and try some things plus a few old school web type 640x480 ( really ? )

12. Zoom is quick and quiet but i wont use digital zoom on any camera as it only degrades the quality--BUT this has a nice intelligent zoom that seems ok so far.

13. Lastly for now, this is a very nice camera and while it doesn't have everything i wanted- i can drop it and throw it in the river and it still take great pics. Macro with 1 led light was ok but not at good as my Optio, but the wireless fun, greature aperture and shutter speed with options make up for it. Amazon was great with upgraded shipping and the price was good. Compared many cameras and while the nikon was close ( 240 fps slo mo )the wider aperture and better than most controls were a good selling point fo me. Thanks for reading
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on November 7, 2013
To make this easier for all reader formats, I will put the quick version at the top and argue the matter below it:

Cons: 1)I have owned two Panasonic cameras that were supposed to be rugged and waterproof, and neither were. Both failed in less than 1 year, both with less than 3 exposures to water.
2) Their customer service is horrible. I have spent many calls trying to work with them to fix my cameras, and they have some of the worst customer service I have had in years, maybe even my whole life.
3) Expensive to maintain the waterproofing.
4) Bad warranty

Pros: 1) Pictures are fine. You could get better image quality (pictures and video) with a less expensive camera though.
2) My wife likes the outside color :)

Further details: I consider myself an amateur photographer. I usually shoot landscape photography and portraiture. I ski, snowboard, snorkel and SCUBA dive (not all at the same time). So it just makes sense to buy a camera that is compact and waterproof for some of these activities. Years ago, you would buy a camera and waterproof housing. The O-rings would eventually fail on the housings, especially if they were not cleaned and lubricated. Most large camera makers now offer an "all-in-one" option. I knew of a few friends who had the Panasonic Lumix and based on their testimonial and some online research, decided to buy into this product line.

For the same purchase price, it is a fact that you can buy another camera that is not made to be "weatherproof" that provides better photo and video quality. This matters if you do not use the camera by water or around harsh conditions. If you only use it during nice weather and on land, stop reading and buy something else!!! If you read Digital Photo magazine, August 2013, it lists its top 5 underwater cameras. Panasonic does not make the list. Not in the top 5!! Canon, Fujifilm, Nikon, Olympus, Pentax. No Panasonic. Tells me Panasonic is doing something wrong.

By personal experience, the one I bought was taken on a few snorkeling trips. With the 3rd exposure to water, in less than 5 feet of water, its water seals failed. The camera never turned back on. My wife was upset that she couldn't take pictures the rest of the trip. We had to send the camera back to Panasonic for repair. In their warranty contract, they can repair the camera with refurbished parts, or just send you back a refurbished camera. Whatever they decide, you have no choice. So, they sent us back a refurbished one.

We went on our next vacation 6 months later. 1st time this camera was put in the water it failed. Let me repeat that, 1st time. In under 20 feet of water. It is rated to be waterproof much lower than that. Called customer service multiple times. Come to find out they only warranty their replacements for 3 months. It doesn't provoke consumer confidence when a product that should be "good as new" is only warrantied for 3 months. Because ours is outside of that, they want me to agree to ship it to them and pay for whatever they find is wrong. No joke, I talked to a supervisor at customer service, she said, "we will send you a shipping label if you agree to repair your camera for a charge." I said, "What is the charge?" Her reply, "We will have to inspect it 1st. You have to agree to pay the charge, whatever it is when we determine it, before we will send you a shipping label. Do you want me to send the shipping label?" After three calls and two hours on the phone, that is the best customer service they had to offer. The first time I called, I spoke with a very reasonable guy, however, the statements and promises he made were later cancelled by another supervisor, and they never called to tell me.

Lastly, as you will read in other reviews, it costs a lot to maintain the cameras waterproof rating. If you are lucky enough to have your camera last 1 year, you have to shell out the cash to have the seals replaced. You would be foolish to do it yourself, but you can try.

Overall, If you have read this far, please just buy another camera. How many reviews have I written in the past 5 years.... 2. Why two? Because I don't want people to have the same experience with a substandard product. You work hard for your money. Spend it on something that has a better track record. Enjoy your vacation without worry.
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on July 25, 2013
Is Amazon selling grey-market goods? The Panasonic Lumix DMC-TS5D (Orange) I received does not include an English language user manual. All package inserts are in Spanish and Portuguese. The default language setting on the camera is Spanish.

I was able to find and download an English-language PDF manual online, which turned out to be only the "basic" manual. The basic manual refers users to the "advanced features" manual. I had to conduct another internet search to download the "advanced features" manual.

I will update this review when I have tried the camera in an underwater setting, which is the reason I purchased it.


After having the opportunity to use the Panasonic Lumix DMC-TS5D (Orange) underwater, I have raised my "star rating" for this camera from 2 stars (based on my disappointment at not receiving an English language user manual) to a full 5 stars based on underwater performance. I purchased the camera for underwater use at shallow snorkeling depths, and for that purpose it performs as well or better than I could have expected. The camera is durable and waterproof, and the underwater settings include the option to adjust the amount of underwater color correction, an option I have not previously seen on a waterproof point-n-shoot camera. An optional viewfinder setting allows the camera to automatically adjust viewfinder brightness relative to ambient lighting, resulting in better viewfinder visibility when submerged.
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on May 5, 2014
If your looking for one of the new tough waterproof PAS cameras you may be paralyzed by all the choices and features. You'll search the web, make the comparisons and hopefully NOT choose the least expensive . . . or most expensive. Still a LOT of choices and its hard to decide. You need to narrow them down. As an avid Nikon digital photog, I understand most of the important features one looks for in a camera, but still had to narrow down the tough waterproof PAS choices somehow.

The Nikon looked a little too delicate, but its not. The Canon D20 is a great camera, but I'm not a Canon fan. I wanted full 1080p HD video @ 60 fps. I wanted the best lens system possible. Super fast lens (low aperture) in low light isn't as important as it used to be wit the new technology, so I wanted about 5x zoom. Didn't care about the additional 5x DIGITAL zoom on the TS5, but honestly in "intelligent" zoom setting it works way beyond my expectations. This Lumix TS5 has a Leica lens system. Pixel resolution is so high on most all of them, its enough for anyone @ 12 megapixels. The Lumix TS5 has 16.1. Like I said, that's higher resolution than you'll ever need. Good anti shake technology is important with these small tough cameras you take out into the field. I am amazed at what you can keep sharp handheld with this camera.

All things equal. Narrow down the choices to 3 or 4. Make sure your most important features are included, and then get the one with the most NEW features on top of those. The one's your not sure about, because chances are they are worthwhile. Read the reviews and then go back to your comparison pages and bring up all the features side by side. You'll be amazed at some of the new features such as true HDR, and low light capability via multiple automatic exposures blended together seamlessly and staying sharp.

Pro's: 1) The low light capability is amazing 2) the anti-shake system exceeds my expectations 3) The Panorama mode is terrific. Naturally on the camera screen its simply a long narrow shot very hard to see. What is great it has a "play" feature and places back the panorama shot like a video. Very cool. Maybe all of then do so - not sure. 4) the video quality in FULL 1080p HD video is also amazing. This is a little PAS camera that can do this? HD video in AVCHD or choose MP4. Vid quality is much better in AVCHD, but unless you have a Mac running OSX Mavericks, your system likely will choke on AVCHD if you want to transfer and play the video's on a PC. My iMac & Macbook can play AVCHD with a few mac tricks, or VLC will handle them for you. 5) Full GPS. Not for navigation, but for geotagging your photos & video's if you wanna. You can turn it on and off at will to conserve battery power. 6) Too many positives to go any further. You'll like the camera. I didn't really care much, but it also comes in black, gray, orange & blue.

Con's: 1) Lack of availability of optional accessories. Try to find an OEM Micro HDMI to standard HDMI so you can play back direct from camera to your HDTV. They can't be found. I bought a $7 including shipping micro HDMI to HDMI cable that does the trick & works exactly as it should. 2) The "manual" settings are very limited, but how much are you actually going to need that with a PAS that has so many awesome automatic features? 3) The WiFi is a little tricky to get setup, and doesn't really work as I expected, but it does work. It's easier, and faster, to simply remove the SDHC card and transfer the files that way. 4) It comes with a smallish charger, but with a BIG AC cable that plugs into the side. I'd like to see a fold out plug type to keep the size down in your backpack and do away with the big AC cable. 5) I'm sure I'll get used to the lens it the upper left, rather than the middle of the case, but I've adjusted my grip.

Last - DON'T FORGET to buy as big and fast SDHC card as possible and an extra battery. I was able to find a 64 GB Sony SDXC Class 10 card (40 MB/s) for $35 & a 2 pack of batteries with an extra small charger from Big Mike's for another $26.

All in all, once you do your homework you will be very happy with any of the top 5 tough waterproof PAS's. I'm pretty sure if you choose the Lumix TS5 you will be tickled pink. I'd give it 5 stars if the accessories were available, and the WiFi worked as expected. You simply can't go wrong with the Panasonic Lumix TS5. Thumbs way up.
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on March 23, 2014
I bought this camera for my brother who was going to a beach resort on his honeymoon. After just the first day of water use the camera got a few water droplets inside the lens and screen. It seems to have a leak somewhere near the lens because when you shake it water comes out the side of it. Sadly he's not just out of a camera but also of pictures of his honeymoon... Do not buy this product!
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on March 18, 2014
The camera was well rated and took great photos but while snorkeling (and I know to keep camera under 43 feet-but then again who can snorkel dive that deep-certainly not I) at a depth of less than 5 feet deep it filled with water. Now I have to send it in, lost all the photos I took and won't have a camera for family reunion!
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on March 26, 2014
Bought it, liked it well enough, although pic quality is nothing to brag about. used it for one week, then for no apparent reason the flash seemed to have died, and every time I tried to take a pic that used the flash, the camera would jst freeze and need to be turned off and on again for any buttons to work. I worked fine in light and when the auto decided it didn't need a flash, but the flash was too much for it to handle I guess. I returned it and got my money back.

I owned the previous model, the TS3, and just out of warranty it had some water damage as was apparently all to common to Panasonic's "waterproof" cameras. when I returned it to panasonic, they asked me for 330$ to replace the damaged chip. Ridiculous, since a brand new TS3 at that point was 250$!
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on April 13, 2013
Over the last several years I have been a hardcore Canon man (point and shoot only). I've never been into DLSR's as I like to travel light on my adventures and a point-and-shoot works better for that. Recently the GoPro Hero3 has been getting a lot of buzz and it got me thinking about getting a newer camera with better video and camera resolution. I have several outdoor adventures planned for this summer and so I wanted to upgrade before the season so that I could capture all the memories in higher resolution. I did a lot of research into the GoPro Hero3 and studied its amazon ratings and reviews carefully. The mixed reviews and troubles with the hero3 firmware led me to another possibility. A ruggedized, waterproof point-and-shoot.

There were several features of the GoPro that I really liked:

- Waterproof, weatherproof
- Remote control via Smartphone app
- Video quality
- Ability to mount in a variety of ways

I began to research the leading ruggedized camera offerings and found the Lumix TS5 which has barely been released. As of this review, there were only 2 reviews for it on Amazon and only a few CES 2013 videos on YouTube. I searched Twitter and found more info and actual field video footage from Europe where it looks like a few guys got their hands on the camera early. I took a chance and ordered the camera and received it last Thursday (4/11).

The Lumix TS5 came with the features I really wanted, particularly the Smartphone remote control capability and GPS tagging. The reason I wanted the remote control is so that I can mount the camera to my bike helmet and be able to start/stop the video recording without having to remove my helmet first. I also wanted a good upgrade in video quality from my current Canon. The GPS tagging is a bonus and I used to do that manually by keeping my camera clock in sync with GPS time and then later correlating the timestamps to determine position when the photo was taken. Now I don't have to worry about it.

So far my impressions of using the Lumix TS5 for a few days is favorable. I was a little worried about the menu interface going from Canon to Panasonic, but I have found the menu system to be very easy to navigate and haven't had an frustrations. I was able to set all the major functions up without having to refer to the manual.

I am using the Panasonic Image App with my AT&T Samsung Galaxy S3 and it works well with the camera. I have tested the remote control functions and haven't had any issues with connecting the phone to the camera via WiFi.

The GPS tagging works well and the GPS receiver seems to quickly acquire and maintain signal. After I imported my first test images to Picasa, I was pleased to see that Picasa automatically brought up the Google map view of the photo location. The Panorama feature will also come in handy as I usually create panorama images manually using Microsoft ICE.

I can't yet talk about the battery life as I haven't had the camera long enough to really field test it on a weekend adventure (ATV, hiking, etc). My guess is that the GPS and WiFi will really eat up the battery life and I am already anticipating the need for more than one battery on an excursion. I have been looking closely at the Wasasbi batteries and am waiting for them to come out with a model compatible with the TS5. Again, the TS5 has barely been released and so there isn't a lot out there yet.

I bought the Professional Mini-Ball Head Camera Mount ([...]) and bolted it to my bike helmet. I then mounted the TS5 to the helmet and used the smartphone app to remote control the camera. My intention is to be able to capture footage of mountain biking in Moab this summer. Check out my youtube videos. Just search for alpha1145.
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