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    Panasonic Lumix TS7 / FT7 review

    The Lumix TS7 (generally known as the Lumix FT7 outdoors the US) is Panasonic’s new premium waterproof digicam. That is the primary high-end waterproof digicam we’ve seen from Panasonic in over 5 years, with the outgoing TS5 / FT5 soldiering on towards a raft of newer fashions from rivals, in addition to GoPros and other action cameras.

    Regardless of the rising attraction of devoted motion cams, the waterproof digicam market is definitely rising, and Panasonic is hoping it will possibly re-establish itself with the Lumix TS7 / FT7. It gives a few options that we haven’t seen earlier than on a water-proof digicam, so might this be the proper selection for the adrenaline junky, or these merely in search of a troublesome digicam to take to the seashore or ski slope?  

    Options

    • Function at depths all the way down to 31m (102ft)
    • Includes a built-in digital viewfinder
    • four.6x optical zoom lens (28-128mm)

    Let’s begin with the Lumix TS7 / FT7’s robust credentials. Its headline function is that it will possibly function at depths as deep as 31m (102ft), which, in keeping with Panasonic, is deeper than every other waterproof digicam available on the market (with out a devoted housing), and deeper than you’d be capable to go on most leisure dives.

    If you are going to be utilizing it on dry land, the Lumix TS7 / FT7 can also be shockproof for drops from a top of as much as 2m (6.6ft), and is crush-proof as much as 100kgf (kilogram power), whereas, like most different waterproof compacts, it will work in temperatures as little as -10°C/14°F.

    Panasonic Lumix TS7 / FT7 Specs

    Sensor: 20.4MP 1/2.Three-inch

    Lens: four.6x (28-128mm) 

    Display: Three.Zero-inch display screen, 1,040,000 dots 

    Burst capturing: 10fps 

    Video: 4K

    Connectivity: Wi-Fi 

    Battery life: 300 pictures 

    Weight: 319g

    Whereas Panasonic has squeezed a 1-inch sensor into a number of of its latest compacts, the Lumix TS7 / FT7 includes a 1/2.Three-inch sensor that’s typical for a digicam of this class. Versus Olympus, which lowered the decision of its newest TG-5 waterproof digicam from 16MP to 12MP in an effort to manage picture noise higher at increased sensitivities, Panasonic has gone the opposite path, rising the pixel rely from 16.1MP within the TS5 / FT5 to 20.4MP within the Lumix TS7 / FT7. 

    The lens protection stays the identical as its predecessor, with a four.6x zoom vary that covers 28-128mm. Curiously, the lens loses its Leica branding.

    On the rear of the digicam is a Three.Zero-inch show with a 1,040,000-dot decision, with tempered glass to resist the excessive water pressures the digicam might doubtlessly be utilized in, however there’s no touchscreen management. The Lumix TS7 / FT7 does, although, have one thing distinctive for a water-proof digicam: a built-in digital viewfinder (EVF). The 1,170k-dot, Zero.2-inch show won’t be the most important on the market, however it does provide a helpful different to capturing with the rear show, particularly in vibrant gentle, which may make composition difficult. 

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    The Lumix TS7 / FT7 additionally contains Wi-Fi connectivity, an altimeter and a compass, in addition to a built-in LED gentle to assist capturing in low-light circumstances. In our hands-on time with the digicam it seems, oddly, that this perform is barely accessible when capturing video footage and never stills. Talking of video, the TS7 / FT7 is ready to shoot 4K video as much as 30fps, whereas there’s additionally Panasonic’s 4K Photograph expertise for capturing a collection of 8MP nonetheless photographs at 30fps. For individuals who need to shoot a burst of 20.4MP photographs, the TS7 / FT7 can shoot at as much as 10fps. 

    Construct and dealing with

    • Bigger and heavier than the TS5 / FT5
    • Controls sensibly organized
    • Straightforward to make use of with gloves

    The Lumix TS7 / FT7 appears to be like like a TS5 on steroids, with a bit extra of an industrial look in comparison with the outgoing mannequin. At 319g it’s 105g heavier than the older mannequin too, whereas it’s a little bit longer, taller and fatter than earlier than. Regardless of the bulkier proportions it’s nonetheless fairly compact, and can slip simply right into a dishevelled pocket, whereas its dimension wasn’t a difficulty once we took it kayaking and coasteering. 

    It is accessible in orange, blue and black finishes. The comparatively massive entrance panel does imply there’s the potential for it to get marked or scratched in case you topic it to some abuse; that mentioned, when it was getting smashed round some fairly sharp rocks on Dorset’s Jurassic Coast within the UK it got here away unscathed. 

    The bigger dimension has enabled Panasonic to refine the management format of the Lumix TS7 / FT7, with the digicam’s buttons sensibly organized. It may be difficult putting the appropriate steadiness between producing a digicam with buttons that may be simply operated underwater or sporting gloves, and making them seem like a toddler’s toy, however we reckon Panasonic’s bought the steadiness about proper with the Lumix TS7 / FT7. We managed to function it with out an excessive amount of problem sporting neoprene gloves, whereas the massive shutter button that dominates the highest of the digicam makes it straightforward to make use of with or with out gloves. 

    Efficiency and picture high quality

    • Viewfinder could be actually helpful
    • Battery efficiency down on older mannequin
    • No uncooked help

    In our time with the Lumix TS7 / FT7 we tended to make use of the digicam’s vast space or central space AF mode. These have been high-quality for probably the most half, however we did discover the digicam missed give attention to event – this could possibly be all the way down to the truth that it was a pre-production pattern, so we’ll reserve judgement till we get our fingers on a remaining unit.

    The built-in viewfinder is absolutely helpful to have – the intense circumstances we examined it in meant it got here into its personal when it was too vibrant to make use of the rear show, and whereas it’s not the most important show on the market, contemplating the value of the digicam, it’s a giant tick towards the TS7 / FT7. Annoyingly although there is not a eye sensor, so whenever you increase the digicam to your eye, you must keep in mind to hit the LVF button on the aspect of the digicam.

    Curiously, battery efficiency has taken a little bit of a dive in comparison with the TS5 / FT5, dropping from 370 photos to 300, whilst you’ll solely get 250 pictures in case you solely use the digital viewfinder.  

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    On the subject of picture high quality, we’re a little bit stumped as to why Panasonic’s felt it was crucial to make use of a densely populated 20.4MP decision on a small 1/2.Three-inch sensor. Element is a little bit disappointing whenever you zoom in on photographs (in case you’re anticipating photographs to massively surpass a great high quality smartphone, they will not), with the JPEG information showing to sacrifice element on the expose of noise discount. This is not too unhealthy a low ISOs, however very noticeable as you improve the sensitivity, with excessive ISO photographs disappointing.

    It’s an actual disgrace as nicely that the Lumix TS7 / FT7 solely gives JPEG seize as nicely, particularly when its closest rival, the Olympus Powerful TG-5 gives raw capture. The power to shoot uncooked information could be actually helpful in some conditions, particularly for the flexibleness this gives when correcting the white steadiness of underwater scenes that may simply trick cameras.  

    In any other case, colours are good and vibrant, with a stable Auto White Stability and metering system delivering constant photographs.

    Verdict

    There’s heaps to love concerning the Lumix TS7 / FT7. It is bought glorious robust credentials, and must be equally at residence within the sea, on a ski slope or within the pool, whereas the digital viewfinder is a welcome addition. 

    The achilles heel of the Lumix TS7 / FT7 is the sensor. A 20.4MP decision is pointless; we would sooner sacrifice these further pixels for higher noise efficiency, whereas it is also disappointing to see the absence of uncooked seize. 

    If picture high quality is secondary to how rugged and straightforward to make use of the digicam is, then the Lumix TS7 / FT7 is an efficient selection, although it will possibly’t fairly match the Olympus TG-5 as the perfect all-round waterproof digicam on the market at this time.

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