Panasonic Lumix TS7 / FT7 review

    The Lumix TS7 (often 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 different motion cameras.

    Regardless of the rising attraction of devoted motion cams, the waterproof digicam market is definitely rising, and Panasonic is hoping it may well re-establish itself with the Lumix TS7 / FT7. It affords a few options that we haven’t seen earlier than on a water-resistant digicam, so may this be the right selection for the adrenaline junky, or these merely searching for a troublesome digicam to take to the seaside or ski slope?  


    • Function at depths right down to 31m (102ft)
    • Incorporates 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 may well function at depths as deep as 31m (102ft), which, in accordance with Panasonic, is deeper than some other waterproof digicam available on the market (with no devoted housing), and deeper than you’d have the ability 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 peak 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 screen: Three.Zero-inch display screen, 1,040,000 dots 

    Burst capturing: 10fps 

    Video: 4K

    Connectivity: Wi-Fi 

    Battery life: 300 photographs 

    Weight: 319g

    Whereas Panasonic has squeezed a 1-inch sensor into a number of of its current compacts, the Lumix TS7 / FT7 encompasses a 1/2.Three-inch sensor that’s typical for a digicam of this class. Versus Olympus, which decreased the decision of its newest TG-5 waterproof digicam from 16MP to 12MP in an effort to regulate picture noise higher at greater sensitivities, Panasonic has gone the opposite route, 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 face up to the excessive water pressures the digicam may probably be utilized in, however there’s no touchscreen management. The Lumix TS7 / FT7 does, although, have one thing distinctive for a water-resistant digicam: a built-in digital viewfinder (EVF). The 1,170k-dot, Zero.2-inch show won’t be the biggest on the market, however it does supply a helpful various to capturing with the rear show, particularly in shiny mild, which might make composition difficult. 

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    The Lumix TS7 / FT7 additionally consists of Wi-Fi connectivity, an altimeter and a compass, in addition to a built-in LED mild to assist capturing in low-light situations. In our hands-on time with the digicam it seems, oddly, that this perform is simply 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 know-how for capturing a sequence of 8MP nonetheless pictures at 30fps. For many who wish to shoot a burst of 20.4MP pictures, 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 seems 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 somewhat longer, taller and fatter than earlier than. Regardless of the bulkier proportions it’s nonetheless fairly compact, and can slip simply right into a saggy pocket, whereas its measurement wasn’t a problem once we took it kayaking and coasteering. 

    It is obtainable in orange, blue and black finishes. The comparatively giant entrance panel does imply there’s the potential for it to get marked or scratched in the event you topic it to some abuse; that stated, 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 measurement has enabled Panasonic to refine the management structure of the Lumix TS7 / FT7, with the digicam’s buttons sensibly organized. It may be difficult placing the best 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 received 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 might 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 broad space or central space AF mode. These had been high-quality for essentially the most half, however we did discover the digicam missed deal with event – this could possibly be right down to the truth that it was a pre-production pattern, so we’ll reserve judgement till we get our fingers on a last unit.

    The built-in viewfinder is de facto helpful to have – the brilliant situations we examined it in meant it got here into its personal when it was too shiny to make use of the rear show, and whereas it’s not the biggest show on the market, contemplating the worth of the digicam, it’s an enormous tick towards the TS7 / FT7.

    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 photographs in the event you solely use the digital viewfinder.  

    In terms of picture high quality, we’re somewhat stumped as to why Panasonic’s felt it was needed to make use of a densely populated 20.4MP decision on a small 1/2.Three-inch sensor. We’ll need to do most testing as soon as we get our last assessment pattern, however element appears somewhat disappointing once you zoom in on pictures, with the JPEG recordsdata showing to sacrifice element on the expose of noise discount, even at modest ISOs.  

    It’s an actual disgrace as effectively that the Lumix TS7 / FT7 solely affords JPEG seize as effectively, particularly when its closest rival, the Olympus Powerful TG-5 affords uncooked seize. The flexibility to shoot uncooked recordsdata might be actually helpful in some conditions, particularly for the pliability this affords when correcting the white steadiness of underwater scenes that may simply trick cameras.  

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    Early verdict

    There’s heaps to love concerning the Lumix TS7 / FT7. It is received wonderful robust credentials, and ought to be equally at residence within the sea, on a ski slope or being chucked round some rapids, whereas the digital viewfinder is a welcome addition. 

    We’ll need to do extra testing, however we really feel just like the achilles heel of the Lumix TS7 / FT7 is the sensor. A 20.4MP decision is pointless; we might sooner sacrifice these additional pixels for higher noise efficiency, whereas it is also disappointing to see the absence of uncooked seize. 

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