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Should You Invest in a 2012 Photo Printer on Sale?

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"Is the Panasonic TS7 as Smart as it is Tough?" - TDS Photo Podcast 648

Daily Post

Tough Guys - Panasonic TS7 Vs Olympus TG-5

When the Panasonic Lumix DC-TS7 was released, it reopened the debate for which rugged compact I would pack for my outdoor adventures. Would the TS7 dethrone my current favorite, the Olympus Tough TG-5?

cameras-front-1024.jpg Side by Side - Panasonic TS7 on the left with the Olympus Tough on the right.

Here's what tempted me with the Panasonic TS7:

  • 20.4MP High-Sensitivity MOS Sensor
  • 4.6x Zoom Lens, 28-128mm (35mm Equiv.)
  • UHD 4K 30p and 24p Video Recording
  • 1.17m-Dot Electronic Live View Finder
  • 3.0" 1.04m-Dot LCD Monitor
  • 4K Photo Modes and Post Focus

With the Panasonic, I would get more resolution (20MP vs 12MP), greater zooming range (28-128mm vs 28-100mm), an electronic viewfinder, and a higher resolution LCD back screen. Both cameras have 4K video recording, but the Panasonic has the 4K Photo mode.

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So I carried the TS7 around with me for a couple weeks of summer activity. The Jpegs still images were very good. (But, I was surprised that I did not have a RAW option like I do on the Olympus Tough.) I particularly liked the the burst mode in 4K Photo. In this mode I could capture at 30fps, then choose the frame that I wanted for the still image at 8MP resolution. This was my favorite feature on the Panasonic. It's fun and effective.

Little Girl Watching Ride "Little Girl Watching Ride" - Captured in 4K Photo mode with Panasonic TS7

I was also looking forward to the 4K video capture. But I had a difficult time focusing. Once I started the video recording, the camera seemed to have a mind of its own in terms of choosing focus point. This could be due to my lack of experience with the device. But even when I sat down and tried to figure it out, I still walked away with clips that were not sharp. This was my most disappointing feature with the TS7.

cameras-back-1024.jpg The electronic viewfinder is visible on the black TS7. The Olympus doesn't have that feature. Instead, the GPS module sits atop the camera.

The built-in electronic viewfinder was a welcome addition. I didn't use it as much, however, as I thought I would. In part, that was because the high resolution LCD was quite good and convenient. Also, the EVF is a bit small and not that enjoyable for composing. So for me, the electronic viewfinder is in the category of nice to have when I need it, but not much beyond that.

So what's the bottom line here? Am I going to switch from the Olympus to the Panasonic for my adventure compact? No, I'm not. Here's why.

Both cameras are tough and waterproof. So I can take either anywhere. But with the Olympus, I get RAW format, realtime GPS geotagging, smaller form factor, and a faster maximum aperture. Plus, the TG-5 is $379, $60 less than the TS7.

There were definitely things that I liked about the Panasonic TS7. I like its handsome good looks, viewing options, and the wonderful 4K Photo mode. But I struggled with its video capture, and I do miss having RAW for hard-to-tame contrasty lighting - something that I seem to encounter often during summer adventures.

Also, the built-in geotagging that the Olympus provides is top notch. I don't have to do anything, and the location data is added to my shots. The Panasonic has a feature that lets you add tags via your smartphone. It's not the same by any means.

So, would I discourage someone from choosing the Panasonic Lumix DC-TS7? Absolutely not. It's a good camera that has a lot going for it. It's just not my favorite of the two.

You can share your thoughts at the TDS Facebook page, where I'll post this story for discussion.

This is The Digital Story Podcast #648, August 14, 2018. Today's theme is "Is the Panasonic TS7 as Smart as it is Tough?." I'm Derrick Story.

Opening Monologue

When I first laid eyes on the Panasonic TS7 digital camera, I knew I had to get my hands on it. And once I did, it felt every bit as good as I imagined. But once you get past its rugged good looks, how does it perform? Does it have the brains to match the body? This is the question that I'll address in today's TDS Photography Podcast.

Is the Panasonic TS7 as Smart as it is Tough?

The Panasonic Lumix DC-TS7 is no lightweight, that's for sure. It feels like a crush-proof camera that can be submerged 100' below the surface of the ocean. And it packs some pretty powerful specs as well. But in the field, does it live up to its promise?

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Here are some of the features of the Panasonic TS7 that got me excited:

  • 20.4MP High-Sensitivity MOS Sensor
  • 4.6x Zoom Lens, 28-128mm (35mm Equiv.)
  • UHD 4K 30p and 24p Video Recording
  • 1.17m-Dot Electronic Live View Finder
  • 3.0" 1.04m-Dot LCD Monitor
  • 4K Photo Modes and Post Focus

Now, let's talk about how those features actually worked. And if you're an Inner Circle Member via Patreon, I have a fun video waiting for you that shows you more of what I've discussed here. Jump over there and take a look.

Photographer Typecasting

I was reading a Steve Huff article titled, Amazon 1dX II Scam Update where he was following up to an earlier article about being scammed via Amazon for a Canon 1DX order. But a funny thing happened along the way that caught my ear.

How the Original Canon 5D Stacks Up Against the 5D Mark IV

Via Petapixel, they write:

Photographer Pablo Strong recently did a shootout to see how the original Canon 5D from 2005 stacks up against the latest Canon 5D Mark IV from 2016. The 7.5-minute video above is a report of his findings.

The Canon 5D, which Strong calls "arguably the best deal in photography" when paired with the 50mm f/1.8 II lens, was a camera that helped full frame cameras break into the mainstream. It was the first full-frame DSLR in a smaller, standard camera body and its price tag of $3,300 also set a new standard for how affordable full-frame cameras could be.

The camera is 13-years-old now and can be purchased used for about $350 these days. Pair it with the 50mm f/1.8 II (which costs about $75 used) and you have yourself a full-frame DSLR kit for around $400.

Do You Have a Film Camera that Needs a Good Home?

Over the last year, I've received donations from TDS members who have film cameras that need a good home. What I do is inspect the items, repair and clean as I can, then list them in TheFilmCameraShop where I can find a good home for them. If you're interested in donating, please use the Contact Form on TheNimblePhotographer site. And thanks for you consideration!

Updates and Such

You can become a member of our Inner Circle by clicking on this link or by clicking on the Patreon tile that's on every page of The Digital Story.

B&H and Amazon tiles on www.thedigitalstory. If you click on them first, you're helping to support this podcast. And speaking of supporting this show, and big thanks to our Patreon Inner Circle members:

And finally, be sure to visit our friends at Red River Paper for all of your inkjet supply needs.

See you next week!

More Ways to Participate

Want to share photos and talk with other members in our virtual camera club? Check out our Flickr Public Group. And from those images, I choose the TDS Member Photo of the Day.

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You can share your thoughts at the TDS Facebook page, where I'll post this story for discussion.