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Lumix DMC TS3 - The Tough Digital Camera

Updated on November 5, 2011

Who is Panasonic

Panasonic Corporation is a multi-national consumer electronics manufacturer based in Osaka, Japan. It was founded in 1918 and has since grown to the largest Japanese electronics firm and the eighty-ninth (89th) largest company in the world.

Lumix is a company within a company. It is the branch of Panasonic devoted to cameras and video equipment. Lumix markets everything from simple point and shoot to complex Digital Single Lens Reflex (DSLR) cameras. Most, if not all of Lumix brand camera include lenses made by Leica, the German lens company famous for its own line of cameras.

All Lumix cameras include built in software called Venus Engine for digital image processing. This software has gone through a number of improvements and releases. Venus Engine series include; I, II, III, IV, HD (in 2008), V (in 2009), and VI, HD II, finally ending with FHD in 2010.

All of the Leica branded point and shoot digital cameras are actually Lumix models with slight cosmetic differences to distinguish them from Lumix. Lumix does not build or manufacture any of Leica's film cameras.

Click thumbnail to view full-size
Lumix DMC-TS3DMC-TS2 (previous model)
Lumix DMC-TS3
Lumix DMC-TS3 | Source
DMC-TS2 (previous model)
DMC-TS2 (previous model) | Source


January 25, 2011

Panasonic (Lumix) is introducing the DMC-TS3. This is a "point-and-shoot" camera.

This is a camera designed for rugged outdoor use, but will still be able to capture high-resolution images as well as 1080p high-definition video. Video recording is at a crisp thirty (30fps) frames per second.

A Tough Outdoor Camera
The camera has been specifically designed for rugged situations including dirt, height, cold, heat, and water. It can withstand submersion in up to forty (40f) feet of liquid, withstand a six point six foot (2 meter) drop and function in temperatures down to 14°F (-10° C). It is even dust-proof.

High Quality Image Recording
The lens is made by Leica and the Charge Coupled Device (CCD) can scan and record (to memory) up to twelve point one megapixels of data (12.1). Changes to the CCD allow image capture in as little as five milliseconds.

Image Processing
The camera uses the aforementioned Venus Engine FHD. This engine, as described by Panasonic, is capable of performing image processing, JPEG compression, and image save simultaneously.

3D Imaging
The TS3 can also create a three dimensional (3D) image from twenty (20) consecutive photos. It then overlays the two best of the twenty to create a 3D image. The 3D image is compatible with the Multi-Picture Object (MPO) model and can play the image back on any MPO compatible device. Naturally, this means that the camera will work with the Panasonic line of VIERA 3D television sets.

The camera will come with the Lumix Image Uploader software package allowing instant uploading to Facebook or YouTube through their PCs with the supplied USB cable.

High Quality Optics
The Leica lens is a 28mm wide-angle LEICA DC VARIO-ELMAR, which is a folded (10 elements in 8 groups) optics design. Zoom is accomplished both mechanically and digitially with 4.6 X optical zoom. Digital zoom adds another 2X to that for up to 6X zoom.

The camera works in up to forty feet of water making it a passable underwater rig.

High Quality Video and Sound
For video capture the TS3 also includes Dolby® Digital Creator software so that the audio quality is as high as the video. A built-in white LED allows shooting in low light situations.

Image Playback
Image playback and composition is aided by the two point seven (2.7") inch LCD screen with wide-angle of view and an Anti-reflection coating. It does not have a traditional optical view-finder.

Image Stabilization
The TS3 has an iA (intelligent Auto) mode which provides image stabilization while shooting as well as an active video shooting mode designed to reduce motion blur. Shooting still images is assisted by face recognition, face detection, auto-focus tracking, automatic ISO control, automatic scene selector and automatic exposure. As expected the TS3 also has full manual, apeture priority, shutter priority and custom settings.

Geo-tagging is accomplished with the built-in GPS system which, with this model, can include not just the coordinates, but the name of the country, state, or township. It can even identify landmarks by coordinate and tag the image with that information. This GPS system has information on over two hundred countries and one million landmarks. It can even reset the built in clock as the camera moves from time-zone to time-zone.

The TS3 is expected to be available online and in stores by March 2011. Prices are unavailable at this writing, but should be announced thirty days prior to availablity.

The camera will come in blue, red, orange, and silver.

Charge Coupled Device (CCD)
Charge Coupled Device (CCD) | Source
Effective Pixels
12.1 Megapixels
Sensor Size / Total Pixels / Filter
1/2.33-inch / 12.5 Total Megapixels
F3.3 - 5.9
Optical Zoom
Digital Zoom
Focal Length
4.9-22.8mm (28-128mm in 35mm equiv.)
LEICA DC VARIO-ELMAR (10 elements in 8 groups)
Image Stabilizer
Power O.I.S. (Off / Auto / Mode1 / Mode2)
Focusing Area
Normal: Wide 30 cm - infinity / Tele 30 cm - infinity
AF Metering
Face / AF Tracking / 11pt / 1pt HS / 1pt / Spot
Normal / Macro, Zoom, Quick AF, Continuous AF, AF Tracking
AF Assist Lamp
ISO Sensitivity
Auto / 80 / 100 / 200 / 400 / 800 / (1600~6400)
White Balance
Auto / Daylight / Cloudy / Shade / Halogen / White Set
Program AE
Exposure Compensation
1/3 EV Step, 2 EV
Backlight Compensation
Yes (only in Intelligent AUTO mode)
Auto Bracketing (AE)
+/- 1/3 EV ~1EV step, 3 frames
Light Metering
Intelligent Multiple
Face Detection
Photo & Movie
Still Image Scene Mode
Portrait,SoftSkin,Transform,Self-Portrait,Scenery, Pan.Assist,Night Portrait&Scenery, Food
Party,CandleLight,Baby1/2,Pet,Sunset,High sensitivity,Hi-Speed Burst,Flash Burst,StarrySky,Fireworks,Aerialphoto
Movie Scene Mode
Portrait, Soft Skin, Scenery, Low Light, Food, Party, Candle Light, Sunset, Aerial, High Dynamic
Shutter Interval
approx. 1.0 sec
Self Timer
2sec / 10sec
Auto Review
1sec, 2sec, Hold
Image Quality
Motion Picture Recording 4:3
VGA: 640 x 480 pixels, 30fps (Motion JPEG)
QVGA: 320 x 240 pixels, 30 fps (Motion JPEG)
Motion Picture Recording 16:9
WVGA: 848 x 480 pixels, 30 fps (Motion JPEG)
Motion Picture Recording HD Movie
1280x720 pixels, NTSC Mode: NTSC model: 60p
(AVCHD Lite, SH: 17Mbps / H:13Mbps / L:9Mbps ) / 30fps (Motion JPEG)
Aspect Ratio
4:3 / 3:2 / 16:9
Intelligent Exposure
Photo & Movie
Real-time Histograms
Scene Mode Help Screen
LCD Monitor
2.7" TFT Screen LCD Display (230K dots), AR Coat
Field of View : approx. 100% Wide Viewing Angle
AUTO Power LCD mode, Power LCD mode
Playback Mode
Normal Playback, Slideshow, Category Playback, Mode Playback
OSD Language
English, Spanish
Recording Media
Built-in Memory, SD Memory Card, SDHC Memory Card, SDXC Memory Card
AV Output (NTSC), mini HDMI, USB2.0 High speed, DC Input
Viera Link
Video: Auto / 1080p / 1080i / 720p / 480p
Audio: Dolby Digital Stereo Creator
Red, Blue, Orange, Silver
Auto, Auto/Red-eye Reduction, Forced On, Slow Sync.
0.3 - 5.1m (Wide/ISO Auto), 0.3 - 2.8m (Tele/ISO Auto)
Included Software
PHOTOfunSTUDIO 5.0 HD Edition
Adobe Reader & QuickTime
Standard Accessories
Battery Charger, Pack, Case, AV cable, USB Cable
Brush, Hand Strap, Silicon Jacket*, CD-ROM
Mutli-Speed Zoom
Quick Menu
Continuous Shooting Mode
Full-Resolution Image, 1.8 frames/sec Max. 5 images (Standard mode),Max 3 images (Fine Mode) High-speed Burst Mode: approx. 6.0 frames/sec (image priority) approx. 10 frames/sec
Focus Icon Select
Yes (in Face Recognition)
Optical Zoom in Motion Picture
Macro Zoom
Orientation Detector
Playback Still Images with Audio
Additional Playback Mode
Yes ( AVC HD Lite / Motion JPEG)
Slideshow Mode
All / Still Images Only / Motion Picture Only / Category / Favorites / BGM Effect (Natural / Slow / Swing / Urban)
Show Histogram
Delete Image
Single / Multi / All / All except Favorites
Cut Animation
PictBridge Support
Single / Multi / All / Favorites / DPOF
NTSC (North America)
One-Touch Movie
Water Proof
10.0m (40ft) (IEC60529 IPX8 compliant)
Dust Proof
Yes (IEC60529 IP5X compliant)
Freeze Proof
-10.0C (14.0F)
Shock Proof
2.0m [6.6ft] (MIL-STD810F Method 516.5-Shock compliant)
Wind-Cut in Motion Picture
Flash Burst Continuous Shooting Mode
Max. 5 images (Standard mode)
Intelligent ISO Control
Photo / Video
Face Recognition
Photo / Video
Intelligent Scene Selector
Photo (Portrait, Scenery, Night Portrait, Night Scenery
Sunset, Macro & Movie (Portrait, Scenery, Low Light, Macro)
File Format
Still Image: JPEG/RAW2
Mode Dial / Mode Button
Intelligent Auto, Normal Picture, Sports, Snow, Beach & Surf, SCN, Clipboard
Still Picture Recording 4:3
4320x3240(14M) / 3648x2736(10M) / 3072x2304(7M)
Still Picture Recording 3:2
4320x2880 (12.5M) / 3648x2432 (9M) / 3072x2048 (6M)
Still Picture Recording 16:9
4320x2432 (10.5M) / 3648x2056 (7.5M) / 3072x1728 (5.5M)
Color Mode / Color Effect
Standard, Vivid, Natural, Black & White, Sepia, Cool, Warm, Happy
Copy / Title Edit / Text Stamp
Yes / Yes / Yes
Dimensions (W x H x D)
(3.91 x 2.48 x 0.96 in) [99.3 x 63.1 x 24.3 mm]
Approx .41lb with Battery and SD Memory Card
Extra Optical Zoom (EZ)
5.5x (4:3 / 10M), 6.5x (4:3 / 7M), 7.8x (4:3 / 5M), 9.8x (under 3M)
Shutter Speed
Still: 8 - 1/1300 sec/ Starry Sky Mode : 15, 30, 60sec.
Digital Red Eye Correction (Red-Eye Removal)
Mode Switch
[Recording] / [Playback]
Composition Guide line
Yes (2 pattern)
Easy Zoom / Zoom Resume
No / No
Thumbnails / Zoomed Playback
12,30-thumbnails / Max 16x
Calendar Display / Dual-Image Playback
Yes / No
Set Favorites / Rotate Image
Yes / No
DPOF Print Setting / Set Protection
Yes / Yes
Resize / Trim / Aspect Conv. / Leveling
Yes / Yes / Yes / Yes
Though the silicon sleve (listed above) is mentioned at the Panasonic site I am unable to find it in the list of suppied items.
Partial Specifications (subject to change) - Panasonic/Lumix

As Shipped

The DMC-TS3 will come with battery charger, pack, case, AV cable USB cable, brush, handstrap, silicon jacket (may not be available) and CD-ROM.

About the silicon jacket; though Panasonic includes this in web-site description of included items I am not able to actually find it listed "in the box," therefore it may not actually be included. Check with your supplier.


Prices for the DMC-TS2 ranged from an MSRP of $399.99 to discounted prices of $260.00. As the DMC-TS3 has slightly lower resolution the MSRP may be lower than the $400.00 above. This camera is a direct competitor to the Olympus Stylus TOUGH 810 (8010) digital point and shoot camera.

The camera has excellent optics and a huge assortment of built-in filters providing many different effects that you can apply to both still and motion images. That it is also capable of recording both types of images underwater, to forty feet (this is about the limit of SCUBA equipment divers) is also pretty amazing, so much so, that I'm amazed that Panasonic is not touting it more in the advertising.

As with the Olympus Stylus TOUGH 810, I would expect a camera with all of these features to also be able to play movies at 1080i (if not 1080p) rather than the lower resolution 720p. Still, this is about the only fault I find with this point-and-shoot camera.


The author was not compensated in any way, monetarily, with discounts, or freebies by any of the companies mentioned.

Though the author does make a small profit for the word count of this article none of that comes directly from the manufacturers mentioned. The author also stands to make a small profit from advertising attached to this article.

The author has no control over either the advertising or the contents of those ads.


Submit a Comment
  • LiamBean profile imageAUTHOR


    7 years ago from Los Angeles, Calilfornia

    Glen: Thanks. It's hard for me to imagine that he silicon cover costs them enough to make a profit difference. I agree, it was listed so it should be included.

  • profile image


    7 years ago

    I think they removed the silicon cover from their site description -- I can no longer find it listed. I'm unhappy enough to write Panasonic and complain, suggest you do the same on their Support section. Without it, you have to get a regular camera cover or something to keep it from getting scratched up. They listed it on their site -- they are legally obligated to provide them to us. Other than that, great camera.

  • LiamBean profile imageAUTHOR


    7 years ago from Los Angeles, Calilfornia

    Chris: You are right. Even though the Panasonic site lists this item I cannot actually find it included "in the box." Thanks for the tip. I've modified the article to reflect this.

  • profile image


    7 years ago

    Might want to re-verify one of the "accessories". The Silicon Sleeve is not included with the US Version of this camera.

  • LiamBean profile imageAUTHOR


    8 years ago from Los Angeles, Calilfornia

    Thanks Duchess.

  • profile image

    Duchess OBlunt 

    8 years ago

    Great detail on this hub. Well done. If I didn't already have a pretty good point and shoot, I'd be very tempted to get this one.


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