Family vacations with our kids usually involve some sort of water, from beaches to water parks, but capturing those fun splash-filled moments can be tricky with my smartphone or standard camera. For capturing family moments I use a combination of my smartphone (currently the Galaxy S4) and my LUMIX GF3X. I love both and use them for different reasons but you won’t catch me taking either of these near the water.
Then I saw the Panasonic LUMIX DMC-TS5 at a product preview event and I was smitten. Not only is this camera fun (and sturdy) looking, it is waterproof. On a recent trip to Great Wolf Lodge with the family I had a chance to put this camera to the test.
When you turn the camera on you’re reminded to check the seal, making sure there’s no sand or dirt or hair that could block the seal from working. I appreciate this warning but it did have me a little apprehensive about using the camera in the water.
I tried to warm up my comfort level by just bringing it into the water park area, taking shots of the kids waiting their turn or getting wet. Although the camera is waterproof (up to 13 meters/43 feet) you still need to be conscious of water getting on the lens. Some shots didn’t come out as well due to water drops on the lens.
The Panasonic LUMIX DMC-TS5 specs list the camera as having an anti-fog lens (unlike my glasses) so I didn’t have issues with the humidity within the water park, which was nice.
Someday I hope to learn a little more about photography so I can take manual control over my cameras but in the meantime the TS5 has a great selection of creative features. It even has a glass feature, which enables you to take shots through a window without glare. Of course I never had a chance to try that feature out on this trip but I love the idea.
After taking a few shots around the park I decided to bite the bullet and test the underwater capabilities. I loved it! I could never do this with my other two camera devices. I would love a chance to try this camera again at the beach, where the water may not be as clear.
Beyond taking photos, the Panasonic LUMIX DMC-TS5 also have a video option, great for grabbing shots of the kids running into the pool or splashing down the slide.
So I loved the water aspect of this camera but since we’re only near water on vacation I really can’t justify buying a specialty camera. The great thing about the Panasonic LUMIX DMC is that the waterproof aspect is just a feature. The camera was perfect for taking random shots on the rest of our vacation too.
One reason I rely on my smartphone for impromptu photos is because of its compact size and the easy ability to share photos on our Instagram account (as well as other social networking sites). The DMC-TS5’s Wi-Fi capabilities enabled me to share photos from my camera to my phone through a direct Wi-Fi connection. This meant I could take photos in the water, connect to my phone, and post to Instagram. There’s also the ability to touch transfer images to an Android device but I just couldn’t figure that one out this time around. We could even share the images on our TV as well as using my phone as a remote (perfect for taking group shots that have me in them).
The DMC-TS5 is a tough little camera, designed for those adventurous types, which explains some of the added features like a built-in GPS. You can find a less rugged version of the camera in the DMC-TS25 for a lower price point, though you will lose the Wi-Fi feature too which is one of my favourite elements on the TS5.
There were so many features in this little camera, some I haven’t even had a chance to try yet. For something compact, offering features for creative photography (in and out of the water), the Panasonic DMC TS5 seemed to deliver.
Thanks to the folks at Panasonic for the chance to review the camera.