The new premium waterproof camera from Panasonic is called the Lumix TS7 (or Lumix FT7 in countries other than the United States). This is the first high-end waterproof camera that Panasonic has released in almost five years, with the TS5 / FT5 continuing to compete against a slew of newer models from competitors, in addition to GoPros and other action cameras.
The market for waterproof cameras is expanding, and Panasonic is expecting that by re-establishing itself in this market with the Lumix TS7 / FT7, it will be able to compete with the rising popularity of specialist action cams.
It provides a few capabilities we haven’t seen previously on a waterproof camera, so might this be the right pick for the adrenaline junkie, or could this be the excellent choice for people seeking a rugged camera to go to the beach or ski slope?
Panasonic Lumix TS7 Features
Let’s begin by discussing the rigorous qualifications of the Lumix TS7 / FT7. It can function at depths as great as 31 meters (102 feet), which, according to Panasonic, is more profound than any other waterproof camera currently available (without a dedicated housing) and more profound than you’d be able to go on the majority of recreational dives. This is the feature that sets it apart from the competition.
The Lumix TS7 / FT7 is shockproof for drops from a height of up to 2 meters (6.6 feet), and it is crush-proof up to 100 kg (kilogram-force), while, like the majority of other waterproof compacts, it will work in temperatures as low as -10°C/14°F. If you’re going to be using it on dry land, the Lumix TS7 / FT7 is also crush-proof up to 100 kg (kilogram-force)
The Panasonic Lumix TS7/FT7 has a 1/2.3-inch sensor, which is standard for a camera in this class. This is in contrast to some of Panasonic’s more recent compacts, which have a 1-inch sensor.
In contrast to Olympus, which decreased the resolution of its most recent waterproof camera, the TG-5, from 16 megapixels to 12 megapixels to better control image noise at higher sensitivities, Panasonic has gone in the opposite direction, increasing the pixel count from 16.1 megapixels in the Lumix TS5 / FT5 to 20.4 megapixels in the Lumix TS7 / FT7. This is because Panasonic wanted to control image noise at higher sense better
Panasonic Lumix TS7 Build Quality
The Lumix TS7 / FT7 appears to be a TS5 that has been supercharged, with an appearance that is somewhat more industrial in comparison to the model that it replaces. In addition, it weighs 319g, 105g more than the previous generation, and it is somewhat longer, taller, and broader than its predecessor.
We took it kayaking and coasteering, and its size wasn’t an issue during either activity. Despite its enormous proportions, it is still tiny, and it will quickly go into a baggy pocket.
It comes in various finishes, including orange, blue, and black. The rather wide front panel does imply that it can become scarred or damaged if you give it to some abuse; having said that, while it was being battered around some very jagged rocks on Dorset’s Jurassic Coast in the UK, it came out uninjured.
Because of its bigger size, Panasonic improved the control arrangement of the Lumix TS7 / FT7, which resulted in the buttons being organized more logically.
It can be difficult to produce a camera with buttons that can be readily used while wearing gloves or when underwater without having the camera appear like a child’s toy. However, we believe Panasonic has achieved the appropriate balance with the Lumix TS7 / FT7.
We were able to use it without too much difficulty even though we were wearing neoprene gloves, and the huge shutter button that dominates the top of the camera makes it simple to handle regardless of whether or not you are wearing gloves.
Panasonic Lumix TS7 Image Quality
During our testing with the Lumix TS7 and FT7, we most frequently employed the camera’s wide area or center area AF settings. These were good for the most part, but we did discover that the camera lacked focus on occasion. Since this was a pre-production sample, it’s possible that this was because it was, but we won’t pass judgment until we get our hands on a final unit.
Even though it does not have the largest display on the market, taking into consideration the cost of the camera, the built-in viewfinder is a significant advantage over the TS7/FT7. The bright conditions in which we tested the camera meant that it came into its own when the rear display was too bright to see what was displayed.
Unfortunately, there is no eye sensor; to use the live view function, you must press the LVF button on the side of the camera each time you bring the camera up to your eye.
It is interesting to note that the battery performance has suffered a bit when compared to the TS5 / FT5, falling from 370 photographs to 300. At the same time, you will only get 250 shots if you utilize the electronic viewfinder exclusively.
Panasonic Lumix TS7 Specs
|Max resolution||5184 x 3888|
|Image ratio w:h||1:1, 4:3, 3:2, 16:9|
|Effective pixels||20 megapixels|
|Sensor photo detectors||21 megapixels|
|Sensor size||1/2.3″ (6.17 x 4.55 mm)|
|ISO||Auto, 80-3200 (expands to 6400)|
|Boosted ISO (maximum)||6400|
|White balance presets||5|
|Custom white balance||Yes|
|JPEG quality levels||Fine, standard|
|Focal length (equiv.)||28–128 mm|
|Autofocus||Contrast Detect (sensor)Multi-areaCenterSelective single-pointTrackingSingleContinuousFace DetectionLive View|
|Digital zoom||Yes (4x)|
|Normal focus range||30 cm (11.81″)|
|Macro focus range||5 cm (1.97″)|
|Number of focus points||49|
|Focal length multiplier||5.65×|
|Screen type||TFT LCD|
|Viewfinder magnification||2.53× (0.45× 35mm equiv.)|
|Minimum shutter speed||4 sec|
|Maximum shutter speed||1/1300 sec|
|Maximum shutter speed (electronic)||1/16000 sec|
|Manual exposure mode||Yes|
|Subject / scene modes||Yes|
|Flash range||5.60 m (with Auto ISO)|
|Flash modes||Auto, Auto/Red-eye Reduction, Forced On, Forced On/Red-eye Reduction, Slow Sync., Slow Sync./Red-eye Reduction, Forced Off|
|Continuous drive||10.0 fps|
|Self-timer||Yes (2 or 10 secs, 10 secs x 3 images)|
|Exposure compensation||±5 (at 1/3 EV steps)|
|AE Bracketing||±3 (3, 5, 7 frames at 1/3 EV, 1/2 EV, 1 EV steps)|
|Modes||3840 x 2160 @ 30p / 100 Mbps, MP4, H.264, AAC3840 x 2160 @ 24p / 100 Mbps, MP4, H.264, AAC1920 x 1080 @ 60p / 28 Mbps, MP4, H.264, AAC1920 x 1080 @ 30p / 20 Mbps, MP4, H.264, AAC|
|Storage types||SD/SDHC/SDXC (UHS-I supported)|
|USB||USB 2.0 (480 Mbit/sec)|
|Remote control||Yes (via smartphone)|
|Battery description||DMW-BCM13PP lithium-ion battery and charger|
|Battery Life (CIPA)||300|
|Weight (inc. batteries)||319 g (0.70 lb / 11.25 oz)|
|Dimensions||117 x 76 x 37 mm (4.61 x 2.99 x 1.46″)|
Panasonic Lumix TS7 Verdict
The Lumix TS7 and FT7 both have a lot of positive qualities going for them. It has outstanding rugged credentials, and it should be equally at home in the water, on a ski slope, or in the pool, while the inclusion of the electronic viewfinder is a nice feature.
The sensor is the Lumix TS7 and FT7’s ‘Achilles heel,’ as the saying goes. We would instead give up those more pixels in exchange for improved noise performance, and it’s sad to find that there is no raw recording option. A resolution of 20.4 megapixels is not essential.
If the durability and user-friendliness of the camera are more important to you than the image quality, then the Lumix TS7 / FT7 is a decent choice. However, it cannot quite compete with the Olympus TG-5 as the most outstanding all-around waterproof camera currently available.
Panasonic Lumix TS7 Pros & Cons
- A sufficient number of controls located outside
- Built-in electronic viewfinder
- 4K video and 4K still images
- Waterproof to a depth of 31 meters
- There is no raw capture.
- The LED light will only function during the video recording process.
- The battery life is not as excellent as the model that is being replaced.