Panasonic have announced a new rugged 4K camera – the 20.4-megapixel LUMIX TS7 (or FT7 as it is known in Europe and other places) to give adventure seekers a tough imaging device that they can go underwater with or use while rock climbing, surfing or doing all other sorts of exciting fun stuff. Panasonic are obviously pitching their new TS7 / FT7 camera “exclusively for outdoor use” so expect a GoPro-like feel with a small chip (1/2.3″ although BSI – back-illuminated, which means it should be better in low-light) where everything is in focus – which has been the staple of this style of cameras for quite some time and needfully so due to their push-a-button-and-forget-it nature.
The new 4K action camera from Panasonic features a 28mm wide angle-equivalent 4.6x optical zoom lens (35mm equivalent: 28-128mm) in addition to a new 0.2-in, 1,170K-dot equivalent LVF (Live View Finder) to easily capture subjects even under strong sunlight or with backlighting. A 3.0-in rear LCD monitor delivers highest-in-class 1,040K-dot resolution for approximately 100% field of view.
The addition of an EVF to such style of camera is an interesting move in my opinion, but one that would make lots of shooters, who prefer to put their eye to the EVF for more assurance, happy.
Of course, Panasonic being Panasonic (and not Canon) have given the LUMIX TS7 UltraHD 4K video in 3840×2160 at 30p/ 24p in the MP4 wrapper. Taking full advantage of 4K technology, outdoor photographers will enjoy 4K PHOTO to capture perfect moments at 30 fps and save 8-megapixel, high-resolution photos. The LUMIX TS7 also includes the LUMIX Post Focus feature, which enables users to modify focus after capturing the image.
This tough, lightweight camera is waterproof to 102ft., dust-proof, shockproof to 6.6ft., freeze proof to 14 degrees F and pressure resistant to 220 lbf for exceptional imaging in virtually any and all locations and conditions.
As mentioned before the TS7/FT7 has a newly integrated 20.4-megapixel High Sensitivity 1/2.3″ MOS sensor and the camera’s advanced imaging engine enables high-speed, high-sensitivity image recording to generate high-speed burst shooting at 10 fps in high picture quality.
Users also get the benefit of Light Speed AF to capture the most fleeting shooting opportunities, ideal for outdoor adventures like diving, snorkeling, surfing, climbing, skiing and snowboarding.
Additional features in the TS7 / FT7 include built-in Wi-Fi connectivity for fast, easy image sharing, also integrating a variety of special effects’ options including Creative Control, Creative Panorama, Time Lapse Shot and High-Speed Video. Beginning photographers will like the popular LUMIX Shooting Assist function iA (Intelligent Auto) mode to help shoot sharp, memorable photos and video.
Last, but not least, the camera’s built-in LED Photo Light function illuminates the subject to help compose the shot even if the camera function is not activated. The Lumix TS7/FT7 appears to be Panasonic’s answer to the rival Olympus TG-5, which we reported on in this post here.
Being priced at the same level as the TG-5 and having a backlight-illuminated sensor capable of 4K/30 combined with a rugged body make it difficult for the TS7 to stand apart and time will tell if it gets love from enthusiast adventure shooters.
Those looking for a slightly larger sensor action-style camera should look into the Sony RX0, which has a 1-inch sensor with better low-light performance, but comes in at the hefty $698 at B&H.