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- Panasonic Lumix TS4
- Our first ruggedized camera review of the year goes to the Panasonic Lumix TS4.
Panasonic Lumix DMC-TS4 Digital Camera Review$399.99
Statistically, the TS4 earned almost a perfectly average color accuracy score, clocking in at 2.97, or only 0.03 points better than average. Saturation was over by about 6%, again, quite average. More on how we test color.
Looking over the gamut, we can see that accuracy issues are restricted almost exclusively to reds, green, and blues. Red shades seem to be genuinely off, however greens and blues are suspicious. It may be the camera is deliberately highlighting the color of trees and the sky, in order to improve those outdoor shots most users will be capturing.
NOTE: Because of the way computer monitors reproduce colors, the images above do not exactly match the originals found on the chart or in the captured images. The chart should be used to judge the relative color shift, not the absolute captured colors.
This result is an improvement over the TS3, albeit a modest one. But interestingly, this small boost is enough to best some of the competition's heaviest hitters. Including the Nikon AW100 and Sony's TX10. Pentax's awesome WG-1 still wears the toughcam color crown though.
Four independent color modes are available, they are Standard, Vivid, Black & White, and Sepia. Though you may be tempted, we do not recommend shooting with Vivid mode. This setting caused color errors to spike up to 4.4 in our test, and oversaturated shots by 25%.
We've only begun full detail white balance testing on compact cameras this year, so we don't have comparative data for the TS3 in this particular test. But we can say the results were somewhat peculiar. The TS4's automatic white balance is relatively accurate under incandescent "tungsten" light, which seems strange given the camera's intended use. On the other hand, accuracy under daylight is relatively poor which, again, seems strange.
It's worth noting the custom white balance function is much more accurate in daylight, so if you're serious about your shots, we do recommending bringing along a small white card or (here's a pro tip) wearing a white watch.