UPDATE on my Panasonic Lumix Waterproof Camera: Just an update to let you know that after sitting on my camera shelf for quite some time, the Panasonic Lumix is still one of my favorite cameras. We took it to the pool for the first time this summer season and had lots of fun with it. Now…I know the fun will wear off with my kids and they’ll get tired of doing underwater tricks for me, but I have lots of friends with kids who I’m sure will pose for me!
I messed around with some Advanced Underwater Settings this time. There’s some really cool stuff in there. Hopefully, I’ll get a few more cooperative days at the pool with my kids so I can learn even more. Anyway…I highly recommend this camera. If you get one, be sure you share some of your pictures with me. Still working on editing them just the right way, but so far I think they’re pretty good. And this camera will definitely be in my beach bag this summer…
The Panasonic Lumix Waterproof Camera is one of the most exciting things I’ve discovered in quite some time! A while back, a photographer friend of mine posted the coolest picture of her son swimming away from her – all you could see were his feet and the water streaming out from his kicks behind him. I knew the camera itself had to be underwater because of the angle of the picture, and I was pretty sure it was something other than a cell phone in a water-proof case. So…I texted her and she told me about her Panasonic Lumix camera. She said I could meet her at the pool one day with my kids and test it out on them. I was all over that.
When I got to the pool, I found my friend sitting on the pool steps with her Panasonic Lumix just underwater beside her – she had it attached to a Nordic Flash Floating Strap that kept it from going all the way to the bottom of the pool! I was so amazed by and in awe of this camera and strap. I couldn’t wait to get my hands on it and test it out. My poor kids – all I kept saying is “Go under again and swim towards me. Wait…do it again but slower!” They were really good sports about it! At least for the first hour.
This was in the middle of the summer. We still had a month or two to go of pool time, and I really wanted (and needed) this camera. But…I really didn’t want to spend the money on it at the time. I had just bought a new lens for my big Canon 60-D (another great camera) that I had back then, so I put the Panasonic Lumix on the back-burner and decided it might make a good Christmas present.
After about two weeks of talking incessantly to my husband about it, I finally moved on, and just worked on perfecting my pictures on dry land. Then guess what…this beautiful, blue, pocket-sized camera was wrapped under the tree, and I opened it on Christmas day. But here was the big problem… What was I going to do with a water-proof camera in the dead of winter?? It was a long few months before our pool was warm enough to swim in. But I had this baby charged and ready to go on the first day the pool opened!
What I loved about this camera is that I could easily see the preview screen when I was holding the camera under water, without having to go under water myself. It’s a very sharp, clear screen. There are also several modes you can use depending on what you are shooting – if you are just getting splashed, or maybe deep under water scuba diving or snorkeling, or in darker water, etc… Now…I was planning to use this camera only for underwater shots – kind of like an unneeded (but wanted) toy. What I discovered was that it also takes excellent pictures when you’re not in the water. This camera has now become my “pocket” camera. I bought a regular wrist strap for it for those times when I’m not at the pool. I just drop it in my purse or in my pocket and head out. The picture quality is great both in and out of the water.
Some of the specifics and details of the camera that are discussed when you research them online include that it has a CMOS sensor, a 28-128mm equivalent f/3.3-5.9 lens (4.6x optical zoom), image stabilizer, up to 10 frames per second continuous shooting, ISO from 100-3200 but can expand to 6400, built in GPS, WiFi and Altimeter, and much more. It is also pressure resistant up to 200 pounds, waterproof up to 43 feet, shockproof from 6.6 feet, and freeze-proof to 14 degrees Fahrenheit! Pretty good, right? It’s a tough little camera!
In addition to all those details I just listed, it can shoot photos and HD video on land AND underwater. I haven’t shot an underwater video yet, but summer is fast approaching, and I will have this camera charged and ready to go! Some other features include time-lapse shooting and continuous burst shooting, as well as manual exposure control.
I love to experiment with this camera too – it has a lot of various “mode” settings to choose from. They include Intelligent Auto, Program, Manual, Sports, Snow, Beach & Snorkeling, Advanced Underwater, Panorama Shot, and Scene modes! Amazing, right? I spend most of my time in Creative Mode, because in this mode you can choose how your picture looks – choices include settings such as Retro, Sepia, Monochrome, Impressive Art, and many more. For some reason, my favorite in the Creative Mode is Toy Effect. I just think those pictures look really cool and unique.
Another favorite is Panorama Mode – if you are in iPhone user, you have probably used this feature before. This works just like the iPhone’s panorama mode, but you have a little bit longer to pan the area you want in your picture. And speaking of your iPhone (or Smartphone), you can also take over control of the Panasonic Lumix from your phone. All you need is the Panasonic Lumix Link App from the App Store. All you do, is open the app, turn the camera’s Wi-Fi on, and enter the password to connect the two. You can download pictures from the camera to your phone, take control of the camera for remote shots, etc… Very simple…
On our last adventure to Great Wolf Lodge, I did not want to worry about leaving my Canon 5D Mark III in my pool bag while I was chasing the kids around, so the only camera I took was my Panasonic Lumix. It was great – I kept it in my pocket or on my wrist the entire time we were there (two days). It stayed in the water, and I kept wondering when some water was going to leak in, or it would get too wet! Is that even possible? I guess not. At the end of the second day, it was still working like a champ. Both in and out of the water.
This camera is also perfect for the beach – as you can see from the picture below, it takes great pictures even in the murky, sandy water. And once again, the camera just floated along beside me for the entire week we were there. I did not have to worry about leaving my camera back on shore under my beach umbrella, because I could have it with me the entire time. Even when we were body surfing and getting beat up by the giant waves, my little Panasonic was safely strapped to my wrist.
At the time of this article, the exact camera that I use is not longer made – it has been discontinued by the manufacturer for an upgraded version. However, it is still available on most shopping sites like Amazon. There are many versions of the Panasonic Lumix Waterproof Camera to choose from – you just need to read the details about each one carefully, and buy the one that best suits your needs. My needs were simple – I wanted a camera that I could take underwater with me and get some fun pictures of my kids, fish and other wild-life in the bay in Florida, and have a camera that can get wet – with my kids around when I’m in the water, splashing and crazy antics are sure to follow.
And guess what – I recently ran across an article titled Our Top 7 Underwater Tough Cameras For Your Next Outdoor Photo Adventure, and guess what?? My Panasonic Lumix Waterproof Camera made the list. I’m so happy, but I’m not at all surprised!
So there you have it… I love my Panasonic Lumix Waterproof camera, and if you are always trying to take pictures by the pool or the beach, I highly recommend this little pocket-sized, powerful camera! Do you have a way to take good pictures in the water? If so, I’d love to hear about it. And if you get yourself a Lumix, please write to me and let me know what you think. Get out there, get under-water with your kids and your camera, and take some pictures! If you want to read an official review of this camera, you can find one here (from 2013) on the Digital Photography Review Website. Oh, and be sure to check out the gallery images below to see more of this camera’s greatness! Until next time…