Lumix DMC-TS3 and Tough Mudder Nor Cal

Written by Nicholas McGill

In our search for the best way to document our Heroik adventures, we need the toughest gear. Our gear will get dropped, dunked, and brought everywhere and anywhere there is adventure to be had. So we decided to torture test the Panasonic Lumix DMC-TS3 and break it in by dragging it along on the Tough Mudder, in Squaw Valley, Lake Tahoe, 2011. The results were epic. Our only complaint, it doesn’t have a little automatic windshield wiper to wipe the mud off the lens.

The Tough Mudder is the ultimate mud run and the best starting point to test our tough gear. If it can’t make it through the mudder, it sure as hell won’t survive one of our Heroik adventures…or misadventures for that matter. Mud Runs, unlike other racing events, are full of hilarious moments with friends covered in filth, straddling walls, and blood on barbed wire. Relying on 3rd party photography companies to care about getting that epic shot just right, is unreliable at best. If you need to survive the event with photographic proof, you need to carry a camera.

The Lumix DMC-TS3 ( TS3 for short) has a few notable features:

  • 12.1-megapixel Hi-speed CCD
  • Built in GPS- yes I said GPS – we don’t use it much- save to measure altitude.
  • 2.7″ High Res LCD display- comes in handy.
  • SD/SDHC/SDXC ( We’ve got a 32gig card in there that we’ve yet to fill up)
  • Waterproof – read proof- not resistant to 40 feet. 40!!!!
  • Freeze Proof- believe me- on the mudder- this gets tested.
  • Shock Proof  for up to 2m drops- which is great because we’re not always graceful or nice to our gear.

It’s not perfect:

  • Photos over-saturated at times
  • Blurry shots in low light.

*Bear in mind- this is with shooting in auto mode without adjusting settings. You know, the way we all end up using our cameras. Who plays for 5 minutes finding night shot? In the hands of a semi-competent camera monkey, I’m sure the results are better.

Bottom line: Looking for a tough camera to take with you as you get down and dirty climbing, mudding, paddling, diving,  and where ever else you may roam? This is it.

The proof is in the shots- forgive the mud and chalk on the lens in the gallery below.

What can I say, we love to get dirty!




Written by Nicholas McGill

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