The battery, SD card slot, and Micro-HDMI and Micro-USB ports are all behind a locking door on the right side of the camera. Battery life is good, being CIPA-rated for 310 shots. On the other hand, if you're going to be away from a power outlet for an extended period of time, you have little choice but to buy extra batteries; there is no option to charge via USB. That's not unusual, but with a rugged camera like the TS4 it's more of an issue.
One of the main attractions of the TS4 is the built-in GPS. Once you've turned on the receiver -- this can be done from the Q.Menu or from the main menu -- you can have the camera retrieve the GPS information for your current location. In tests this took anywhere from less than a minute to several minutes depending on how much open sky was above me. Once locked, the TS4 can display country, state, city, and landmark information and continues to update itself every minute. You can then go into the GPS Area Select menus and pick the correct information for your location.
For example, if you're standing in the middle of New York, it could quite possibly have a couple pages of landmarks to pick from. Also, you can choose to limit what area information is attached, in case you only want the name of the city, for instance. The area information now covers 203 countries or regions all over the world and more than a million landmarks in 82 countries or regions.
The camera also has an altimeter (with logging) and depth indicator, compass, and barometer.
Movies can be recorded with GPS data as well. However, the location information can only be viewed when videos are played back on a computer using the bundled software or directly from the camera connected to a TV. If you don't want to view your clips with those methods, you'll probably want to stick with the non-GPS AVCHD format option to save on battery life.
|General shooting options||Panasonic Lumix DMC-TS4|
|ISO sensitivity (full resolution)||Auto, 100, 200, 400, 800, 1600|
|White balance||Auto, Daylight, Cloudy, Shade, Incandescent, Manual|
|Recording modes||Intelligent Auto, Program, Manual, Sports, Snow, Miniature Effect, Beach & Snorkeling, Underwater, Scene, 3D Photo|
|Focus modes||Face Detection AF, 1-point AF, 23-point AF, Spot AF, AF Tracking|
|Macro||1.9 inches (Wide); 1 foot (Tele)|
|Metering modes||Multi, Center-weighted average, Spot|
|Color effects||Standard, Black & White, Sepia, Vivid (in Program and Manual modes), Happy (only in iA mode)|
|Burst mode shot limit (full resolution)||6 shots|
(Shorter bars indicate better performance)
|Time to first shot||Typical shot-to-shot time (flash)||Typical shot-to-shot time||Shutter lag (dim)||Shutter lag (typical)|
(Longer bars indicate better performance)
|Typical continuous-shooting speed|