One of the subtypes of this camera made a strong impression with me: the waterproof, shockproof camera. There are only a few models currently available and after looking over the various specifications for these models, we settled on the Panasonic Lumix TS3.
The Lumix TS3 is a 12 megapixel camera, with several features including:
- Waterproof to 12m
- Shockproof to drops up to 2m
- Freezeproof to temperatures down to -10C
- Built-in GPS
- Built-in altimeter
- Built-in compass
- Built-in barometer
It also features a 28mm-128mm lens, as well as the capacity to capture movies in 1080p, at 30fps (it is also capable of capturing up to 60fps in lower resolutions. The camera is simple to use, but a little heavier than most point and shoots, due to the more rugged nature of the camera's body.
We put the camera through its paces on our vacation, taking it pretty much everywhere, and shooting in almost every condition we could think of. From underwater to the top of Mont Tremblant (~800m) in a single day, with temperatures ranging from 15C to a record 42C on one day of our vacation and the camera kept going with no difficulties at all! The only time unexpected issue we noticed was the condensation that formed on the inner glass of the objective, when we left our severely air conditioned room, to an outside temperature of 38C and a ride up to the top of the mountain, within about 15 minutes. As I was shooting, I realised that the scene appeared foggy on the 2.7 inch LCD display and noticed that the bottom portion of the glass cover was fogged up. Leaving the camera's waterproof battery/SD card door open, allowed the humidity to equalize and cleared up the fog.
Reading through the instruction manual, this is something that is discussed and is to be expected in the conditions we experienced.
Here are some samples taken with the TS3:
My beautiful wife!
The great pedestrian village of Mont Tremblant resort
And yours truly, being an idiot underwater!
If you are in the market for a camera you can take with you pretty much everywhere, the Panasonic Lumix TS3 is a model you should consider a serious contender!