Sunday, January 31, 2010

Panasonic has upgraded its "tough" TS1 compact camera to the TS2

It's been a year since Panasonic came out with its first waterresistant, dustresistant camera, the TS1.  I had hoped to buy a copy of that first version but instead during these past 12 months I bought my first dSLR (by Olympus) and several lenses, and also just before Christmas bought Canon's new top-end compact camera, the S90.  Neither of these have weather seals, however.

The TS1 announcement was the reason for one of my first blog entries, in January of 2009.  Subsequent online reviews helped me be all-the-more certain that this would be the camera for me, as a replacement to my aging Pentax 33WR (WR= water resistent) which for years I have carried with me fishing.  The Pentax's 3.3 megapixels is more than adequate for computer monitor viewing and makes excellent 8x10 prints.  But the LCD on the camera is very small and is nearly impossible to see in the sun.  Like many cameras of its day, it also has a eye-level optocal viewfinder, though perhaps better described as a "peep hole".  But the viewfinder seems to be no longer linked with the zoom lens, so it is really only good for pointing the camera in the right direction when I can't see the LCD (which is whenever I am wearing polarized sunglasses.)  Nevertheless, I may try to go another year with it, as I have always been happy with the results, which you can read about here in an article I wrote five years ago.

Here are some features:
  • Swim down to 10 meters underwater (so go ahead and fall in the water while wading, as I do about once every two years)
  • Drop proof from a height of 2 meters (I had to replace my first Pentax 33WR because it dropped out of one of my stupid velcro-closed fishing vest pockets onto asphalt next to the car)
  • Dust proof  (take to the beach)
  • Freeze proof (take skiing)
  • Take movies (of no interest to me)
  • Optical Image Stabilization (very important in my opinion, and this is thought to be improved over last year's model.)
  • A very useful zoom lens that ranges from 28mm wide angle to 128mm telephoto
  • A very useful zoom macro that focuses at 30cm to infinity
  • A less useful wide angle macro that focuses as close as 5cm
  • 14 megapixels (A horrible idea, as is 12 or 10 mp.  Three is plenty and 6 is all you need unless you want prints bigger than 15".  More megapixels just reduces image quality for computer viewing or any prints smaller than 15", IMHO).
I think that when the reviews come out on the TS2 (FT2 in some countries), it will come out above all the competition.

No comments: