Panasonic Lumix Review

Are you looking to buy a waterproof digital camera? In this article I review the Panasonic Lumix DMC-TS2 digital camera. The main features which are important when evaluating a waterproof digital camera are its: durability, the form factors, image stabilization, and quality of the video, zoom and wide angle capabilities.
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The Panasonic Lumix Review – A Camera for the Outdoorsy Type

If you are an avid outdoorsman you’ve probably enjoyed a lot of outdoor venues. My personal favorites are kayaking and rafting. I usually include fly fishing too, but the fish have to be biting. There are always moments you want to capture to share with family and friends. I had a Canon Point and Shoot camera that took fantastic pictures. Sadly, my old Canon is tumbling down the rocky bottom of the South Platte river in Deckers, Colorado. It fell out of my fishing vest and I never noticed it missing until I was packing up to return to camp.

Once I was over mourning the loss of my Canon, I began my search for a hardy camera that I could use in any outdoor venue: cycling, rock climbing, kayaking, fishing, rafting, snorkeling, and even surfing. I was looking forward to a trip to the Grand Canyon and really wanted to have some memories of rafting down those Class IV waters. I evaluated a lot of different waterproof digital cameras and finally settled on the Panasonic Lumix DMC-TS2 waterproof digital camera.

What to Look for When Buying a Waterproof Camera

The first trip to the camera store left my mind in a whirl. I realized I really hadn’t thought through what I was looking for in my new camera. Since I was focused on the river rafting trip I had water on the brain – I wanted the camera to be waterproof. Here’s how I broke out my priorities:

When you are buying a digital camera suitable for the outdoors, I suggest you think through your own criteria. If you don’t do that you’ll end up spending money on a feature that you really don’t care about. Believe me, those in-store sales people are really helpful-and persuasive. This camera is not the cheapest one on the shelf. Stick with me while I explain my reasons for choosing this camera while I elaborate on features and benefits in my Panasonic Lumix Review.

The Panasonic Lumix Review – A Camera for All Outdoors?

As an outdoorsy sort of gal, I wanted a hardy camera that I could stick in my vest or pant side-pocket and not worry about it getting roughed up a bit. This is my most important criteria for my final decision. I don’t want to have to protect my camera while I’m bouncing off the side of a cliff wall during a rock climbing adventure.

Nor do I want to be constantly unzipping the digital camera from a ziplock baggy to snap a quick photo only to have to return it to the baggy so I can continue feverishly paddling down the Colorado river. I needed a camera that will hold up to the rough conditions, yet is handy enough for me to snap quick photos, then slide quickly back into my pocket.

The Panasonic Lumix DMC TS2 is a digital camera that is shockproof, waterproof, dustproof, and freezeproof. I was all for the shockproof and waterproof, but hadn’t really thought about needing a dustprook and freezeproof camera. I do take a few trips to Keystone and Aspen for some downhill shooshing, so I could see where the freezeproof was a good feature.

My old camera shutter doors would sometimes get iced up, so I couldn’t rely on it for many downhill skiing or snowboarding shots. As for dustproof, that really wasn’t a priority for me, but I suppose if you were in the desert taking photos this would be important for you.

Having a durable camera with me during rock climbing, kayaking, fishing and river rafting excursions was my main priority. The Panasonic Lumix TS2 is shockproof up to 2 meters (6 feet). I haven’t read any reviews contradicting this so that was satisfactory for me. If I drop it over the side of the Grand Canyon, I won’t expect it to survive the bounce.

Pansonic says that the TS2 is waterproof down to 10 meters (33 feet). Wow! I wasn’t going deep diving, but knowing that the camera should hold up in rainy conditions and not become waterlogged during a white water river dunking was fantastic.

Panasonic Lumix Review – Testing the Camera

I ended up buying the Panasonic waterproof camera from Amazon. The local stores just were not price competitive. After I purchased the camera, the first thing I did was to see just how durable the camera really is. I took a quick trip up to a local lake, popped into the kayak and dropped the camera into my lap.

The winds were high and right away a wave splashed over the kayak dousing the camera. There was water in the bottom of the kayak, my legs were wet and the camera was soaked. My orange Panasonic Lumix DMC TS2 was dripping, but took some very great shots and came through this test drive with flying colors!

Panasonic Lumix Review Form Factor Test – Single Handed Operation

One thing that really bothered me about using my old Canon was that I couldn’t handle the camera with one hand. I always had to lock my kayak paddles or stick my fly rod between my knees while photographing the surrounding scenery.

Needless to say, I didn’t use my Canon to take very many pictures during my rock climbing adventures. If you are active outdoors and want to take snap shots then you know you need to be able to work the camera using only one hand. I found the Panasonic Lumix DMC TS2 very easy to use single handed and the pictures were sharp.

Panasonic Lumix Review – Image Stabilization Test – Stop Shakin’ It!

Have you ever taken a picture only to be disappointed at the poor result because the picture is all blurry? This blurriness appears often in photos taken at night or close up. It is caused by pressing the shutter button when taking a picture at low shutter speed. The motion is enough to blur the photo.

The Panasonic Lumix DMC TS2 has a technology called Power O.I.S. (Optical Image Stabilizer) Shake Detection with eliminates that blurriness. It nearly doubles the hand-shake compensation power of other digital waterproof cameras. Panasonic set the standard for O.I.S by which others try to meet.

The camera passed this test too. The waves were pretty rough on the lake, so I was bouncing about quite a bit. Every single picture I took was perfect, no blurred images. Thumbs up to the Power O.I.S.

Panasonic Lumix Review Video Quality Test

I’ve been impressed at the video the camera produced. I don’t dive, but my son was out on a lake this summer and produced a nice video using the Panasonic Lumix waterproof camera. It shows you the quality of the video both above and under the water. I have to admit the video quality is pretty impressive. This is going to give me an excuse to finally take a snorkeling trip to Florida to take underwater videos of the manatee in the Crystal River.

Panasonic Lumix Review – Wide Angle Shots & Zoom Power

This hardy and waterproof Panasonic DMC-TS2 features a 28mm wide-angle lens. This is a great feature for the outdoorsman wanting to capture a wide angle shot of the mountains you just descended or the group of climbers with you.

As for the 4.6x optical zoom, don’t be fooled by the low zoom ratio. The Panasonic Lumix DMC-TS2 has something called “Intelligent Zoom” which extends the zoom capabilities to 6x. The images are clear and sharp even when enlarged.

How Much Should You Expect to Pay?

The Panasonic Lumix DMC-TS2 is sold in stores for around $350. I would recommend you purchase your camera online because you will save a bundle and still get the manufacture warranty. The best deals that I saw recently on Amazon had the camera around $240, plus FREE shipping.

What’s Included in the Box?

The camera comes in a burnt orange (Love it), silver, blue, and yellow. The Panasonic DMC-TS2 digital waterproof camera comes with:

  • Battery charger
  • Battery back and case
  • Silicon jacket
  • Brush
  • AV Cable
  • USB Cable
  • AC Cable
  • Hand Strap
  • CD-ROM (Photofun Studio 5.0 HD Edition, QuickTime (TM).

I like to read a paper manual and the one that comes with the camera is pretty cheesy. If you want to get into the detailed operation and functions you will have to use the CD that comes with the camera.

What about a Warranty?

The Panasonic DMC-TS2 waterproof digital camera includes a 1 year warranty.

What Others are Saying

The Panasonic Lumix DMC-TS2 reviews online reflect my own evaluation with the camera receiving 4 out of a 5 star rating from reviewers on Amazon and on the Panasonic website. Here are just a few:

  • “Great photo quality, great video quality. Really easy to take videos, and photos are a snap too.”
  • “The camera and I took quite a ride. After getting pulled back into the raft (and clearing my lungs), I immediately turned on the camera and snapped some photos. The camera is definitely waterproof, and shockproof! Just remember to wipe off the lense or else you’ll have some distortion due to water drops.”
  • “I didn’t have any problems with jittery video while videoing as we went down the rapids except once but I was moving all over the place while trying to video and recover a flipped raft and its crew.”
  • “The camera took wonderful pictures both in and out of water. Went snorkling and the pictures came out very clear. No problems with leaking. Very pleased.”
  • “My husband bought this camera for me because I am prone to breaking cameras so when we saw Whoopi Goldberg toss the camera across the stage on The View and dunk it in water he knew it was the right camera for me.”
  • “…..really fantastic camera! I don’t think I’ll ever be able to go back to a non waterproof/dropproof digital….”
  • “The product performs exactly as expected. I tested it to 6 meters deep, in bright and moderate light conditions.”

Any Complaints?

There were a few complaints about the camera, but what made me ignore them was this comment from a lady in Hawaii.

“I had the camera for almost a full year when I noticed some condensation in the LCD view screen and lens screen so I sent the camera in for repair and was pleasantly surprised to discover that Panasonic sent me the newest model of the camera.”

Where Can You Buy the Panasonic Lumix DMC-TS2 Digital Camera?

You can buy the Panasonic DMC TS2 digital camera from Amazon. As of this writing you can purchase the camera and get free shipping too. I quickly searched other online camera stores and it looks like Amazon offers the best deal.

Where Can You Read More Panasonic Lumix DMC-TS2 reviews?

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If you want to read more about this camera and check out what others are saying, Amazon is loaded with other valuable Panasonic Lumix Reviews.

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