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56 of 59 people found the following review helpful
In brief: if Batman had a camera, this would be it!

I was looking for a camera I could take with me to the beach or rafting without ever worrying about it. I wanted something I could drop in a backpack, leave it on the sand and take it in the sea without giving it a second thought. By now I am a satisfied PANASONIC/LUMIX customer, ever since my favorite FZ28K (the most convenient creativity camera) and my trusted TZ8 (the perfect city-tourist camera).
So, when, after all the research it came between this camera and the Olympus Stylus Tough-8000, I showed some brand-name loyalty and went with the LUMIX. And the important thing is that I never regretted it.

This camera comes with a very bright wide-angle 28mm Leica lens which is optically stabilized, capturing on a 14.1MP sensor and an adequate 4.6x zoom (128mm). Typical for a LUMIX, it has a working intelligent Auto (iA) setting that gives you a piece of mind: perfect photos every time, without having to fidget with the settings.
Departing from the auto settings, the camera offers almost 20 shooting modes, 5 color modes, 6 focus modes and decent aperture range (f/3.3 to f/10) and shutter speeds (8 to 1/1300).

The camera is Waterproof up to 10m/33ft (which means you can safely take it splashing and snorkeling but not diving without an extra casing). So far, neither condensation nor sand have slipped through the seals.
It is also advertised to be Shockproof to drops up to 2m/6.6ft and Freeze-proof -10C (claims I have yet to test - no, I am not putting it in the freezer, it will have to wait 6 months for the slopes to open!).

For such a small lens (and such a dense sensor - will the MegaPixel-war ever cease?) there is surprisingly little noise. Given enough light the pictures are flawless. When indoors or with limited light the ISO will increase and so will the noise. I can understand such things to be important to photography enthusiasts but for the purposes I bought it, this is an excellent camera.

I don't usually use my photo camera for videos but it is nice to know the option is there. The video (up to 1280x720) can be captured either in AVCHD Lite format or AVI (make sure to have a large enough memory card if saving in AVI). As an added bonus, you can zoom while shooting a video and (almost) no whirring noise registers.

My only gripes are that the position of the lens is something I had to get used to (unless I wanted to both include my left hand in the shot and leave smudges on the lens) and that there is no viewfinder. Understandable for a compact camera but having the sun behind you will test the anti-glare capability of the 2.7' LCD.

The camera comes in 4 colors: inox-gray, royal-blue, metallic-yellow and safety-orange. I opted for the later out of vanity (it... matches the orange details of my summer watch) - but as an added bonus it is really easy to find even if it has slipped to the bottom of your backpack.

An excellent (made in Japan) action camera.

HIGHLY RECOMMENDED!
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58 of 72 people found the following review helpful
on April 23, 2010
This camera is 100% Macintosh compatible, however this is not made clear or obvious on the reviews nor in the included manual. A professional editor would immediately know to switch the settings from AVCHD to MPEG video recording for easy editing on both Mac and PCs. MPEG files are larger, so, if you do not plan to edit your movies, choose AVCHD mode. There is hardly any difference in quality between the two.

UPDATE: Finally I returned this DMC-TS2 and purchased the older DMC-TS1. Reason? The HD video is the same on both which is what I need it for. The older model is $100 cheaper. The extra megapixels do not make up for the lousy grainy still photographs that both models provide. Use it for HD Video only guys, nothing else. Also after careful examination I have to say this camera is not design for divers. It is more of a "toy" camera for people that like to take photos on a pool or near the beach. However, if you buy the Waterproof Enclosure, you get a nice portable underwater system. Here is the rest of the old review:

This is a preliminary review (I have not tested it underwater yet)
My first impression upon unboxing was a bit of disappointment, I was expecting a solid camera but the Lumix "feels" rather cheap, it does not feel sturdy enough. Fortunately, the box includes a thick silicon protector which wraps around the camera enclosure. I leave it on all the time just in case I drop it.

Photos come out noisy and it has good contrast and color balance, however, you can not shoot against bright lights (fireworks, sun reflections) without getting those dreadful purple artifacts.

For stills photos, I always set the camera to "iso80" and the stabilizer to "mode2", this is the ONLY setting that does not produce a noisy photograph. Sadly, this setting also increases the chances of getting motion blur even with the stabilizer turned on, I do not have to fiddle with the controls so much with any other camera.

This is not a good camera for photographers and I would never recommend this model as a still camera to anyone if it didn't have other extraordinary features, like its underwater capability. Fortunately for me, I am only interested in using this camera for underwater HD video, I like having the zoom capability underwater, the zoom will allow me to get nicer close-ups of marine life. This is not possible with any other camera.

The Lumix DMC-TS2's camera manual and interface is some of the worse I have ever seen and I have seen plenty of bad ones. The manual is filled with undecipherable icons, made-up jargon, cumbersome instructions that serve no useful purpose. The camera comes hyper-loaded with excessive useless "features". The camera lens does not have a cover. It may scratch or get dirty easily.

Experienced divers already know that no camera is water-proof in the hands of careless people, the Panasonic Lumix is no exception. Read the instructions before submerging this camera in water.

Now for the good news: The HD video quality is good at the maximum resolution of 1280x720, it is not full HD but it has good color balance. You will need a fast processor on your computer or an HD TV to playback the footage in real-time. If you don't have that then stick to the lowest video resolution available.

There isn't much space on a memory card for HD video so you may want to buy an extra memory card (class 6 is recommended but not required)
Video comes in two flavors: AVCHD (Sony) and MPEG (Apple Photo/JPG??) Both play perfectly on a Macintosh but only MPEG can be edited easily. AVCHD requires "MPlayer" player on OS X. PC Windows users may want to stick to AVCHD, it takes less space anyway.

I will update this review as soon as I have done more testing in the real world, so far I am not displeased.

Note: First time users, make sure the seals are clean before taking this camera underwater. If you are a surfer then you already know that a wave can put enough G-force on this camera to brake the seal. Do not let children touch it, it is not a toy. And if you drop this camera on concrete floor, you can kiss the waterproof warranty goodbye...literally.
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17 of 20 people found the following review helpful
Purchased this camera to replace a red Casio EXLIM EX-G1.
This camera is larger but also provided a larger screen, stronger zoom lens, 30 vs. 10 ft underwater performance and better shock performance.
Also interesting is Panasonic also packages a translucent silicone wrap-around case that fits perfectly and exposes all the important stuff.
This case will go along way towards scratch proofing and additional shock absorbing. Wish they would have thrown in a screen protector as we well.

The orange color is not as bright as the images. It looks much more muted more of a "UT burnt orange" color than I initially expected.

Images are as expected from a 12MP P&S camera.
Since the lens is internal and does not need to extend when turning on, start-up times are fast.
Video is encoded at AVCHD lite (720p) or Motion JPEG.
AVCHD (110 MB/min) records the same resolution as MotionJPG (250MB/min) but at half the size.
When cameras first started using AVCHD lite, most video editing and player programs could not use it, but today iMovie works great.
Also installing VLC ([...]) will let you play the raw files.
MotionJPG files are limited to 2GB (8 mins)
AVCHD lite files can record to over 13 hours per file. (85GB files)
Video output is extremely usable both in and out of the water.

I will continue to edit and add to this review as I am able to use it more this summer.
Will try to cover battery life, still image performance, buttons and menus, pros/cons.

Thanks.
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7 of 7 people found the following review helpful
on March 13, 2011
If you are in the market for a water proof camera then please make sure you do your research and know the risks you take buying this product!
This is my second waterproof camera, and after my first one failed on a vacaction, I became super cautious with this one.
I took this camera on a snow trip to Switzerland recently and had no problems with it. Was impressed by its video quality, though it did lack in the auto focus department, constantly changing focus.
Came back from my holiday and went to the beach with this camera for the second time.
Was splashing around in the shallows, taking the camera no more than half a meter underwater. After getting some fun photos. I put the camera back in my bag and when I took it out again to check out my snaps an hour later. After turning it on, noticed that the screen was doing weird electronic "i'm dying" kinda things like flickering, and flashing weird electronic lines. So i quickly turned it off, fearing the worst. Opened the battery door and peared inside. And yes, there it was, a couple of very small drops of water on the battery and SD card, and the lipmus paper had changed to purple showing that water had entered.

Sure enough after removing the battery and letting the camera dry out for a week or 2. I tested the camera to see if it could be ressurected. NOT a chance in hell! Wouldnt even turn on.

So I decided to put my faith in a waterproof camera again. I did so much research this time, and in regards to waterproof cameras this one was supposed to be the best. I'm very annoyed that this camera has failed on its second water exposure. I got to use this camera for all of 3 months and then it was goodbye.

For those reading this review looking for sound advice about their decision to purchase. Forget the photographic qualities this camera might exceed in when compared to other waterproof cameras i.e take a moment and disregard all the functions and qualities this camera might exceed in, in regards to the quality of the pictures and the quality of the video etc. If you are purchasing a waterproof camera, for the reason of it being waterproof, make sure your prepared to sacrifice many photographic qualities and find the most rugged designed waterproof camera of the bunch, not the overall winner of all the qualities of a camera.

This camera can take some ok to fairly nice pictures out of the water and some nice pictures in the water, but its not a winner in its durability to keep the water out. And lets be honest, thats what this camera is supposed to be about! So i'm a very disappointed customer who has had to waste another hard earned $250 bucks.

I have another panasonic camera, and it takes beautiful pictures, so panasonic knows how to do the picture part well. I just dont believe they have built this camera to withstand normal everyday use thats to be expected if this camera is taken in the water. The rubber seals on the casing doors and extremely thin, the hinge and seal mech used to hold the doors closed are small and not strong and its this small area that downfalls what would of been a nice camera otherwise.

Be sure to check the range of waterproof cameras and take a good look at their door seals, and their door closing mechs.

So can I recommend this product to others?
If you telling yourself that you will hardly use this camera in the water, so you still think it'll be a good purchase. Well then.... dont bother buying a waterproof camera, you sacrifice much photographic quality to attain the waterproof status. For the same price on a standard camera, you will get a camera that takes a much sharper, cleaner and well colored picture.
If you decide you do indeed want a waterproof camera cause your like me, and are outdoors alot hiking and such, and you want something rugged that you can throw in the pack and such and most importantly use in the water without concern. Well then this review is for you. The camera is rugged, but not in the water. So be wise and learn from someone else who has been there before you, TWICE.

Panasonic does not hold their warranty when the water gets in. Do I want this review to be damaging to Panasonic's sales on this camera. Honestly? Yes I do hope this helps to lessen sales for them. But its not for that reason I write it. I too like most intelligent online buyers, use reviews from both everyday users and from the technology reviewers to make decisions when purchasing equipment. So I hope this review will help others to be aware of the main flaw on this camera, which happens to be the most important area, its seals and closing mechanism.
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6 of 6 people found the following review helpful
I purchased this camera for a trip to Australia which included a lot of snorkeling. The FIRST time I took it in the water the camera died. I never took the camera more than 10 feet underwater, well above the 10 meter/33 foot threshold. Suffice to say it was pretty frustrating to have my camera out of commission three days into a month long vacation.

When I got back to the US I contacted Panasonic and they sent me another camera, same make and model. The customer service was great but...the first time I put the camera in the water I had another problem. This time the lens kept fogging up making it impossible to take pictures (once again on an extended vacation).

At this point I have had this camera die on me twice. If anyone is considering purchasing this camera I would recommend they think long and hard about it and I'd say don't do it. This camera simply does not do what the manufacturer says it does.

One other major problem I had with this camera is the lack of a lens cover, the lens kept getting dirt and smudges on it. This is a major design flaw, how can you keep a lens clean that does not have a cover? I also have to add that I was not very impressed with the quality of the pictures, not terribly sharp and the colors were not very vibrant.

I'll end with that; basically I think no one should buy this camera, Panasonic needs to do some serious R & D and revamp this design. I suppose it's possible that I just happened to get two bad cameras but it seems unlikely, again I'd stay away from this model and I'm probably not going to by anything from Panasonic anytime soon.
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8 of 9 people found the following review helpful
on August 20, 2010
I bought this unit specifically for a raft trip in the Grand Canyon because a) my digital SLR was way too heavy and b) I wanted to not have to worry about it getting wet. I did a fair amount of research before I bought it and the Lumix seemed like the best all around fit for this trip. I was not disappointed. It is a tough environment for a camera. We were constantly drenched running the rapids and I shot video through all of them. The water was very muddy and I dragged it through tough hikes and swims and waterfalls etc. It seamlessly switches between still and video modes. The printed manual that comes with the unit is completely worthless. I am a big manual reader and I read the entire 200 page pdf electronic manual that comes with and found it useful if overwhelming. The number of features on the camera is almost ridiculous. I did end up using a few of the features to good advantage. I was frustrated only by the inability to set specific f stops and shutter speeds and I never quite figured out how the auto iso settings were working. Every night in camp I soaked the camera in a bowl of drinking water to get any dirt off. I was too cheap to buy another battery and I was worried it would not last for the 6 days of the trip. I used every battery saving feature available including no flash, dim viewfinder, short playback review, and minimal zooming. I didn't playback material in the field except to verify something was working properly. I turned the camera off religiously after every use. I took about 40 movies and 300+ stills and on the last day during my hike out to the south rim the battery finally died. It was perfect. The only reason I did not give 5 stars was that I had condensation issues on the inside of the lens. This was not surprising given a 50 degree temperature differential between the Colorado River and the air. the solution was always to point the lens toward the sun and in a few minutes the condensate would be gone. The silicone protective jacket quickly got skanky from the sand in the water and I stopped using it. As a result there was minor scratching on the finish of the camera body but nothing major. The wrist strap was critical. I was climbing and rappeling etc. and I wanted the camera accessible at all times and I didn't have a case. For [...] this is an incredible camera. I would highly recommend it. I am editing the video now in iMovie and the quality is quite good. Stills as well.
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10 of 12 people found the following review helpful
VINE VOICEon May 14, 2010
This is a nice beat around camera for my wife and I when we just aren't able to take our dSLR with us. It can slide in her pocketbook or a cargo pocket in my pants/shorts. It can go to the beach and we don't have to dance around the issue of looking out for the camera. It allows us to just have fun and take relaxing pictures. When downloading the pictures off of this I always have to keep in mind this is not in the same league as our big camera and with that in mind it takes OK pictures. It is 14 megapixels but I would not say 14 very good ones. There are lower resolution cameras with bettor sensors but those just flat out don't last long in the ocean or in the sand. :)

For us it was about being able to get the pictures while on vacation without being burdened with a camera bag, lenses and then exposure to the elements and this camera fits the bill good there. This is not 4 star image quality, but keeping the ruggedness in mind which adds to the flexibility of the camera I feel it deserves 4 stars. Improve the IQ and this is 5 star material.
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10 of 12 people found the following review helpful
on July 11, 2010
I chose this specifically for ease of use,carry on vacation/hiking/spur of the moment shooting. It is fast on and ready, pics are quite satisfactory although not honestly comparable to serious DSLR. Decent options for most basics.
Hint- you are spending some good change on a very nice camera- do NOT cheap out on memory cards! Get 2 at least 8GB class 6 cards to match speed of the device. That eliminates any possible complaints of lag time. Also get an extra Panasonic battery so as not to interrupt your fun on the run.
If you do not have a good tripod, do NOT cheap out on that either!

Finally, the drop test specs are on plywood- do NOT try to replicate on pavement!
Hope you have as much fun as I am having with this camera!
I just picked up a Fuji 10.2 digital photo frame to proudly display the gorgeous pics this camera creates. Next, I need a better image editor.....any suggestions?
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4 of 4 people found the following review helpful
on January 6, 2011
I purchased this camera, used in Mexico and while skiing. In both cases, lens fogging was an issue. In Mexico, when you went from the warm air to a pool - instant fog. In Colorado, less of an issue, but going from a warm pocket to freezing - fog. We lost a lot of pictures to this fogging issue. When it wasn't fogged-up, it takes great video and the color balance is great. They need to fix the whole lens fogging issue.
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3 of 3 people found the following review helpful
on October 20, 2010
I am on my third DMC tough model camera from Panasonic in 14months. I originally purchased the DMC-TS1 and was fairly happy with it - I thought the camera was light on features and had a rather limited depth of view - many of my picture to looked as though they were taken from a cell phone camera. I used it for about 6 months when I fell skiing with the camera in my pocket and cracked the protective screen which covers the lens. I was bummed and sent the unit back to Panasonic. After speaking with a service rep, I figured Panasonic would fix the camera for a small fee (~$100). After a couple weeks I was greatly surprised to find a newly referbished DMC-TS2 (newer model than the one I sent back) in the mail with a $0.00 charge from Panasonic. Needless to say I was stoked. I was happy to have had my broken camera (which was completely my fault) replaced by a newer model - even if it was a referbished product. The new camera, however, never quite functioned correctly. About every 4th picture would get horizontal 'blinds' across the photo and be useless (really annoying when the only picture of an event is one completely screwed up), so I sent the unit back. Again to my surprise Panasonic completely replaced the unit. The new one seams to be operational - we'll see how long this lasts.

I would say this camera falls short on shot quality (Cannon powershot models blow it away) but it makes up for it with its ruggedness - I've had plenty of mt. bike spills with this camera in my cargo pant pocket without doing significant damage to the unit. It's also completely functional on a hot summer day on the river (in the water) or on an ice-box cold powder day shooting HD video of your buds. Having this camera handy insures memories are captured even in difficult settings but your photos probably won't be featured in Outside's Exposure exhibit... The biggest complaint I have is the lack of lens cover. The unit only has a clear plastic lens screen that collects dust and is prone to scratch and can crack. The TS2 comes with a silicone sleeve that might help protect the lens a little better, but I think some sort of mechanized and/or physical lens protector is needed.
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