Conclusion: Until recently, the rugged camera market has been dominated by Olympus for years (the reason being, up till this year, no one else in the market came up with any offerings in the rugged camera sector). Yes, at the time, those cameras were unique â€“ built as solid as a tank, able to survive a lot of abuse and still being able to take pictures afterward. What I wasnâ€™t a fan of was â€œsacrificing image quality for a rugged designâ€� in Olympusâ€™ cameras.
Pros: Very good image quality till ISO 400 (ISO 800 for emergencies); automatic color fringing and redeye removal, Rugged: waterproof, shockproof and freezeproof; simple yet stylish design, Most zoom (4.6X)/most versatile lens among rugged cameras; has optical image stabilization, Powerful flash and LED illuminator, Large 2.7 inch LCD with good sharpness and indoor/outdoor visibility, Excellent battery life (best in the rugged camera class), Very good performance; unlimited...
Cons: Lacks manual controls, Tiny bit of detail softening/slight color bleeding at ISO 400 onwards; some graininess, No red-eye removal or image brighten features in playback mode, AVCHD Lite movie codec not for everyone; needs to be converted to more common formats to be shared/uploaded (and no conversion software supplied), â€™60 FPSâ€™ movie frame rate setting is misleading
Excerpt: So far Canon and Olympus have launched water-resistant cameras, each of which can be dunked down to 10 metres, along with shockproof and dustproof features. Panasonic’s Lumix DMC-TS1 (also known as the FT1 in some parts of the world) is in similar vein. While having similar dust- and drop-proof features, it can be submerged only down to three metres and is shockproof down to 1.5 metres.
Excerpt: Panasonic's Lumix DMC-TS1 is a"tough", rugged camera that allows the user to take and operate it anywhere. This camera has a waterproof (3m/10ft.), shockproof (drops from 1.5m/5ft.) and dustproof rating, which allows you to take it anywhere, into just about any situation without worrying if the camera will be OK or not. It features a 12-Megapixel imaging sensor, 4.6x wide internal optical zoom lens, Panasonic's MEGA O.I.S.
Conclusion: If you’re intent on punishing your camera, the Olympus Tough-8000 can dive deeper, fall further and freeze, er, cooler than the Panasonic. But if you want a decent all-round, all-weather snapper, the FT1’s wider zoom range, good stabilisation and reliable (if not award-winning) image quality, should do the trick.
Pros: Following the impending nuclear/swine flu/nanotechnology apocalypse, you’ll be glad you invested a few extra quid in this bullet-proof camera. Its metal shell and toughened LCD can easily resist the attacks of brain-starved zombies while the wideangle zoom is ideal for capturing the spectacle of devastated cities, complete with image stabilisation to compensate for your nerve-wracked wobbles. Until then, you’ll be able to enjoy its AVCHD Lite HD-ready move clips, incl...
Cons: Panasonic’s designers may have suffered one too many surf-board wipeouts. The FT1’s buttons are small and awkwardly placed, and its main control dial is slippery, making it difficult to change settings in the best of conditions, let alone when you’re also coping with water, sand or rocks. Image quality takes a nosedive at night, too.
Cons: Image quality drops significantly at the outer edges of the frame. In our tests, water leaked into the battery compartment, resulting in some internal rusting. Zoom slider only worked sporadically after several trips to the beach.
Summary: The Panasonic Lumix DMC-FT1 / TS1 is the company's first waterproof compact. It also features 12.1 Megapixel resolution with a 4.6x optical zoom and a 2.7in screen.
The FT1 / TS1 is waterproof to a depth of 3 metres and is also dust proof and shock proof. Unlike the Canon PowerShot D10, the Lumix FT1 / TS1 doesn't look any different from a conventional compact and, aside from an enclosed lens system, sealed doors and a slightly thicker body, has similar styling to other...
Pros: Great image quality., Waterproof to depth of 3m., HD video with optical zoom., HDMI port.
Cons: Slow power on button, Design and controls not ideal underwater., Poor AF underwater., Very stiff mode dial.
Excerpt: A review of the first of Panasonic's 'Rugged compact' cameras. The DMC TS1 is dust-proof, waterproof, shock-proof, offering HD video recording and a multitude of innovative scene modes that cut the complexity out of taking really good photos...
Excerpt: The TS1's feature set is very similar to the company's non-rugged FP8. It has two operating modes; the AE mode called Normal Picture gets you the most control over results with settings for focus, light metering, color effects, white balance, ISO, and exposure while the intelligent Auto (iA)--that determines the most suitable Scene mode and helps correct any blurring, focus, and brightness issues.
Excerpt: Thumbs up: Smooth in design; good performance; superb photo and video quality; HD movie capture, a wide-angle lens, and a long battery life. Thumbs down: Photos are not sharp, prices are a bit steep. Razzle-dazzle: The TS1has a very sleek design, with its four exposed screws, no other traces would give a casual observer a hint that this is a waterproof, dustproof and shockproof camera.