Underwater camera

Just before we headed off to Bahrain, we purchased a Panasonic Lumix DMC-TS2. It is waterproof (to 33 feet), sand resistant and can purportedly be dropped from 6 feet. We're not planning to test the dropping part, but you never know. Here it is soaking in fresh water after a day at the beach.

We were interested in the Lumix for a few reasons:
  • We wanted a camera that could take a little sand. I destroyed our beloved Canon SD800* by dropping it into sand which ate up the wee motor.
  • We wanted a camera that could take a little salt water. We had always avoided taking the Canon SD800 with us when we kayaked, instead taking our very old digital Pentax. With at least a splash-proof camera, we could take the camera kayaking/in the dinghy.
  • We wanted a camera that could take a lot of salt water. Ideally, we wanted a camera we could dive/snorkel with. The Lumix goes to 33 feet which means one camera that we can take everywhere. Also, we use underwater photos to check our zincs in the frigid waters up here which is a big cost savings over having a diver check them (of course, we would still need a diver if we need to change the zincs between haul outs).
After two weeks of usage at a beach, in the water, my initial impressions of the camera are that it takes very good pictures but not as great as our Canon SD800. The video is better than anything we need. We are only planning to use it for "youtube" quality video so we haven't tested it at higher quality. Sand cannot get past the gaskets (as long as you care for them) but can work its way into crevices that are near the gaskets meaning you have to be careful when you open the gaskets not to brush sand into the battery/card slot from outside the protective gasket.

Initial impressions are very good but we have yet to try the photo and video while snorkeling and also are curious as to how durable it will be. It feels and looks durable.

*anyone want to buy an underwater case for the Canon SD800. They seem to only fit the designated model of Canon.

2 comments:

  1. Hey there Livia, my Olympus Stylus came with a little PFD and Meredith made one out of a hunk of foam for her Panasonic. My friend Doug lost his Panasonic in a mild surf landing when it was washed out of his pocket. PFD's for the cameras , who would have guessed ?

    cheers , Steve

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  2. Excellent point - We definitely need something flotation-wise that can be clipped to the camera for when we are not snorkeling. I was already thinking a lanyard for when we are snorkeling.

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