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Enhanced toughness: Panasonic Lumix DMC-TS2

Panasonic's second-generation rugged compact can now take more of a beating.


So I really liked the Panasonic Lumix TS1, the company's first foray into rugged compact cameras, but it wasn't as indestructible as some of its competition. Round two, the TS2, corrects that as it's waterproof down to 33 feet, shockproof from drops up to 10 feet 6.6 feet, and freezeproof to 14 degrees Fahrenheit putting it in line with models from Olympus, Canon, and Pentax.

Panasonic didn't skimp on other features, either, basically making it a full-featured ultracompact in a tougher shell. It has a 14-megapixel resolution, a 2.7-inch LCD, 28mm-equivalent wide-angle lens with a 4.6x zoom, Panasonic's enhanced shooting performance called Sonic Speed AF, HD movie capture (720p at 30fps) in either Motion JPEG or the smaller AVCHD Lite format, and its higher-end Power O.I.S. image stabilization. There's a built-in LED light, too, to help out when shooting in really dark conditions.

The TS2 also has the company's latest processing gimmick feature, Intelligent Resolution, which improves outlines, detailed texture areas, and soft gradation when using digital zoom or high-ISO shooting. (To be fair, I saw an example of the results and the photos did look better than with it off. I'd just prefer it improve the initial results instead of trying to fix them after the fact. Or maybe I'm missing the point.)

Other features include SDXC card support and a battery life of up to 360 shots.

I'd love to tell you when to look for it, but the company didn't announce price or release date, so you'll have to be patient and wait.