Panasonic bulks up its rugged compact with the Lumix TS3

GPS, full HD movie capture, and improved waterproofing take this Lumix to new depths.


GPS on a rugged camera makes perfect sense. After all, it's tough to mark down where you were when you took a picture when there are no street signs. Panasonic's latest rugged model, the Lumix TS3, gives you that GPS for geotagging your photos and video as well as built-in compass, altimeter, and barometer.

The TS3 is tougher than its predecessor, the TS2, too. It is now waterproof to approximately 40 feet under water, shockproof to approximately 6.6 feet, freezeproof to 14 degrees Fahrenheit, and dustproof. It's not crushproof, though, so you'll still have to be careful about stepping on it or running it over.

Its other key specs include a 28mm-equivalent wide-angle lens with a 4.6x internal zoom, a 2.7-inch LCD, and a 12-megapixel high-speed CCD sensor. The sensor is a new design, and it's paired with Panasonic's Venus Engine FHD processor. This combo allows for high-speed burst shooting--full resolution at 3.7 frames per second--and full HD movie capture in AVCHD format.

The high-speed shooting also gets you 3D photos. The TS3 apparently takes 20 shots with a single press of the shutter release and then picks the two best for overlaying to create a 3D MPO file that can be played back on 3D-enabled TVs, computers, and photo frames.

The Lumix TS3 will be available in March in red, orange, silver, and blue versions. No pricing was announced.