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Panasonic shock-, waterproof camcorder gets a little tougher

Panasonic's SW-series camcorders are shock-, dust-, and waterproof. The company announced Wednesday at CES 2009 a refresh of the line--the new SDR-SW21--that features a tough, rugged body with the ability to be submerged in 6.5 feet of water and withstand

Panasonic

The Panasonic SDR-SW21 is a very compact, standard-definition camcorder that records to SD/SDHC cards. Oh, and it can survive a 4-foot drop, is waterproof down to 6.5 feet, and the seals are tight enough to make it dustproof, too. (For those interested in the actual tests, Panasonic goes by IEC 60529 IPX8 for water, MIL-STD-810F METHOD 516.5 for shock, and IEC 60529 IP5X for dust.)

The SW21 also features a 0.6-second quick-start recording option and a Web mode that when combined with the included VideoCam Suite software allows you to "seamlessly" upload your video to sharing sites such as YouTube.

I reviewed the previous version, the SW20, and wasn't all that impressed with its video quality. But, there aren't a lot of options out there that have its advantages of small size, easy operation, and rugged body. It's definitely a niche product, but its a larger niche than most.

Look for SDR-SW21 in April 2009 for a little less than $400 and in three color options: lime green, orange, and silver.