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Panasonic Lumix DMC-TS10 Overview

Posted: 07/21/2010

The Panasonic Lumix DMC-TS10 is a rugged shockproof, freezeproof, waterproof and dustproof digital camera with a sensor resolution of 14.1 effective megapixels from a 1/2.33" RGB CCD image sensor, and Panasonic has coupled this to an image stabilized, Lumix DC Vario branded 4x optical zoom lens with a rather tight 35mm-equivalent wide angle. There's no optical viewfinder, with the Panasonic TS10 instead opting solely for a 2.7" LCD display with 230,000 dot resolution on which images and videos are both framed and reviewed. The Panasonic TS10's lens offers apertures between F3.3 and F5.6 at wide angle, or F5.9 and F7.1 at telephoto. The minimum focusing distance for the Panasonic DMC-TS10 is ordinarily 50 centimeters, but drops to just ten centimeters at wide angle when switched to Macro mode. That rugged body is one of the biggest selling points, though, with the camera being well protected against harsh usage. Rated as capable of passing MIL-STD 810F Method 516.5, the Panasonic DMC-TS10 can survive a drop from 5 feet. It is also rated waterproof and dustproof to the IEC60529 IP68 standard, which means that it is dust tight, and is suitable for immersion at one meter or below, under conditions specified by the manufacturer. In the case of the TS10, Panasonic states that the camera is waterproof down to a depth of ten feet. It is also designed to be used in temperatures as low as 14°F / -10°C.

The Panasonic DMC-TS10 has a 9-point multi-area autofocus system which also includes a single-point focusing mode. As with the great majority of digital cameras these days, there's also a face detection function, with Panasonic's implementation here able to locate faces and then use the information when calculating both focus and exposure variables, but not to recognize faces of specific individuals. ISO sensitivity ordinarily ranges from 80 to 1,600 equivalents, with the ability to extend this as far as ISO 6,400 equivalent in High Sensitivity Auto mode. Shutter speeds from 1/1,600 to 60 seconds are possible.

The Panasonic DMC-TS10 uses Intelligent Multiple metering, and offers six white balance settings including Auto, Manual, and four fixed presets. A whopping selection of twenty five scene modes let users tailor the look of their images, useful given that the Panasonic TS10 doesn't offer aperture-, shutter-priority, or fully manual modes. There's also an Intelligent Scene Selection function, which can automatically select from a subset of the available scene modes. A five mode flash strobe includes red-eye reduction capability, and has a rated range of up to 4.9 meters at wide angle, or 2.9 meters at telephoto. There's also Panasonic's Intelligent ISO and Intelligent Auto functions as seen on past models.

As well as JPEG still images, the Panasonic TS10 can capture movies with sound at up to 1,280 x 720 pixel resolution or below, with QuickTime Motion JPEG compression. The Panasonic Lumix DMC-TS10 stores its images and movies on Secure Digital or MultiMediaCards, including the newer SDHC and SDXC types. There's also a generous 40MB of built-in memory. Connectivity options include a USB 2.0 Full-Speed (aka USB 1.1) connection, plus standard definition NTSC / PAL video output (NTSC only for North America).

Power comes from a proprietary Lithium Ion battery with ID-Security feature that prevents use of counterfeit or third-party batteries, and is rated as good for 300 shots on a charge to CIPA testing standards. The software bundle includes PHOTOfunSTUDIO 5.0 HD Edition.

Pricing for the Panasonic Lumix DMC-TS10 is set at about US$250, and the camera ships from mid-September 2010. Four DMC-TS10 body colors will be available - blue, red, black and silver.