January 5th, 2015

Panasonic CES 2015 Digicams: Zooming In, Getting Tough

panasonic zoom

Panasonic pulled back the curtain on several long zoom compact cameras and a pair of rugged waterproof models at CES 2015.

The Lumix DMC-SZ10 features a 16-megapixel CCD sensor and a 12x optical zoom lens (24mm wide angle equivalent).  It features a 2.7-inch flip-up display, 720p HD video capture, 15 creative filters, and Wi-Fi connectivity.

The SZ10 will retail for $200.

The DMC-ZS45 swaps the 16-megapixel CCD sensor for a 16-megapixel CMOS sensor and a longer 20x optical zoom lens (24-480mm, 35mm equivalent). You’ll find a 1.04m dot, 3-inch tilting LCD, Wi-Fi and NFC connectivity and 1080/30p HD video recording.

The ZS45 will retail for $300.

Rounding out the long zoom compact line is the ZS50 with a 12-megapixel CMOS sensor and a 30x optical zoom (24-720mm, 35mm equivalent) Leica lens with an aperture range of f/3.3-6.4 and a control ring on the lens for controlling exposure and zoom. The lens is kept steady using the company’s 5-axis Hybrid O.I.S. Videos can be recorded up to 1080/60p in the AVCHD progressive codec.

The ZS50 will support still photography in both RAW and JPEG image formats. In addition to a 3-inch display, the camera will offer a .2-inch Live View Finder with an eye sensor. It also features Wi-Fi and NFC connectivity and will retail for $400.

lumix tough

Panasonic also updated its lineup of rugged point-and-shoots with the new Lumix TS6 and TS30.

The $300 TS6 can be submerged in up to 43 feet of water, dropped from as high as 6.6 feet, is dust proof and can withstand up to 220 pounds of pressure. It features a 16-megapixel image sensor, 3-inch display, built-in GPS, a 4.6x optical Leica lens (28-128mm, 35mm equivalent) and 1080/60p HD video recording. You’ll also find a built-in Wi-Fi and NFC plus a compass and altimeter.

The 16-megapixel TS30 can’t take as much of a beating as the TS6–it’s rated for dives as deep as 26 feet underwater and falls from as high as five feet. The $180 TS30 features a 4x optical zoom lens (25mm, 35mm equivalent) plus a 2.7-inch LCD and 12 creative filters.

March 31st, 2014

Olympus Unveils Rugged Stylus Tough TG-3 Waterproof Compact Camera

Olympus unveiled the latest in its series of rugged “Tough” compact cameras last night: the Stylus Tough TG-3. The 16-megapixel TG-3 features a 25-100mm equivalent lens with a maximum f/2.0 aperture on the wide end. It also has built-in Wi-Fi, GPS and new macro functions for close-up photography.

Olympus-TG-3_RED_FRONTThe Olympus Stylus Tough TG-3 is freezeproof to 14°F (-10℃), waterproof to 50 feet (15 m), shockproof from seven feet (2.1 m), crushproof to 220 pounds (100 kgf) and dustproof.

The TG-3 can also shoot 1080p HD video; sports a 3-inch, 460,000-dot LCD on back, and is powered by Olympus’ TruePic VII image processor.

The TG-3 is available in black or red and goes on sale in June 2014 for $349.99. Fish, as seen in the Olympus-supplied press image below, not included.

More info here.


September 19th, 2013

Nikon Waterproof Mirrorless Interchangeable Lens Camera Debuts

resizedAW1_11_27.5_WH_frt34rNikon’s no stranger to underwater cameras, with experience dating back 50 years to the Calypso 35mm camera, which later evolved into the no-longer-available Nikonos underwater cameras. Now the company has released the waterproof Nikon 1 AW1. Essentially, this is a Nikon 1 J3 camera that’s waterproof to 49 feet, shockproof to 6.6 feet and freezeproof to 14 degrees F. While 49 feet is a little shallow for some SCUBA divers (we’d like to see a depth-rating of 130 feet), the camera offers built-in color and distortion controls to compensate for underwater conditions. The pop-up flash works underwater as well, and Nikon is in the process of developing an underwater Speedlight (the SB-N10).

In addition to withstanding the elements below and above water, the Nikon 1 AW1 is equipped with an altimeter, depth gauge, GPS and an electronic compass. Some settings can be changed by simply moving the camera (think flick-of-the-wrist), so you won’t have to fuss with dials and buttons while wearing heavy gloves.

At the same time, Nikon has also introduced two equally-rugged, waterproof lenses: an 11-27.5mm (30-74.24mm-equivalent) zoom and a 10mm (27mm-equivalent) prime. Above water, the Nikon 1 AW1 is compatible with the same lenses and accessories as the Nikon 1 J3. Nikon also announced accessory skins as well as a filter attachment (AW 50.5 NC) for the 1 AW 1 to help combat condensation under extreme temperatures and humidity.

Shipping in October, the Nikon 1 AW1 will be available as a one-lens kit, with the 1 Nikkor AW 11-27.5mm f/3.5-5.6 lens, and a two-lens kit with both the  11-27.5mm and the 1 Nikkor  AW 10mm f/2.8 lenses. The kits will come in black, silver or white.


one-lens kit: $800

two-lens kit: $1,000