Panasonic Lumix DMC-TS2 (June 2010 to February 2013)
Technical specifications ...
Pixels: 14.1 millions
Sensor: 1/2.33" (50 MP/cm2) Optical zoom: 4.6x
Image: 4320 x 3240 (maximum) and 640 x 360 (minimum)
Video: 1280 x 720 (AVHCD Lite 30fps)
LCD screen: 2.7 inches
Memory card: SD, SDHC and the brand bew format SDXC
Battery: Li-Ion (DMW-BCF10) 3.6 Volts, 940 mAh
Weight (with battery): 188 g
Panasonic Lumix DMC-TS2
Pentax Optio W60
99 x 63 x 24 mm (+7mm height)
98 x 56 x 25 mm
The video compression ratio of the Pentax is much higher than the Panasonic.
Pros and Cons ...
I did some field tests (June 17, 2010) between these two cameras and the results are quite impressive. The Panasonic provides sharper images and brighter colors. In video mode, same result, but the difference is even greater in terms of sound, the Pentax Zoom is noisy with the continuous AF but faster than the Panasonic.
The operation speed of the Panasonic is faster at startup, but at the halfway point for the focus the difference is greater. The focus is almost instantaneous for the Lumix and about 1 ½ sec. for the Optio. This difference should be an important asset for taking underwater photos.
NOTE: It is important to consider that these tests were conducted with a brand new Panasonic versus with a nearly 10,000 photo Pentax.
The mechanism of insulating the camera seems to be a little more robust than the Pentax, but not very different.
Update June 2010 : We were at Jibacoa from June 20th to 27th 2010, and unfortunately the sea was rough. I was willing to experiment with my new camera, but the conditions were not there. To select the options underwater was quite well, apart from the wheel of the modes that required making pressure with the thumb. What I have not yet determined is the focus mode for snorkeling. There are several modes and with the Pentax, I often used the « spot » to ensure the best development on the subject in the absence of the environment.
Update July 2010 : We were at Club Med Turkoise (Turks and Caicos) from July 23rd to 30th and have made several snorkeling trips. To be honest, I do not see much difference in picture quality versus the Optio W60. It is a definitely faster operation, but as there are several modes of focus, it is difficult to find the best. I have repeatedly used the mode « 1-FOCUSING AREA HIGH SPEED » and I think it is probably the best. Mode « SPOT » is a good choice if the subject is far, but you must be careful with this mode because the focus is in the center so the edges are off-focus.
To my surprise, I had a problem with fog (as for the W60) on the lens during a parasailing excursion, but not during snorkeling??? It is obvious that when we leave the hotel room with air conditioning to be exposed to high humidity outside, the chances of condensation are high. It takes at least fifteen minutes before the moisture disappears. Upon my return, I put the camera in a Zip-Lock bag with a desiccant and removed the air through a straw for a day. Maybe it is mandatory before using it? The goal is to eliminate the moisture formed inside the camera and does not come off by itself.