The Lumix TS2 offers some pretty cool features, the most notable of which is its durability against the elements. To spend $400, you have to be sure that the camera fits your needs. If you need to take the camera out surfing, scuba diving or camping in the snow or rain, this might be your ticket.
The camera has some obvious limits though, including noise at higher ISOs, not much in terms of manual control, too many megapixels on such a small image sensor, and soft images at default settings. At the same time, there are some benefits that help tip the scales in a positive way, like great HD video, the ability to withstand most weather conditions, its compact size and ease of use.
So how does it stack up to the competition? With Olympus and its Tough cameras, and even the new Casio EX-G1, the Panasonic DMC-TS2 advances just far enough to compete in the ring with these durable cameras from both manufacturers. The biggest strike against it is its $400 price tag. Cameras like the Olympus Tough-6000 or the Casio EX-G1 cost under $400, and the TS2 is at least $100 more expensive.
I would be lying if I told you that this camera is going to be an all-around solid performer, and the only camera you need. But the Panasonic DMC-TS2 is made for the rugged outdoorsmen, not your basic buyer. I would say if the price was right, snatch one of these guys up. But if you don't have shock, dust, water-proof needs, this camera just isn't going to cut it for you.
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