Panasonic updates its rugged Lumix T series today with the TS3. As usual, it's waterproof, shockproof, dustproof, freezeproof, and now it has built-in GPS. Like other Lumix cameras launched today, it offers a new 3D mode.
The 12.1 megapixel TS3 is designed to withstand a drop of 6.6 feet, temperatures down to 14 degrees Fahrenheit and underwater use up to 40 feet. A built-in GPS receiver and compass, altimeter and barometer make it friendly to the wild outdoors.
Also available is a newly-developed 3D mode. Much like Sony's 3D Sweep Panorama, the TS3 will record 20 consecutive images as the user pans across a scene and overlay the two best to create a 3D image file. Photos can be viewed in 3D on compatible 3D HDTVs, not on the camera itself.
The TS3 takes a slight detour from the TS2's design. A slightly curved handgrip has been added, and the shutter button on top is round rather than rectangular. The TS3 has the same industrial styling as its predecessors. The camera's ports, battery housing and memory card slot have been moved under one weather-sealed door.
Like the TS2, the TS3's 28mm wide angle 4.6x optical zoom lens is contained internally, keeping the front of the camera clean. On the back is a 2.7-inch LCD with 260k-dot resolution. Even the menus have been given a slight facelift with a smoother interface. The TS3 will also offer full 1080 HD video recording and optical image stabilization.
Pricing and availability
The Panasonic Lumix DMC-TS3 will be available in March. Pricing will be announced 30 days beforehand.