Swimsuit Models Make a Splash
Submersible Point & Shoots deliver high-tech features to complement their adventureproof panache!June 2012 By Jason Schneider
Active lifestyle cameras boasting waterproof, dustproof and often shockproof, freezeproof construction have been around for well over a decade, pioneered by such successful entries as the Olympus Tough and Pentax Optio W series. But over the past year, this expanding market sector has seen a remarkable transformation, with new or seriously updated models from virtually every major camera maker, including Nikon, Canon, Fujifilm, Pentax, Panasonic, Olympus and Sony, plus a couple of cool waterproof camcorders from Panasonic and Samsung.
The latest models covered here pack an amazing complement of high-tech features, including Full HD 1080p video capability, into fashionably rugged looking or stylishly slim packages designed to appeal to hikers, travelers, boaters, beach babies and the outdoorsy set.
Positioned at the intersection of high style, high adventure and cutting-edge technology, these cameras deliver a satisfying combination of high-end performance and shooting flexibility that makes them a value proposition for consumers who want to go anywhere, in any weather, and create memorable images along the way.
To give dealers a timely heads-up, here’s a compendium of the latest, most enticing active-lifestyle models your customers will be comparing before they swipe their credit cards.
Olympus Tough TG-1 iHS. Claimed to be the first waterproof adventure camera with a fast f/2.0 lens (a 4x, 25-100mm equivalent f/2.0-4.9 zoom), this ruggedly handsome, 12 megapixel flagship of the Tough line is waterproof to 40 feet, shockproof to 6.6 feet, crushproof to 220 pounds and freezeproof to 14º F—as well as dustproof! It also features: a 12MP backlit CMOS sensor; a “DSLR-quality” image processor; a 3.0-inch OLED screen; Full HD 1080p video capability at 60 fps; super sport mode with full-res burst capability of 5 fps (60 fps at 3MP); built-in GPS; four underwater modes, including macro; and system expandability with a lens converter adapter. $399.99. olympusamerica.com
Panasonic Lumix DMC-TS4. This indestructible-looking dude is waterproof to 40 feet, dustproof, freezeproof to 14º F and built to survive a 6.6-foot drop. It incorporates: a 12.1MP Hi-Speed CCD sensor; a 4.6x, 28-128mm equivalent Leica DC Vario-Elmar optical zoom lens; a 2.7-inch AR-coated LCD; Power OIS (optical image stabilization); 3D photo mode; and autofocus claimed to be 28% faster. It captures Full HD 1,920x1,080 video in AVCHD/MP4 format, and its quad indicator includes GPS, compass, altimeter and barometer functions, with the barometer indicating depth when underwater! And, an LED light helps record videos in dusky underwater environments or at night—automatically turning on when ambient light becomes dim. $399.99. panasonic.com