NEW 2012 Waterproof Cameras. Features, Prices and Release Dates
There’s a lot to talk about in this 2012 waterproof cameras list.
There’s the sleek glass plated Sony TX200V, the highly anticipated Canon D20 and more importantly — the first ever waterproof camera with manual controls by Panasonic with the meaty metallic TS4.
Read on for a short summary of features, prices and release dates of all the waterproof cameras released in 2012.
1. Panasonic Lumix TS4
DSLR junkies can now rejoice — a waterproof camera with manual control is finally here.
Yes, it looks similar to the TS3. It also has a 2.7 inch screen and 4.6x zoom. But the 12.1 megapixel Panasonic TS4 now lets you select your own aperture and shooting speed, and it is the first and only waterproof camera of the kind so far.
The ruggedness ratings stays the same — waterproof to 40 feet, shockproof to 6.6 feet and coldproof to 14 degrees Fahrenheit.
Those preferring a less rugged but more affordable waterproof Panasonic camera can opt for the 16.1 megapixel TS20. It shoots 720p HD video but lacks manual control and other GPS related functions.
But while most of the waterproof camera makers have opted for the better BSI backlit CMOS sensors for better low light pictures, Panasonic decided to stick with CCDs.
What’s New in TS4?
- Manual control
- Revamped GPS function
- New Venus engine for better low light pictures
- Time Lapse Shot function to help you shoots pictures automatically at pre-set time intervals.
- Records full 1080p HD video.
2. Canon D20
If the bulky Canon D10 released 3 years ago looks weird, the 12.1 megapixel Canon D20 looks childish.
The good news is the upgraded Canon comes with a 28mm wide angle lens, 5x zoom and could now record full 1080p HD video.
Another notable addition is the Handheld Night Scene mode. You shoot in low light, the camera captures a series of shots, then automatically combine them as one image.
The high-contrast buttons beside the 3 inch LCD are also simple to navigate, even in limited visibility.
- GPS Tagging
- Underwater Macro Mode with Quick AutoFocus
- 28mm Wide Angle Lens replaces D10′s 35mm lens
- 3 inch LCD
- New CMOS sensor for better low light pictures.
- Zoom increased from 3x to 5x
- 1080p HD video replacing the poor VGA video.
If your adventure doesn’t go beyond your city borders, then the stylish waterproof Sony TX200V might be suitable for you.
But the city slicker styling certainly comes at a cost. The smooth body is hard to to hold for for gloved hands or during unsteady shootings. And the glass cover is not designed for accidental drop or kick like the rest of the cameras in this page.
Despite the limitations, the TX200V boasts an 18.2 megapixel sensor (apparently Sony is still in the megapixel war), GPS tagging, 5x optical zoom and a 3.3 inch touchscreen — making it the biggest and the only touchscreen equipped waterproof camera released this year.
If you want one in your pocket, be ready to unleash $499. The TX200V is this year’s most expensive waterproof camera.
What’s New ?
- Glass plated front
- Wider 3.3 inch LCD screen
- New revamped autofocus which Sony claims can focus in only 0.1 second ( if true, the TX200V should be the fastest point and shoot camera in the market today).
- Exmor R backside-illuminated sensor (BSI). This expensive new sensor is superior in low light conditions than CMOS or CCD sensor.
4. Pentax WG-2
The garish 16 megapixel Pentax WG-2 could now shoot full 1080p HD video.
The model also has a total of 6 micro light sources, to make sure that Pentax’s macro shots are better than the other makers.
But while the hourglass body gives this colorful shooter good grip and BSI CMOS sensor should help in low light situations, we still wonder why on earth doesn’t Pentax put a real stabilizer in this camera.
Despite the “Triple Shake Reduction” stabilization feature, it still lacks an optical or mechanical stabilization — making it difficult to get good pictures while shooting on a boat or a kayak. The number of shots you can take is also 14% less than the WG-1 it replaced.
The WG-2 comes in two versions, one has a GPS tagging built into the camera. They are due to go on sale this March.
What’s New ?
- BSI CMOS sensor replaces CCD sensor.
- Higher megapixel count. From 12 megapixel to 14 megapixel
- Optional chest mount
- Revamped GPS module
- Higher waterproof rating, up from 33 feet to 40 feet
WG-2 Retail Price $349.99 | See if it’s already in store
5. Fuji XP150, XP100, XP50
Fuji waterproof cameras are just like Hyundai cars. It has all the features offered by the other rivals — only cheaper.
All the 3 cameras Fuji released this year has 14 megapixel CMOS sensor, 5x wide angle optical zoom lens (28 – 140mm) with a hardened glass lens barrier, water repellent coating, CMOS sensor stabilization as well as the ability to record 1080p HD video.
The XP150 model could handle water pressure up to 33 feet, shockproof to 6.5 feet, could withstand freezing weather right down to 14°F and is also dustproof. At $279.99, this Fuji is the cheapest GPS-equipped waterproof camera.
The lower XP100 model is the same camera as the XP150, minus the GPS.
The last model, the FinePix XP50 is priced at US$199.95. The camera is also rugged and could still work in extreme temperature. But it is only waterproof to 16.5 feet and shockproof to 5 feet.
What’s New ?
- 1080p HD video
- Megapixel count drop from 14.2 megapixel to 14 megapixel
- Higher waterproof rating. Was only 16.5 feet, now 33 feet.
XP150 - Retail $279.95 | See if it’s already in store
XP100 - Retail $249.95 | See if it’s already in store
XP50 - Retail $199.95 | See if it’s already in store
6. Olympus TG-820, TG-320
Priced at $299.99, the 12 megapixel Olympus TG-820 no longer gets in the ring against the other $400 contenders built by Panasonic, Sony, Pentax or Canon. But the veteran is now head to head against the relatively new Fuji in the under-$300 waterproof camera segment.
This crushproof camera could handle water pressure to 33 feet or be crammed into backpack as heavy as 220 pounds. It has a 3 inch LCD screen at the back, 5X zoom and could record 1080p HD video. It has a mechanical stabilizer but lacks a GPS.
Olympus obviously prices the TG-820 cheaper in the hope that that it would win some share in the niche it once monopolize. But with Sony and Panasonic carving loyal followers, the road ahead is certainly tough.
The Olympus Tough TG-320 is similar the TG-310 it replaced — both are shockproof to 5 feet, waterproof to 10 feet and freezeproof to 14°F. It still has a 14 megapixel image sensor, 28mm widescreen lens, 3.6x optical zoom lens, and 2.7-inch LCD display. Changes to the last year’s model are few — addition of dustproofing, lower price and increase in burst rate are the only 3 notable changes.
Both cameras should ship around March.
- Megapixel count scaled back from 14 megapixel to 12 megapixel.
- Full 1080p HD video
TG-820 Retail $299.00
TG-320 Retail $179.00
7. Nikon Coolpix S30
The Nikon Coolpix S30 will be the most affordable waterproof camera for 2012 when launched in March for $120.
The 10-megapixel S30 has a 3x optical zoom range, a 2.7-inch TFT LCD display and is capable of capturing 720p HD videos.
Powered by two AA batteries, the Coolpix S30 is waterproof to 3m, shockproof up to 8cm and is designed to resist dirt.
Coolpix S30 Retail $120.00 | See if Coolpix S30 is available now
We don’t expect a replacement rugged camera from the financially problematic Kodak this year. So, the ones left are Ricoh and Sealife.
So, here’s a question for you. Which one will you buy ?