The other day a forum thread got me thinking about dust-proof cameras for jobsite or shop use. Such a camera should be dust-proof, shock-proof, waterproof, and must be easy to operate.
My first thought was to look at the Ryobi Tek4 camera that came out last year. However, not enough specs are mentioned on the “ruggedized” camera’s product page or via Home Depot, its exclusive retailer.
So, I did a little more research and found quite a few semi-suitable water/dust-proof digital cameras from all the major brands. And then I had a thought…
If you’re somewhat of a tech-geek like me, you may be familiar with Panasonic and their line of ToughBook laptops. I don’t have much personal experience with these products myself, but I know that they’re built for extreme conditions. After a little searching, I found that Panasonic offers two toughened sealed cameras, the TS2 and TS10.
The TS2 can sustain up to 6.6ft drops, is dust-proof to IP6X standards, and waterproof to 33ft and IPX8 standards. It is also design to withstand temperatures down to 14 degrees F. At its heart is a 14.1MP sensor and 4.6X optical zoom lens with image stabilization. The camera is also capable of recording video.
If I were to need a shock/dust/water proof camera today, the DMC-TS2 is what I’d buy. The DMC-TS10 is a slightly more econonical version with reduced specs. The street price for the TS2 is around $260, and the TS10 $200. The TS2 is available in several colors – orange, silver, blue and yellow.
The only downside to this camera is that it might not be easy to operate with gloved hands. However, its IP ratings, features, pocketable size, and what looks to be a stainless steel body pushes it way ahead of the Ryobi Tek4 model.