Defective TS20 (underwater/rugged)
4 months ago
For those of you who might be interested in Panasonic's TS20 ... their low end underwater/rugged camera ... I want to share my experience with it.
I was looking for an inexpensive underwater digital camera. The TS20 was only $140. Most underwater compacts cost over $250. The TS20 seemed to be a good choice. I have owned four other Pannys and I have been very happy with them.
After taking about 40 pictures, the camera started to malfunction. I got a "System Error (O.I.S.)" message. To clear the error, I needed to turn the camera off and then on again. The error quickly returned when I tried to take another shot. Sometimes the LCD screen image would jump about then display the error. I tried turning O.I.S. on/off and I tried resetting the camera. Nothing worked.
I had used the camera briefly underwater, but it did not appear to leak ... no obvious water or moisture inside. However, I left the camera open for several days thinking that if a small amount of moisture got in, it would dry out, but the problem did not go away. I'm returning the camera to Amazon. Fortunately, they have a good return policy.
I can't say if other TS20 units will or will not have a similar problem as mine. However, I was disappointed in the performance of this "rugged" camera. The two lessons I learned from my experience ...
1. You get what you pay for. I don't think I was realistic in choosing the least expensive underwater digital camera and hoping that it would perform reliably. The TS20 costs about 1/2 of what other underwater/rugged compact digital cameras cost.
2. Bring a backup camera on vacation. I had planned to use the camera for snorkeling and for general snapshots on a short vacation in Hawaii. I didn't bring another camera with me. When the TS20 failed, I had nothing except for my mobile phone camera. If I had brought along one of my older compact cameras I would have been OK ... at least for the above water photos.
Live and learn ...
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