Deleted pending purge: How long will it take for manufacturers to comprehend the proper watertighting principle? Why they absolutely refuse to apply age-proven O-ring system and quit selling those "maximum 60 minutes water resistance" hogwash? It's as if they want their cameras to flood and force users into buying another one! Dumb flimsy aprons and thin rubber stretches over electrical contacts are unreliable to the extreme. All they have to do is use o-rings on a maximum of three (3!) places: between two halves of the casing, on the one and only battery/contacts/memory card hatch cover, and eventually on the base of interchangeable lenses. All commands can be aranged with absolutely no other opening through the casing, by means of internally placed reed switches and corresponding outside magnets... This has been used for decades, and yet the industry seems to work like "we don't want it good, we want it by next Thursday". Poor show.
Yes, this is exactly reason they do this in this way: You need to purchase new camera after year or two of use.
They don't want to produce something that will last for years to come, as they every year has new model with slightly upped features.
For example, this year model (TS4) have only some software modifications I'm pretty sure are only firmware based. Who would by new camera if the old one still works?
I bought TS3 because my old camera broke down (Olympus 1030SW), not because I thought I need new.
Stefan Geens: I've been trying to get Panasonic to elaborate what they mean by footnote 1:
"*1 GPS may not work in China or in the border regions of countries neighboring China. [...]"
Can anyone shed some light on this? GPS works fine across China, though mapping is not allowed without a license, so perhaps geotagging photos would fall under that category. But still: Why should a camera manufacturer care? Would Panasonic really hobble its firmware globally so that if the camera detects GPS coordinates within China, these coordinates get scrambled or disabled? I can hardly believe that this is what they would do, but can't think of another explanation.
In any case, if it were to be illegal to sell a camera in China that allows geotagging in China, why punish the rest of the world with a broken camera? If I want to take geotagged photos in China, just as I and many others do with my iPhone, that should be my decision.
...Unless I am reading their footnote wrong. Does anyone have more info?
This is GPS related thing, not TS3.
GPS system is USA military owned and they are not in very friendly relations with China.