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"Round here we use Bourbon".

[:-thumbu]

Every camera I've used for inspections has lasted only a few months until I got the waterproof Panasonic Lumix TS20 a couple years ago. The daily dust in nasty places, shoving it up through oil soot into flues and dropping it onto concrete just won't kill it.

Picture quality isn't good, but I ain't shootin' glamour. Close-ups are decent - zoom sucks. If I need a really good quality image or zoom I go back to the car and grab my Panasonic Lumix DMC-FZ28 w/18x zoom.

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Full disclosure. Heading to Mexico for Christmas and plan to do some diving, my old Nikon is on it's last leg, so I thought I'd kill two birds and get something new.

I carry a nice Nikon for most pics, and swap sd cards for the dirty places.

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Thats the one I have. Not real impressed with it. It's been back to Nikon twice, still not focusing.

I found the Nikon Coolpix S32, after I got sick of the jamming lens syndrome of the last generation of standard L30 Nikons. It has been good.

The lens does move inside the waterproof housing, but I find I can just put it in my belt pouch without having to turn it off and it is ready to go a minute later. That saves me tons of milliseconds every day, but it also uses less battery power and there is less grinding of tiny gears.

$145 or less if you shop.

The battery is only good for about 160 pics, so you have to shop for a spare. Batteries cost about $30.

The batteries take too long to charge, over 2 hours.

A big button on the left starts a video. I delete several videos everyday. They are mostly boring videos of my feet and the sky.

But that video feature would be great under water.

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Which Pani? I see them for $120, and $300

This one? http://www.amazon.com/Panasonic-DMC-TS5 ... 6872771094

The TS2 series. It goes TS20, TS25. Image quality still isn't great, but I've had better experience in general with Panisonic focus and image consistency than I have with the Nikon.

The AW100 series is bombproof, but focus is inconsistent.

I may go back to the Pentax Optio WG series. I never had focus or image quality issues, but they were slow...really slow.

They're expensive. It may be the best all around series for this gig, though.

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Pentax is now known as "Ricoh" as they (Ricoh) bought out Pentax in the past year or so.

I got a Ricoh WG-20 this past July and am very pleased with it for my inspections.

I still have my Pentax W90 that the Ricoh replaced and it also still works fine.

Nice to have a good backup.

I ordered a silicone sleeve for both the Pentax and the Ricoh as it helps provide a bit more "grip" for the camera(s).

I got mine at Target (online) as they had the best price at the time.

Ricoh WG-20 ... Target

Ricoh WG-20 ... Amazon

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Where does it show a flash?

shold be on left in link posted

details:

Camcorder Features: Advanced Zoom, Built-In Auto Light, Digital Video Player, Built-In Projector, Auto Focus, Built-In Flash, Digital Camera, Built-In LED Light

yep Nolan pentax-ricoh can't be beat

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I bought a leftover Olympus Stylus TG-630 on ebay about 6 months ago. Waterproof and good battery life. It has held up well. Had a previous model for a couple years and it still works, but needed new batteries and was never happy with having to change settings for close focus. This one is much better. Only cost about $130.

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I was blind. Now I wanna know how good the flash is.

as soon as target gets their shit together i'll let you know

just got off the phone with "no-customer service" to see about a rain check for the unit & $20 gift card...gal said, "i can't honor the on line price or gift card for an out of stock item go to a local store & fight that battle with an on site manager"

will hit best buy & be done if the battle becomes to arduous

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Still using my small stable of Canon S100 Digital Elphs, circa 2001.

I drop them, get them wet, drag them through the mud and dust, and clean their lenses with my fingertips. Still the suckers keep going and going. When one starts to misbehave, I pop it open, clean it out, replace anything that doesn't work right, and snap it back together. The things won't die.

On the other hand, they could be faster and it would be nice to have a little more tele.

I've been eyeing the Pentax/Ricoh W-series and the Olympus Tough series. Olympus has a focus assist lamp, does the Ricoh? I absolutely must be able to shoot in pitch dark without juggling a flashlight.

Has anyone used the Olympus Tough?

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Still using my small stable of Canon S100 Digital Elphs, circa 2001.

I drop them, get them wet, drag them through the mud and dust, and clean their lenses with my fingertips. Still the suckers keep going and going. When one starts to misbehave, I pop it open, clean it out, replace anything that doesn't work right, and snap it back together. The things won't die.

On the other hand, they could be faster and it would be nice to have a little more tele.

I've been eyeing the Pentax/Ricoh W-series and the Olympus Tough series. Olympus has a focus assist lamp, does the Ricoh? I absolutely must be able to shoot in pitch dark without juggling a flashlight.

Has anyone used the Olympus Tough?

http://support.us.ricoh-imaging.com/node/1838

had an oly 8000 when they came out & returned it after 2 inspection attempts...ymmv

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