Panasonic is entering a market for compact waterproof cameras represented by popular Pentax Optio W and Olympus Stylus SW series.
Lumix DMC-TS1 is waterproof to 3 m (9.84 ft), dustproof and shockproof. The camera features Leica DC Vario-Elmar lens with zoom from 28 mm to 180 mm (35 mm format equivalent) with, I believe, the first optical image stabilizer in this type of a compact camera.
Video options looks also promising:
The TS1 records HD motion images with 1280 x 720-pixel resolution. It uses the AVCHD (MPEG-4/H.264) format, via AVCHD Lite which stores less data than other formats and thus lets you shoot more minutes of HD motion images before running out of memory.
The camera will be available in April 2009. The price listed at amazon.com is $399. You can buy it in different colors: silver, orange, and green.
It looks like a good paddling camera. I will be looking for reviews of Lumix DMC-TS1.