Tough Cameras

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At B&H, we currently stock about 100 point-and-shoot cameras; all of them are capable of shooting terrific photographs, and in most cases, video. The choices are far narrower, however, for those seeking digicams that can take an occasional dunk in the drink, an accidental fall, a tropical schvitz, or a high-altitude freeze. If this describes your lifestyle, the following 10 digicams are specifically designed to take a rougher ride than most of the larger, pricier cameras we sell at B&H (and at a fraction of the price!).

Canon

Canon's PowerShot D10 is certainly one of the quirkier-looking point-and-shoot digicams on the market, but once you've used it in its intended environment, i.e., underwater or out in the cold in a gloved hand, you start to get the picture. Shaped like a bar of soap—you can't wash your hands with it, but you will get beautiful, clean images—with a lens on one side and an LCD on the other, Canon's PowerShot D10 features a 12.1MP CCD, a 2.5" (230,000-dot) LCD, a DIGIC 4 image processor, optical image stabilization, ISO sensitivity up to 3200 and a 3X, 35-105mm equivalent zoom lens.

Some of the neater design features found on the Canon D10 include a porthole-like glass enclosure in front of the lens and the ability to connect the wrist strap to any one of the 4 corners of the camera body. The Canon PowerShot D10 is waterproof down to 33' (10.05m), can take a spill to the ground from 4' (1.21m), has an operating temperature range of 14 to 104°F (-10 to 40°C) and records images onto SD/SDHC memory cards.

 Fujifilm

From FujiFilm we have the Fujifilm FinePix XP10, a slender, round-cornered digicam featuring a 12.2MP CCD, a 5X, 36-180mm equivalent zoom lens, a 2.7" 230,000-dot LCD, high ISO sensitivity up to 1600 and a uni-body metal chassis for an extra measure of durability. In addition to capturing sharp JPEG stills, the FinePix XP10 also records 720p HD video at 30 frames per second. Other imaging features found on the Fuji XP10 include Face Detection and a 6 Scene SR AUTO Mode.

Dunkable to 9.84' (3m), shockproof to impacts from a height of up to 3.3' (3m), dustproof and designed to operate in a temperature range of 14 to 104°F (-10 to 40°C), the Fuji XP10 is available in a choice of Black, Green or Silver and records stills and video to SD/SDHC memory cards.

Olympus

From Olympus we have a trio of tough little buggers, starting with the Olympus Stylus Tough 3000, a stylish little number which is waterproof to 10' (3.04m / IEC60529 IPX8/JISC0920 ), shockproof from drops of up to 5' (1.52m / MIL-STD-810F ) and has a temperature operating range of 14 to 104°F (-10 to 40°C / MIL-STD-810F).

The Olympus Tough 3000 features a 12MP CCD, a wide, 3.6X 28-102mm equivalent zoom lens with close focusing down to 0.79" from the front of the lens, a 2.7" 230,000-dot LCD, a dual image stabilization system, 25 shooting modes, an in-camera, 10-frame panorama stitching mode, a TruePic III image processor, advanced Face Detection for up to 12 faces, Creative Art Filters and 720p HD video capture at 30 frames per second.

The Olympus Stylus Tough 3000 is available in Red, Pink, Green and Blue, has 1-gig of internal memory, and accepts SD/SDHC memory cards.

Somewhat tougher is the Olympus Stylus Tough 6020, which is waterproof down to 16' (4.87m), shockproof from 5-foot (1.52m) falls and operates in a temperature range of  14-104°F (-10 to 40°C). Available in a choice of Black, Green, Blue and Pink, the Stylus Tough 6020 features a 14MP CCD, a 5X, 28-140mm equivalent zoom lens, a 2.7", 230,000-dot LCD, dual image stabilization systems, and 720p HD video capture at 30 frames per second.

One of the cooler features of the Tough 6020, when wearing gloves or shooting underwater, is the ability you have to bypass the smaller camera control buttons and make exposure adjustments by simply tapping on the top and sides of the camera. Other unique features include an in-camera, 10-frame panorama stitching mode, a beauty mode, advanced Face Detection for up to 12 faces and Creative Art Filters. In addition to 1 gigabyte of internal memory, the Olympus Stylus Tough 6020 records stills and video to SD/SDHC memory cards.

Tougher yet is the Olympus Stylus Tough 8010, which in addition to being waterproof down to 33' (10.05m), droppable from a height of up to 6.6' (2m) and operable in a temperature range of 14 to 104°F (-10 to 40°C), is also crushproof under as much as 220 lb of pressure.

Like the Stylus Tough 6020, the Olympus Stylus Tough 8010 features a 14MP CCD, a 5X, 28-140mm equivalent zoom lens, a 2.7", 230,000-dot LCD, dual image stabilization systems, Tap Control, 720p HD video capture at 30 frames per second, an in-camera, 10-frame Panorama Stitching mode, a Beauty mode, advanced Face Detection for up to 12 faces and Creative Art Filters.

The Olympus Stylus Tough 8010 is available in a choice of Silver or Black, contains 2 gigs of internal memory and accepts SD/SDHC memory cards.

Panasonic 

We have two offerings from Panasonic, starting with the Panasonic Lumix DMC-TS10. Available in a choice of Black,  BlueRed and Silver, the Lumix DMC-TS10 is waterproof down to 10' (3.04m), dustproof, droppable from up to 5' (1.52m) and has an operating temperature range of 14 to 104°F (-10 to 40°C). For further protection, the DMC-TS10 comes bundled with a silicon jacket to protect the exterior surfaces from scratches.

As for picture taking, the Panasonic DMC-TS10 features a 14.1MP CCD, a 4X, 35-140mm equivalent zoom lens, a 2.7", 230,000-dot LCD, and in addition to JPEG stills, can also capture 720p HD video at 30 frames per second.

Other features include MEGA O.I.S image stabilization, Scene Modes for stills and video, an Intelligent Auto (iA) shooting mode, 40MB of built-in memory and the ability to shoot to SD/SDHC/SDXC memory cards.

More rugged and able is the Panasonic Lumix DMC-TS2, which in addition to being waterproof down to 33' (10.05m), shockproof from up to 6.6' (2m) falls, and operable from 14 to 104°F (-10 to 40°C), features a 14.1MP CCD, a 4.6X, 28-128mm equivalent Leica zoom lens, a 2.7", 230,000-dot LCD, 720p HD video capture at 30 frames per second, Scene Modes for stills and video and an Intelligent Auto (iA) shooting mode.        

Available in a choice of  Orange, Blue, Silver and Yellow, the Panasonic Lumix DMC-TS2 appropriately features Beach, Surf, Snow and Sports modes, and to better ensure sharp pictures in all shooting modes and under all lighting conditions, the DMC-TS2 has Power O.I.S image stabilization technology. Another neat feature is an LED light source alongside the lens that automatically turns on when the light levels drop below easily viewable levels.

The Panasonic Lumix DMC-TS2 contains 40MB of built-in memory, and the ability to shoot to SD/SDHC/SDXC memory cards.

Pentax

From Pentax we have the Pentax Optio W90, a rather rugged-looking, rubber-bumpered digicam that features a 12.1MP CCD, a 5X, 28-140mm equivalent zoom lens with macro focusing down to 0.4" from the front of the lens, a 2.7", 230,000-dot LCD, 720p HD video capture at 30 frames per second, ISO sensitivity up to 6400, and face recognition for up to 32 faces. As for ruggedness, the Pentax Optio W90 is waterproof down to 20' (6.1m), shockproof from 4' (1.2m) and operable from a temperature range of 14 to 104°F (-10 to 40°C).

Other notable features found on the Optio W90 include 3 LEDs positioned around the lens for lighting objects within macro range, Pixel Track SR shake reduction technology, a Subscreen Input Function that inserts thumbnails of the image for reference purposes, 12 digital filters, 26.7MB of internal memory and compatibility with SD/SDHC memory cards. The Pentax Optio W90 is available in a choice of  Black and Green.

Sony

The sleekest looking of the lot has got to be the Sony Cyber-shot DSC-TX5, which is also one of the thinnest (0.7") and widest-angle (25-100mm equivalent Zeiss lens). Along with being waterproof down to 10' (3.04m), shockproof from heights of up to 5' (1.52m) Sony's Cyber-shot TX5 has a lot of other neat traits, including a 10.2MP back-illuminated Exmor R CMOS sensor that can capture up to 10 full-res frames per second, Sony's amazing Handheld Twilight mode for shooting under the dimmest of lighting without need of a tripod, 2-shot HDR capture and an Intelligent Sweep Panorama mode for capturing 258° wide-field images in camera.

Other features found on the Sony TX5 include a 3.0" 230,000-dot Touchscreen LCD, 720p HD video capture at 30 frames per second, 45MB of internal memory and the ability to use a choice of SD/SDHC/SDXC, or Memory Stick Duo/PRO HG-Duo/Pro Duo memory cards. The Sony Cyber-shot TX5 is available in Black, Silver, Pink and Red.

Casio

Casio's Exilim EX-G1 looks like it should come with a helmet and crash pads for your knees and elbows. Aggressive in appearance, the Casio Exilim EX-G1 has a 12.1MP CCD, a 3X, 38-114mm equivalent zoom lens and a 2.5" 230,400-dot LCD. As for its crashworthiness, the Exilim EX-G1 is waterproof down to 10' (3.04m), can survive a drop from up to 7' (2.13m), and like every other camera in its class, can operate in a temperature range of 14 to 104°F (-10 to 40°C).

Other noteworthy features found on the Casio Exilim EX-G1 include control dials designed for easy use when wearing gloves; the ability to shoot time-lapse still photographs at intervals of 10 seconds, 30 seconds, 1 minute or 3 minutes; and 848 x 480 movie sequences of 3, 10, 20 or 30 minutes. Available in a choice of Red or Black, the Casio Exilim EX-G1 contains about 35.7MB of internal memory and is compatible with microSD and micro SD/SDHC memory cards. 

 A Selection of Dunkable, Droppable, and
Freezeable Point-and-Shoot Digital Cameras

 
   Sensor Lens   LCD Waterproof  Drop-Proof   Temp-Range Video  Colors
Canon PowerShot D10  12.1MP CCD 3X (35-105mm equiv) 2.5" 230,000-dots 33' (10.05m) 4' (1.21m)  14-104°F (-10 to 40°C) 640x480@30fps Blue/Silver
Fujifilm FinePix XP10 12.2MP CCD  5X (36-180mm equiv)  2.7" (230,000-dots)  9.84' (3m) 3.3' (1m)  14-104°F (-10 to 40°C) 720p @ 30fps Black, Green, Silver 
Olympus Stylus Tough 3000 12MP CCD 3.6X (28-102mm equiv)  2.7" (230,000-dots)  10' (3.04m) 5' (1.52m) 14-104°F (-10 to 40°C)   720p @ 30fps Red, Pink, Green, Blue
Olympus Stylus Tough 6020 14MP CCD 5X (28-140mm equiv) 2.7" (230,000-dots)  16' (4.87m) 5' (1.52m) 14-104°F (-10 to 40°C) 720p @ 30fps Black, Green, Blue, Pink
Olympus Stylus Tough 8010 14MP CCD 5X (28-140mm equiv) 2.7" (230,000-dots)    33' (10.05m) 6.6' (2m) Crushproof to 220lb 14-104°F (-10 to 40°C) 720p @ 30fps Silver, Black
Panasonic Lumix DMC-TS10 14.1MP CCD 4X (35-140mm equiv)  2.7" (230,000-dots)    10' (3.04m) 5' (1.52m) 14-104°F (-10 to 40°C) 720p @ 30fps  Black, Blue, Red, Silver
Panasonic Lumix DMC-TS2 14.1MP CCD 4.6X (28 - 128mm equiv)  2.7" (230,000-dots)     33' (10.05m) 6.6' (2m)  14-104°F (-10 to 40°C) 720p @ 30fps  Orange, Blue, Silver, Yellow
Pentax Optio W90 12.1MP CCD 5X (28-140 equiv) 2.7" (230,000-dots)      20' (6.1m) 4' (1.2m)  14-104°F (-10 to 40°C)   720p @ 30fps   Black, Green
Sony Cyber-shot DSC-TX5 10.2MP CMOS  4X (25-100mm equiv)  3.0" Touchscreen (230,000-dot) 10' (3.04m) 5' (1.52m) 14-104°F (-10 to 40°C)    720p @ 30fps   Black, Silver, Pink, Red
Casio Exilim EX-G1 12.1MP CCD  3X (38-114mm equiv)  2.5" (230,400-dots) 10' (3.04m) 7' (2.13m) 14-104°F (-10 to 40°C)    848 x 480 Red, Black

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I have had the Canon D10 now for a year.  The excellent pictures I have taken above and underwater as well as interesting macro shots make this the most versatile and exciting camera I have owned.   I also purchased the additional AKT-DC1 accessory kit.  I particularly like the around-the-neck strap that allows me freedom to grab the camera for an almost instantaneous shot.  This arrangement also allows me the freedom to carry my camcorder in my hands and, when I see a picture that is snapshot-worthy, I simply take the D10 with my right hand and take the picture.  As one who enjoys snorkeling, I have used the D10 to take excellent pictures of coral reefs, fish, and a sunken WWII vessel.  

Great article.

When is the replacement for the Canon D10 coming?

It has been out almost 2 years.  Time for a refresh.

Eric

Forget the grandkids. What about me? I've had an Olympus 790 SW since it came out. It's been great. I do not know why, but I tend to abuse just about everything I own. I bought the camera for that reason and that reason alone. It sits on the floor most of the time along with all the other stuff I have ****** around. Now, I'm leaning toward the Olympus 8010 or the Panasonic TS2. I figure I can get a good 3-5 years before stepping up to what's next. If I was not giving my 790 away, I'd probably throw it in the glove box in my car. These cameras really are worth it. I put mine in my pocket as suradly as I put my watch on. You may not need the 8010, etc. I want the strongest one. They are not as $$$$ as they used to be. I also plan to be diving with my future camera.