Robust / Waterproof Digital Cameras
Robust / Waterproof digital cameras have been around for a while. They give protection against the odd bump and bruise as well as being able to cope with extreme temperatures and wet conditions.
Most of the leading brands produce this type of camera. You will also find they are available at difference price points too. This type of camera is often popular with families where the children may wish to use the camera. The fact that they can survive drops from small heights greatly reduces the chance of accidental damage.
How Waterproof are They?
Cameras in the waterproof category are typically waterproof to depths of 3m although a small number of cameras are able to keep water at bay down to 10m. Therefore you can use them in and around the swimming pool, but they are not suitable for diving to any significant depths.
For Photography at Greater Depths
If you are looking for a camera solution for diving then it is best to look out for a camera with a waterproof case. These are usually waterproof to depths of 40m. Cases need to be bought separately and not every camera has a compatible waterproof case, so it is advisable to check everything out before buying a camera.
What About Temperatures?
The main difference is that they will continue to operate in very cold conditions. Whereas a standard digital camera may start to struggle when temperatures fall below zero a robust camera will continue to operate at temperatures down to -10 degrees centigrade. For this reason they may be attractive to you if you are planning a winter holiday.
How Robust are These Cameras?
Cameras can typically withstand falls of up to 1.5m. Some cameras are also crushproof and can survive being sat on. It is surprising the number of times people slip a camera in their back pocket, sit down and crack the LCD screen. The crushproof feature can protect against that problem.
Most Robust / Waterproof digital cameras operate as simple point and shoot digital cameras. Therefore you should find them straightforward and easy to use. All current models are powered by rechargeable lithium ion batteries. At the time of writing the first touch controlled robust camera has recently been introduced. Features such as wide angle lenses and High Definition movies are becoming the norm although they are not available on all robust / waterproof digital cameras.
Picture quality is also usually inline with a standard point and shoot model with most of the cameras being able to take some good quality snapshots covering a variety of photo opportunities.
Always Check the Spec
The distances and temperatures mentioned in this article are general. Each digital camera is different so it is advisable to check the specification to ensure a camera matches your own requirements before buying.
Suggested Waterproof Digital Cameras
This is a selection of my current top rated cameras in this category.
Olympus TG-820 Rating: 83/100
Waterproof 12 Megapixels 5x Zoom
The Olympus TG-820 is one of the most robust digital cameras you will find. It can withstand depths of 10m, is shockproof to falls of 2m and can work in temperatures as low as -10 degrees centigrade. In addition it is also crushproof to weights of 100kg. There is a 3 inch LCD screen, image stabilisation and a Full 1080p High Definition movie mode. Olympus have also included the ability to produce 3D still photos and battery charging via a USB port.
Guide Price: £204.95 See latest prices: Olympus TG-820 Prices
Related Pages: Olympus TG-820 Review Olympus TG-820 Spec
Olympus TG-320 Rating: 81/100
Waterproof 14 Megapixels 3.6x Zoom
The TG-320 is waterproof to depths of 3m, shockproof to drops of 1.5m and freezeproof down to temperatures of -10 degrees centigrade. It has a 2.7 inch LCD screen, image stabilisation and can shoot High Definition movies. Other features include the ability to recharge the battery via a USB port and compatibility with Wi-Fi memory cards.
Guide Price: £129.99 See latest prices: Olympus TG-320 Prices
Related Pages: Olympus TG-320 Review Olympus TG-320 Spec
Panasonic DMC FT20 Rating: 81/100
Waterproof 16 Megapixels 4x Zoom
Taking a look at the robust features on offer the Lumix DMC FT20 is waterproof to 5m, shockproof to falls of 1.5m and freezeproof down to -10 degrees centigrade. Aside from those features it operates as a straightforward point and shoot digital camera. It can shoot High Definition movies, has image stabilisation, a 2.7 inch LCD screen and can focus from 5cm away from your subject.
Guide Price: £174.99 See latest prices: Panasonic DMC FT20 Prices
Related Pages: Panasonic DMC FT20 Review Panasonic DMC FT20 Spec
Digital Camera Types
Straightforward, simple cameras. These are also the cheapest you will find.
The most common type. Most are simple and straightforward.
On similar lines to the pocket camera, but a little larger.
Extra zoom over and above more basic cameras, but retaining a fairly compact size.
Extreme zoom lens. Normally with plenty of manual features.
Contain features normally associated with a Digital SLR, but in a smaller body.
As well as being waterproof many cameras are also drop proof and freezeproof.
Compact System Cameras are a cross between a typical compact camera and a Digital SLR. They offer you excellent picture quality, a wide array features and are a small size.
Entry level Digital SLRs for enthusiasts.
Top of the range for the most demanding professional photographers.