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Olympus launches Tough TG-1 iHS higher-spec rugged, waterproof camera

By dpreview staff on May 8, 2012 at 05:00 GMT

Olympus has announced the Tough TG-1 iHS, a high-end rugged, waterproof compact camera. The main selling point of the camera is its 25-100mm equivalant F2.0-4.9 zoom lens. The TG-1 is tougher than previous Tough models, being waterproof to 12m (40ft) and shockproof from a height of 2m (6.6ft) and will have optional waterproof fisheye and telephoto converter lenses available. The TG-1 iHS is built around a 1/2.3"-type 12MP back-lit CMOS sensor and a TruePic VI processor to make the most of its output.

Its lens may not be terrifically fast at the long end of the zoom but is usefully bright at its wide angle setting, especially for underwater photography. There will also be the option to add a full underwater housing for working at greater depths.

Bolstering its high-end status, Olympus has also included an OLED screen and an autofocus system it says uses the same technology found in its PEN cameras. It also features audio technology originally developed for the company's voice recorders, to go with its 1080p video capture.

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Press Release:


Durability Unites with DSLR-Image Quality, Best-In-Class f2.0 Lens, Full 1080p HD Video and Amazing Features for Thrill Seekers, Reef-Loving Explorers and Everyone In Between

CENTER VALLEY, Pa., May 8, 2012 – Olympus draws on its heritage of creating rugged, durable cameras that take the worry out of life-on-the-go shooting with the new Olympus TG-1 iHS. Marking a revolution for the Tough Series of Waterproof, Shockproof, Freezeproof, Crushproof and Dustproof compact cameras, the Olympus TG-1 iHS combines incredible durability with iHS technology, the world’s first high-speed bright f2.0 lens on a Tough camera and converter-lens compatibility to create a versatile system camera. The combination of durability and outstanding image quality make it possible to shoot in even the harshest conditions. Capture beautiful underwater scenes and aquatic life, snap photos of dusk-lit peaks or record your ride down the rapids in dazzling 1080p Full HD Video.

Superior Optics
The Olympus TG-1 iHS is the world’s first rugged camera to incorporate an ultra-bright, high-speed f2.0 lens* so you can capture high-quality images at blazing fast shutter speeds, even in low-light conditions. The camera’s three-inch high-resolution OLED display (610K dots) provides excellent visibility in bright situations, enabling you to compose the perfect shot in direct sunlight. Protective coatings help to prevent scratches and cut down on reflective glare, and the new lens on the Olympus TG-1 iHS transforms your photographs with the same FAST AF system technology found in Olympus PEN® cameras. Never worry about water droplets obstructing your images thanks to the water-repellent lens coating that prevents water from remaining on the lens surface.

Unmatched Rugged Durability
From atop an Alpine mountain to the depths of a tropical lagoon, the Olympus TG-1 iHS captures the perfect shot in unforgiving environments. Waterproof to 40 feet, Shockproof to 6.6 feet, Freezeproof to 14°F and even Crushproof to a weight of 220 pounds, the flagship Olympus Tough model is the toughest Tough model to date and an exceptionally high-speed performer with faster start-up time and quicker refresh rates.

Outstanding Image Quality
A high-sensitivity, high-speed 12-megapixel backlit CMOS sensor combined with a blazing fast, DSLR-quality TruePic™ VI image processor results in high-speed autofocus, enhanced Intelligent Auto for spectacular scene and subject recognition, and 10x Super-resolution Zoom to produce jaw-dropping images in locations that make even the most seasoned photographers cringe. This family of technologies combines for unmatched image quality in challenging shooting conditions with improved lighting, less noise and response times twice as fast as traditional cameras.

Designed specifically to keep up with the on-the-go photographer, the new Super Sport Mode combines high-speed autofocus with extra fast shutter speeds – up to 1/2000 – to freeze the action. Conveniently located on the dial, this mode captures five shots in a high-speed burst to ensure crisp shots in even the most extreme action sport settings. Low Light Mode is perfect for capturing the mood of low-light indoor scenes, beautiful sunsets or late night outdoor festivities without ruining the ambience with a bright flash. Shoot like a pro with 10 frames-per-second high-speed burst shooting and 1080p Full HD videos (1920x1080 pixels) or 60 frames-per-second (3mp) at the touch of button, allowing for slow-motion playback. Thanks to iHS Technology, your videos will benefit from excellent color reproduction and faster processing speeds, while Multi-Motion IS compensates for user movement during recording, creating smoother videos. Linear PCM Recording, an audio technology pioneered by Olympus for professional voice recorders, records your videos with high-definition audio for optimal playback results.

In iAuto mode, the Olympus TG-1 iHS automatically detects the subject, lighting and situation to identify the scene you’re shooting – up to 30 different scenes including Night, Sport, Beach and Snow, Underwater Snapshot and Backlight HDR – and adjusts the settings for ideal results.

System Expandability
For serious photographers, Olympus is offering system expandability for the Olympus TG-1 iHS. A converter ring allows you to add a lens converter adapter, waterproof Fisheye Converter Lens and Teleconverter Lens for use on land or in water. The Fisheye Converter Lens captures panoramic, wide-angle shots without sacrificing the brightness of the 4x wide optical zoom (25-100mm*) f2.0 lens. The Teleconverter Lens extends your optical zoom from 4x to 6.8x, delivering dramatic close-ups with professional-looking background blur. Combined with the Olympus TG-1 iHS’ 8x Super-resolution Zoom, which extends the range of the optical zoom with virtually no loss of image quality, you can reach an unmatched 13.6x magnification. Both converter lenses are waterproof to 40 feet. If 40 feet is not deep enough for you, the new Olympus PT-053 underwater housing is designed specifically for the TG-1 iHS, enabling you to dive to depths of 135 feet (45m).

Extreme Versatility
With the GPS and e.compass functions on the Olympus TG-1 iHS, location and landmark information will be displayed and recorded along with every image. The camera is also equipped with a logging function so you can track the route taken from recorded images by using applications such as Google Earth and Picasa. And with the brand-new LI-90 battery, you’ll worry less about battery life and more about your next destination. Mark your spot on the map with the built-in manometer, which records elevation and water depth and even displays a warning when the user approaches a depth of 40 feet. The Olympus TG-1 iHS boasts four different underwater scene modes -- Underwater Snapshot, Underwater Wide 1, Underwater Wide 2 and Underwater Macro – each carefully calibrated to allow for optimal color balance, exposure and flash so you automatically get the best results. An LED illuminator on the front of the camera enhances focus and exposure for macro shooting – great for underwater close-ups where light is scarce. The LED illuminator also works in conjunction with the flash to help illuminate your subject in low-light conditions.

U.S. Pricing and Availability
The Olympus TG-1 iHS will be available in June and ships with a USB Cable & Charger (F-3AC), Lithium-Ion Battery (Li-90B), Wrist Strap, Instruction Manual and ib Software CDs, Quick Start Guide and a Warranty Card.
Estimated Street Price: $399.99 (Available in Silver)
Underwater housing will be available in July.

*As of April 23, 2012
** Waterproof according to IEC standard publication 529 IPX8. Shockproof figures equivalent to MIL Standard (Olympus test conditions). Freezeproof according to Olympus test conditions.

Olympus Tough TG-1 iHS specifications

Body type
Body typeCompact
Max resolution3968 x 2976
Other resolutions3968 x 2232, 3264 x 2448, 2560 x 1920, 2048 x 1536, 1920 x 1080, 1600 x 1200, 1280 x 960, 640 x 480
Image ratio w:h4:3, 16:9
Effective pixels12 megapixels
Sensor size1/2.3" (6.17 x 4.55 mm)
Sensor typeBSI-CMOS
ProcessorTruePic VI
White balance presets4
Custom white balanceYes
Image stabilizationSensor-shift
Uncompressed formatNo
File format
  • JPEG
Optics & Focus
Focal length (equiv.)25–100 mm
Optical zoom4×
Maximum apertureF2.0 - F4.9
  • Contrast Detect (sensor)
  • Multi-area
  • Center
  • Selective single-point
  • Tracking
  • Face Detection
Digital zoomYes (4x)
Normal focus range60 cm (23.62)
Screen / viewfinder
Articulated LCDFixed
Screen size3
Screen dots610,000
Viewfinder typeNone
Photography features
Minimum shutter speed4 sec
Maximum shutter speed1/2000 sec
Scene modes
  • Portrait, Beauty, Landscape, Night Scene, Night + Portrait, Indoor, Candle, Self Portrait, Sunset, Fireworks, Cuisine, Documents, Beach & Snow, Underwater Snapshot, Underwater Wide 1, Underwater Wide 2, Underwater Macro, Pet (Cat), Pet (Dog), Snow, Panorama, 3D, Backlight HDR
Built-in flashYes
Self-timerYes (2 and 12 sec)
Metering modes
  • Multi
  • Spot
Exposure compensation±2 (at 1/3 EV steps)
Videography features
USB USB 2.0 (480 Mbit/sec)
HDMIYes (Type D)
Environmentally sealedYes
BatteryBattery Pack
Battery descriptionLI90B
Battery Life (CIPA)350
Weight (inc. batteries)230 g (0.51 lb / 8.11 oz)
Dimensions112 x 67 x 30 mm (4.41 x 2.64 x 1.18)
Other features

Additional images

Optional TCON-T01 teleconverter Optional FCON-T01 fisheye converter
I own it
I want it
I had it
Discuss in the forums


Total comments: 206
By mpgxsvcd (May 8, 2012)

Why is there no information about what video resolutions and frame rates it shoots in the specs page?

1 upvote
By BorisK1 (May 8, 2012)

From Olympus America, "Features":

"Full HD Video with HDMI Output & Control
With the TG-1 iHS, you can shoot 1080p Full HD videos (1920x1080 pixels) at 60 frames per second at the touch of button, allowing for slow-motion playback. Thanks to iHS Technology, your videos will get the VIP treatment with excellent color reproduction and faster processing speeds, while Multi-Motion IS compensates for user movement creating smoother videos. [snip]

High-Speed Sequential Shooting
Shoot like a pro! With 10fps high-speed burst shooting, nail the perfect shot by taking a quick sequence of images at the touch of a button. Still afraid you’ll miss a moment? At 3MP, the frame rate increases to an astounding 60 shots per second. You’ll have so many great shots, you won’t be able to share just one!"

From Specs:
Movie Mode 1080P,720P,VGA

Richard Butler
By Richard Butler (May 8, 2012)

Because they weren't supplied. We did ask.

By djmm (May 8, 2012)

I just had noodles for dinner

By dtmoody (May 9, 2012)


By Stollen1234 (May 8, 2012)

with this financial scandal..i would never trust olympus.. sorry

By zigi_S (May 8, 2012)

In a p&s what's there to trust?

By GodSpeaks (May 9, 2012)

You would be buying a $400 camera that is essentially a disposable commodity item, you are not investing in your kid's future.
What is there to trust?

By SeeRoy (May 8, 2012)

Must learn to swim...

1 upvote
By micahmedia (May 8, 2012)

3968 * 2976 = 11.8mp ≠ 12mp

Methinks somebody failed their maths.

Not that it really makes a big difference, but geez, what's wrong with just saying 11.8? Or 11? O noes, can't have a weird low number!

By RPJG (May 8, 2012)

Seriously, don't you have bigger issues to worry about?

A normal rounding of 11.8 gives 12, not 11; because, you know, 11.8 is closer to 12 than 11.

By dtmoody (May 8, 2012)

First P&S in awhile that has really caught me eye. Olympus may just get some of my hard earned $ for this one.

By garyknrd (May 8, 2012)


1 upvote
By happypoppeye (May 8, 2012)


1 upvote
By MrSynthetic (May 8, 2012)


1 upvote
By 3DSimmon (May 8, 2012)


1 upvote
By radissimo (May 8, 2012)


1 upvote
Jay Jenner
By Jay Jenner (May 8, 2012)

This is excellent news. Its the kind of niche thing that Olympus are really good at. One of the things that attracted me to the brand in the first place was the military spec build quality. Right now Olympus is coming up with new and different products as it seems to have decided to ignore its DSLR base.

By adobespain (May 8, 2012)

I want to see a real life images and video samples.

1 upvote
By Jefftan (May 8, 2012)

f2 is the key

Almost 2 stop better than others


By snake_b (May 8, 2012)

But it's still on a small sensor. Granted, it's not stuffed with MP and it's BSI, but we'll have to see how it does.

I wish they'd at least have gone with a prosumer-sized sensor. We'll still see massive DR limitations in this sensor if one tries to use f2.0 in many conditions.

Comment edited 2 minutes after posting
Knight Palm
By Knight Palm (May 11, 2012)

Small sensors aren't necessarily DR limited. Rather they are diffraction limited through their optics. With a bright lens, here f/2, image quality at good light levels, actually has the inherent capabilities to deliver good pictures, which we've seen from other 1/2.3" sensor cameras. Unfortunately, no raw support to further tune the images to the enthusiasts likings.

1 upvote
By christiankoehler (May 8, 2012)

A camera like this is called "higher spec" now?

In my opinion a p&s needs to have a good full auto mode. But I never understand the benefit of these scene modes.
What is the difference between "portrait" and "beauty"? Should I use "dog" or "cat" mode if it is an elephant? Why not just implement PASM modes? Manufactors obviously think buyers of compact cameras are idiots. But this is a $400 camera. For that price it should have a 1/1.8'' sensor, RAW mode, manual focus and manual/semi auto modes.


By happypoppeye (May 8, 2012)

Check out the dial ha "Magic" mode ...probably adds on 100 bucks to the price ...and when people see that "Magic" setting's gonna sell like hotcakes ...ha

By way2trivial (May 8, 2012)

Learn to use google- then be afraid
Depending on your camera, you may have features that lend themselves to portraiture. There are PORTRAIT Scene modes and some cameras have a BEAUTY shooting mode that finds a person’s face and gives the skin a smooth look. In the Playback menu, your camera might have a BEAUTY FIX function. BEAUTY FIX has four options for “retouching” a portrait in-camera.

ALL – Applies all of the function below at once.
CLEAR SKIN – Makes skin look smooth. The levels are SOFT, AVG, and HARD.
SPARKLE EYE – Slightly enlarges the catch light in the eye.
DRAMATIC EYE – Slightly dilates the pupil.

By leorolim (May 8, 2012)

Call me old fashion, but I think those gimmicks belong more on smartphone apps for teenagers than compact cameras...

Cy Cheze
By Cy Cheze (May 8, 2012)

Is "sparkle eye" what Fuji uses in the "orb mode"?

By Jefftan (May 8, 2012)

good news
the F2 make all others obsolete
now is time to throw away my Panasonic TS1 and Sony TX5

good job. Olympus
You got my money

1 upvote
By jj74e (May 8, 2012)

finally a point and shoot i've been looking for. i have a mirrorless camera; i've been wanting a point and shoot to slip into my pockets for social situations, but I've been torn between getting a rugged camera (for being able to pay less attention to my camera, bringing to the beach, etc.) or a high end compact (for low light settings), and now a company's combined the two aspects :)

a bigger sensor would have toped it off, but if the af speed is really up to par to its PEN cams, i'm not complaining for $400 (which will go on sale)

honestly, this camera should show how overpriced many point and shoots are. high end compacts costing $500 with uninspiring AF, non-rugged build and mediocre screens? no thanks.

By peevee1 (May 8, 2012)

It is NOT a high-end compact unfortunately. The sensor is small, some phones have bigger ones.

By K_Photo_Teach (May 8, 2012)

I dream of a 4/3rds sensor in this kind of body ....drool :D

By Otaraka (May 8, 2012)

Im not convinced RAW is a must have for white balance any more, you can adjust JPG's in PS, Lightroom, or even Picasa.

Its really intended as a snorkelling camera and casual use with that depth rating and auto settings. Pity, the fisheye in particular sounded interesting.

Edit: The S90. S95, S100 series canon cameras have 2.0 lenses. Most people would probably prefer those with an underwater housing to whats on offer for more serious underwater photography.

Comment edited 3 minutes after posting
By keeponkeepingon (May 8, 2012)

40 ft is great, most of these cameras (Canon D20 etc) are only good down to 33feet. I'm not sure anyone snorkels to 40 feet deep, and if you dive you can get a housing to take you down to 140 feet.

It's really cool it appears to have a pressure meter and warns when you are getting too deep.

I have the Canon S100. An OK camera for the price (I payed like $300 for mine new). At $299 MSRP ($219 amazon) the housing is a tough sell for the beach/pool/snorkling. I'd much rather put that into a tough camera I can throw around and not worry about and save the S100 for land.

By iudex (May 8, 2012)

@keeponkeepingon: good price for the S100, I paid 410 EUR for mine. :-(
But likewise I agree that better than buying a 200 eur waterproof housing for such camera is to buy a waterproof compact like this.

By Otaraka (May 8, 2012)

40 feet is more, but still doesnt change it much from a scuba perspective, and for snorkelling 33 feet is generally plenty.

Saving the S100 for land and have this as well for underwater simply means 2 cameras where one would do with a housing, as well as being able to go to scuba depths, ie 40 metres rather than 40 feet. They also tend to be easier to mount strobes etc to, and S class allows for manual exposure.

By RunStrom (May 8, 2012)

The Canon S90, S95, S100 plus a housing will cost A LOT more!

By Otaraka (May 8, 2012)

Depends what you're comparing it to and what you want it for. If you want a camera for 30M, your choice is the Olympus+ housing, or S100+ housing.

In that situation, Id rather have the S100, or S95.

1 upvote
By RunStrom (May 9, 2012)

Depends if you looked in this market 4 years ago and purchased a Sea & Sea (Dx1G-DX2G) camera. This Camera/housing based around Ricoh GX-100 and GX-200 would be just as good as what you are looking at now (Canon S100 etc), and have wide angle attachments with many dive orientated extras.

By keeponkeepingon (May 8, 2012)

"Another forget it camera"?

What other (affordable) UW camera has F2.0?

Look at the brand new Canon D20 and Nikon's AW100. They all start at a glacially slow ... F3.9????

Even the top of the heap, the numero uno Panasonic starts at F2.7

And adapters for a point and shoot? An actual fish eye to take pictures of fish?

IF (and it is a big IF given the past record) Olympus has decent IQ this will class leading UW camera and something to remember until the next one comes around....

Comment edited 3 minutes after posting
Sergey Borachev
By Sergey Borachev (May 8, 2012)

Nice to see a more high-end tough camera. Well done, Olympus. Lets hope it beats all other cameras with the same size sensor, the same way that the E-M5 has done. We also need a high-end superzoom, something like the Fuji X-S1 but with high quality and fast optics and nice IQ.

Comment edited 2 minutes after posting
1 upvote
By tttfoto (May 8, 2012)

Another forget it camera till the next one comes around.
NB: to camera manufacturers, leave the small sensors to phone manufacturers please.

By thx1138 (May 8, 2012)

Why oh why do manufacturers refuse to make an underwater camera that shoots RAW or uses even a 1/1.7" sensor. Whoever does so will make a killing. Olympus should make and underwater version of the XZ-1 and keep the fast glass please.

By MirosIav (May 8, 2012)

And why do they refuse to put A, S and M modes? I'll stick with my current underwater cameras for the time being...

1 upvote
Chaitanya S
By Chaitanya S (May 8, 2012)

a larger sensor and fast glass is a must for underwater camera. Also manual control for camera functions is a must. Lets see which manufacturer brings out such a camera.

By iudex (May 8, 2012)

Bigger sensor is a dream for now. However I do not see any technical problem with putting a sensor e.g. 1/1,7". My Canon S100 is so tiny that even with waterproof coating it would still be small. And RAW is a must for underwater photography, there is no point in discussing this.

Cy Cheze
By Cy Cheze (May 8, 2012)

A large sensor does not help that much under water. Low light UW photography is all murky gray, green, or blue scale. Algae, silt, and other deritis make high ISO useless. You need to have bright light (bring along some, if necessary) and be near your subject. Manual mode is pretty useless for a helmet camera or if you are under water and can barely see the LCD in the sun's glare.

By kelpdiver (May 9, 2012)

more nonsense, Cy. large sensors deliver much better backgrounds. But if you're not going to use a housing, you're forced to pick between large zoom range and sensor size as the priority.

By zakk9 (May 8, 2012)

With RAW, this would have been a no-brainer. Olympus, you might as well start on the firmware update. We know you can. RAW format, it's spelt R-A-W, ok?

By iudex (May 8, 2012)

I definitely agree. The worst problem with underwater photography is white balance (the deeper, the more blue colour prevails). With RAW this would not be a point.

By bigdaddave (May 8, 2012)

Quite agree, it would cost so little to give the camera RAW and have pro appeal, plus this doesn't look like a toy like the D10

1 upvote
Jim Keye
By Jim Keye (May 8, 2012)

Raw would have been good but there's probably too much internal processing to compensate for the lens. But video--please tell me there are slow-motion options available at lower video resolutions. Otherwise it looks pretty good. Not perfect, but a lot closer to it with that lens. And no, we don't need more megapixels.

By rareshot (May 8, 2012)

Absolutely. Why not a "simple high-end" compact? 10MP, 1/1,7", 20-100 equivalent (who 'really' needs superzooms in compact?), FullHD (Canon's S95 is close to it), maybe a bit more than slomo than 240p, good battery. And raw.

Simon Zeev
By Simon Zeev (May 8, 2012)

Only 12m?
Why no one make a camera like the Nikonos that can dive without a housing to 50m ?
12m is too much for most of snorkeling people and not enough for divers.
If a housing is needed I will stay with my E-PL2 with housing.

By iudex (May 8, 2012)

Realize that with depth the amount of light dramatically decreases, so there´s maybe no point in making a compact for 30m depths, because the tiny sensors will capture as much as nothing. And for holiday divers (just as I was in Egypt, where the limit for not-certified divers was 10m) this is fair enough.

By ktwse (May 8, 2012)

There's definitely a point as it's still got a tripod mount allowing you to attach bracket, strobe arms and external strobes.

I would think there's definitely room for a brand like Olympus to compete directly with SeaLife and make something like a "digital Nikonos": a "tough style" camera waterproof to ~40m, with add-on lenses, FO ports, manual exposure and RAW. Then again, seeing how Olympus usually work, this might be a first foray into that area.

By kelpdiver (May 9, 2012)

Nikonos cost a small fortune and required careful loading to avoid flooding. It's day is over, though many owners waited to see if that silicon film concept ever would pan out. Now there's no market for it because people can house a SLR or even a NEX-5/7 or PEN and do much better. Or make a really tiny housed compact. (BTW, Nauticam offers a port for some of their housings that let you use Nikonos lenses.)

iudex - there is plenty of light at 30m in tropical/sub tropical waters.

Comment edited 2 minutes after posting
By EddyKilowatt (May 8, 2012)

Looks nice... hope the video codec is revamped from the XZ-1.

From a technical standpoint, what additional hardware (if any) is required to implement RAW? Isn't it mainly software... with an additional production unit cost of about .01% ?

I'll be okay with Oly JPEGS but I too don't see why RAW wouldn't be included.

By Neodp (May 8, 2012)

What? No Raw? Waste of time. Would have been nice.

By wii (May 8, 2012)

First time in a compact where the sound is mentioned, I wonder if this could be the concert camera I'm waiting for?

Stig Nygaard
By Stig Nygaard (May 8, 2012)

Would have loved Raw support too, but 24mm/F2.0 in the wide sounds very nice compared to for example Canon D20 which is only 28mm/F3.9. For underwater photographer I think 24mm/F2.0 will be a BIG plus (and if the camera had Raw I had ordered it as soon as I can).

Comment edited 2 minutes after posting
By Joesiv (May 8, 2012)

This is true, even worse, often the shutterspeed is less quick when the lens' is wide open due to the leaf shutter.

1 upvote
By Jogger (May 8, 2012)

fastest shutter speed of 1/2000 .. wtf, it should be 1/4000 min. you can easily hit 1/2000 on a summer day

By imagenes_vivas (May 8, 2012)

Why not Raw in an high spec camera?

By Joesiv (May 8, 2012)

Agreed, I was hoping for RAW as well, that would have really made it more attractive!

1 upvote
Red G8R
By Red G8R (May 8, 2012)

Who shoots RAW with a P&S ?

By happypoppeye (May 8, 2012)

People who think that P&S's should rival SLR's and such...

By Rex_W (Jul 4, 2012)

I agree with Red G8R, why do you think RAW is needed in a P&S.
Do you actually need RAW if you use your camera properly? No.
Unless you are going to manipulate the hell out of your images RAW is just a snobbish fad. Do some experiments in JPEG and RAW and you will see that you have to push hard to see the difference. Of course if you cannot expose correctly then I admit RAW allows you to sort out some of your mess afterwards.

By Joesiv (May 8, 2012)

If the image quality is an improvement over the rest of these type of rugged cameras, it would actually be a very useful camera to have around!

Total comments: 206