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Conclusion and Recommendations

While the compact camera market has been fairly stagnant over the last few years, one area in which there's been growth has been rugged/waterproof cameras. At one time there weren't a lot of choices in this segment, and now all the major camera manufacturers are selling at least one rugged camera model.

There isn't much to differentiate the cameras we covered in this group. They're all protected against water and dust, and most are able to take a drop from about 1.5 - 2.0 meters. The most rugged cameras are able to be crushed by up to 100 kgf (980N). Five out of the six cameras in the group have GPS systems, with the Sony Cyber-shot DSC-HX30 being the exception.

Something else that all six cameras have in common is image quality. Or rather, a lack of it. All of these rugged cameras have issues with detail smudging, with a few having strong highlight clipping or fringing. If you view the output from these cameras at 100% on your computer screen, then you'll be anything but impressed - especially if you own something with a larger image sensor. However, the vast majority of rugged camera buyers won't be inspecting their images at full size - they'll be downsizing them for sharing or making small to medium-sized prints. That's something prospective buyers definitely need to keep in mind.

Here's a list of all six cameras and what they're best suited for. After that, we'll pick our favorites from the group.

Canon PowerShot D20

The PowerShot D20 is a perfectly capable rugged camera. It doesn't stand out from the pack because there's really nothing remarkable about it. It has the usual rugged specifications, save for being crushproof, and a unique shape that looks something like a whale. While its lens covers a nice 28-140mm range, like most of its peers it's on the slow side, with a maximum aperture range of F3.9-4.8.

While the camera focuses well in good light, it's sluggish when things get darker. The camera's built-in flash is also one of the weakest in the group, which makes the D20 a poor choice for low light shooters.

The D20 has the standard PowerShot feature set, which includes a Smart Auto mode, plenty of special effects, and a lack of manual controls. Its GPS system is very basic, but it gets the job done. The movie mode records at 1080/24p (slower than its peers), and sound is not recorded in stereo. In addition, there's a noticeable 'jello effect' in movies, which you'll see on moving subjects or when panning the camera.

Image quality is good but not great. It's on the soft side, with frequent highlight clipping and chromatic aberrations. Underwater photos have a noticeable blue/green cast to them, which was an issue on all cameras, except for the Olympus TG-2. Performance is about average for the group, which includes battery life.

Good for: Everyday shooting, ease-of-use, long exposures
Not good for: Low light shooting, GPS enthusiasts, movie aficionados

Nikon Coolpix AW110

The Coolpix AW110 is a camera we like not for its image quality as much as its value. For under $280 / £269, you get a camera that has every feature in the book - with nearly all of them well very well-implemented.

Its lens, likely the same as on the Canon above, covers a range of 28-140mm, and has a maximum aperture of F3.9-4.8. The AW110 can dive deeper than any of the cameras in this group (up to 18 meters) and can get dropped by up to 2 meters, as well. The AW110's real flaw is found on its backside: its OLED display. Indoors, it looks fantastic, with 610k pixels, vivid color, and a wide viewing angle. The problem is when you take it outdoors, where it becomes very difficult to see, even with the brightness cranked up all the way.

On a better note, the AW110's feature set is one of the best. Its GPS has more bells-and-whistles than anything else in this group, with an e-compass, pressure meter, landmarks and detailed maps. It has lots of scene and special effects modes, as well, including the ability to apply effects immediately after a photo is taken. There's also a well-designed Wi-Fi feature, which allows you to control the camera with your smartphone, and then forward images on to social networking sites. The movie mode records good quality videos at 1080/30p with stereo sound.

As with its display visibility, photo quality on the AW110 is not one of its strong points. Its biggest problem is detail smudging, which is very noticeable when viewing photos at 100%. We figure that your typical point-and-shoot user will be sharing these images on Facebook or, perhaps, making smaller prints, in which case they won't notice that. As with most of the waterproof cameras in this test, there's a color cast when shooting underwater. The AW110 performs well in all areas, save for battery life, where it's on the low end of the spectrum.

Good for: Outdoor enthusiasts, divers, GPS lovers, people who want to share images via smartphone
Not good for: Frequent shooting in bright light, pixel peepers, or those who want long battery life

Olympus Tough TG-2 iHS

The Olympus Tough TG-2 lives up to its billing as being one of the most rugged compact cameras in the world. Not only is it waterproof to 15 meters and shockproof from 2.1 meters, but it can also be 'crushed' by up to 100 kgf. One very cool feature is 'tap control', which lets you adjust important camera functions by 'tapping' on the top and sides of the camera - perfect when you're wearing ski gloves.

The TG-2 has the same F2.0-4.9, 25-100mm lens as the Pentax WG-3 below. This lens is more than a stop faster than all of the other cameras (except for the WG-3) at wide-angle, allowing it to bring it more light, and therefore keep the sensitivity from climbing as quickly. The TG-2 also supports conversion lenses and filters, and can even wirelessly control Olympus external flashes. Speaking of flashes, the one built into the TG-2 is more powerful than every camera in the group, save the Pentax.

You'll find the usual point-and-shoot features on the TG-2, including a scene-selecting auto mode plus lots of special effects. One nice surprise is an Aperture Priority mode, though you can only choose from three apertures at any given time. The TG-2 has a good GPS system, with a compass, pressure meter, and landmarks, plus relatively useless maps. The camera can record 1080/30p video with stereo sound, though movies can get 'choppy' when panning, or when your subject is quickly moving.

Photo quality is about the same as the other cameras in the group. Photos are on the soft side, with detail smudging and highlight clipping. Chromatic aberrations can be strong at times. The TG-2 took the best underwater pictures of any of the six cameras, mainly due to the fact that there was no color cast. The TG-2 is a very responsive camera and has some of the best battery life in its class.

Good for: Skiers/boarders/divers, low light shooters, GPS enthusiasts
Not good for: Frequent shooting in bright light

Panasonic Lumix DMC-TS5/FT5

The Lumix DMC-TS5 (FT5 in some countries) is Panasonic's flagship rugged camera and it has the features to match. Its body has an industrial design with a large strap lug, which doubles as a thumb rest. Its rugged features are similar to that of the Olympus and Pentax cameras in that it's waterproof to 13 meters, shockproof from 2 meters, and crushproof up to 100 kgf.

While the TS5's 28-128mm lens covers a decent range, it's also the slowest in the group, with a maximum aperture range of F3.3-5.9. Flip the camera over and you'll find something much more impressive: the TS5's LCD. What makes it excellent isn't the 460k dot resolution, but rather its amazing outdoor visibility. The built-in flash on the TS5 is about average for this class, which means 'not great'.

The DMC-TS5 has a full set of features, including what may be the best auto mode on the market. There's also the usual assortment of scene modes and special effects. The nicest surprise is a manual exposure mode, which allows you to set both the aperture and shutter speed. The GPS feature is quite elaborate, and features a compass, pressure meter, and landmarks. The TS5 also features Wi-Fi, which allows you to control the camera from your smartphone, as well as to transfer photos to your mobile device or computer. We found Panasonic's Wi-Fi implementation to be clunky, and the NFC feature (which lets you 'tap' your phone to the camera to connect and transfer photos) very unreliable. Something that did not disappoint was the TS5's movie mode, which records video at 1080/60p with stereo sound, which is as good as you'll get in this class.

Photo quality is typical for this class. Fine details are often smudged and chromatic aberrations can be strong at times. One thing the TS5 doesn't do as often as the other cameras is clip highlights. Underwater photo quality was just like all the other cameras in the group (save the Olympus TG-2), with a noticeable blue/green color cast to them. Performance-wise, the TS5 is very quick in all respects, with best-in-class battery life.

Good for: Outdoor enthusiasts, those desiring manual controls, high quality video, and great battery life
Not good for: Low light shooters, those who want easy Wi-Fi setup

Pentax WG-3 GPS

The Pentax WG-3 comes in two flavors: a 'standard model', plus the GPS model which has its namesake feature, plus a front-mounted LCD (which displays the time and your choice of depth or barometric pressure) and support for wireless charging. We tested the more expensive of the two, and found it to be a capable, though not best-in-class rugged camera.

The WG-3 certainly has a unique design, which looks something like a futuristic dog bone. It's waterproof to 14 meters, shockproof from 2 meters, and crushproof to 100 kgf. The WG-3 uses the same F2.0-4.9, 25-100mm lens as the Olympus TG-2, which means that it's more than a stop faster than your typical rugged camera at the wide end of the lens. Around the lens is a six LED ring light which, when combined with the included macro stand, let you take photos from 1cm away. On the back of the camera is a 3" LCD with a 16:9 aspect ratio (which is better for movies than it is stills). Outdoor visibility is average for the group. The WG-3 has the strongest flash of the group, but it's quite slow to charge.

Pentax cameras are known for having a lot of special effects and filters, and the WG-3 is no exception. It doesn't have any manual controls, though we like the inclusion of an electronic level as well as dynamic range correction features. The GPS falls somewhere in the middle of the pack, with direction, altitude/depth, and barometric pressure being the only additions to location data. The WG-3's movie mode sounds good at first, as it can record videos at 1080/30p with stereo sound for quite a while. The bad news is that image stabilization is electronic, which isn't very effective, and can create strange artifacts in your movies.

You can probably guess what we thought about image quality. Like all of these cameras, the WG-3 smudges details and clips highlights. The WG-3 also has very strong chromatic aberrations at times. It does, however, perform better than all of its peers at high sensitivities. Underwater photo have the same color cast as the other cameras, minus the Olympus of course. The Pentax WG-3 is a mixed bag in terms of performance. While it focuses well in bright light, it's very sluggish when light levels drop. As mentioned above, the flash is slow to charge, which leads to long delays between shots when you're using it. Lastly, battery life is below average.

Good for: Outdoor enthusiasts, low light shooters, macro photographers
Not good for: Low light (due to slow focusing), movie fans, flash shooters, and those who desire strong battery life

Sony Cyber-shot DSC-TX30

The Sony TX30 is an interesting camera, for many reasons. Unlike the other cameras, which have more of an 'industrial design', the TX30 is sleek, stylish, and ultra-thin. It's a rugged camera that you can essentially keep in your pocket at all times.

Unfortunately, Sony decided to put form over function by putting a capacitive touchscreen display on the TX30, which means that it doesn't work underwater or if you're wearing gloves, which sort of defeats the purpose of a rugged camera in the first place. The TX30 needs to be looked at as a go-anywhere camera that can occasionally get wet or dropped.

In terms of numbers, the TX30 is waterproof to 10 meters and shockproof from 1.5 meters. You can probably tell by looking at the TX30's design that it's probably not crushproof. The DSC-TX30 uses a F3.5-4.8, 26-130mm zoom lens, and it's surrounded by a pair of LED lamps that can be used to illuminate macro subjects. The TX30 easily has the worst flash of the bunch, with a maximum range of just 80cm at wide-angle (at ISO 400). In other words, this is not a camera you want to buy if you take a lot of flash photos. On the back of the camera is the largest and sharpest display in the group. It's a 3.3" touchscreen OLED display with almost 1.3 million dots. We already covered how the touchscreen cannot be used in certain conditions, and it's also worth a mention that outdoor visibility isn't the greatest.

If you ignore the fact that the DSC-TX30 doesn't have a GPS, you'll find that it has a really nice feature set. We like the 'Superior Auto' mode, which goes beyond just selecting a scene mode for you - it'll even use HDR when it deems necessary. Speaking of which, the HDR feature is very well done, allowing you to improve contrast without needing to use a tripod, which is the case on many of its competitors. Sony's iSweep Panorama feature is first class, allowing the TX30 to create perfectly stitched, large images. In terms of movies, the TX30 can record lengthy 1080/60i videos with stereo sound. The videos are very smooth since they're played back at 60 fields per second, though you will sometimes spot interlacing artifacts on moving subjects.

One wouldn't expect wondrous photo quality from an 18 megapixel 1/2.3" sensor, and that's the case here. Mushy, smudged details are prevalent, and things get worse quickly as you increase the sensitivity. The TX30 also has issues with redeye, and suffers from the blue/green color cast underwater. Ending on a mixed note, the DSC-TX30 has very responsive autofocus system, but poor battery life.

Good for: Carrying everywhere, quick focusing, point-and-shoot fans
Not good for: Skiers/boarders/divers, flash shooters, GPS lovers (it doesn't have one)

Overall Winners

Choosing a winner in the rugged camera category wasn't easy, as each one has its own strengths and weakness. As long as image quality isn't your primary concern, you can't really go wrong here - unless you expect to go diving with the Sony TX30. Ultimately, we decided on two award winners, plus a very strong runner-up.

The Nikon Coolpix AW110 doesn't have fantastic image quality (though, to be fair, none of these cameras do), nor will its battery last all day. Its OLED display isn't the greatest outdoors, either. That said, it's an incredible value, offering a wide feature set for much less than the competition. For under $280 / £263 you get a camera with a 28-140mm zoom, a fully ruggedized body, and a GPS with a compass, pressure gauge, compass, landmarks, and maps. Add in a 1080p movie mode and Wi-Fi and you end up with a lot of camera for the money.

The Olympus Tough TG-2 is a camera that we'd never hesitate to take diving, snowboarding, or mountain climbing. It can take more of a beating than any other camera in the group, an impression that becomes clear as soon as you pick it up. The TG-2 has a faster-than-average F2.0-4.9, 25-100mm lens that brings in more light (at wide-angle) than every other camera except for the Pentax. Its photo quality is better than the Nikon, but not wondrous, mainly due to strong chromatic aberrations. It was the only waterproof camera that we tested that had accurate color while snorkeling, as well. Other things we liked are its responsiveness, tap control (great for when you're wearing gloves), battery life, and support for conversion lenses and filters. Its major flaw is the same as the Nikon's: the display is difficult to see outdoors.

One camera that we really liked that fell just short of earning an award was the Panasonic Lumix DMC-TS5 (FT5 in some countries). It has a rugged design similar to that of the Olympus, a 28-140mm lens, the best LCD in the bunch, manual exposure control, and a 1080/60p movie mode. The GPS feature is well-implemented, as well. What held it back from an award was its lens, which is the slowest in the group, meaning that the ISO sensitivity will quickly rise as light levels drop. When you combine that with a weak flash, you'll have pretty noisy portraits. We were also disappointed with the heavily marketed Wi-Fi/NFC feature, which we never got working properly. Despite those issues, the TS5 is definitely work checking out.

Compare scores
Move your mouse over each camera to see its score. Rearrange using the grip icon on the right.
Canon PowerShot D20Review Jun 2013Overall score:71%
Nikon Coolpix AW110Review Jul 2013Overall score:73%
Olympus Tough TG-2Review Jun 2013Overall score:72%
Panasonic Lumix DMC-TS5Review Jul 2013Overall score:72%
Pentax WG-3 GPSReview Jul 2013Overall score:72%
Sony Cyber-shot DSC-TX30Review Jul 2013Overall score:70%
Hover over a camera in the list above to start comparing ...
Build quality
Ergonomics & handling
Features
Exposure and focus accuracy
Image quality (jpeg)
Flash performance
Low light / high ISO performance
Optics
Performance (speed)
Movie / video mode
Connectivity
Value
PoorExcellent
Good for
Photographers who want a compact camera that can go for a casual swim, hike, or diving trip.
Not so good for
Low light and flash shooters, manual control lovers, and movie enthusiasts
Overall score
71%
The PowerShot D20 is a good underwater camera, though it doesn't stand out in any particular area. It takes decent (though slightly soft) photos with pleasing colors (but expect a color cast when shooting underwater). Although light on features, the D20 is water, freeze, dust, and shockproof, and it didn't let us down in our testing.

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Comments

Total comments: 123
12
ThomasH_always

Among the many comparative attributes, wouldn't you please like to mention is any of these support RAW format?? For me, its an essential feature, surely of higher interest than e.g. how many megapixels the sensor has. I even wish I could per cookie preference suppress news and display of any camera without RAW support.

0 upvotes
dannormal

Be very wary of these tests. My experience is that i bought a Olympus TG2 afterreading many many reviews. The reality is I can not see virtually anything on the LCD screen when the sun is out. Have I missed something here?
Thats when I use it. When I am at the beach (hot and sunny), Snorkelling (guess what hot and sunny).
Admittedly it takes good photos but only by pointing in the vague direction and hoping. As to changing settings, well you cant unless you hide under a towel or something.
I guess if these reviewers tell the truth the suppliers will shun them. My advice is don't buy any camera unless you go to a store and take it into the sunlight and see if it will function. My Olympus TG2 belongs in the bin. (Where it will take a great photo) It is of little practical value to me unless the sun is covered by storm clouds which is when I am usually at home inside my house.

0 upvotes
Andy Westlake

Hmm, let's see if we mentioned anything about the TG2's screen:

"While the TG-2's OLED display looks beautiful indoors, outdoor performance was lacking. It's nearly impossible to use in bright light, even with brightness cranked to the maximum setting. It was also very difficult to use when snorkeling."

"While its OLED display looks great indoors, outdoor visibility is quite poor."

"Overall, the Olympus TG-2 is a solid choice for outdoor enthusiasts or divers. Its biggest problem is undoubtedly the visibility of its OLED display, so be sure to try before you buy."

"Its major flaw is the same as the Nikon's: the display is difficult to see outdoors."

So yes, it seems that you have missed something here. Moral of the story: when you read reviews, really *read* them.

Comment edited 3 times, last edit 4 minutes after posting
3 upvotes
Surfer Dan

I bought the waterproof Nikon Coopix about a year ago. It has gone on a family vacation, to the swimming pool and out surfing many times. It's photo quality is good but not nearly as good as my Cannon Rebel (not waterproof). My biggest frustration with the waterproof camera is holding it while swimming. I found a nice belt to help hold the camera at www.surfpouch.com. I, also, have no idea why my camera has a GPS . . .maybe I don't travel enough.

0 upvotes
hodydo

I'm almost surprised you didn't test the Lumix TS25. It's half as much and when I did my comparison shopping, it was very similar to the rest of them. It doesn't have GPS, but I've never wanted or needed it. The price is a selling point but I was also looking for a camera with time lapse capabilities. This one filled the bill.

0 upvotes
AdventureMA

Thanks for this roundup, it helped narrow down the choices for me. In regards to GPS tagged photo's, can anyone recommend an easy & free program that allows me to view the photo's GPS coordinates on a map? Does the program have the ability to input multiple photos at once (ie. an entire folder)? Thanks!

0 upvotes
Drayer

Two free programs work great for digital GPS photos
Picasa3 and Google Earth. Download photos in Picasa and create a Google Earth File. Tools-Geotag-Export to Google Earth file
It doesn't get any easier

0 upvotes
Ken Hadi

Nikon AW110 Overexposure.

I set the AW110 on easy automatic with flash and face detection mode and it gave me inconsistently overexposure. Sometimes it's under exposure as well but often it's extremely overexposure. It happened indoors and semi-outdoors.
I have couple of Nikon pro DSLR and Lenses and I like it, so I thought Nikon would give better pocket camera too, but I was wrong.

Is there any solution ?

Oh, other thing I just notice is, it has vary strong glare mist on a bright light.

Comment edited 2 minutes after posting
0 upvotes
camera221

I bought the Olympus TG-1 and was surprised of the two things not mentioned anywhere in the manual or reviews:

1.) When shooting video the sensor gets cropped reducing the wide angle effect. Yes, for taking photos it is 25mm (equiv.) but as soon as you hit the movie record button it changes to approx. 35mm. The widest angle you can get for video is about 35mm (equiv.) - not 25mm !!

2.) The camera does 60fps high speed shoot but it's only for 100 frames (about 1.5 s) at the time regardless of the memory card used.

Would be interesting to know if the same behaviours apply to TG-2 or not? These features are so prominent I just cannot understand why they are not pointed out in the specs - not even in the unbiased reviews?

0 upvotes
SMPhoto

This review REALLY highlights a frustration of mine, and one that has exsited since I bought my first rugged compact about 9-10 years ago (old 2mp Pentax shaped like a square box), which is: Why can't/won't any camera manufacturers make a rugged compact camera that is enthusiast grade? 4-5 years ago there were very few "high end" compact cameras. Now we have the Canon S100, G15, G1X, Lumix Lx7, Fuji X20, Oly XZ-2, etc... literally over a dozen compacts with manual control, good IQ, fast lenses (some), RAW, etc.

There are many many serious photographers who are also outdoor enthusiasts that I believe would flock to a camera of this class that was ruggedized. I know I would pay $600-800 for one.

4 upvotes
IEBA1

Awesome roundup Jeff. Great to see your work over here and this kind of multi-camera review is so much more usable to so many more people than another $1000+ DSLR or Lens review that people will nit pick in the comments, but so few will actually purchase.

I'd love to see a similar comparison article of some nice compact travel zooms. I recently recommended the Panasonic TZ15 to a good friend because every review of the TZ20 said that if I didn't need the GPS, and I don't, the TZ15 was a great choice. For the person I recommended it to, it was. But with two kids I need a camera of similar performance that don't start up in playback mode (the physical switch) which causes more missed pictures than you'd think.

I have an aging Canon SX20 that I'd like to replace. I don't need 20x zoom, but greater than 10x. I want full 1080p30 HD and as good still images as I can get. And it has to slide into a belt pouch or pocket. Cost less than $500.

0 upvotes
ralphalter

Thanks for the comprehensive test, very helpful! I am still using my Canon D10 with good results, but thinking about an upgrade.
One aspect you have not mentioned at all in the test was how well the lens coating works on the different cameras. Just back from 2 weeks of sailing/beach this was the maior issue I encountered every single day: the lens is always dirty. Either you have finger prints with sun tan lotion, or dust/dirt, or remaining (salt)water drops on the lens. Did you test how easy the water "rolls off" the lens, how scratch-proof the lens is, etc? Are there any differences between camera models at all - different glass or coating?

PS: When will I get my polarizer filter which can be turned on/off on any such camera ;-)

1 upvote
peevee1

@DPR: at your night scene comparison, Olympus was used at 25mm eq. So why the aperture is f/2.8 instead of f/2?

0 upvotes
Jeff Keller

We shot all of those using the camera's night scene feature. It chose F2.8 for reasons unknown to us.

0 upvotes
pjsalty

I have a few mediocre point and shoot cameras that are not water proof, and yet I often reach for my Olympus TG1 even when shooting in dry everyday conditions because the image quality is superior, especially in low light.

Light is dim underwater, so a fast lens is essential there.

Durable waterproof cameras are also great if you have kids because you can let your kids take pictures without worrying about damage, and you can clean their fingerprints off the lens in the sink with soap in water! Also great for the beach because with no external moving parts, you can leave it in the sand.

1 upvote
peevee1

@DPR: In the comparison table, you market Panasonic lens starting from f/3.3 as red, while leaving D20 and AW110 starting from f/3.9 unmarked. Long end is useless on both of them except in bright light, but at least on Pana you can zoom out for extra half a stop of light. Not cool.

0 upvotes
Mogi Bera

Excellent review! I loved the picture examples.

3 upvotes
louroll

I do not understand why DPR has limited this comparison to these 6 specific cameras.

Indeed, there are a couple of other brands which have had excellent "tough" waterproof cameras as well, with same or better qualities as those here reviewed.

For instance, why is the Fujifilm XP60 (16 MP, 5 x zoom, 1/2.3" CMOS sensor with OIS, high speed shooting, HD movie) which was launched last January not reviewed?

If DPR's review unilaterally omits specific cameras, then it cannot pretend to aim at guiding its readers towards the best products in the market.

0 upvotes
Jeff Keller

Ultimately it comes down to time. Each camera would add another week and push this review even later into summer.

0 upvotes
CyberAngel

Maybe their resources are limited?

0 upvotes
johnami

I don't have the the time to read everything, so please excuse me if I'm repeating something, but how does the image quality of these 'tough' photoboxes compare to your average smart phone?

0 upvotes
kc00

If you don't have time, try this, put your average smart phone into your fish tank then take a photo. :-)

2 upvotes
peevee1

In bright light they are about the same, maybe a little better, in lower light (indoors, underwater etc) Olympus TG-2 and Pentax WG-3/GPS are better than smartphones, while the rest are the same (Panasonic TS-5, Sony TX30) or worse (Canon D20, Nikon AW110).

0 upvotes
tiberius_dinu

Same as my iPhone 4S. But has an optical zoom, video is awesome for my needs, no shutter lag, and I can take on the beach and in the water. So far 3m deep but soon a chance to take it down to the max 13m.

0 upvotes
CyberAngel

"By kc00 (1 day ago)
If you don't have time, try this, put your average smart phone into your fish tank then take a photo. :-)
"
I put my S4 Active into a fish tank and took a photo.
Now what?
Oh, I get it! It's not average? I better get a Sony...
No...wait...the Xperia Z is also waterproof, Z ultra? Also!

Comment edited 2 times, last edit 49 seconds after posting
0 upvotes
SMPhoto

I'm not sure about some of the Android phones, but I have an iPhone 5, and compared to my older Canon D10 waterproof, there is no comparison, the camera clearly blows the phone away in terms of IQ.

2 upvotes
johnami

Thanks guys. My question concerned normal photographic situations of course. I don't normally take my mobile swimming which is a good idea since I can't swim very well. You could compare me to a submarine, except I would probably stay under. But it is good to know that the quality of these cameras is on the whole better than smarts, considering that for a lot people their mobile is their only 'camera'...

1 upvote
gmackers

An aspect which is not covered in the reviews is manual focus which is only available with the Pentax and the Olympus I think. These are travel cameras and the ability to lock the focus at infinity is important when shooting from an airplane or car window.

0 upvotes
fibonacci1618

I have the Olympus TG-2 & am amazed that DPreview omitted a v impt feature it has over all the other cameras, & perhaps any other camera in the world: an ultra macro mode that is unbelievable. It can take ultra macro shots of in excess of 14:1 ratio (to me it appears more like 25x magnification) in digital enhanced mode or 5:1 in optical mode. The digital enhanced mode is v good & really works well. It's truly a digital microscope camera. This blew me away & I admit this was the one feature that sold me on the camera.

Also not mentioned is the fact that you can use the on board LED lamp to not only focus assist, but to illuminate & capture the subject (stills or video), & this is a real plus if you have ever tried to shoot macro.

But the icing on the cake is that the TG-2 also can shoot using the Olympus wireless TTL flash system where the TG-2 acts as the commander for one or more remote slave flashes. This is a high end feature not found on compacts. Again great for macro shots!

5 upvotes
Jeff Keller

You are correct that we didn't discuss the super macro mode. We did, however, cover the LED illuminator in the full TG-2 review, and the wireless flash was in both the concise and full reviews.

Comment edited 13 seconds after posting
1 upvote
fibonacci1618

Thanks, I stand corrected about the LED feature, and the wireless flash was mentioned but I did not mean to say that you omitted it. Given these highly unusual & advanced features, I can't help but wonder if the camera deserved better, but no biggie as it is already your top 2 choice. For me, I look forward to the TG-3 if they improve the LCD screen and add RAW capability. Oh, and a 1/1.7" sensor would really help...

0 upvotes
emtx

I am sorry I am not really getting it. Olympus pluses and cons:
"Good for: Skiers/boarders/divers, low light shooters, GPS enthusiasts
Not good for: Frequent shooting in bright light"

I would guess that skiers/boarders are frequently in bright light due to snow they are skiing on...not only in sunny days.

Pentax has a strongest flash and its consideration - due to longer charging time. Well its a smallish compact, you cant have both. You can reach or you can have a slightly faster cadence. Its up to taste, but I guess I would rather go for 2,6m than to 0,8-1,4. (respect to Olympus with 2,0)

1 upvote
Paul B Jones

Great series DPR. Am looking for exactly this type of camera. Thanks.

2 upvotes
Jimmy G

4 weeks left to summer and now we get a review of waterproof cameras...oofah. But it's not just DPR that catches my discontent here, I've been keeping an eye out for these releases since before springtime and the manufacturers have been clearly asleep with getting their summer gear on the shelves early enough for their customers to compare, decide and shop. So, we should act surprised that their P&S market-share has been evaporating? I had purchased shorts, swim trunks and a new pair of sandals by the time the calendar said "Spring" and all that was to be found in waterproof cameraland was last years rehashes. Well, it looks like just another rehash for 2013 anyways, glad I didn't spend my cash. Time to shop for a waterproof housing for a camera that can, at least, take a decent picture.

Signed,
Unhappy at the beach

0 upvotes
Jeff Keller

I mentioned this below, but we learned that we needed to start this series about two months earlier. So next time around, I'll go to Maui in March, instead of June :)

0 upvotes
Ray_man

Maybe DPR are targeting consumers in the Southern Hemisphere? Heck many schools have already started and summer vacation season is all but over.

I too wanted to buy a waterproof P&S but in the end DPR's delayed results publication convinced me to just use my GO Pro with an underwater housing for my trip to Alaska where I did a day of Snorkeling in Ketchikan.

And from my POV, your late vacation to Maui didnt do your readers much good did it? Whoever had that Brilliantly late idea ought to get a raise,,,

Thanks from your southern readers DPR... <rolleyes>

Comment edited 2 times, last edit 5 minutes after posting
0 upvotes
Sarah Lloyd

Half of the world is now heading into summer! The world does not begin and end in the Northern Hemisphere thankfully! Great article , just what I am looking for to make a decisions.

0 upvotes
richteed

I was on a Cornish beach recently and a young lifeguard/surfer dude took an interest in my waterproof camera, a Canon Sureshot A1 35mm camera that I was using while swimming with the kids - £5 on ebay and takes cracking pictures. He asked me if it floats - "of course" I said. Why wouldn't a waterproof camera designed for this sort of thing not float? Apparently the digital equivalents don't. How hard would it be to incorporate buoyancy into these cameras? Just a thought .. sounds like the surfing community would be a guaranteed market.

0 upvotes
Deleted pending purge

The floating camera would present a problem to a diver. If let go, it would float up out of reach, and divers can't always go up fast to grab it - it could compromise their diving profile, and maybe cause problems. The cameras in pressure housings are usually floating, and the problem is solved by inner weight piece to keep them as close to the neutral buoyancy as possible (less weight for sweetwater, more for saltwater). The housing for Sony T7 had a bobber for that purpose.
The amphibious cameras used in swimming and snorkeling usually employ a floating wrist strap (made like a pocket with some piece of closed-cell type spongy material).
If the camera is used in diving, the floating elements must not be compressible. The best material for buoyancy are fishing net floaters, which are impervious to pressure deformations to a depth of several hundred meters. Creating a wrist strap from those is easy, and one can adjust the buoyancy by adding or removing larger or smaller floats.

Comment edited 4 minutes after posting
1 upvote
BeaniePic

Used Nikon and Canon as there the only brands I trust. Canon out preformed the Nikon for me. But as always each to there own.

1 upvote
fishywishy

i got the ts5 wifi working within seconds, i really dont get how people have problems with it...

1 upvote
Jeff Keller

If the camera is the "host", it works pretty well. Getting it to connect to a PC or using NFC is very frustrating. The whole interface is clunky, IMHO.

0 upvotes
PeterAustin

The Pentax WG-3 is the only one that has built-in time-lapse mode, and a separate, very compact remote wireless remote (accessory item). The reach of the remote is only a few feet, however. Other cameras allow use of a cellphone as a remote but that is not practical for a rugged outdoor camera.
Spare batteries are small. lightweight, and cheap--I got five, and charge in relatively short time. That makes the limited battery stamina less of an issue.
Picture quality is good, much improved over the older WG-1.
Macro-mode with ring light works well.
Two downsides: you have to find your own fitting case if you want one. External battery charger is extra (the one from the WG-1 works). Need to turn off GPS function when not in use because it consumes the battery in a few hours even with camera off. This can be done with about 3 menu selections fairly quickly.GPS finds location quickly (few seconds) when turned back on. Overall, very satisfied. I use Canon DSLRs as other main cameras.

0 upvotes
flo-w

Too bad that rugged seems to translate into toddler toy look with all but the Sony which in turn can't be used for its intended purpose. What are they thinking?

0 upvotes
LaFonte

I use the sony (older tx10) and it works great. The only thing is that you cannot change settings under water - but there is nothing much you need to change anyway. The camera works best in its automatic mode. As soon as you get out of water the touch screen works even if it is wet.

1 upvote
tiberius_dinu

My TS5 controls are just fine even underwater in a 2m deep pool. The screen is bright and easy to see even on a sunny beach.

1 upvote
fotonix

I own two OLD Pentax cameras that I passed on to my children - a 6mpx W10 (still Pentax) and a 10mpx W60 (Hoya). Rain, pool or normal conditions - fairly Ok images. Given that both are compacts with massive shutter delay, but I have taken some wonderful images with both due to their unobtrusive and portable size. As I'm not in the pool all the time I currently carry around a Canon G11.
I have looked at the newer rugged options - evaluated, read reports, even went hands-on in stores. With this last step is where the wheels come off for the new cameras. Operation is a pain, reliability is terrible, buttons are low quality and don't respond (before we even leave the store). My $$ stay firmly in my wallet. In another headline a few days back, CIPA were noting a massive drop in sales. Well, if you make bad quality nobody will buy. Word gets around.
Eg: the "Leica" Lumix T5 .. junk. Horrid unresponsive 'controls'. Review score was way high if you ask me. And so it goes on...

2 upvotes
gazonk

I have the W10, too, and while IQ isn't the greatest, especially at the tele end of the zoom range, it's been a very reliable camera (6 years now, and I only changed sealings once, 4 years ago). I really prefer its unobtrusive design to the current models - I'm not going to replace this camera before there is a larger-sensor alternative with significantly better IQ (or if it won't survive the next beach holiday)!

0 upvotes
Matthew Blumenthal

I have an old Pentax tough camera that I bought for a trip to Hawaii a number of years ago. Pictures are not that great, but I can take them underwater. I can take pictures while kayaking in the ocean where the camera is certain to get wet. I can throw it in my pocket and go places that a larger or less resistant camera wouldn't survive. Works just fine for me.

Would I use it for pictures that need great quality? No. Then, that's not what I bought it for. It works great for what I did buy it for. When this one wears out, I'll get another tough camera. Because sometimes the world is a tough place for a camera to be.

2 upvotes
Deleted pending purge

That's the spirit. The newer isn't necessarily better, as recently proven by the comparison between Canon D10 and D20 which only has better video specs. If you're happy with the images you get, that should be sufficient.

0 upvotes
Deleted pending purge

It is a tough job to build a camera that is equally able to take underwater and dry-land photos, mainly because of the flat ports which are added lens elements that can't be avoided. This reduces the quality of the wide end of its zoom, and is also a reason the zoom range of such cameras is usually short.
To have a camera which performs well in both mediums, its port would have to be built as a part of the optical system, and not merely as a water-resistant window.
Current amphibious cameras are a compromise.
Any manufacturer who envisions a properly built amphibious camera should offer a body that is strong enough for usual diving depths, (-50m), and also a range of lenses for various conditions and purposes. It would be way better than those semi-solutions they offer now. These "tough" models can get wet - but not a single one is good enough to dive with, excepting sub-surface work, and some risky apnea.
Instead, they are pocketable. Which really isn't important - to a photographer.

1 upvote
Gesture

Couldn't Nikon have brought forth Nikonos for the digital age.

0 upvotes
Deleted pending purge

Yes, that would be a general idea, since they already have two excellent models to build with; the Nikonos III and V. And those could be made around full-frame sensor with no problems at all.
There would be more than sufficient place for a huge-capacity battery, as well as all the gimmicks people use nowadays, like a full-scale GPS, depth & height meters etc...
A welcome idea would be a powerful zoom in the casing of their UW Nikkor 80mm, to be used both above and underwater. The rest of the lens range is excellent the way they are.
But maybe it is too optimistic to expect it. They should have done it ten years ago, but somehow someone can't see the market, although I'm sure they'd sell millions of units. Oh, well...

0 upvotes
peevee1

"Any manufacturer who envisions a properly built amphibious camera should offer a body that is strong enough for usual diving depths, (-50m)"

The depths like this need strong light which tiny batteries in compacts cannot provide. It would be a totally different class of camera, in size, weight and price, and unusable as beach and snow cam. If you go for big size and weight and price, it is better just to use housing.

0 upvotes
win39

No company I know of sells an indoor camera. The claim of the camera maker should be taken into consideration. If the finder/LCD can only be seen indoors that should disqualify the camera from consideration, any camera. If the camera which claims to be an underwater camera cannot be controlled or even an image framed in the LCD underwater it should be disqualified from consideration as an underwater camera. I don't think 2 or 3 point differences cut it in this consideration. Don't rate them as overall cameras, but as what they are marketed as: tough, outdoor, underwater cameras. How in the world can a camera with an unusable OLED as the only way to see what you are taking outdoors be rated the number one outdoor camera?

5 upvotes
peevee1

Most sold Android phones (Samsung) have OLED screens and are used outdoors every day by tens of millions of people.

0 upvotes
masiman

My wife and I have lived on a sailboat full time for 4 years, so a "Tough" waterproof camera is a must. We have the older Olympus TG-820, although the image quality and underwater colors are quite good for for this style of camera the "tough" part of it didn't match up.
Even though we rinsed it off after each use I regret to say that the zoom in and zoom out "toggle switch" stopped working after a few swims.
It was still under warranty but that doesn't do you any good when you are already on your journey into Mexico. Hopefully Olympus will help us out when we get back.
To see some of the image quality taken with it, visit our site: http://roadslesstraveled.us

1 upvote
Marty4650

The best thing about Jeff Keller joining the staff at Dpreview is that Dpreview is now doing a much better job at reviewing more modest cameras.

Dcresourse.com always did a great job testing the cameras that were overlooked by everyone else. By adding Jeff to the staff here, Dpreview has become a better website.

16 upvotes
Daniel Clune

Humm looking at the images from these it looks like the Nikon is better yet you say its one of the worst? I downloaded the pic of the clock for the Nikon and the TG-2 and the Nikon is clearer, sharper and has more detail. I also noticed both pics were taken on the same day almost same time. 5-31-13 aw110 at 5:16 and TG-2 at 4:16. So there fair to compare. Then if you use your image compare thing on the review of the TG-2 going through the various iso ratings again the Nikon sure looks like it has more detail throughout the whole iso range. So confused about image quality rating in this comparison. I found a review on yotube that also thought the Nikon had best image quality. What am I missing? http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=btcljWkpg5U

0 upvotes
Revenant

The Nikon apply more default sharpening, giving the impression of more detail.

3 upvotes
mdmiataman

..it's so much more than just limiting the choice to simply IQ. You have to base your decision on the complete list of pluses and minuses. I did my home work and read everything and every review I could find on all the cameras listed. Unable to actually get my hands on any of the cameras (Annapolis Md has no brick and mortar camera stores anywhere worth going into) I had to rely on others input.
My choice was for the Olympus. They have been making weatherproof cameras for many years. That was enough for me. Adding the fast 2.0 lens was second. Third was the ability of adding a conversion adapter, where I could easily add a ND filter if needed and a skylight filter to save the lens from damage. And lastly Oly sells a silicone cover to protect the camera body for $20.00 US.
Granted this isn't going to be a waterproof/ weatherproof RX 100 people. You have to expect compromises and trade-offs for the advantage of having a pocket camera that can take reasonable harsh treatment.

0 upvotes
Marty4650

Those "Real World Comparison" shots are really useful. You should use this comparator for all camera types, not just rugged cameras.

0 upvotes
TacticDesigns

Reading through the comments below, I see some questioning the point of these cameras. Personally, the tough cameras are some of my favourite cameras.

When I go to the beach, or canoeing, or a water park, or skiing, or if it rains, or if I just want to travel light especially on vacation I'll usually put my dSLR away and take my waterproof camera in my pocket just in case I want to take a picture.

If I capture a handful of memorable moments for the family album, I'm thrilled!

IMHO even if you have a nice dSLR or m4/3 or superzoom . . . having a tough camera might give you the chance to capture a few more precious memories for the family photo album. For me . . . its worth it! :)

PS. Nice article. As for the timing . . . It's always summer somewhere!

Comment edited 3 times, last edit 2 minutes after posting
4 upvotes
Marty4650

This type of camera is perfect for someone, even if it isn't a good choice for me or you. Lots of folks don't need top image quality, because they never print anything. After all, look at all those folks who are thrilled by the their cell phone cameras. (Which means... some day we will probably see a "weather proof cell phone" test.")

These cameras are also a good choice for young children, who are famous for breaking anything remotely fragile.

2 upvotes
TacticDesigns

"These cameras are also a good choice for young children, who are famous for breaking anything remotely fragile."

Funny you should say that. My youngest (5 years old) uses our Olympus 850sw. And my buddy has been letting his kids use his Olympus 850sw for years. Although I think he might think twice about letting the kids use his brand new Olympus TG-830 that he just got yesterday. At least until he gets it scratched up himself first.

0 upvotes
Jim in Hudson

These are all special use and supplemental cameras which should be viewed that way. If you have a nice DSLR (perhaps weather resistant) or a nice MILC, how much do you really want to spend on another camera for use in environments that are risky enough that you wouldn't use your better camera? Sure, there might be a handful of people who want high IQ but it's quite small compared to those who want both affordability and peace of mind around using any camera where it *could* be damaged.

Maybe the better way to rank these cameras is around various types of special uses. Which are the best underwater? Which are the best for rock climbing, etc? Almost every one of these cameras will be purchased with one of those special needs in mind.

1 upvote
meanwhile

Why is there no rugged XZ-1? Why is there no rugged S110? Why no rugged LX7, or GR or anything with decent image quality? I really don't understand this camera not existing. Surely there are enough photographers looking for something they can take somewhere there is water around, or their camera might get knocked, or the environment is otherwise not camera friendly but where they want to be able to get quality shots?

Is a quality lens inherently and inevitably breakable? And if yes, why doesn't someone just come out and SAY THAT?

Comment edited 34 seconds after posting
4 upvotes
AndyGM

All the cameras you mentioned have lenses that extend from the body when powered on. It is not possible to waterproof such a design (and since it stick out of the front, it would be vunerable to knocks).

All these toughened cameras use folding optics - there is a right angle prism just behind the front element, so the whole lens stays inside the body.

However, that doesn't stop anyone making a tough camera with a 1/1.7" sensor, as used in the XZ-1 and S110. It does make a lot of sense, combining the water/shockproofing of these with the better image quality. No Smartphone could get anywhere near such a camera.

5 upvotes
meanwhile

"All the cameras you mentioned have lenses that extend from the body when powered on."

Yep, I realise that, it was more for an indication of IQ level than body style. I could have said X100 (as it's lens doesn't extend, well a tiny bit), but that's a class up. Or RX100 (who's lens extends, I know). Thinking enthusiast+ level sensor size (1/1.6, 1"), RAW, manual control, sensible size, quality lens, decent corner to corner, good colour, etc.

My question is more along the lines of - can you not do quality folding optics? Is it just not possible? No-one has as yet, so maybe it's just not doable?

0 upvotes
meanwhile

Is it just because it would tick too many boxes, and last too long? Not enough built-in obsolescence?

0 upvotes
mdmiataman

..I have the Olympus TG-2 and I love what it does and how it handles. My first waterproof camera set-up was the Canon PowerShot ELPH 310 HS and the Ikelite underwater case. Camera was $200.00 and the housing was $250.00. Take it anywhere, shoot anywhere. A tad large but for the small sensor size, takes excellent vids and decent printable snaps.

0 upvotes
Gesture

It really doesn't make sense. Think what folks spent on travel adventures (skiing, backpacking, sailing, white-water rafting, etc.). There must be a market for a "tough" camera with the image quality of the enthusiast compact. And if folded-optics it must be, get cracking on it and improve the mode.

Fuji, Sigma, Samsung, Olympus to a certain extent. Not many thinking outside the box.

1 upvote
Deleted pending purge

But it does not have to be folded optics; there are ways to build a casing for linear optics as well, only it wouldn't be "pocketable" - at least not suitable for shirt or jeans pockets. But jacket pockets they'd fit just fine. Moreover, the redesign of the casing lines would get rid of too many flat surfaces, which determine the limits of water pressure resistance. Flat surfaces bend inwards, while conically shaped case would stand a lot more pressure with the same material thickness / weight.
IMO, the problem is in the fact that manufacturers simply refuse to see the huge vacuum in the market where once Nikonos reigned supreme. It's a real mystery: all those serious diving photographers were forgotten, right when the most important feature in u/w photography has become available; the monitor...

0 upvotes
jcmarfilph

Next up Superzoom roundup. Care to do it DPR?

5 upvotes
Riquez

DP - please get these reviews out sooner next time. If I want a tough camera like this I probably want it for summer holidays & so I have already bought one before your review comes out.

4 upvotes
Jeff Keller

Yes, we agree with that. Started it about two months too late. There's always next year!

2 upvotes
mdmiataman

..if I'm not mistaken, these same cameras were reviewed in WDC magazine about 6 weeks ago,.. but still the timing for this collection should have been out by mid-June at the latest,..

0 upvotes
jcmarfilph

Late because you've wasted so much time reviewing/featuring worthless smartphones and lousy apps and joke projects about mobile photography.

4 upvotes
Optimal Prime

Too many GearShop and Amazon links! This page is mostly Ads... C'mon DPR, relax a little and leave the selling to Amazon.

0 upvotes
Jeff Keller

We don't like all those buy boxes either. We're hoping our developers can come up with something better than a huge list.

2 upvotes
falconeyes

How many more times needs this be said?

It makes no sense to compare 35mm-equivalent focals and not compare 35mm-equivalent apertures. Sensor size is not even mentioned in the table, so it is impossible to draw own conclusions. Even if all cameras share one size, this should have been said.

9 upvotes
ANAYV

Compare apertures?
Not sure Why?

Small sensored camera's like these are known to have deep DOF.

When comparing exposure , it's the same.

My FZ200 exposes the same as my GH2 did.

Sensor size is different, but not exposure for given aperture.

Comment edited 2 minutes after posting
2 upvotes
jamesbm

Wouldn't it be a bolder editorial stance to not give awards when basically none of the cameras seem to take good pictures and all have fitness for purpose flaws - displays that cannot be viewed outdoors, poor battery life, badly thought out controls etc?

Comment edited 33 seconds after posting
4 upvotes
Revenant

Good point! However, if someone is in the market for a rugged compact, you can only recommend one of the existing cameras.
Best in class isn't necessarily good, it just have to be better than its rivals.

1 upvote
LaFonte

Those 3 they recommend are indeed the best of the rugged bunch.
And they take a very reasonable images in bad situations.

0 upvotes
seilerbird666

You simply do not understand the physics of shooting underwater. The water changes the physics. A lens used underwater must be optimised for underwater shooting and focussing. You cannot optimise a lens so it works equally as well underwater and in air.
So every one of these style cameras work better either in air or in the water. But none of them can work great in both environments.

0 upvotes
Earthlight

Against these, I would probably opt for a water proof cellphone.

2 upvotes
Marty4650

If your cellphone could make toast, you would probably prefer it over your toaster.

That's just how you cell phone folks are! :)

Comment edited 2 minutes after posting
2 upvotes
AbrasiveReducer

My cellphone makes toast but only underwater.

1 upvote
Leandros S

"We round up the best rugged cameras of 2013" - and you picked the one with the lowest build quality as the winner?

3 upvotes
torske

And not the best IQ.

0 upvotes
torske

Just taken these images with the TG-2. Don't think IQ is that bad.
http://www.flickr.com/photos/torske/sets/72157635009774414/

Comment edited 2 times, last edit 14 minutes after posting
0 upvotes
Jude McDowell

Nice photos. As you say, IQ is not bad; actually I think it's pretty good - but I am not pixel peeping... ...and I too have TG-2 as a beach, skiing and cycling camera so I am obviously biased ;-)

0 upvotes
Mikhail Tal

Anyone who buys any of these cameras from any of the links on this page must really hate money.

3 upvotes
aris14

It's funny to see the prices apart anything else...
Why these cams cost these money and not 20 $ more or less at least according to its features...
And the diffs in pricing in USA and Europe...
Silly..!

0 upvotes
tvstaff

These are poor choices. I'm sorry but the quality leaves little but for the novice consumer. At some point Canon or Nikon will get serious in this space. I like to shoot Kitesurfing and it would be a GREAT pleasure at under $1,500 to have a quality camera with good IQ I could take in the water as I shoot at times up to my neck to get a great perspective. The KEY word here is IQ. I don't need GPS, a can opener or wi-fi. I JUST WANT IQ and DR.... It seems that Canon and Nikon are leaving the market open for some new 4K cameras coming out of China. Make fun of LG if you want but they are about hit Nikon, Canon and Sony in the chest. Fluff cameras like the 70D and such will be the rope that hung them. For under $1,500 I should have a Point and Shoot camera I can throw in my bag that can take the elements. As good as a H4D-60 or Leica S NO!! But how about the IQ of a stripped down camera devoted to IQ and sans all the FLUFF. Enough DR to deal with PP issues in PS. IMHO ;)

1 upvote
LaFonte

You are in wrong company then. Those tested cameras here are not for professional sports or anything beyond pure amateur pics and mostly for families to take with them to a beach.
A professional can easily take his favorite and trusty equipment and buy a marine case for it. There are marine cases for nearly every camera imaginable.

1 upvote
Rod McD

To LaFonte. Here we go yet again...... I don't know why so many commentators seem to offer the suggestion of a high grade pro camera (usually a DSLR) in a housing as the only alternative to these little 'tough cameras'.

Quite apart from the expense of a DSLR housing, you can't conveniently dangle a D4 in a housing off your climbing harness, stuff it in your life jacket or drag it through a cave. Nor can you use all of them one handed. They're huge!

What we NEED is the missing middle ground. Something like a digital equivalent of the old Nikonos. Yes it wasn't a light weight camera or cheap, but it was simply the absolute best at what it did. There are many here who'd pay for something like that again today. One problem is that no-one makes one. The second problem is that no-one is listening!

2 upvotes
Timmbits

I'm glad to see there's no "gold award".
even silver is pushing it.

I own a TS3 - the last roundup's recommendation - and I'm far from being pleased with the picture quality... and they're still doing the stupid megapixel race, making the photosites even smaller and lowering IQ... it's like they're desperate and don't know what to do anymore.

It's a pity though, that you have to choose between low light, bright light, underwater, etc... I mean... it sounds like: here's a list of features, now choose one. you only get one. that's it.

I think it's about time Sony introduced a UW100 (Under-Water RX100)

Comment edited 2 times, last edit 4 minutes after posting
9 upvotes
Total comments: 123
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