One of the fastest growing segments in the digital camera market is compact, rugged cameras. Five years ago you had just two manufacturers selling waterproof cameras (Olympus and Pentax). In 2013, every major manufacturer is now producing at least one waterproof/rugged model.
That makes choosing the right rugged camera a bit of challenge. To aid in your search, we recently tested six cameras in this class, and we'll summarize the results in this article. The contenders include the Canon PowerShot D20, Nikon Coolpix AW110, Olympus TG-2, Panasonic Lumix DMC-TS5/FT5, Pentax WG-3 GPS, and Sony Cyber-shot DSC-TX30.
The following chart will give you a quick overview of how these six cameras compare in terms of features and specs:
|Canon D20||Nikon AW110||Olympus TG-2||Panasonic TS5||Pentax WG-3||Sony TX30|
|Resolution||12.1 MP||16.0 MP||12.0 MP||16.1 MP||16.0 MP||18.2 MP|
|Screen res||461k dot||610k dot||610k dot||460k dot||460k dot||1.23M dot|
|Max depth||10 m||18 m||15 m||13 m||14 m||10 m|
|Shockproof||1.5 m||2 m||2.1 m||2 m||2 m||1.5 m|
|Crushproof||No||No||100 kgf||100 kgf||100 kgf||No|
|0.9 m||1.3 m||2.0 m||1.4 m||2.6 m||0.8 m|
|Manual exposure||No||No||Yes (Av)||Yes (M)||No||No|
|Battery life||280 shots||250 shots||350 shots||370 shots||240 shots||250 shots|
|228 g||193 g||230 g||214 g||239 g||140 g|
As you can see, no camera has 'everything', but some come pretty close. While none of the cameras really 'wowed' us, there are a couple worth considering.
This article will give you a quick overview of each camera and how they performed, followed up by our final thoughts and recommendations. Head on to the next page to begin!
If you're new to digital photography you may wish to read the Digital Photography Glossary before diving into this article (it may help you understand some of the terms used).
Conclusion / Recommendation / Ratings are based on the opinion of the reviewer, you should read the ENTIRE review before coming to your own conclusions.
Images which can be viewed at a larger size have a small magnifying glass icon in the bottom right corner of the image, clicking on the image will display a larger (typically VGA) image in a new window.
To navigate the review simply use the next / previous page buttons, to jump to a particular section either pick the section from the drop down or select it from the navigation bar at the top.
DPReview calibrate their monitors using Color Vision Optical at the (fairly well accepted) PC normal gamma 2.2, this means that on our monitors we can make out the difference between all of the (computer generated) grayscale blocks below. We recommend to make the most of this review you should be able to see the difference (at least) between X,Y and Z and ideally A,B and C.
This article is Copyright 2013 and may NOT in part or in whole be reproduced in any electronic or printed medium without prior permission from the author.