High quality, small, yet rugged P&S camera?

Started Nov 17, 2012 | Discussions thread
Rod McD Veteran Member • Posts: 5,580
Re: High quality, small, yet rugged P&S camera?


I think you're seeking a holy grail that hasn't been made yet - ie all of bigger sensor for IQ and waterproof and "ruggedised".  I can see that there's a market for one.....but it's just not something anyone makes today.  Apparently all manufacturers think that us outdoors types accept small sensor IQ.  I'd say it's quite the opposite - people who go to wonderful places want their cameras to survive and get great IQ.

AFAIK, all those small waterproof  "rugged-ised" cameras have quite small sensors and folded light paths, so they may not deliver the IQ you're seeking to make your PP worthwhile.  Even at the picture taking stage, they have few external controls and the menu-diving is tedious.  And they aren't that rugged or waterproof either........ if you go to the user reviews and blogs out there you'll find many a story of leaks occurring and poor responses from the manufacturers on warranty.  I know friends who've been happy with their Panasonic FT4's, but  I was equally very disappointed to read the DPR user reviews from those who've experienced leaks with that model.  I also know people who bought them to use dry just to avoid sand grain damage.  In that, they've been successful.

If you don't want a water resistant DSLR like a K5, then perhaps a better compact with a waterproof housing is a possibility, but I get from your post that your actually contemplating hiking and not diving, surfing or wet sailing conditions.  Nevertheless, if that option does appeal, Canon has one the for the G12 (and I think the new G15?) and they also make one for the large sensor G1X which really does turn out impressive IQ from a small-ish package.  (It has a 1.5" sensor, which is just a little smaller than APSC).

The last really rugged, high IQ non-DSLR camera that was utterly waterproof (without a housing) was the Nikonos 35mm film camera.  The last model was the Nikonos 5.  It still fetches good prices for good used examples.  No current waterproof camera even approaches the quality.  Full "o"ring sealing and absolutely bombproof, but no AF and not that small or light.  And of course it's film.......

In the meantime, my gauge is that you just need to buy the compact camera that has the IQ that appeals, and protect it from the rain, sea and sand.......  My solution is the Canon G1X.  Or possibly the new Fuji APSC mirror-less XE1 at double the price........ Others like the Sony RX100.

Best of luck - I understand where you're coming from.

Cheers, Rod

 Rod McD's gear list:Rod McD's gear list
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