Apocolypse proof point n shoot camera

Discussion in 'Shiny Things' started by papalobster, Oct 21, 2011.

  1. papalobster

    papalobster With Gusto!

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    I'm rough on those little buggers. I go through a PnS every 8 months. Of the last 5, I've had Casio, Olympus, Nikon, Canon and Fuji and all have met their demise through impacts, water or dirt ingestion. The Casio was the toughest, with the Nikon second (submerged in a Boundary Waters lake, dropped on a rock to break the screen, but still took good pictures). The Fuji was the most fragile. A couple of farts and the lens wouldn't open.

    Now my little L22 has finally stopped doing anything, and I'm in the market for a new camera. The missus has the upper end covered, so I don't need a high dollar job, I'm looking for a point and shoot that is water/dust/freeze/impact proof that can accompany me on dual-sports, trail rides, canoe trips, backpack trips, ice riding/fishing all the outdoor activities I want pictures of but tend to destroy cameras while doing.

    Are the current crop of malfeasance resistant cameras worth the extra cost, or should I just get another $80 Nikon and try to take it easy?
    #1
  2. Grainbelt

    Grainbelt marginal adventurer Super Moderator

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    I don't think they've gotten any tougher, and the image quality of the last-generation was sufficient. New ones just make larger files. I'm looking to replace my ancient point and shoot with a new 'tank bag camera' and it is hard to justify 300 bucks for the new waterproof ones.

    I've been occasionally scanning craigslist, ebay, and Dgrin, as well as the used sections at Adorama and B&H. Someday I will find that supercheap Panasonic TS1 I'm looking for. Good luck!
    #2
  3. Fleksta

    Fleksta Been here awhile

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    One of my buddies swears by his Olympus Stylus Tough. He had it with him through his entire Afgan deployment.

    To get a rugged camera you need to spend the money unfortunately. It seems the sub-$100 cameras are pretty much all designed to be throwaways.
    #3
  4. Klay

    Klay dreaming adventurer

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    Panasonic Lumix is supposed to be the schizznit.
    #4
  5. Fleksta

    Fleksta Been here awhile

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    My everyday-carry pocket camera is a Lumix DMC-FP3. Picture quality is decent for what it is but I have doubts about how well it would withstand constant rough handling, and it certainly isn't weatherproof.
    #5
  6. BikePilot

    BikePilot Long timer

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    The olympus 770SW and its successors are astoundingly well built. Really solid stainless steel chassis, very well sealed. Almost impossible to break - about the only way to break one is to mash the screen really hard with a sharp hard point.

    I used mine underwater, in the snow, burried it in snow several times crashing while skiing with it, dropped it from the bike on cobblestone, packed it all over the country dirt biking etc. after years I finally got too careless and ended up crushing the screen with the sharp corner of a scotts steering damper, but it was a really hard hit (and the screen is replaceable for ~$30). Oh, it was also tied to the mast of a cat I endo'd in the gulf of mexico once.

    I got literally thousands of good shots with that camera that I could never have gotten with a normal camera. Very much worth the cost.
    #6
  7. z@ch

    z@ch Turn it up to eleven

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    For a recent cruise, we picked up a Fuji XP-20 on sale for ~$160.

    For the price, we are extremely happy with the photo results. It doesn't have as much impact/crush protection as the Olympus stuff, but at about half the price, I'll just be more careful.
    #7
  8. Marsh Tiger

    Marsh Tiger Been here awhile

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    +1 on that from first hand experience. Not cheap though.

    Sent from my ADR6300 using Tapatalk
    #8
  9. Buccleuch

    Buccleuch I'm just a bean, trying to get some sleep...

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    I've been very happy with my Panasonic Lumix DMC-TS1. I've had it on vacations to Hawaii, Wyoming, and the Western Pacific, as well as use around the house and town. Image quality is very good, it's waterproof (I've used it in the rain and to record hidef video going down a waterslide in Hawaii), dustproof, and shockproof. Can't attest personally to the last two proofs, but it's all I need in a tough camera.

    12MP, and it records HD video. Those were the main things I wanted in an "adventure" camera. The one thing it doesn't do as well as others, perhaps, is flash photography. The flash performance is lacking, and I knew that when I bought it from reviews, but I do very little flash photography, so it wasn't a huge concern for me.

    The next generation is out now - the Lumix DMC-TS2. If I needed an adventure camera right now, I wouldn't hesitate to buy one.

    WA.
    #9
  10. papalobster

    papalobster With Gusto!

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    I'm pretty sure with my experience destroying cameras, the Lumix will not be allowed for purchase. I figure I'm good to $200 or so.
    #10
  11. Timmer

    Timmer Curious Adventurer

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    I've used an Olympus Stylus Tough this past year. The main thing I don't like about it is how long it takes to cycle between photo shots and to initialize. It is waterproof and seems to be durable (I'm a bit hard on cameras).

    The camera I really like is my little Canon Powershot 970. It, however, is a bit sensitive to dust on the opening and closing of the lense.
    #11
  12. fullmonte

    fullmonte Reformed Kneedragger

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    Very happy with my Panasonic TS1. The biggest con is the too small for gloves on/off button, but it has been a tough camera.

    edit: Looks like Panasonic now makes a TS10 using (what appears to be)the same sturdy camera body for $160.
    #12
  13. troidus

    troidus Long timer

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    How about ruggedizing a cheapie? Build an aluminum-clad AB foam-filled exoskeleton with polycarbonate front and back covers, with o-ring sealed aluminum power and shutter buttons. That should toughen it up a bit. If you make the top plate removable, you could use the same basic chassis for years, just changing the button locations and the support foam, and replace the polycarbonate when it gets dinged up.
    #13
  14. z@ch

    z@ch Turn it up to eleven

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    Easy-peasy.


    :huh
    #14
  15. GSWayne

    GSWayne Old Guy nOOb

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    Actually the TS3 has been out for awhile and has gotten good reviews.
    http://www.dpreview.com/reviews/Q311waterproofcompactgrouptest/
    #15
  16. pip_muenster

    pip_muenster curious

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    I've been using an Olympus Tough 8000 at work which has been through sand storms in the dessert, submerged while swimming down rapids and dropped on rocks several times.
    We're also using the newer versions 8010 and 8020. One of them spend a lot of time on my engine protector being hit by rocks from the front wheel.
    - None of the 3 camera have ever failed, they're still going strong. I keep trying to kill mine.
    - It is the only waterproof pocket cam with a protected lens.
    - Especially the newer ones have a huge delay before you can take a photo. The older ones can be found cheep on the web.

    --> They're great, if you want it tough.:whip
    --> For quick snapshots and image quality, there are better cameras on the market.
    #16
  17. Jack90210

    Jack90210 quia ego nominor leo

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    I have a Canon PowerShot that is a good 5-6 years old. It's been through a full cycle in the washer, gotten wet in my pocket and had the lens jammed up by my 2-year-old. It still works fine.

    Also, there are some other options that you may not have considered:

    [​IMG]
    #17
  18. DriveShaft

    DriveShaft Long timer

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    The no-excuses apocalypse-proof camera bar is set by an oddball camera: The Ricoh G700se. Good luck finding one, though.
    #18
  19. lstzephyr

    lstzephyr Solo con rambo

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    My pentax w20 has been through all kinds of hell. It has been in my pocket through numerous motorcycle crashes and quite a few snowboarding mishaps. I have ended up in the hospital a couple times while it was in my pocket and it still works. Its been diving, dropped off cliffs(20ft), dropped on floors, dropped in snow, frozen in ice, dropped in beer, run over, and generally battered. Its 7 years old now, the screen cracked a couple years back but it still works great. I've probably taken 10k pictures with it, if not more. When it dies I will be buying another Pentax W series, this one has impressed me.

    Plus it takes pictures like this, not the greatest picture quality but it gets out of the way and lets me shoot what I want.

    [​IMG]

    (Yeah it fell off that rock too)
    #19
  20. vtwin

    vtwin Air cooled runnin' mon

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    I've broken two Nikons with drops. I am also rough on cameras. One Nikon's lens is stuck, I think a bug got stuck in the works since I mounted it on a RAM ball while I ride and take pictures. Plus it's been dropped a few times causing the lens to not close completely. The second Nikon got hooked onto a brake line I was making up for my pickup truck and pulled it off the fender onto the ground. Now the screen is black as well as all the shots. So my brother found a deal for an Olympus TG310 for $99 from Walgren's Online of all places. I think the deal only lasted one or two days. Still haven't taken any pictures with it just yet though.

    http://www.dpreview.com/reviews/Q209waterproofgroup/
    #20