The 10 Best rugged cameras

Looking for equipment that will survive the elements? Our selection of sturdy models will put you in the picture

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The Independent Online

1. Fuji XP200

This is lovely and easy to handle, thanks to its rubberised back panel and ribbed edges. The controls are also user-friendly and the screen crystal-clear and bright. Together with its feature-rich design, it means this gets a big thumbs-up from Digital Camera magazine.


2. Nikon Coolpix AW110

This feature-packed camera handles underwater excursions up to 18m deep and you can even freeze it to -10C or drop it from up to 2m. There’s GPS with a world map to chart your snaps, Wi-Fi, and an altimeter and barometer.


3. Canon PowerShot D20

The intuitive point-and-shoot modes of this slim and sturdy camera make this a great choice for amateur photographers. There are plenty of advanced features, too, as well as impressive detailing on the images, though expect the general operation to be a bit slower than on its competitors.


4. Pentax WG-3

This camera seems to know no bounds in terms of what you can do to it and it’s particularly good on capturing low light and action snaps without that annoying motion haze. It can shoot to 14m deep for up to two hours, has an extra-large monitor, and the full HD movie recording is great quality, too.


5. VTech Kidizoom Twist Plus

Children need their cameras to be more rugged than most. The Kidizoom is easily the most child-friendly design on the market, with an extra-large screen, digital zoom, movie making, photo editing, flash, and plenty of games.


6. Olympus Tough TG-2

Casing doesn’t get more robust and besides all the usual impressive features – including being waterproof up to 15m deep – the real standout points are the lens’s impressively large aperture and aperture-priority modes. No wonder TechRadar, the UK’s biggest tech website, rates it so highly.


7. Sony Cyber-Shot TX30

There’s no need to sacrifice style for practicality. Not only is this camera waterproof up to 10m deep and  shockproof with drops up to 1.5m, as well as being dust- and freeze-proof, but it’s far more stylish and lightweight than its competitors and it takes fabulous close-ups.


8. Nikon 1AW1

This is the world’s first rugged, waterproof mirrorless interchangeable-lens camera. Even the pop-up flash is waterproof and the camera includes three modes that attempt to optimise underwater photos.


9. Panasonic Lumix FT5

Outdoor families will enjoy the full-HD movie-recording device, along with the level of punishment that this camera will take in comparison to your average compact. It has built-in GPS, compass, altimeter and barometer, and it’s waterproof to 12m deep and shockproof to 2m.


10. GoPro HERO3+

Featuring a 20 per cent smaller and lighter design and a 30 per cent better battery life than on previous models, this sports camera also has an improved lens and new video modes. There are plenty of nifty features and accessories and it’s really easy to operate.


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