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Tough cameras, perfect for juggling

Sometimes you need a camera that is rugged, built to last, waterproof and can handle some unsympathetic punishment. I was looking for a point-and-shoot compact camera that can handle the rigors of mountain climbing, snowboarding, river rafting or maybe juggling.

While there are multiple shock-proof cameras to choose from, the Olympus Tough TG810 seemed to be perfect for my juggling test. I needed a camera that quite possibly might hit the ground during my test.

The juggling test took place in a grassy field, but I did make a few drops onto tougher surfaces, such as hard-packed dirt, a rock and the sand at the beach. It’s nice working with a camera that you don’t have to handle with care.

When a camera like this gets dirty, you just rinse and dry it off. How nice is that? Anytime I’m working with my DSLR or regular compact camera at the beach, desert or the snow, there’s always the worry of a splash of water at an inopportune time. I recall during an assignment many years ago getting bumped out of a river raft with a film camera. Needless to say, my camera and motor drive needed a very expensive repair. Most cameras we use today are high-tech marvels, but not exactly impervious to everyday thrills and spills.

Be sure to check the manufacturer’s website for details of the drop height, water depth, freezing temperature and crushing weight their cameras are warranted to survive. They all have different specifications.

As for the Olympus TG810, it can handle a drop of 6.6 feet, which was fine for my juggling test and drop tests. It passed these tests easily.

The camera has a crushproof rating of 220 pounds of pressure. I could stand on the camera without going on a diet. It will also withstand a low temperature of 14 degrees Fahrenheit and is waterproof to 33 feet.

The disadvantage to this style of camera is its size. The TG810 is larger and heavier than the typical compact camera I normally carry, but my usual camera is much more fragile. So you have to give up some svelteness to add some ruggedness.

The 14-megapixel camera with features 5X Optical Zoom (28-140 mm equivalent), 1280 x 720 HD video recording, GPS, image stabilization and 3D photo mode.

Among other entries in the field are the:

Nikon Coolpix AW100  (left) — This camera is also waterproof, shockproof and freezeproof.

Sony Cyber-Shot DSC-TX10 (right) — This camera uses a 16.2-megapixel Sony waterproof design and includes 3-D Sweep Panorama and full HD 1080 video.

Panasonic Lumix DMC-TS3 (left) — This rugged, outdoor, 12.1-megapixel camera has a 4.6 x optical image stabilized zoom.

Pentax Optio WG-1 Kit Digital Camera (right) — This sporty 14-megapixel camera is available in a variety of vibrant colors, features 720 HD video and uses a carabiner strap for your outdoor adventures.

robert.lachman@latimes.com

Read more reviews and photography tips by Robert Lachman

3 Comments

  1. December 21, 2011, 11:59 pm

    […] Latest Camera News December 22nd, 2011 | Author: admin Tweet Tough cameras, perfect for juggling Sometimes you need a camera that is rugged, built to last, waterproof and can handle some unsympathetic punishment. I was looking for a point-and-shoot compact camera that can handle the rigors of mountain climbing, snowboarding, river rafting or maybe … Read more on Los Angeles Times (blog) […]

  2. December 24, 2011, 8:32 pm

    I have the Olympus TG600 (I bought it in March at Best Buy) and I could not be happier! I haven't dropped the camera yet, or taken it under water, but it does take some really nice pictures and I love all of the Photoshop-type options in the menu, such as funhouse mirror, sepia tones, framing, etc. Not a bad camera for the price, either.

    By: vtv
  3. July 4, 2013, 5:50 am

    It can record either up to five seconds MPEG 4 playback or unlimited video recording, depending on

    your preferred setting. It is quite effective in hiding surveillance cameras and looks very professional.

    As people are unable to tell the current angle

    of the camera, they are less likely to take a

    chance that it is not facing them.

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