Tough Cameras - Verdict
As each camera was judged on three separate criteria it's difficult to have an outright winner, especially as the performances differ vastly across the various tests. The Pentax W90 was the only model to stop working altogether, although the Olympus Mju Tough 8010 had a number of issues and failed to easily return the SD card from its slot.
The Casio EX-G1 and Fujifilm XP10 were two of the most consistent performers yet also the two that produced the poorest image quality of the bunch, with the Casio providing poor test shots when submerged in water and the Fuji proving to be a mediocre performer in standard use. The Sony TX5 promptly suffered cosmetic damage under the pressure of the assault course and its sliding front panel sometimes restricted the camera's ability to power on. These issues aside, the camera did take some decent photos even if the touchscreen wasn't the most responsive method of changing settings. Before the Pentax W90 failed so spectacularly it was performing well, taking balanced and sharp shots across the board as well as being immediately usable post-freezing.
Of all the compacts to be featured in this test the Panasonic FT2 took the best photos by far, even if it wasn't without its issues as a whole. In the freeze test the camera failed to respond immediately, taking a while to power on, then failing to take a photo for a longer period afterwards. The mode dial was constantly being knocked into an unusable position, thus delaying photo-taking. The casing itself showed less cosmetic damage when compared to the Pentax, and it gracefully took underwater photos unlike any of the other models. There were more consistent performers, but the Panasonic managed to excel in numerous criteria that make it a recommended model for both extreme and standard use.