We pit six of the finest tough compacts up against one another to establish which is the most durable when they’re subjected to a series of brutal tests

Compact cameras have been overshadowed by the convenience and practicality of smartphones in recent years, but it’s important to remember that not all smartphones feature a tough, rugged or waterproof design and are not the best camera to use when you’re faced by challenging shooting situations.

Taking snapshots around the pool, shooting on the beach or using a camera out on the slopes in winter can present a high risk of damage and costly repair bills, unless you decide to take the precautionary measure of buying a tough compact that’s designed to shrug off all the types of things you’d normally associate with breaking a camera.

Beach-Shot-Opener-for-WDC

From left to right: Fujifilm XP80, Pentax WG-5, Canon PowerShot D30, Nikon Coolpix AW130, Olympus Stylus TOUGH TG-4, Panasonic Lumix FT5

 

This year’s battle of the toughest compacts brings together six of the best models on the market from the likes of Canon, Nikon, Olympus, Panasonic, Fujifilm and Ricoh.

Last time we ran a similar group test, Olympus and Panasonic models fared extremely well, so it’s going to be interesting to find out whether they still come out on top and how they all compare when they’re subjected to a series of grueling tests that’ll see them dunked underwater, frozen in ice and dropped from arm’s length onto a solid concrete floor.

Tough-Camera-frozen-group-shot

Are these six cameras truly freeze-proof? Only one way to find out…

Over the next pages we’ll examine each camera thoroughly before revealing our verdict on which tough compact makes the best buy.

  1. 1. Introduction
  2. 2. Canon PowerShot D30
  3. 3. Fujifilm XP80
  4. 4. Nikon Coolpix AW130
  5. 5. Ricoh WG-5
  6. 6. Olympus Stylus TOUGH TG-4
  7. 7. Panasonic Lumix FT5
  8. 8. Verdict
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  • As a publicity photographer I use a Canon 5D3 but I had to use my Oly tough TG-4 the other day to get some water shots, the results were amazing and I’m so glad I packed the cam in my kit bag. Olympus Stylus TG-4 is a great camera, even my very young children use it too!