Tough Camera Grouptest 2011 - Impact
In the final test each camera was dropped 15ft from a promenade onto a beach. Although the sand would absorb some of the impact, the distance traveled was far in excess of the quoted maximum drop height of each camera.
Sand is both corrosive and has the ability to infiltrate any unprotected seal, doing plenty of damage under the surface. The lens is also susceptible, as a small amount of sand can scratch the surface. The functionality could also be limited by sanding getting between button and the case, which presents a particularly difficult problem for the TX10. With a sliding front panel the sand can easily restrict motion and scrape against the lens, where as the other models offer no such moving parts to cause such an issue.
The fact that each camera is able, according to the manufacturers, to survive a 4 foot drop (although the FT3 can be dropped just over 6 feet) means 15ft should provide something of a test. In actuality each operated perfectly well after being dropped, with the sand provided the biggest issue. The Sony became restricted via the front panel, as predicted, and didn't open immediately. Surprisingly the Fuji XP30 also suffered, as the sand got between the buttons and the casing creating more resistance when each control was pressed. Although the Panasonic FT3 also survived, again performing with flying colours, the damage around the lens created a jagged edge which caused my palm to become lacerated. Although this may not occur with every usage the amount of visible damage inflicted was a worrisome sign. The other two models both performed well, not allowing the sand to infiltrate and showing little to no cosmetic damage as well as taking a perfectly acceptable image.
It's worth mentioning that, due to the waterproof nature of the cameras, it's quite simple to give each model a quick rinse under a tap which should clear out any unwanted elements from around the seals.
Pentax Optio WG1 4/5
Came through impressively for the first time in the test, preventing the sand from infiltrating any section and remaining perfectly operational. There were no major signs of aesthetic damage, and the few remaining specks of sand were brushed away quickly.
Sony CyberShot TX10 2/5
Once again the sliding front panel of the Sony caused an issue, with the sand becoming lodged and scrapping against the camera when the panel is opened. The panel was also visibly out of alignment, which may have been due to the repeated trials of the tests, but it nonetheless shows a lack of hardiness.
Panasonic Lumix FT3 5/5
There were few problems to report, with sand failing to make an impact on the controls or lens. The jagged edge created by the damage in the previous test did need to be monitored to prevent injury, however. After picking up the camera my palm was cut deeply enough to draw blood, which showed the FT3 isn't infallible.
Fuji Finepix XP30 4/5
Annoyingly the Fuji XP30 suffered when the sand managed to infiltrate the space between the buttons and the casing, restricting the movements of the controls. Otherwise the Finepix turned in yet another acceptable, if mediocre, performance all round survivng the fall and taking a decent photo shortly afterward.
Olympus Tough TG-310 3/5
Very few problems from the Olympus TG-310, with there being no physical indications of damage. There were a few scratches, but each was only detectable on close inspection, and the buttons were well guarded by the rubber surround.
This article has more pages:
- 1. Tough Camera Grouptest 2011
- 2. Tough Camera Grouptest 2011 - Water
- 3. Tough Camera Grouptest 2011 - Impact
- 4. Tough Camera Grouptest 2011 - Image Quality and Verdict