Which waterproof, weather-defying, ruggedized compact digital camera rates the best?


posted Saturday, October 13, 2012 at 9:13 AM EST


Imaging Resource just tested and reviewed a half-dozen of the most popular waterproof, weatherproof, ruggedized compact digital cameras on the market -- models you can take anywhere without worrying if they get wet or banged around -- for our Waterproof Shootout 2012. Our six contenders (in alphabetical order) included the:

Just how rugged and element-defying are these cameras? All but one selected for our Waterproof Shootout 2012 can be submerged down to at least 33 feet, and they all are rated for drops from at least five feet without incurring damage. They're also dustproof and freezeproof down to 14 degrees Fahrenheit. 


The cameras we chose also share a lot of the same features and photographic limitations, such as zoom lenses that are recessed inside the body and protected by waterproof optical glass plates, but only have a 4X or 5X maximum zoom range. They are all capable of capturing Full HD video, but shoot stills in strictly JPEG format (no RAW files here).

We found that each of our six waterproof cameras we tested side-by-side has its strong suits, weaknesses and quirks. And you might be surprised to find out which models held fast, and which ones sunk in our Waterproof Shootout 2012.