Six Tough, Rugged Cameras

Manufacturers are outdoing themselves in the quest to build a nearly indestructible camera--and the prices are reasonable, too. They're promising that you can freeze, drop, or submerge these models, without a worry.

Casio EX-G1

Casio's slender, 12.1-megapixel EX-G1 measures just 0.78 inch thick and weighs a mere 4.2 ounces, yet it is also designed to resist cold (down to 14 degrees Fahrenheit), water (to a depth of 10 feet), dust, and falls (from a height of up to 7 feet).

It also features shooting modes with the active user in mind, including interval shooting.

Full story | $300

Fujifilm FinePix XP10

Fujifilm recently introduced the FinePix XP10, which is due out in March. According to the company, this versatile $200 model will not only be capable of resisting the elements but will also feature 720p high-definition video recording, motion-tracking autofocus, in-camera tagging for Facebook and YouTube, and digital image stabilization.

Full story | $200

Olympus Tough-8010

Olympus designs its Tough series of cameras for performance under pressure, and the 14-megapixel Tough-8010 has some impressive specs. For starters, the camera is crushproof to 220 pounds of pressure and waterproof down to 33 feet.

It also has 2GB of internal storage, accepts SD or SDHC cards, and has an LED light for underwater shooting.

Full story | $400

Olympus Tough-6020

Olympus has also unveiled the Tough-6020, which is similar in features to the Tough-8010 (14 megapixels, a 5X optical zoom, and a 2.7-inch LCD). At a lower price point, though, the Tough-6020 comes with only 1GB of internal storage and is slightly less resilient than its sibling. Nevertheless, it is still shockproof (to drops of 5 feet), waterproof (down to 16 feet), and freezeproof (to 14 degrees Fahrenheit).

Full story | $300

Panasonic Lumix DMC-TS2

Panasonic has introduced the DMC-TS2, a beefed-up version of last year's rugged, 12-megapixel TS1 with some notable changes. The TS2 boasts a 14.1-megapixel sensor, 4.6X-optical-zoom lens, and SDXC card compatibility. Better yet, the LED lamp will help with underwater shots (to a depth of 33 feet).

Pricing and availability are yet to be announced.

Full story

Sony Cyber-shot DSC-TX5

Sony is upping the ante in the rugged-camera division with the stylish, touchscreen Cyber-shot DSC-TX5. We're especially looking forward to testing the company's claim that the 3-inch touchscreen even works underwater.

The 10-megapixel TX5 features an enhanced version of Sony's Sweep Panorama mode and a 4X optical zoom. It will be available in April.

Full story | $350

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