What is the Toughest, Most Waterproof Digital Camera?

After a few lazy weekends spent rafting down the Chattahoochee River here in Georgia, we're starting to think that a good waterproof camera might be a sound investment. You know, something to help us remember the lazy weekends we spend scootin' down the 'Hooch. Luckily, we've found a cheat sheet to help us make the decision on which is the most rugged and outdoorsy digital camera to blow our dough on.

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Popular Mechanics sent three of the most popular "tough" digital cameras through a wringer of tests to suss out their true grit. The Casio EX-G1 ($189.99), Kodak PlaySport ($118.14) and Olympus Stylus Tough-8010 ($268) all competed for the title of "most rugged" camera by competing in three tests:

  • A grime test, where the cameras were sealed in a bag filled with dirt, sand and dust—and regularly shaken up—for three days.
  • A water test, where the cameras stayed powered on and submerged for three days, coming up for air just long enough to snap a few pictures before diving back in.
  • The drop and smash test, where the cameras were each dropped from increasing heights, then smashed by a baseball bat on flat concrete for good measure.


The grime test went to Kodak, and the smash test to Casio (which even survived through a hard hit with the baseball bat). The water test was a wash (ha!), with Popular Mechanics deciding in a three-way tie.

So what does it all mean, Basil? Any one of these, or the other awesome waterproof cameras on the market, are well worth the money. They're each going to be able to stand up to the most common adventures.

(Images: CaseySmartt.com, Popular Mechanics)

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Taryn is a writer, maker, designer, and editor of lifestyle blog Formal Fringe. She lives in an apartment in Atlanta with her fiancé, their Boston Terrier and lots of serving dishes.

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