Waterproof cameras can take abuse. You can brave freezing weather, drop them, dive underwater -- they'll keep shooting.
But traditionally, they've been outdoor-only cameras. They couldn't handle dim indoor light. But the Olympus Tough TG-1 (*Est. $350) is the first do-it-all tough camera, experts say: It actually works well indoors.
"That's a big deal," says Liam McCabe at DigitalCameraInfo.com, where the Olympus TG-1 obliterates six other tough cameras in a head-to-head shootout.
"We've heard from countless readers over the years who want a family camera that can go anywhere and do everything without breaking. The TG-1 is that camera."
The Olympus TG-1 simply outshines its rivals in every test. Photos (12-megapixel) and videos (full 1080p HD) look more vibrant. Easy-access buttons and quick reactions make it a pleasure to use. Rapid-fire shooting captures fast action at 5 full-resolution frames per second (fps), or an incredible 60 fps at 3 megapixels. "It plays back almost like a video," writes one owner at BHPhotoVideo.com, who took the TG-1 surfing and snorkeling in Hawaii.
It packs the most features, too. "No other rugged camera on the market comes close," says Brian Tong at CNET, where the Olympus TG-1 beats the Panasonic Lumix DMC-TS4 in a tough-camera prizefight. Especially useful is the ultra-versatile 4x zoom lens, which stretches out to a wide-angle 25 mm and shoots super close-up, macro photos. Unlike other tough cams, it has a bayonet lens mount, so you can add Olympus' fish-eye attachment (*Est. $100) for bulging wide-angles or telephoto converter (*Est. $100) for 6.8x long-zoom shots.
Finally, it's the toughest point-and-shoot you can buy. The Olympus TG-1 (like its attachments) is dustproof, freezeproof to 14 degrees Fahrenheit, crushproof under 220 pounds of weight, shockproof if dropped 6.6 feet and waterproof to 40 feet. If that's not enough, Olympus sells an underwater housing (*Est. $310) that can dive down to 135 feet.
"No beating around the bush necessary: The Olympus TG-1 is far and away the best waterproof camera of the year," says McCabe at DigitalCameraInfo.com. It's the rugged-camera winner at CNET, the Editors' Choice at PCMag.com, a Gold Award winner at WhatDigitalCamera.com and a favorite of owners, too.