Not Your Everyday Banana

by Bart Arondson

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We need a new compact camera, we liked our Olympus tough that we brought about 3 years ago as:

  • It has buttons that are easy for my wife to use (she has mild Cerebral Palsy)
  • It does not beak when it is dropped
  • We did not have to protect it from the rain, e.g. it could be put in a pocket when it is raining.
  • It is large enough for my wife to hold, but still small enough to go in a pocket.
  • I have some control over the exposure and other settings.

We did not like:

  • Slow to take photos – so not good for “action shots”
  • Len does not go very wide

We don’t care about:

  • Being able to use a camera under water.

Is there any camera other than the current Olympus tough range we should put on our short list?


Update:

After trying out all the options in a shop, we brought the Fuji XP20, as the buttons on the current Olympus tough cameras have been make a lot smaller and are therefore not useable by my wife.

I don’t know if there will be any camera we can buy in a few years’ time given the current trend toward small buttons...

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Some of the answers to photo.stackexchange.com/q/817/21 may also be of relevance –  Rowland Shaw May 13 '11 at 20:45
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2 Answers 2

up vote 4 down vote accepted

All the rugged cameras go under water, so you cannot get just rugged.

All these cameras have similar image quality due to small sensors, folded optic lenses and somehow none that I know of are great in terms of speed. So if you want to go for action shots, you'll have to let go the ruggedness. Also few fast cameras are pocket size either, so more compromises may be in order.

That being said, a number of newer models have wide-angle lenses. Those include:

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I would look at the Canon PowerShot D10. Canon touts the camera as shockproof from around 4ft.

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Note that the D10 does not have a wide-angle lens. –  Itai May 13 '11 at 15:28
    
Canon D10: 35-105mm –  dpollitt May 13 '11 at 15:34
    
Exaclty! Wide-angle is considered around 28mm. 35mm is pretty standard and where most non-wide digital cameras start. Luckily we see more and more wider lenses, up to 22.5mm ultra-wides now. –  Itai May 13 '11 at 15:38
    
I agree. I would still consider the D10. As you suggested in your answer, more compromises may be in order. –  dpollitt May 13 '11 at 16:45
2  
Traditonally, 35mm (equivalent) is wide angle, but it's not very wide for a P&S zoom. I think that's the source of the confusion here. (A.k.a. "everyone's right" — or, "define your terms where it might be ambiguous".) –  mattdm May 13 '11 at 23:12
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