by ʇolɐǝz ǝɥʇ qoq

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All my "point and shoot" cameras always end with noticeable dust in the lens (usually just after the warranty expiration), and although they otherwise work fine, I'm forced to buy another one.

I think that the dust enters inside the moving zoom elements, so searching on the web I've read about the so called "beach cameras" that are made to prevent the sand to enter inside, but the picture quality is ugly compared to other point & shoot cameras.

Are there "beach cameras" with acceptable quality?

I do need an handy point & shoot; I'm not interested in a "cleanable" dSLR. The last one lasted just one year, and having bought it in Japan, the warranty is out of question.

share|improve this question
Quick question: is dust getting in the lens and preventing it from zooming, or getting on the sensor and showing up in images, or is it just inside the lens visible when you look into the lens? – mattdm Oct 13 '11 at 10:50
When zooming the lens movement is ok, but the dust is even more noticeable and crisp in images. Looking at the lenses it is barely noticeable. – UVL Oct 13 '11 at 11:33
Some dust on the lenses will never be visible in the images. A thick layer of dust would only be noticable as a reduction in sharpness. If you see the dust in the images, then it's definitely on the sensor. – Guffa Oct 14 '11 at 6:39
Thanks, does this help to understand how the dust came inside? – UVL Oct 14 '11 at 14:00
up vote 5 down vote accepted

First, any waterproof camera will do. Those are completely sealed against dust, moisture, water, snow, etc.

The constraint on the lens they use means limited flexibility and certainly lower quality than standard cameras of a similar size. Among those, the best one I've seen so far is the Nikon Coolpix AW100 which I reviewed here. Do look at the sample gallery because for small prints, the quality is certainly acceptable in decent light.

You have to compromise somewhere, if the quality of any of those is not good enough. I suggest you learn to be more careful with your cameras. Store it in a well-sealed bag, clean it often, etc. I have owned some cameras for years and never seen more than a few specs of dust inside a fixed-lens camera. The DSLRs on the other hand get their share but it depends on the climate.

share|improve this answer
Thanks, it looks nice but having a GPG and being waterproof looks a bit too much. After browsing you site I've found some cameras with the zoom of type "internal", and this looks like to be the feature I have to look for. (being internal, I suppose there are no external gaps between the zoom elements). About you suggestion of being more careful with the camera, you are right, but I'm bringing it almost anywhere and every day, so I want to minimize the risks. – UVL Oct 13 '11 at 15:07
I meant GPS ... looks like I can't edit comments. – UVL Oct 13 '11 at 15:22
Yes, indeed. An internal zoom has all the mechanism inside the camera and there no gaps. These are used for waterproof cameras but also for plenty of ultra-compacts to make them very slim. Sony makes the most of those, I believe, and Fuji has some of the highest quality ones among them. – Itai Oct 13 '11 at 15:49
At a shop I've seen the Fujifilm XP20 that is waterproof. I'm just waiting to see some pictures taken with it (via the Flickr camera finder. Any other options?) and I'll eventually buy it. – UVL Oct 17 '11 at 10:43
I've just found some XP20 pictures, and the details are ALWAYS blurred, the faces of people in background are almost flat. Looks like my search has not ended. – UVL Oct 17 '11 at 11:00

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