Point and shoot waterproof cameras are becoming a bit more popular in the market, so that makes the process of choosing the best camera with waterproof and "tough" capabilities a little more difficult. However, that also means that you have more good choices in terms of these types of cameras.
Keep in mind that a waterproof camera requires you to do regular maintenance on it, and you don't want to exceed the manufacturer's limitations when it comes to water depth. Still, if you follow the rules, underwater photography can be a great hobby. The waterproof tough cameras here are listed in alphabetical order.
The D20 has some strong waterproof features, including the ability to work in up to 33 feet of water depth. It also can survive a fall up to 5 feet, and it can work in temperatures as low as 14 degrees Fahrenheit. You'll appreciate the underwater macro mode in the D20.
The photography features found in the PowerShot D20 aren't too bad, either, with 12.1MP of resolution in a CMOS image sensor, full 1080p video capabilities, a 3.0-inch LCD, and a 5X optical zoom lens.
The D20 is available in blue, yellow, orange, or silver camera bodies with black, curved trim, depending on your location in the world.
Fujifilm's FinePix XP10 has a set of limited tough features, including: The ability to survive up to 10 feet of water, a 3-foot drop, and 14-degree Fahrenheit temperatures.
The XP10 offers an interesting non-symmetrical camera body that's available in five colors: Black, blue, green, pink, and silver. The lens is off center and the left side is rounded, giving the XP10 a unique look.
The FinePix XP170 has 14.4MP of resolution, a 5X optical zoom lens, a 2.7-inch LCD, and 1080p HD video recording. The XP170 measures only 1 inch in thickness.
This Fujifilm model can work in up to 33 feet of water depth, can survive a fall up to 6 feet, and will work in temperatures as low as minus-14 degrees Fahrenheit.
The XP170 is available in blue or orange camera bodies.
"Tough" still image digital cameras are growing in popularity and availability. "Tough" dual digital cameras aren't quite as easy to find, though, which makes the Kodak EasyShare PlaySport dual camera an interesting option.
The PlaySport can shoot full 1080p HD video in a small video camera body. With still images, the Playsport can shoot at 5MP of resolution. It has a 2.0-inch LCD.
The Playsport's "tough" features include the ability to work in up to 10 feet of water depth, the ability to survive a short fall, and a dust-proof camera body. Kodak is providing five colors for the PlaySport: Aqua, black, green, red, and white.
Those seeking some advanced features in a tough point and shoot camera will want to take a close look at the Olympus Tough TG-1 iHS.
To start with, Olympus has included a high-resolution, 3.0-inch OLED screen with the TG-1 iHS, making this screen easy to view underwater. This camera's 12 megapixel CMOS image sensor should work well in low light. You can shoot in up to 40 feet of water depth with the TG-1 iHS, which is an impressive feature. It also can survive a fall from up to 6.6 feet.
In addition, the TG-1 iHS has a 4X optical zoom lens and a 1080p HD movie mode. Look for the TG-1 iHS, which is only available in silver with black trim, to carry a pretty high sub-$400 price point for all of these features.
The TG-320, which is available in blue or red, has only a 3.6X optical zoom lens and a 2.7-inch LCD, both of which are a bit of a disappointment, as those are below-average features for a new point and shoot camera.
Still, the TG-320's tough features are interesting, as you can shoot 720p HD video underwater at depths up to 10 feet. It can survive a 5-foot drop and works in temperatures as low as 14 degrees Fahrenheit.
Panasonic's latest "tough" camera, the Lumix TS4, provides the ability to work in water depths up to 40 feet. Its ability to work in such deep water sets it apart from many of the point and shoot tough cameras on the market.
The other tough features with the TS4 -- also called the FT4 in some parts of the world -- shows that it can survive a fall of up to 6.6 feet, and it works in temperatures as low as 14 degrees Fahrenheit. The TS4 is an upgrade to last year's TS3.
The TS4 has 12.1MP of resolution, a 4.6X optical zoom lens, 1080p HD video, and a 2.7-inch LCD. The TS4 is a colorful option, available in orange, blue, black, and silver.
The Optio W90 digital camera from Pentax offers a nice set of tough features, making it a good option for nature photography.
It works in up to 20 feet of water depth, can survive a fall of 4 feet, and can operate in temperatures as low as 14 degrees Fahrenheit. In addition, the Optio W90 includes a "microscope" mode, using an LED light for close-up focus.
The photography features found with the Optio W90 are good, too, as it offers 12.1 megapixels of resolution, a 5X optical zoom lens, 720p HD video resolution, an HDMI port, and a 2.7-inch LCD screen.
The Optio W90 is available in a mostly black camera body, with two choices in trim color -- black and pistachio green.
There's no hiding the primary purpose of the TIPA award-winning Pentax Optio WG-2 digital camera -- it's a rugged model, and it carries many features that give it the "tough" designation, including the ability to work in up to 40 feet of water depth, to survive a fall up to 5 feet, to withstand up to 220 pound-force, and to work in temperatures as low as 14 degrees Fahrenheit. In addition, one version of this model has a built-in GPS unit.
The Optio WG-2 has a lot of soft, shock-absorbing material around its edges, aiding some of its tough features.
Look for the TX10 to carry the ability to work underwater and to survive a fall from a short distance. In addition, Sony says the TX10 is freeze-proof and dust-proof.
It features a 3.0-inch touch-screen LCD and the ability to shoot 1080i HD video. With the TX10, you also can shoot in a 3D still image mode or a 3D sweep panorama mode. It's available in some interesting colors, including black, blue, green (shown here), pink, and silver.