I have not used a shock/water/freeze proof camera for a long time, last time we had one was an Olympus Stylus 770.
Our Olympus camera got wet when the warranty was over and it was annoying to hear the reasons given of Olympus’ Service Center staff.
This made me swear never to buy a water proof camera again.
For the next couple years, I have been using a Nikon dSLR for vacations. Photo quality was always good especially in low light but there are lots of limitations because of the camera’s bulk.
When I started using an iPhone for quick shots, me and my family found it entertaining that photos are geotagged and that the location of the photo can be seen using iPhoto.
We suddenly decided to get a compact camera as we needed something in between the dSLR and a camera phone.
Our iPhone takes a lot of photos, but there are always limitations since it does not have Optical Zoom and Photos taken with the flash on are really not that good.
Main reason why we decided to get a shock proof camera is that my daughter is starting to bring a camera for her field trips. Having the durable camera means fewer worries for accidental impact. Having the camera water proof was just a bonus for us.
We also decided that our next point and shoot should have a built-in GPS so that travel photos are geotagged.
After walking around in malls and making a short research, my initial list was the following:
FinePix XP30 was out since my wife did not like the look of the camera, she found it too fancy.
Coolpix AW100 was out since at the time when we were buying one, they only had black.
Lumix DMC-FT3 was chosen thanks to the good reviews I found online, the Coolpix was a very close second but there’s something about the feel of the Lumix that made us buy it.
I honestly forgot how fun it was to own an all weather compact camera.
You can take photos while in the pool, no need to dry your hands before grabbing your camera and you can leave the camera by your beach chair without worrying too much.
It’s also easier to ask strangers for favours to take family photos for you since the camera is a point and shoot.
Definitely a compact camera is a great device to own. Limitations are there but it’s a perfect complement to a dSLR and Camera Phone.