Name: Olympus Tough TG-810
What it is: A 14-megapixel digital camera that is both shockproof and waterproof to 33 feet. Olympus designed the camera's rugged housing and reinforced LCD screen to survive drops from a height 6.6 feet and to be crush-proof up to 220 pounds. The camera has a 5X optical zoom and shoots HD video. It's designed to operate in subfreezing temperatures, and its built-in GPS will tag where a photo was taken.
The good: This camera became indispensable on trips to Israel, Mexico and around the U.S. In Israel, the camera was great on a camel. It was tricky to turn and shoot behind me, so I put the camera in Tough in Auto mode, held it over my head and shot blindly behind me. Some shots were better than others, but they were all in focus. The camera also worked well on the ski slopes and dog-sledding in Colorado. On shallow scuba dives (30 feet or less), I primarily shot HD video, which has spectacular color. When I tried stand-up paddle boarding in Alaska, my teacher had the same camera. One of the camel guides in Israel also had an Olympus Tough camera. It's truly built for adventure.
The bad: I wish it had a shutter speed as fast as my SLR camera, but that probably would bump up the price significantly.
Available from: olympus.com, amazon.com, buy.com and adorama.com, among others.Copyright © 2015, Los Angeles Times