Adventure & Swimsuit Models for Summer 2014

Adventure & Swimsuit Models for Summer 2014


While the overall category of point-and-shoot cameras (defined as digital cameras without interchangeable lenses) has steadily declined over the past few years, there are a few bright spots. These include long-zoom models and high-end enthusiast niche models that continue to attract an avid cult following. Another major exception: ruggedized, waterproof, active lifestyle cameras that do double duty as walk-around point & shoots and are perfect for taking to the beach, on the boat, on a hike or any other place you might think twice about taking an unprotected DSLR or CSC—or even a smartphone.

Active lifestyle cameras featuring waterproof, dustproof, shockproof and freezeproof construction have been around for decades. But over the past few years, this expanding market sector has seen a remarkable transformation, with new or seriously updated models from virtually every major camera maker.

Virtually all the latest entries we’ve detailed here pack an amazing complement of high-tech features, including Full HD 1080p video capability, into fashionably rugged-looking or stylishly slim packages designed to appeal to hikers, travelers, boaters, beach bums and the outdoorsy set. The latest models feature higher res sensors, bigger, higher-res LCDs, OLED monitors, built-in Wi-Fi and GPS—and enhanced waterproof ratings to appeal to scuba divers.

Positioned at the intersection of high style, high adventure and cutting-edge technology, they deliver a satisfying combination of high-end performance and shooting flexibility that makes them a high-value proposition for consumers who want to go anywhere, in any weather, and create memorable images along the way.

Here are just a few of the latest, most enticing active-lifestyle models your customers will be comparing before they swipe their credit cards. The fact that most of them come in several delicious colors is another big plus when presenting them to folks who are fashion conscious, female, young or just young at heart.  

Olympus Stylus Tough TG-3. This crisply styled successor to the TG-2 adventureproof camera incorporates the same fast, water-repellent f/2 lens (4x, 25–100mm f/2–4.9 equivalent) as its predecessor, but the new flagship of the iconic Tough line sports an upgraded 16MP ½.3-inch BSI CMOS sensor (up from 12MP), the latest TruePic VII image processor and built-in Wi-Fi. It’s waterproof to 50 feet, shockproof to 6.9 feet, crushproof to 220 pounds and freezeproof to 14º F. It features: a 3.0-inch, 460k-dot LCD; Full HD 1080p video capability at 60 fps with multi-motion movie IS; full-res bursts at 5 frames per sec (60 fps at 3MP); interval shooting from 1 second to 24 hours; microscope mode, built-in GPS, e.compass and manometer functions; and four underwater modes, including macro. The TG-3 accepts Tough lens pack kits that maintain its waterproof rating: the telephoto lens pack ($109) extends the zoom to 6.8x; the fisheye lens pack ($119) converts the lens to a 19mm equivalent and captures a rounded 130º angle fisheye effect. $349.99 in red or black.

Panasonic Lumix DMC-TS5. This indestructible-looking camera is waterproof to 43 feet, dustproof, freezeproof to 14º F and built to survive a drop of 6.5 feet and 220 pounds of pressure. It incorporates: an augmented 16.1MP CMOS sensor (up from 12.1MP on the TS4); a 4.6x, 28–128mm Leica DC Vario-Elmar lens; a new, larger, higher res 3.0-inch, 460k-dot AR-coated LCD; optical image stabilization; and sonic speed AF claimed to be 28% faster than before. It can capture Full HD 1,920×1,080 video in AVCHD/MP4 formats with stereo and now provides built-in Wi-Fi and Near Field Communication (NFC) connectivity for easy transfers. Its unique quad indicator includes GPS, compass, altimeter and barometer functions to record altitude, barometric pressure and orientation data—with the barometer indicating depth when underwater! $249.99 in orange, blue, black and silver.

Nikon Coolpix AW120. Sleekly stylish but with plenty of attitude, the AW120 is now waterproof to 59 feet, freezeproof to 14º F and withstands a drop of up to 6.6 feet. Its features include a 16MP CMOS sensor, a 5x, 24–120mm f/2.8–4.9 equivalent Nikkor zoom lens and a higher res, 3.0-inch, 910k-dot OLED antireflective monitor. Its hybrid vibration reduction system includes lens-shift and electronic VR, and the AW120 offers built-in GPS and an electronic compass, as well as built-in Wi-Fi to enable remote control via a smartphone or tablet. It even has a built-in map displayed on the LCD and a points-of-interest function. Other niceties include Full HD 1080p video capture at various frame rates with stereo sound, numerous scene modes, including easy auto and underwater scene, and a unique action control that lets users control selected camera functions one-handed by shaking the camera. $299.95 in orange, black, blue and camouflage.

Fujifilm FinePix XP70. Distinctively styled in an eye-catching contemporary manner, the latest version of Fujifilm’s adventureproof XP series is a rugged digital camera that is waterproof to 33 feet, shockproof to withstand a drop from 5 feet, dustproof and freezeproof to 14° F. It employs a 16.4MP high-speed CMOS sensor, a 5x, 28–140mm optical zoom lens and built-in Wi-Fi connectivity for one-touch transfer to smartphones and tablets. The XP70 also features a 2.7-inch antireflective LCD, optical image stabilization, action camera mode, 10 filters, HDR capture, motion panorama 360º and Full HD 1080p movie capture, even underwater. $229.95 in blue, orange or yellow.

Canon PowerShot D30. Canon’s sporty, ergonomically contoured 12.1MP entry into the adventure-camera sweepstakes is an upgraded version of last year’s popular D20. It’s now waterproof to an impressive 82 feet (up from 33 feet), shockproof to withstand a 6.5-foot drop and temperature resistant from 14º–104º F. Its feature set includes: a 5x, 28–140mm f/3.9–4.8 equivalent lens; a 3.0-inch, 461k-dot, Pure Color LCD with a delta dot pattern and sunlight LCD mode for enhanced performance; intelligent image stabilization; and built-in GPS. The D30 can shoot Full HD 1080p video at a cinematic 24 fps and has a wind filter feature and optical zoom while shooting for maximum movie flexibility. The camera also boasts low-light shooting performance via Canon’s HS system, which is powered by the 12.1MP High-Sensitivity CMOS sensor and Digic 4 processor. $329.99 in blue.

Ricoh WG-4 GPS.
A rebadged version of the Pentax Optio WG-3, the latest iteration of the very successful, uniquely styled WG line features built-in GPS and a built-in digital compass. It’s also waterproof to 45.9 feet, shockproof up to a 6.5-foot drop, crushproof up to 220 pounds and can operate at temps as low as 14º F. This 16MP classic has a wide-aperture 4x, 25–100mm f/2–4.9 equivalent zoom lens plus 7.2x digital zoom, providing a combined 28.8x intelligent zoom range. Other features include: a 3.0-inch, 460k-dot LCD; Full HD 1080p recording at 30 fps; sensitivity settings to ISO 6400; a maximum burst rate of a sizzling 12–14 fps; manual focus with focus lock; and extensive capture modes. In digital microscope mode, the camera uses its six signature LED lights positioned around the lens to deliver soft, even macro lighting for subjects as close as 1cm. The LEDs also work in self-portrait assist mode to check if the subject is within the frame and act as a lighting device. $329.95 in blue or black. The WG-4 sans GPS comes in silver and lime, $279.95.

Sony Cyber-shot DSC-TX30. Fashionably svelte with a thickness of only 0.6 inch and weighing in at a mere 4.4 ounces sans battery, Sony’s pocketsize gem with a sliding protective lens cover is waterproof to 33 feet, shockproof up to 5 feet, dustproof and freezeproof to 14º F. It now provides an 18.2MP Exmor R CMOS sensor, a 5x, 26–130mm Carl Zeiss Vario-Tessar zoom lens and a generous 3.3-inch, 1229k-dot OLED touch-screen monitor. The TX30 records Full HD 1,920×1,080 AVCHD video at 60i and captures full-res bursts at 10 fps. Other notable features include: face, blink and smile detection; SteadyShot sensor-shift image stabilization; Clear Image Zoom tech for lossless doubling of its focal length; and 360º intelligent sweep panorama mode. And, a magnifying glass function plus LED lights help capture intricate detail on subjects as close as one-third of an inch. $199.99 in black, orange, blue or pink.