The best snow-proof cameras

With the ski and snowboard season now well under way, Pocket-lint is bringing you all the latest gadgets, apps and tips as part of Snow Week. If you're jetting off to the slopes then it's likely that you'll want to take a camera on the piste with you. If that's the case, then you're going to need something that's not only light and compact, but that's rugged and waterproof so that it doesn't get demolished the first time that you take a tumble.

It's worth remembering that a lot of compacts can also capture video footage as well. To help you out, we've drawn up a list of what's on offer at the moment and the models that are due out soon. If you're after a camcorder, then check out our round-up of snow-proof camcorders and action cams.

Canon PowerShot D10

The first thing you'll notice about the Canon PowerShot D10 is the bright finish - with options ranging from bright blue to camouflage - means that you're unlikely to lose it in the snow if it slips from your pocket. It also happens to be waterproof down to a depth of 10m and is said to work at temperatures down to -10 degrees. As well as a bright 2.5-inch screen, the D10 also has a 12-megapixel sensor along with a 3x optical zoom.

Those hitting the slopes might want something more compact, but for those who want something easy to grip and happy in all weathers, the Canon PowerShot D10 is well worth a look. It is a little on the bulky side but all that extra matter and mass means there's little chance of you busting the thing open like a pinata on Cinco de Mayo  £199.88

 

Olympus TG-610 and TG-310

These two HD-capable models are due out in March and are "virtually indestructible", says Olympus. Offering tap control, the TG-610 and TG-310 are both freezeproof to -10 degrees C and shockproof to a height of 1.5 metres. The TG-610 is fully waterproof to 5m, while the TG-310 can cope with submersion of up to 3m. The toughness is the result of a sliding double lock mechanism that protects the battery, card slots and ports while an additional lens barrier (metal on the TG-610, hard glass on the TG-310) safeguards the optical zoom lens.



As well as the tank-like build quality, both cameras also offer the ability to take 3D still images. Both models are available in a range of colours that should make them stand out in the snow. £250 (TG-610), £200 (TG-310)

Pentax Optio W90

This model is essentially the the same as the H90, but where the W90 differs is with its robust design that's designed to withstand a fair bit of punishment. The rugged chassis protects against dust and drops from 1.2 metres in height and it's also waterproofed to 6m and freeze-proof to -10 degrees C. The W90 also has a panorama mode that should come in handy when you want to capture the stunning mountain scenery that goes hand-in-hand with any trip to the slopes.



The addition of a chunky karabiner clip for attaching the camera to your person should appeal to extreme sports enthusiasts. When we reviewed the W90 we found that the battery was a little on the weak side - only offering 205 shots from a full charge, so, make sure you pack the charger.  £208.57

Kodak EasyShare Sport

Sporting a compact design, the Kodak EasyShare Sport is shockproof, as well as dustproof and waterproof to a depth of 3m. It has a 12-megapixel sensor along with a fixed focus lens with no optical zoom, suggesting that this is fully intended to be a secondary camera. The inclusion of autofocus on waterproof models is rare anyway, as the two don't mix well.



The EasyShare Sport has a 2.4-inch display along with side-mounted controls. Somewhat unusually, it takes its power from AA batteries which slot into the bottom of the unit but it does have the bonus of being genuinely pocket-sized. The PlaySport one's due in April, if you can wait that long.  £179 (TBC)

Panasonic Lumix FT3

The follow up to the popular FT2 rugged compact, the Lumix DMC-FT3 thows 3D into the mix as well. This 12-1-megapixel snapper is also equipped with full-HD AVCHD video capability as well as built-in GPS, a compass, and a barometer so you should find it pretty tricky to get yourself lost. More rugged than its predecessor, the FT3 is waterproof to 12m, shockproof to 2m and freezeproof to -10 degrees C. It's also dustproof, so it should be able to cope with a trip to the beach, too.



It has a 28mm wide-angle Leica DC Vario-Elmar lens, complete with a folded optics design and a 4.6x optical zoom. We haven't had the chance to take an in-depth look at this one just yet, but it looks set to impress. The Panasonic Lumix is due to hit the shelves in March.  £TBC


Fujifilm XP30

This one's another update that's due out soon. The 14-megapixel Fujifilm XP30 is waterproof up to a depth of 5m, shockproof from a height of 1.5m and freeze proof to -10 degrees C. It's also got a 5x optical zoom and a nice selection of functions including CCD-shift image stabilization and a panoramic mode for taking extra-wide snaps of the rugged landscape. It's got a grippy, rubberized finish and it's easily small enough to fit into a pocket.



It's also got built-in GPS geotagging that  can apparently calculate the distance from your current location to the place where a tagged photo was taken, making it ideal for finding your fave boarding sport again. The Fujifilm is due to hit the shops this month. £TBC

Casio Exilim EX-G1

This futuristic-looking snapper has been designed to withstand all the knocks and scrapes that you can throw at it, thanks to its secondary waterproof inner shell of polycarbonate and fibreglass construction. The Casio Exilim EX-G1 can be submerged to a depth of 3m for up to an hour, and its also dustproof and freezeproof to -10 degrees C as well. Despite its rugged build quality, the camera is lightweight and compact, in fact it's so small that you may find your fingertips straying in front of the lens from time to time and one-handed use can be tricky as there's no much to hold on to.



When we reviewed the EX-G1, our verdict was: "If having a camera that will take punishment without breaking is a higher priority than anything else, the Casio Ex-G1 is worth considering - and, again, have we mentioned how cool it looks? - but, in a more sober light, there are better overall options out there".  £203.98


Samsung WP10

Finished in aquamarine blue, the Samsung WP10 is primarily pitched as a waterproof compact. But while it can cope with submersion to depths of up to 3m, it's not strictly shock-proof or freezeproof to the same extent as the rest of the cameras on show here. However, it does get points for its slimline design and fast power-up time along with its reasonable price tag.



The lack of freeze-proofing means that this one is probably better suited to snorkelling or lazing around on the beach, rather than being stuffed in the pocket of a mountain-bound snowboarder, but it should survive limited time in the snow as long as the weather isn't too cold.  £132.79


Sony TX10

Sony announced a huge range of cameras at CES in January, including four new 16.2-megapixel Cyber-shot models. The TX10 looks like a likely contender for taking out on the slopes as it's waterproof as well as shockproof, dustproof and, perhaps even more importantly, freezeproof. According to Sony it can also handle being dropped from a height of 1.5m.

What's more, it'll save you filling up your pockets with a camcorder as well as it also offers video recording capabilities up to 50i in 1080 AVCHD. We don't have any other details on this one yet, except that it's due to arrive in March.  £TBC

Do you use a waterproof camera or camcorder on the slopes? Let us know in the comments box below.



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