(Pocket-lint) - Sony's latest waterproof compact camera, the TF1, has a name that, when said fast enough, sounds a lot like "Tough One". Which is most apt as it's also sand, freeze and dustproof, as well as being tough enough to survive watery plunges down to 10m.
When we first saw the TF1 on Sony's stand at the Consumer Electronics Show 2013, we were very pleased to see its stripped-back, bare bones design. See, previous Sony waterproof models have had a slide-up cover mechanism that, while it might look all swoosh from the outside, is an open sore for dust and grime. Not an issue for most normal cameras, but chuck a bunch of sand and grit at it and the body, and potentially the lens, would end up scratched to bits in no time at all. Not so with the TF1 - Sony's headed in the right direction here.
The red model we handled felt comfy in the hand, although the shallow grip might not be quite enough for more extreme watersports fans.
Spec-wise the 4x optical zoom lens can deliver a 25-100mm equivalent which, while not extreme, is enough range for most standard shots, whether under the waves or above ground. It also means the camera is small enough to carry pretty much anywhere, even if you're in beachwear and limited on space.
With a list price of £179 ahead of its February release date, the Sony Cyber-shot DSC-TF1 looks like a much needed improvement on the company's tough camera front.