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- Olympus Tough TG-1
- Olympus brings a bright lens to the tough-cam pool, boosting all-around image quality.
Olympus Tough TG-1 Digital Camera Review$399.99
This title seems to change constantly, but the TG-1 is actually the toughest of all the tough-cams (at least according to its durability ratings). It ties the class-leading ratings in each ruggedness category.
It's waterproof to 40 feet, the deepest that any current model can dive. Of course, it comes with a long list of caveats. According to Olympus, it can stay submerged for up to one hour. If it's used in saltwater, it needs to be rinsed in fresh water. The manual also warns that "the waterproof feature may be compromised if the camera is subject to substantial or excessive impact," so apparently the confidence in the shockproofing only extends so far. While the manual doesn't specifically mention anything that we found, it's generally a bad idea to use waterproof cameras in hot water or hot springs. And finally, Olympus advises that the rubber seals be replaced one a year to maintain waterproofing.
It's shockproof to 6.6 feet, the farthest that any camera can fall. That's well above the heads of most user's heads, so it should survive any accidental tumbles from chest- or shoulder-height. It's unwise to drop the camera just because you can, as it can cause cosmetic damage, or possibly compromise the waterproofing.
It's freezeproof to 14 degrees Fahrenheit. Just about every tough-cam shares this rating. It basically means you can take it skiing.
It's crushproof under 220 pounds of pressure. Most rugged cameras don't even advertise crushproofing. The average person can stand on top of a WG-2 without any repercussions (though that's probably a bad idea). We're thinking that this will only come in handy if you leave it at the bottom of a loaded rucksack. Don't run it over with your car or bike.
And finally, it's dustproof. All the moving parts are protected by glass, plastic, or rubber, so the lens won't get jammed up by an errant grain of sand.
The TG-1 is durable enough for general underwater and outdoor use. Take it to the beach, the pool, the slopes, the state park, whatever. But serious divers will be better-off buying underwater housing, whether it's for this camera or another more capable compact or DSLR—it'll survive deeper underwater, and take better pictures, too.