Tough Digital Cameras for Mountain Bikers

Have you destroyed a perfectly good point and shoot camera with your desire to record your passion to ride? From dust or mud to rain, snow or sweat most cameras don’t take lightly to any amount of abuse. Over the last 4 years or so, manufacturers have finally caught up by producing tough, durable cameras for use by those who venture to the unforgiving outdoors. We’ve compiled a list of some popular and new models showing up a local camera shops.

Panasonic Lumix DMC-TS2A – $379 Website Link

(Check out our quick review of the new DMC-TS3)

Panasonic DMC-TS2A

Comes with it’s own Silicone wrap for extra bump protection – SDXC compatible

The Panasonic DMCTS2A features Panasonic’s exclusive Intelligent Auto Mode that now includes Face Recognition, a function that “remembers” faces from previous shots. When a familiar face appears in the frame, the camera will prioritize focus and exposure to capture it beautifully. This clever function makes it easy to get sharp and clear photos of loved ones in a group of people.

• 14.1 megapixels, 4.6x optical zoom, 2.7-inch intelligent LCD
• Waterproof to 10m, shockproof to 2m, freezeproof to -10°C, dustproof
• Intelligent auto mode
• Face Recognition
• Sonic Speed autofocus
• AVCHD Lite records HD movies while using less space on your memory card

Pentax Optio W90 – $349 Website Link

Pentax Optio W90

The rugged Optio W90 offers enhanced waterproof (6m), shockproof (1.2m), dustproof, and coldproof (-10°C) performance and has a number of advanced, user-friendly features including a 12.1 megapixel high resolution CCD sensor, internal 5X optical zoom lens, large 2.7-inch LCD and HDTV-proportioned movie recording.

An inventive Digital Microscope mode with LED lighting perfectly captures even the smallest and closest macro subjects as near as 1cm from the camera.

Pentax exclusive Pet Recognition Mode automatically takes your pet’s picture when it faces the camera.

Ideal for shooting in almost any condition, the Optio W90 is the perfect companion for all your outdoor adventures.

• 12.1 megapixels, 28mm wide angle lens with 5x optical zoom, 2.7-inch 16:9 LCD
• Waterproof, dustproof, shockproof, coldproof
• 720p 30fps HD movie capture with in-camera still extraction
• Digital microscope mode with three LED subject lighting

Olympus Tough 3000

Olympus Tough 3000 – $229 Website Link

Economical model from the most trusted name in rugged cameras.

As with previous Tough cameras the 3000 is shockproof to 1.5m, scratchproof, waterproof to 3m, and able to withstand temperatures as low as -10°C (or “freezeproof” if you like). Behind its monocle-like lens-cover sits a 3.6x wide angle zoom (28-102mm) and a pretty tiny 12 megapixel CCD sensor. Must-haves are sensor stabilization, HD movie, HDMI connectivity and “Magic Filters” (known as Art Filters elsewhere). Credit though for 1GB of internal memory and USB charging.

• 12 megapixels, 3.6x optical zoom, 2.7-inch LCD
• Waterproof (10 feet), shockproof (5 feet), freezeproof (-10°C)
• 2-1 anti-blur solution: Sensor Shift and Digital Image Stabilization
• Simple one-touch button allows you to record movies in HD video 720p

Olympus Tough 6020 – $329 Website Link

Olympus Tough 6020

Best design to price ratio now using SD/SDHC cards

The Olympus Stylus Tough 6020 takes great pictures – and just about anything else you throw at it. Able to withstand cold, water, and even impact, it’s the ultimate point-and-shoot camera for the great outdoors, or the clumsy type. And packed full of features, it captures images you’ll cherish for a lifetime.

• 14 megapixels, 5x optical zoom, 2.7-inch LCD
• Waterproof to 4.8m (16ft), shockproof to 1.5m (5ft), freezeproof to -10°C
• 2-in-1 anti-blur solution
• One touch movie recording in 720p HD

Olympus Tough 8010 – $449 Website Link

Olympus Tough 8010

Full metal body for the most rugged camera from Olympus.

This is the go-anywhere, do-anything camera you’ve been waiting for. The Olympus STYLUS TOUGH 8010 snaps stunning photos and records sharp HD movies. And, whether you’re hurtling down a rugged trail, plunging underwater, or ripping on your snowboard, the STYLUS TOUGH-8010 is engineered to thrive in any condition.

• 14 megapixels, 5x optical zoom, 2.7-inch LCD
• Waterproof to 33ft, shockproof to 6.6ft, freezeproof to -10°C, crushproof to 220lbs
• Dual image stabilization
• Record movies in HD video 720p
• Uses SDHC memory cards

Sony Cybershot DSCTX5 – $369 Website Link

Sony Cybershot DSCTX5

Ultra-slim touch screen interface and really simple panorama mode.

Amazing things come in this small package. The Cyber-shot TX5 has it all, from a stunningly thin 3/4″ body to advanced technologies that make it easy to shoot gorgeous photos and videos. Aside from its remarkable intelligence, the TX5 is also built extremely tough. Its airtight construction is waterproof (10ft), shockproof (5ft), dustproof, and freeze-proof (-10°C). Just slip it in your pocket and you’re prepared to capture the world in style, no matter where you are.

• 10 megapixels, 25mm wide angle lens with 4x optical zoom, 3-inch LCD
• Slim, waterproof and stylish
• 720p video recording
• Optical SteadyShot
• Intelligent auto mode and smile shutter

Canon Powershot D10 – $399 Website Link

Canon Powersho D10

The largest camera in this list, but typical Canon performance with great picture quality.

For those with a taste for adventure, there’s a camera as bold as the active life you lead. It’s the Canon PowerShot D10. Waterproof, freezeproof and shockproof; it’s tough enough to take what you dish out. Plus it’s got all the high performance features you expect from a Canon digital camera. You’ve got 12.1 megapixels of resolution plus all of Canon’s powerful, state-of-the-art imaging technologies so you can capture your epic experiences in breathtaking colour and awesome detail.

• 12.1 megapixels, 3x optical zoom, 2.5-inch LCD
• Waterproof to 33 feet
• Temperature resistant from 14-104°F and shockproof up to 4 feet
• Blink detection and smart auto
• DIGIC 4 image processor with evolved Face Detection technology

Fuji Finepix XP10 – $199 Website Link

Finepix XP10

Economy camera with ok quality pictures, but priced for kids, teens and other abusing users.

Fujifilm has launched its first rugged compact in the shape of Finepix XP10. Sporting a similar slim, curvy body design of the company’s Z33 waterproof camera, the XP10 is designed to be dustproof, waterproof up to 3 meters, shockproof up to 1 meter and freezeproof to – 10 degrees. It incorporates a 12MP sensor, 2.7 inch LCD, 5x (36-180mm equiv.) optical zoom lens and features 720p HD video recording, AF tracking and an Easy Web Upload option.

• 12.2 megapixels, 5x optical zoom, 2.7-inch LCD
• Waterproof (3m), Shockproof (1m), Freezeproof (-10°C) and Dustproof
• HD image and movie capture at 720p
• Easy upload and in-camera visual effects
• Face Detection with Auto Red-Eye Removal, Blink & Smile Detection

Panasonic DMC-ZS7K -$449 Website Link

Panasonic DMC-ZS7

Not so rugged, but combines the zoom of a digital SLR with the Video quality of a HD camcorder, and fits in your pocket! GPS sensor will let you track your images

The Panasonic DMCZS7 camera comes fully equipped with a 12X LEICA DC VARIO-ELMAR optical zoom lens that handles wide angle and telephoto shots easily. The 12MP sensor ensures you capture every last detail. And an array of shooting features simplifies the process of getting amazing, professional-looking pictures.

• 12.1 megapixels
• 25mm wide-angle Leica lens with 12x optical zoom
• 3-inch intelligent LCD
• Intelligent auto mode
• AVCHD Lite movie mode with stereo mic and zoom

2 thoughts on “Tough Digital Cameras for Mountain Bikers”

  1. Don’t forget the heroHD camera – awsome helmet mount.. waterproof… hdvideo and stills… I’ve been putting mine through some tough testing and it’s working great.

    1. The only reason the GoPro was not included was the cameras listed were digital cameras first and foremost. The lens optics of the GoPro are severely limited compared to any digital point and shoot.

      As a second camera, for sure the HeroHD is great bang for the buck.

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