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7 Outdoor Cameras Built For The Harshest Environments

If you're going to spend on adventure gear, make sure it's tough enough
by Miggy Dumlao | Jul 1, 2018
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Summer may be over in the Philippines but adventures beckon beyond the beautiful beaches. From hiking up mountains to spelunking, there's always an adventure for everyone to enjoy in the country.

But precisely because these activities tackle the great outdoors, it can place quite a toll on your gadgets. Rather than using your precious smartphone to document your adventures, why not bring along a camera that is up to the task and can really take a beating. Leave nothing but footprints and take nothing but pictures using these tough outdoor cameras.

Panasonic Lumix TS7/FT7

With the market for waterproof cameras gaining momentum, Panasonic picked a good time to reemerge with their new model.

The TS7/FT7 features a 20.4MP count with a 1/2.3-inch sensor and a 4.6c zoom range that covers 28-128mm. The rear display is a 3.0-inch with a 1,040,000-dot resolution with a built-in electronic viewfinder (EVF). The EVF makes it easier for the user to shoot in tricky lighting instead of just relying on the rear display. The Lumix TS7/FT7 can also shoot 4K videos up to 30fps featuring Panasonic’s 4K Photo technology, perfect for capturing those rad moments.

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Where the TS7/FT7 really pushes the boundaries and makes it perfect for even the most extreme of adventures is its tough attributes. The camera can take the plunge  up to 102 ft. making it perfect for SCUBA diving enthusiasts. It’s no slouch on dry land either as it is shockproof from heights of up to 6.6 ft. Safe to say that the TS7/FT7 is strong where it counts.

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The model retails at $449.99 (PhP24,052) but is currently not yet available in the Philippines.

Olympus Tough TG-5

With the word tough in its name, this camera should be able to withstand a beating. Looking at its rugged credentials it looks to be able to live up to the hype.

The TG-5 is waterproof down to depths of 50 ft. and shock proof from a height of 7 ft. If you’re feeling more adventurous, or more careless, the TG-5 is also pressure resistant at forces up to 100kg/220lbs.

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Rugged characteristics aside, the TG-5 is still a camera that delivers on performance. Olympus has actually taken a different step from convention by decreasing the pixel count of the TG-5 (12MP) from its predecessor the TG-4 (16MP) which allows the image quality to improve by lessening the noise from the pictures. The TG-5 is also capable of taking 4K quality videos at 30p.

You can get your own Olympus Tough TG-5 at Lazada for PhP22,600.

Nikon Coolpix W300

Nikon is one of the better- known camera brands and they also have their own premium waterproof camera, the Coolpix W300, which follows the successful previous model, the AW130.

The Coolpix W300 builds on the features of the AW130 by adding the capability to shoot videos in 4K and the inclusion of Nikon’s SnapBridge connectivity which allows for easy transfer of images between camera and smart device.

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Apart from these changes, the Coolpix W300 also uses the same 5x optical zoom and a 16MP back-illuminated 1/2.3-inch sensor with built-in GPS. It can also pinpoint exactly where you take your pictures or record your videos.

The Nikon Coolpix W300 is available in Lazada for PhP 18,910.


GoPro Hero

Ahhh the GoPro, the most famous of all action cameras. This newest unit from the brand is the new GoPro Hero, a budget friendly easy-to-use camera for those who don’t want the fuss of thinking about the technicalities of their camera usage

The Hero may not be as high-tech as the premium models but it is good enough for novices to ease their transition in taking photos or videos during adventures. It has a sleek design similar to the premium models, with a rear 2-inch touch screen display. And while it doesn’t have 4K capabilities, it’s still able to shoot at Full GGD 1080p with the Hero taking care of the focusing and adjustments of the white balance and exposure. Thinking of taking pictures? The Hero can capture 10MP still images.

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The GoPro Hero can also reach depths of up to 33ft which is useful for those who wish to dive.

Though not as rugged as other cameras on this list, the GoPro Hero has its merits. Novice and budget friendly with the capability to get the job done. 

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Fujifilm FinePix XP130

You’re looking for an actual outdoor camera unlike the GoPro but can’t afford the ones listed above? How about you try the FinePix XP130?

While the ones listed above are certainly more advanced in terms of the camera capabilities, the XP130 does enough with it 28-1400mm zoom lens and 16.4MP count. It’s like taking a smart phone with a tough design.

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The XP130 can reach depths of up to 20m or 65.5ft and is shock proof if dropped from heights of up to 5.7ft. It can certainly do the task of taking pictures in tough environments.

While there are more glamorous, more intricate, and more advanced models available in the market right now for outdoor cameras, the FinePix XP130 certainly does its job in helping you document your extreme trips.

The best part is that it will cost only about PhP11,000. That’s bang for your buck.

Canon PowerShot D30

If you’re a Canon loyalist then don’t fret because they also have their own compact waterproof camera and it’s definitely no slouch in its class.

The PowerShot D30 may not have the standard MP count of 16MP for its image sensor, its 12.1MP takes good underwater photos. Its image quality is good enough for the avid traveler.

Where the PowerShot D30 really makes its money is its rugged qualities. It has the second-best maximum depth among all the cameras we mentioned as it is capable of functioning at up to 82 feet underwater. On land, you can drop this bad boy from up to 6.5 feet and it won’t break down on you. It’s dustproof as well so you don’t have to worry about little grains penetrating the cam.

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Canon constantly produces quality units and the PowerShot D30 is no exception and you can get it for as low as PhP25,795 from Lazada.

Ricoh WG-50

The WG-50 is a real tough cookie with its own unique feature. It’s rugged but takes great photos with its secret weapon.

Waterproof up to 46ft and shockproof from 5.2ft, it stacks up well enough in its class in terms of the toughness factor. What separates this cam is its LED Lighting mode. The WG-50 has LED lights around the lens barrel that allows for great macro shooting underwater or on land and that will surely appeal to aspiring photographers.

While the WG-50 is hard to come by in the Philippines, if you do get your hands on it, use it to take those great macro shots!

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