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Eight... Rugged Cameras

Great outdoors photography

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Pentax Optio WG-2

RH Numbers
RH Recommended Medal

With a grippy, tyre-like, moulded rubbery design, the Pentax looks like a new cross-training shoe ready for a muddy day. Whether strapped to a climber’s belt or diver’s jacket, or simply attached inside a back-pack for easy access, the carabiner attachment is very handy and, to be honest, it’s surprising other manufacturers haven’t pinched the idea.

The 16Mp CCD sensor shows significant clarity with bright, mostly well-balanced colours, though frame edges can be blurry in poor lighting and the default JPEG quality setting is worth tweaking too. The smile detector is a neat feature, making that hanging off a cliff-face, or free-falling skydive shot that bit easier to achieve. With 6 LEDs around the lens for macro lighting, this camera is capable of some respectable close-ups, and the claimed 1cm subject focus was pretty much there.

Pentax Optio WG-2 rugged camera

Reg Rating 80%
Price £300
More info Pentax

Ricoh PX

RH Numbers

I’m a fan of the minimal, easy to pick-up-and-shoot design of this Ricoh. It takes seconds to work out how to operate, which is definitely advantageous when hanging off a cliff or snorkeling around rocks. Not the fastest camera at startup, or between shots, and it may be worth increasing the in-camera sharpness slightly as the default images settings are a tad soft.

On inspection, shots do suffer from a fair amount of noise, which only increases with the higher ISO settings. With no freeze-proof setting or GPS, this isn’t the most robust or feature-rich snapper, but as an all-round family camera – at the more affordable end of the price bracket – the Ricoh does the job. ®

Ricoh PX rugged camera

Reg Rating 65%
Price £180
More info Ricoh

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