Whether you’re taking silly shots of the kids’ first shallow dives or images of insects perched on flowers along your favourite hiking trail, you need a good quality camera to capture those moments. With the amount of product available and constant upgrades, it can be difficult to know what to buy. That’s why we put together this list of some of the most hardy and water-resistant cameras out there, so you can capture your time at the cottage—no matter what you’re doing.
Canon PowerShot D30
The PowerShot D30 is a waterproof wonder. With its 5x optical zoom, 12.1MP 1/2.3-inch CMOS sensor, and 1080p HD full video recording, this rugged camera is miles ahead of its competition in terms of its 25-metre diving capability. The update on the case design with larger controls makes it really easy to operate underwater, even with gloves on. Its 3.0" LCD monitor is big and bright and the GPS feature is great for logging the location of your pictures, which can be matched up with Google Maps for easy sharing. Perfect for: With its deep diving capabilities, it’s the camera you’ll want to capture underwater adventures like scuba diving and snorkeling.
Olympus Stylus TG-3
It doesn’t get more rugged than the Olympus Stylus—this tough guy will survive a drop from 2.1 metres (6.8 feet) and 100 kg of crushing force. And if you find yourself exploring wilderness in the winter months, the camera is designed to survive a negative 10 degree freeze. Though its diving depth is only 15 metres, the 4x optical zoom makes up for it, and will let you get as close as one cm away from the subject for a stunning macro image. Perfect for: With its GPS tracker, electronic compass, depth, and pressure gauges, this camera is for backcountry adventurers who like to veer off the beaten path.
Nikon 1 AW1
While this camera is pricier than some of the other options, it’s worth dishing out more money for a good product that will last. The small camera is just 4 x 2.9 x 1.5 inches in size and weighs only 11.1 ounces. The mirrorless camera has a 14mp sensor, which is larger than most point-and-shoot sensors, and will produce beautiful images. The rugged model is not only freeze-proof but also shockproof from two metres, so it won’t break easily if dropped on a hard surface. Perfect for: Due to its durability in rough climates and landscapes, you can take this tough camera rafting, swimming, and snorkeling without any fuss.
Panasonic Lumix DMC-FT5
Tougher than the previous model, this Panasonic camera has a higher resolution MOS sensor (16MP CMOS vs. 12MP CCD), Wi-Fi capability for easy photo sharing and improved battery life, which can get drained by the built-in GPS and Wi-Fi usage. Special features include its 16.1 effective megapixel MOS sensor, 4.6x zoom lens, Power OIS optical image stabilization, and 3-inch LCD screen. Like its waterproof cousins, it’s shockproof, crushproof, and freezeproof. The Torch Light feature illuminates your subject when recording movies, and the optional marine case will let you take the camera to a depth of 45 metres underwater. Perfect for: If you’re hiking or camping with kids, this camera will withstand huge drops and the curious tinkering of small hands.
Nikon Coolpix AW130
The new Nikon Coolpix has a few great updates: it now has a diving depth of 30 metres and is shockproof up to 2.1 metres. Similar to other waterproof makes in its class, the Nikon is freezeproof at negative 10 degrees and can withstand just about any weather conditions. Its f/2.8 aperture is great in low-light shooting, and the 5x optical zoom, when enabled with Dynamic Fine Zoom can provide 10x zoom. Other features include a 16MP, 1/2.3" CMOS sensor, and a 35mm-equivalent focal length range of 24-120mm. Perfect for: Take it on your next underwater adventure or clip it on a backpack for some clear shots of your next big hike.