You can often see them from a distance: they are red, blue, yellow, orange - sometimes even black. They simply look different, as if they were plugged into a robust tank, where external influences simply bounce off. And that's not just a show, because that's exactly what outdoor cameras are all about: one of the essential features of such a camera is its robust housing.
It has special additional seals that protect the interior from dust and moisture. The functionality must be guaranteed in a tropical downpour as well as during a sand storm in the Gobi desert or when filming the penguins at the South Pole. By the way, the bright colours also have a very practical use. Thanks to the bright colours, they are usually easier to find when they are lost on the ski slope or during a dive.
Taking a dive? - Impossible for normal cameras, not a challenge for a good outdoor camera. Some of these indestructible camera models even work up to a water depth of 25 meters! And that, without an extra special housing. The optical components of a camera, the lens and the built-in lenses are of course particularly in need of protection.
Clever: In most outdoor cameras, the engineers have installed the lens inside the housing. Well sealed, dust, dirt and moisture can't harm it here. Due to this circumstance, they usually only have a small zoom. They are also clearly limited in terms of the range of functions and setting options. Many of these cameras have several motif programs with automatic selection.
Absolutely useful if the photographer has to use one hand for holding a paddle, steering his mountain bike or holding on to the safety rope. When taking spontaneous snapshots on the beach, under water or on a mountain top, there is little time to make changes to the camera settings before taking the shot.
Outdoor cameras are also online today: Connectivity via Wi-Fi or Bluetooth is standard. The following four outdoor camera models are representative of current outdoor camera trends: the Fujifilm FinePix XP140, the WG-6 from Ricoh Imaging and the Oympus Tough TG-6 and Nikons Coolpix W150.
The current models of the industry leaders show what outdoor cameras must bring with them in 2019. Waterproof cameras are the standard. However, how deep users can dive with the cameras varies greatly. Fujifilm's FinePix XP140 promises to be waterproof up to 25 metres, but at least ten metres are also offered by competitor models.
The manufacturers know that outdoor cameras can sometimes fall down. All the models mentioned therefore have an impact resistance up to a drop height of just under two meters and are immune to dust and cold up to minus ten degrees Celsius.
It is noticeable that the manufacturers are making the cameras ever more user-friendly. For example, the FinePix XP140 has an enhanced handle that allows it to be held securely with just one hand, even in dynamic shooting situations. For added security, this model features a double locking mechanism that prevents accidental opening of the battery/memory card compartment.
The most important attribute, however, remains image quality, and here too modern outdoor cameras have made great progress. An example of this is the Olympus Tough TG-6. A combination of backlit CMOS image sensor and TruePic VIII image processor performs its job under their optionally red or black tanks.
The image processor reduces noise and improves resolution in low contrast areas. A new digital tele-converter doubles the zoom performance up to 8x.
When it comes to megapixels, the Ricoh WG-6 offers the highest resolution. With a state-of-the-art 20 megapixel CMOS sensor and a powerful image processor, you can take sharp photos in the most extreme conditions, as well as videos in 4K resolution.
The GPS function can be used to record the locations and an electronic compass can be used to determine the position. This is also standard with modern cameras. Thanks to synchronization, the image data can be sent immediately to the smartphone.
This allows the pictures to be sent directly to the children or grandchildren - or vice versa to the parents or grandparents. The Nikon Coolpix W150 offers numerous functions such as 15 camera-internal effects that can easily be added to the photos, as well as an optional interactive variant menu for photographing children. Thanks to its robust construction, children can safely gain their first photographic experience with the Coolpix.
To capture the outdoor pleasure for eternity is thanks to modern technology and simple operation even with only one hand no longer a problem at all.