We took four of the toughest compacts around on a one-day adventure challenge to see who would survive
Fujifilm FinePix XP30
The XP30 can be had right now for about $200, making it more than $100 cheaper than the rest of the cameras in the bunch. It can survive a drop from just under five-feet and will keep shooting up to 16-feet under water.
On the toughness scale, it's more in-line with the Sony than it is with the Pentax or the Olympus. That said, the differences are relatively minor when you consider the price gap. The XP30 was banging around in the backpack for the entire day just like the rest and emerged at the end looking just fine.
When it comes to controls, the buttons are big and well-spaced, including the dedicated video button and the control dial. Even the shutter button was sizable. That becomes important when you're wearing gloves or have water in your eyes.
The 5x optical zoom is on par with the more expensive cameras and even exceeds the Sony's 4x reach. And the screen, while rather typical, does a fine job, offering a big, bright image and a decent viewing angle, even under direct sunlight.
And hey, they even threw in GPS.
Despite having 14-megapixels worth of photographic firepower, the subjective image quality starts to reflect its lower price. We noticed more artifacts and noise right off the bat in just about every shooting situation. Things only got worse when switched over to video mode. But, before you write it off, I should say that the subjective image quality isn't inferior to cameras at this price point.
Again, the lens is covered with a solid, immobile piece of glass that can attract junk, which can muck up your photos. It was slightly worse with the XP30 than it was with the Pentax.
When it comes to flash, you also get less power out of it, which might be an issue if you do a lot of shooting in bright sunlight. I also managed to get my finger in front of the flash once or twice, just due to the shape of the body. I may have had less of a death grip on it if Fujifilm had put a grippier coating on its body.
Waterproof: To a depth of 16.4-feet
Shockproof: From a height of up to 4.9-feet
Freezeproof: To 14-degrees F
Screen size: 2.7-inch
Screen Resolution: 230,000 dots
Optical Zoom: 5x (28-140mm equivalent)