A couple of years ago, if you wanted a waterproof digital compact camera you had only two choices, either a Pentax W-series, or an Olympus mju-Tough. More recently however most of the major manufacturers have launched waterproof, shockproof and freeze-proof cameras, with high-performance models such as the Canon D10, the Panasonic FT series , the Fuji Z33 and the superb Sony TX5. While the ruggedness of these cameras varies, they all have one thing in common; they are all expensive. The “entry-level” Panasonic FT10 is over £200, and even the Fuji W33 is £150.
In typical style Samsung has now launched its first waterproof compact, the WP10 – WP standing for “waterproof”, presumably – which is currently selling for around £125, making it by far the cheapest on the market. For a price like that can it really compete with the established brands? Compared to the leading adventure cameras it may look a little delicate; while the likes of the Canon D10 and Panasonic FT2 can survive depths of ten metres and drops of up to two metres, the WP10 is only good for three metres underwater, and has no special shockproof or freeze-proof abilities.
In terms of specification the WP10 is a fairly typical pocket compact, featuring a 12.2-megapixel 1/2.33-inch CCD sensor, a 6.9cm (2.7in) LCD monitor and an internal 5x zoom f/3.6 – f/4.8 Samsung-branded lens. It has an all-plastic body, and measures 93.8 x 61 x 18.5mm, making it also
one of the smallest waterproof cameras on the market, although not as compact as the Sony TX5. It is available in a range of colours, including black, red, yellow and the bright turquoise blue seen here.