What’s The Best Travel Camera For Snowboarding?

Today’s reader question comes from Matt:

“Do you have any recommendations for ‘tough’ cameras for snowboarding?”

Indeed I do! Sport specific cameras that are shockproof, waterproof, freeze proof etc have become increasingly popular over the years. Between me and my many housemates, I’ve used most of the current models of ‘tough cameras.

Here are the typical brands and models:

  • Olympus Tough
  • Canon Powershot D10
  • Fijitsu Finepix XP
  • Panasonic Lumix DMC-FT10

Here’s what I recommend:

For toughness:

From all the ‘tough’ cameras I’ve seen, they all did the job of not breaking or getting destroyed by water damage. I couldn’t really say one is better than the other as far as toughness goes because unless you’re driving a car over them, they rarely break.

In particular, I’ve thrown the Olympus Tough cameras into brick walls and taken it into hot tubs and ski hills and the only damage was the paint coming off the casing.

So, since I can’t separate them by toughness, let’s go narrow it down by photo quality and compactness and ease of use.

Photo quality, Compactness & Ease of Use

My top 2 picks are the Canon Powershot D10 and the Panasonic Lumix FT10. Here’s why:

Canon Powershot D10

Canon:

How good your photos look is probably the most important feature, besides toughness and overall I’d say the Canon Powershot D10 and Panasonic Lumix FT10 took the best quality photos.

Unfortunately, the Canon isn’t built as compact. For whatever reason, Canon decided to make the Powershot D10 an odd, round-ish shape. This makes it take up more space in my pockets and makes it less slim as well.

However, out of all the cameras, the Canon D10 was the easiest to use. Canon has a lot of practice with making user friendly cameras, so it’s not surprising that their menus and navigation were the easiest out of all the cameras.

Panasonic Lumix DMC-FT10

Panasonic Lumix FT10:

As I mentioned before, the Panasonic Lumix FT10 takes great photos. Roughly, on par with the Canon and a level above all the other cameras.

It’s also a lot more compact than the Canon. It’s a standard square shape without any of the weird round features that feature on the Canon and it’s a lot slimmer too.

The one downside – if you can call it that – is that the camera wasn’t as easy to use as the Canon. Don’t take this to mean it’s hard to use, but rather, Canon is just a level above the other camera manufacturers when it comes to ease of use.

So which camera should you pick?

Go with the Canon Powershot D10 if you don’t mind the slightly round-ish shape and want something that’s really simple to use. If the shape bothers you go with the Panasonic Lumix FT10.

In addition, one option I didn’t talk about was the GoPro camera. GoPros aren’t so much meant solely for taking photos, but they’re amazing for taking videos and action shots.

I wouldn’t get a GoPro solely for travelling around and using as a regular camera, but you may want to look at them if you’re interested in mounting a camera on your helmet/ski pole/hand and taking freeze frames and action videos while snowboarding.

Hope that helps answer your question Matt!

– Jed

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