Olympus has rebranded its SW series as 'mju Tough'. The mju Tough-6000 certainly lives up to its name. It's waterproof to a depth of 3m, shockproof from a height of 1.5m and freezeproof down to -10°C. If Captain Scarlet had stuck around long enough to buy a digital camera, it would have been this one.
The 6000 is available now for around £210.
It takes nerve to hold this camera out at arm's length and let go. The sound made by £210 of expensive optical engineering hitting the deck is enough to make your blood run cold. But the 6000 stands up to such treatment and more. It'll also survive being buried 1ft deep in wet sand by a small child and then being rinsed clean in the sea. If you then decide to do some snorkelling, it's perfectly capable of going with you.
Just don't go deeper than 3m. If that's your plan, you should go for the mju Tough-8000 instead, which is waterproof down to 10m.
The 6000 is practical, too. It's no bigger than the average compact, and slim enough to slide into a trouser or shirt pocket. You're not paying silly money for all this ruggedness, either -- it's not much more expensive than other 10-megapixel compacts with wideangle zooms.