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Olympus mju 790: Unshockable camera likes it wet

When cameras claim to be waterproof and shockproof, like the Olympus mju 790, we take that as fighting talk. The 7-megapixel compact took a dunking and kept on snapping

When any gadget arrives in Crave Towers boasting of toughened specs and water-, shock- or any kind of proofing, it's like a red rag to a hungover bull. We've punched monitors and crashed fighter planes, so it's a brave doohickey that steps up to the Crave test. The Olympus mju 790 is one such gadget.

This 7.1-megapixel compact camera swaggered into the Crave nerve centre with its surfboard under one arm and a sticker on the front proclaiming how tough it is. Waterproof to 3m, eh? Drop-proof to 1.5m? A wiseguy, huh? We accepted the challenge, rolled up our sleeves and set to work taking this pretty boy down a peg or two.

Waterproof gadgets are popular here at Crave, as it gives us a chance to jet off to exotic locales and test them in the environment they're designed for: active outings, holidays and the like. Barbados was our first choice, but our expense request came back with a big red cross through it, so we had to settle for dunking it in the sink. Kudos to Accounts for agreeing to turn on the water for the duration of the test.

We're pleased to report that the 790 took all we gave it, and came out smiling. We dunked it, we dropped it, we played rounders with it (not really, Olympus). We even made the mju 790 buy a round in a central London pub, proving that it really can handle any shock. The 3x zoom, face-detection and shadow-adjustment technology kept going: the 790 took a splashing and kept on flashing.

The 790 is available now for roughly £200, or if you're quick you could win one. We're off to finish up our full review of the 790, safe in the knowledge that no matter how tough it is, we could break it if we wanted to... -Richard Trenholm

Update: A full review of the Olympus mju 790 SW is now live.