The PowerShot D10 marks Canon’s first plunge into the world of waterproof digital compact cameras. While that might come as a surprise considering the company’s long history, what’s even more intriguing is that Canon has given the 12.1MP D10 such a bold, chunky design.

Unlike equally robust and water-resistant cameras such as the Panasonic DMC-FT1 or Pentax’s Optio W60, the D10 is bulky, with its curved contours giving it a toy-like appearance.

Chunky monkey

But don’t be fooled, this is actually an amazingly comfy camera to use. Its tactile design makes you want to hold it, and its buttons are clearly labeled so you’ll become a confident snapper in no time.

The D10’s rugged-jawed credentials boast that it’s water-resistant to 10m and shockproof up to 4ft, while it’s also well suited to British summers, being capable of operating in temperatures as low as -10C. Less tough-nut, but still very useful, is that the D10 is also fully protected from dust.

Impressive package

Of course, there’s no point having protection if you can’t take decent pictures. Fortunately, the D10 has been packaged up with a clever selection of features; it’s not an exhaustive list, instead concentrating on auto settings to improve snaps.

Face, Motion and Blink Detection are included, while a Smart Auto mode with Scene Detection determines contrast and brightness for you automatically. And, if you do end up taking a dip with the D10, then the camera has an underwater setting to help out with those images.

The 2.5in LCD compares favourably with Pentax’s Optio W60 but lacks the widescreen oomph of the Panasonic FT1’s 2.7in display. That said, the D10’s PureColor LCD II tech does mean it delivers twice the normal levels of brightness. One minor niggle is that the optical zoom is a piffling 3x – it’s not a small camera, so why the restriction?

You can’t knock it

Canon’s tradition in lenses gives the D10 an advantage over some rivals, in that it has optical image stabilisation, rather than digital, while the camera also makes good on its many hardman claims – even adding a perspex shield to protect the LCD from scuffs. It’s a camera that’s easily up to the bumps, knocks and drops it has been built to resist.

Most pleasing of all is that the D10’s images are first rate; those 12.1MP stills are not only crisp and vibrant, but also cope well with tricky colours such as reds.

The D10 might not win any beauty contests, but it’s good enough to shoot a few – not bad from one of the most durable snappers we’ve laid our grubby mitts on.


Stuff says... 

Canon Powershot D10 review

Rugged, resistant and a supplier of superior snaps, this is the king of tough cams