A few accidental exceptions aside, we don't tend to abuse the review units that manufacturers are gracious enough to send us. In fact, based on the condition that some previously reviewed cameras arrive at our office in, I tend to think that we probably handle our test cameras more gently than some of our colleagues out there.
But when a camera claims to be "lifeproof," as the Olympus Stylus 1050 SW claims to be, it feels like the gauntlet of challenge has been thrown down. If a camera is advertised as shockproof, isn't it incumbent on us as reviewers to drop it off a table to find out? Better yet, why not drop it into a bucket of water, since it also purports to be waterproof?
With all of this in mind, we opted to throw caution to the wind and find out how well the 1050 held up to being dropped, dunked, and even frozen. The results of these tests, as well as a general overview of this camera's performance, features, and unique touch-responsive user interface can be found in our video review.
We've been shooting on and off with the Stylus 1050 for a month or so, waiting for the weather here in Ohio to get nasty enough to sample what this camera's really made of. On this score, the Stylus proved to be ideally suited to snow and ice: in fact, Tap Control alone may be enough to justify the 1050's purchase price if winter sports are your thing. While it might have been nice if this control arrangement was more customizable, the fact remains that the 1050 is perhaps the only ultracompact that's still remotely usable when wearing padded gloves.
With our curiosity about the 1050's ruggedness and outdoor usability sufficiently satisfied, the only thing left to determine is how well it performs its primary function: taking pictures. We'll be publishing our full review of the 1050 SW, complete with image quality analysis, in coming weeks, so keep an eye out for that.