Excellent editorial by Rob Spray for DPReview:
It’s very confusing, and all the more so as it’s the users who really get to test this stuff. Obviously there’s a certain amount of reticence to test the limits amongst people with less money than sense and simple lore tells you that pride comes before a fall. The camera that’s never taken to sea will never be filled with saltwater when a seal fails. Some of us have to work close to the limits; we need to take pictures at sea, in rain and snow or even underwater and many of us will have suffered casualties.
It’s funny how a camera, which is very much an outdoor gear, requires all the cases, straps — protections — to be used in its natural habitat: the outdoor, with its unpredictable weather and element of surprises.
The basic benchmark would be our own human body, a camera should be able to withstand reasonable low, or high temperature, dust, moist, weather, water, physical abuse, as much as a human body can withstand. But the truth is far from it.
How long do you think it will take for our personal electronic devices — cameras included — to be outdoor-friendly? Will that day ever come?
Ruggedness is overrated.