Point-and-shoot outdoor cameras are rugged, waterproof, dustproof, shockproof, and freezeproof. They are available in up to 16 megapixel capacity and rival the picture quality of their more fragile point-and-shoot counterparts. I recently tried out 5 waterproof sport cameras in a number of situations: at a pool, touring Miami Beach, swimming underwater with dolphins at Dolphin Cove in Key Largo, jet boating up the Rogue River in Oregon, hiking in a downpour in Olympic National Park, and kayaking around Orcas Island in the San Juan Islands off the coast of Washington.
The cameras tested included the Fujifilm Finepix XP-150, Nikon Coolpix AW100, Olympus Tough TG-820, Pentax Optio WG-2, and the Sony DSC-TX20. Each camera excelled in at least one feature.
The Olympus Tough TG-820 wins my vote for the best clarity, contrast, and color. "Intelligent high sensitivity" and 'high speed capabilities" help the Olympus to focus quickly. Of all the waterproof, rugged cameras, this model was the one I pulled out in a rainstorm to get professional quality shots while keeping my DSLR dry.
Photo shot in rainstorm in Olympic National Park, Washington.