Ruggedised cameras made to prove their worth at Photokina
Sanyo had their water-resistant Xacti cameras floating in an on-stand pond in little plastic inflatable dinghies, with visitors actively encouraged to dunk them into the water. Pentax had a K20D DSLR camera in a glass cabinet being sprayed with sand to show its resistance to dust. But Olympus netted the top prize for camera-abuse thanks to a specially designed and built camera torture device that had pride of place on their booth.
The rig consisted of a canvas belt with a plastic tray attached to it. The belt and the tray are looped vertically around two wheels, one at the top and one, with an electric motor, at the bottom. the whole thing is enclosed in a transparent plastic case with a window in its side that provides access to the tray as it whizzes round and around. Visitors were invited to take a 1030SW, start recording a video clip and then place the camera in the moving tray as it passes the window. The tray brings the camera up to the too of the device, which is about five feet from the floor, It keeps on going and flips over the top, flinging the camera down to a wooden base.
The few times I saw it in action, the camera then flew out of the bottom of the rig and across the floor, being chased by the demonstrator! While this is all going on the camera continues to record video. Once the camera has been retrieved, the camera is handed back to you so you can watch the action unfold on the camera screen, and in the process demonstrating that the camera has successfully survived its torture.
In case you may find all this too much to believe, we video recorded the whole demonstration, plus some other Photokina 2008 camera torture sessions (see above).