On all four corners of the D10 you will find mounting points that can be used to attach a carabiner or neck strap. These straps are thick and cost up from £10, but are useful when you're up a mountain or diving.

We dropped the Canon PowerShot D10 off tables onto carpet and concrete — although we don’t recommend you do this, we even played office soccer with it — and it survived. It worked perfectly after being left in the fridge for an hour (although it did give us cold hands); it took photos capably from the bottom of bathtubs, sinks and beers. The hardened cover in front of the lens also withstood prodding and scratches from a pocket knife.

These rugged features are designed to the protect the PowerShot D10’s components, which include a 12.1-megapixel sensor, Canon’s DIGIC4 image processor, and a 3x optical zoom lens with a focal range of 35-105mm (35mm equivalent).

This is a slightly narrower lens than the ones used by the Panasonic LUMIX DMC-FT1, Olympus Mju Tough 8000, and Olympus Mju 6000 ruggedised cameras. It means the Canon PowerShot D10 won't be able to capture as wide a shot when snorkelling and taking photos of subjects only a couple of metres away from you.

At its widest point, the lens aperture is f/2.8 and it closes to f/4.9 when zoomed all the way. Because it’s largely a point-and-shoot camera, you can’t change the aperture or the shutter speed, but you can change the white balance, metering and ISO speed.

In bright conditions, the camera did its best to regulate the exposure settings, but it can’t perform magic. You still need to be aware of where the sun is and how bright the light hitting your subject is. The camera also has a setting called i-Contrast, which tends to lighten images a lot, but even with i-Contrast disabled images were still too light. This was noticeable in shadowed areas and means that many photos lack adequate contrast and look a little too pale.

Colours were rendered a little brighter than expected and looked neutral overall. Noise was not a concern for many shots until the ISO speed went over 400. Noise and blurriness can be an issue if you shoot underwater and there is not enough light. Unlike the Panasonic Lumix FT-1, the Canon PowerShot D10 doesn’t let you limit the ISO speed when taking photos using auto mode.