Looking for a good waterproof camera
* What budget have you allocated for buying this camera? Please be as specific as possible.
Depends. Probably less than $400, but if you think there is something great for more, let me know.
* What size camera are you looking for? Or does size not matter at all to you?
Small enough to fit in a pocket.
How many megapixels will suffice for you?
Is it possible to buy a camera with too few magapixels?
* What optical zoom will you need? (None, Standard = 3x-4x, Ultrazoom = 10x-12x, Other - Specify)
This is not essential, but I would like at least 4x and more is better.
* How important is “image quality” to you? (Rate using a scale of 1-10)
Do you care for manual controls?
Manual is not important.
* What will you generally use the camera for?
Initially, around the beach and in in the water (snorkeling or, possibly, diving). Later, just normal camera uses. Possibly skiing.
* Will you be making big prints of your photos or not?
Will you be shooting a lot of indoor photos or low light photos?
Will you be shooting sports and/or action photos?
Are there particular brands you like or hate?
I have had good experience with Canon point and shoots, but no, I don't really have any favorites.
Are there particular models you already have in mind?
Yes, I am looking at the following cameras:
- Olympus Stylus 1030 SW - Everything proof and waterproof down to 33ft, but kind of expensive and little zoom.
- Pentax Optio W60 - HD video (720p) and good zoom (5x), but only waterproof to 13-feet.
- Panasonic Lumix TZ5 - Good all around camera, great zoom, HD video, but not waterproof without a case.
(If applicable) Do you need any of the following special features? (Wide Angle, Image Stabilization, Weatherproof, Hotshoe, Rotating LCD)
Waterproof is important. It might be OK to just have a waterproof case.
Also, a good video mode would be great.
Water resistant, water proof, and an "underwater housing" are all very different things...what you seem to be after is an underwater capable camera, correct?
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I only know of Olympus to make waterproof stuff.
Originally Posted by Rooz
Canon 450D + Twin Kit Lens + 50mm 1.4
It doesn't have to be awkward Will
Yes, it's mentioned in the OP.
Originally Posted by Turn
My experience with friends who dive is that if you want a camera to take great pictures when diving, you should buy a dedicated dive camera with proper case and, most importantly, flash. Anything else will produce muddled shots at any real depth.
If you want to play around in the water while swimming or even snorkeling, something like the Olympus 1030 is probably your best bet.
If you want an all around dry land camera that you can also take in boats, a good camera with a relatively cheap ziplock bag style case will get you the best image quality for the majority of your shots.
Thanks for the responses!
I am looking for a camera that is either waterproof or has a waterproof case available for it. Just plain waterproof would be much better, but, if there is a good reason, I might be willing to deal with a case. (The problem is that the person who will be using this camera is going to be on the beach and in the water almost all the time.)
I understand that for serious underwater photography, it would take a lot more gear. I am just looking for a decent camera that can be taken snorkeling and get pretty good photos and videos.
So I guess I have three questions:
1 - It seems like when people talk about waterproof cameras, they think of the Olympus ones. It seems to me, though, that the Pentax Optios are at least as good, if not better. Is there something I am missing?
2 - Will I get much better quality out of a regular camera + waterproof case than from a waterproof camera?
3 - Some point and shoot cameras are starting to shoot 720p video. My understanding has been that still cameras and video cameras are inherently different enough that it is hard, if not impossible, to make a camera that takes good still images and videos. Obviously a point and shoot, even if it can shoot HD, will not look as good as a HD camcorder, but does the video from an HD video-capable point and shoot look pretty good?
For that use, I'd just get the Olympus and be done with it. A few years ago I was on a family vaction in Hawaii and I had a great time with a disposable camera in a sealed case while snorkeling, I've thought recently that if I was doing that regularly I'd be after the 1030 SW. It will be only "average" (or slightly below average) on land for photo quality, but you'd hardly notice that for most purposes during the day. Underwater, everything is pretty blurry anyhow, so it won't matter. And it can do either one with no spare parts or extra thinking required.
OK, so it sounds like everyone is a fan of the olympus. Does anyone know anything about the Pentax Optio?
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