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Thread: Best waterproof digital camera

  1. #1
    Flashaholic*
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    Default Best waterproof digital camera

    I know there has been a lot about digital cameras, but a local volunteer group I help out needs some waterproof digital cameras that have controls big enough for older volunteers to see and operate. These cameras will be used in and around streams and often in the rain.

    It doesn't need a lot of features, just be reliable, easy to use and have a storage format that will make electronic photos difficult to retrieve in the future.

    Thanks --Josey

  2. #2
    Enlightened
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    Default Re: Best waterproof digital camera

    PENTAX OPTIO W30
    7 M. pixels
    waterproof 3 m
    uses SD cards
    1 cm macromode
    25 scenes modes
    as long as you want high quality video mode

  3. #3
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    Popcorn Re: Best waterproof digital camera

    Quote Originally Posted by Etienne1980 View Post
    PENTAX OPTIO W30
    7 M. pixels
    waterproof 3 m
    uses SD cards
    1 cm macromode
    25 scenes modes
    as long as you want high quality video mode
    I just bought this exact camera (Pentax Optio W30) today! I'll let you know my (admittedly novice) opinion when it arrives.

    I believe I read in an earlier thread McGizmo has the previous model and liked it a lot (although from his photo threads he's upgraded a bit since then ).
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  4. #4

    Default Re: Best waterproof digital camera

    Josey,
    I gave the Pentax to my wife primarily because its battery wants to discharge over a few weeks of "sleep" which worked agains my desire of being able to grab it on the spur of the moment. She needed a new camera and I have two Nikon D70's (one lives in a UW housing) so it seemed the thing to do.

    I took the camera on my surfski a few times and used it in the rain to no ill effect but expecting it to be waterproof requires a fair amount of faith as well as attention to seals.

    It is the only camera I know of that is small and claiming a 3 meter dunking capability. It is a seemingly nice camera as well given its size and price.

    As an alternate, you might want to look into inexpensive UW housings for more popular digital cameras. Many of the small cameras now have acrylic UW cases available as an option for a few bills. They work quite well but do need a dessicant onboard to avoid fogging, or so I found.
    Build Prices .... some mods and builds (not 4 sale) "Nature can be cruel- but we don't have to be."~ Temple Grandin

  5. #5

    Default Re: Best waterproof digital camera

    I just bought a Pentax W30 for my holiday a few weeks ago - pretty impressed with it and much easier (less heavy / bulky) than using waterproof enclosures.

    The pictures came out very well - perhaps not quite as good as my Canon Ixus 850is (out of water) but it is less expensive and waterproof.

    One other I considered was an Olympus (forgot the model) but it lost points for using XD memory cards (the Pentax uses the more 'common' and cheaper SD type) and the Pentax seemed to get better reviews etc.

  6. #6

    Default Re: Best waterproof digital camera

    Otherwise a cheap option if you already have a compact is to use an Aquapac waterproof case - they also go to 3m (maybe more) but I found that yes condensation can be an issue and the image quality is not as good as the Pentax (as it's a lens going through extra plastic etc.).

    But probably 1/10th the cost of the Pentax so if you have a digital camera already worth considering...

  7. #7

    Default Re: Best waterproof digital camera

    Quote Originally Posted by Josey View Post
    I know there has been a lot about digital cameras, but a local volunteer group I help out needs some waterproof digital cameras that have controls big enough for older volunteers to see and operate. These cameras will be used in and around streams and often in the rain.

    It doesn't need a lot of features, just be reliable, easy to use and have a storage format that will make electronic photos difficult to retrieve in the future.

    Thanks --Josey
    There are plastic bags with plastic lens in them to $20,000 camera housings.
    There are also single use U/W film cameras (the site has at least one reusable camera) and water resistant digitals.

    What is the budgit and why do you want "difficult to retrieve" pictures.

  8. #8
    Flashaholic* TorchBoy's Avatar
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    Default Re: Best waterproof digital camera

    I was going to say that Etienne1980's recommendation sounded quite practical. I've used a Canon S50 in a waterproof housing a fair bit and while it can open up great possibilities (see below) for everyday use it's not very practical, and for all sorts of reasons (like the extra fiddliness of the knobs) I wouldn't recommend it for older people for everyday use.



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  9. #9
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    Default Re: Best waterproof digital camera

    Quote Originally Posted by InFlux View Post
    I just bought this exact camera (Pentax Optio W30) today! I'll let you know my (admittedly novice) opinion when it arrives.

    I believe I read in an earlier thread McGizmo has the previous model and liked it a lot (although from his photo threads he's upgraded a bit since then ).
    Actually after doing a lot more research I changed my order to a Olympus Stylus 770SW. It's not only waterproof, but also freeze proof, crush and drop resistant. It also has a better LCD display (almost 2x the pixels of the Pentax). Like all cameras (and everything) it has it's pluses and minuses- but I decided this was better for me.

    There are a ton of reviews online for both cameras.
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  10. #10
    Flashaholic* gorn's Avatar
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    Default Re: Best waterproof digital camera

    I have the Olympus Stylus 720SW. It is the predecessor of the 770SW. It is a great camera and you can pick them up cheap now. It is water proof to 10 feet for over an hour. The 7MP images are crisp and clear, it also has a very good video capture ability, much better than my previous cameras. I bought it mainly to snorkle with in the lakes and rivers I visit. So far I have no complaints about it at all.

    Edit: The 770SW is water proof to 10 meters, I forgot to add that.

  11. #11

    Default Re: Best waterproof digital camera

    Until I switched to a Nikon D70, I have been an Olympus user almost exclusively. It's cool to find out about the 770SW!! Do any of you guys have a feel for the on the shelf discharge rate of the battery?
    Build Prices .... some mods and builds (not 4 sale) "Nature can be cruel- but we don't have to be."~ Temple Grandin

  12. #12

    Default Re: Best waterproof digital camera

    i thought they were only water resistant, but sure enough they are waterproof !!

    http://www.steves-digicams.com/2007_...stylus770.html
    .......

  13. #13
    Flashaholic Taylorf's Avatar
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    Default Re: Best waterproof digital camera

    Like others have suggested, the Olympus stylus 770 sw is a great choice. Its rated to 30 feet. I have only tested it to five but it holds up great. It is one of the most solid cameras I have ever used. It isnt the best camera I have used picture wise, but its definitely not bad. Its a great choice for a waterproof camera.
    My small collection: Surefire 8ax, Orb Raw, Costco 10 million and 15 million, Streamlight Ultrastinger, and the Exolion

  14. #14
    Flashaholic* gorn's Avatar
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    Default Re: Best waterproof digital camera

    Quote Originally Posted by McGizmo View Post
    Until I switched to a Nikon D70, I have been an Olympus user almost exclusively. It's cool to find out about the 770SW!! Do any of you guys have a feel for the on the shelf discharge rate of the battery?
    I last charged mine about 2 months ago. I have taken probably 10 pictures since then and the battery still shows full. I haven't had a problem with the discharge rate at all.

  15. #15

    Default Re: Best waterproof digital camera

    Thanks Gorn! That's all I needed to hear.
    Build Prices .... some mods and builds (not 4 sale) "Nature can be cruel- but we don't have to be."~ Temple Grandin

  16. #16
    Flashaholic* gorn's Avatar
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    Default Re: Best waterproof digital camera

    I see the Olympus SW770 in todays Fry's ad for $337. I'm not sure that's the best price that you can find, but it seems to be good.

  17. #17
    Flashaholic* greenlight's Avatar
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    Default Re: Best waterproof digital camera

    I have seen a waterproof camera for sale at costco but I can't remember which one. If you're a costco member it might be worth checking out.

  18. #18
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    Default Re: Best waterproof digital camera

    Quote Originally Posted by gorn View Post
    I see the Olympus SW770 in todays Fry's ad for $337. I'm not sure that's the best price that you can find, but it seems to be good.
    $309.99 at Amazon, free shipping, no tax, and great service

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