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Old 11-17-2006   #1
Join Date: Feb 2006
Posts: 13
Waterproof Digital Camera?

I know the two latest waterproof cameras are the Pentax Optio W20 and the Olympus Mju 720SW. I was hoping you guys might have some opinions about these cameras. Things like battery life, if the camera is user friendly, quality of pictures, durability, and if the camera lens easily fogs up or scratches are all things I’m worried about. So , as kayakers, I’d love to hear your suggestions. Thanks a ton.

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Old 11-17-2006   #2
Boulder, Colorado
Join Date: Oct 2003
Posts: 178
This fella makes his Pentax sound pretty interesting and he certainly goves it a workout:

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Old 11-17-2006   #3
school boy
Join Date: Oct 2006
Posts: 16
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sup bro, i use a sony something rather in a 100% water proof dive case. totaly wicked. its like a fraim around the camera. totoaly sick


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Old 11-18-2006   #4
BastrdSonOfElvis's Avatar
Thought-criminal, Colorado
Paddling Since: 2000
Join Date: Mar 2005
Posts: 989
I bought the Olympus and it's pretty sweet. Takes real nice pictures. The only two problems I've identified are
1. The lens doesn't so much fog up as sometimes it's difficult to keep water off of it. When you turn the camera on and off a lens cover rotates into place/out of place. Mine sticks a little, but a gentle nudge gets it moving. Still, if a water droplet gets in the way it can be tough to get off.
2. You have to time your shot if you're trying to catch someone moving fast. Initally I missed some good pics because by the time the camera snapped the subject was already over the drop and underwater/out of frame. So you depress the button half-way and then a second or two before the shot you want you have to push the button. It can take a little video and then you could pull stills from that. Either way, it's not the kind of camera you want to use for taking real high quality pics. Just for fun, you know. Point and shoot style.

Hope that helps.
I hope in the future Americans are thought of as a warlike, vicious people, because I bet a lot of high schools would pick "Americans" as their mascot. -Jack Handy
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Old 11-18-2006   #5
Lakewood, Colorado
Join Date: Jan 2006
Posts: 82
I picked up the Optio, and have a simillar report. You need to snap your pictures a second before the kayak enters the frame, (slow shutter). and sometimes water can be tricky to get off the lense and will ruin all of your shots. The other thing that I did not like about the camera was no view finder, only LCD screen.
But it is easy to use, and even I have got some great shots using it. Definately recommended.
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Old 11-20-2006   #6
Denver, Colorado
Paddling Since: 2004
Join Date: Apr 2004
Posts: 3,095
I have the optio waterproof camera. In general it takes nice shots, is compact and easily fits in a pfd pocket, and the waterproof function works well. I have taken pictures with it while snorkeling and kept it underwater the whole time and it worked great. As a general camera for scenery shots etc its nice too. As for cons, water on the lens is a pain in the ass. If you keep it in your pfd you will always get small water droplets on the lens. I use a little rag to wipe them off, but its a pain in the ass clinging to a rock in an eddy and trying to wipe off the drops from the camera to get a good shot. I guess keeping it in a ziplock bag could help with this. Also, the delay between pushing the button and taking a pic means its hard to get that perfect boof shot. The camera does have a multishot deal where you can take many pics in sequence, and this could help as well, but again you are at the mercy of the timing of the camera.

If you want a small camera to take some nice river scenery shots and hopefully get a couple of good pics in rapids and want to comfort of knowing it won't be ruined if it gets wet or dunked, then this is a pretty good one. If you want to take some really nice action shots of creeking, then this camera might dissappoint. I'd say that you might get a decent shot 1 out of 5 times if you are trying to get the boof shots right on time. You can get good at anticipating the timing delay and get lucky though.

Good luck.
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Old 11-20-2006   #7
Len's Avatar
Buena Vista, Colorado
Join Date: Dec 2003
Posts: 99
I've been scoping out both the pentax and olympus offerings. I'm kinda leaning towards the olympus because of it's claims of being shock proof up to 2 meters (er somthing like that).

I talked to a guy at wolf who said that nikon is coming out with that'll be in line with the 2 mentioned, but he said it's not expected to be out for a while.
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Old 11-20-2006   #8
Join Date: Oct 2003
Posts: 342
I purchased a pentex 6.0 at Sportsmen´s Warehouse back in April, and I really like it. It´s fully waterproof, but it costs about $300. That´s mucho dinero, but for all the good memories it´s worth it.
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Old 11-21-2006   #9
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Denver, Colorado
Join Date: Jan 2004
Posts: 679
I have the Pentax, it was the WPi then. Needs more light than most cameras due to the 11 lens elements. Holding still in low light is the biggest problem I've encountered. A properly placed water drop has made some of my pictures turn out really sweet. I use my fingernail to drag the drops to the edge of the lens or dunk/splash it to remove the droplets. Broadway Photo has the W20 for $216.

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Old 11-21-2006   #10
Georgia Moonshine
Join Date: Oct 2006
Posts: 173
Pentax is better, buddy of mine is a pro photographer, usually likes Olympus stuff. Thinks this Olymus is a piece of crud.

Pentax works great for me and the Mrs.

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