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Discussion Starter #1
I'm thinking of buying a new digital camera, and wondering if there are any that work especially well with kayaking/rafting. I currently have a canon with a waterproof case, but it was more designed for scuba diving so it's pretty bulky and not great to use for boating.

I remember seeing a post about some compact camera that was water proof down to 15m or so a while ago - anyone know of any models like that, especially if you own one that works well for boating trips?
 

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Buy an Olympus. They are the only ones worth the money. I bought the Olympus Stylus 850 SW and I love it. I purchased it to be able to be secured to my PFD and survive. I think this model is water proof down to 10 feet and shock proof from 5 feet. I used my camera all summer and never had a problem. A friend actually dropped his camera of the same make, year older, into a beer and was still able to use it.

They make a more expensive one that is more water proof and more shock proof. The lens is also a little bit better on it as well. I don't know what they cost but I wouldn't even look at any other water proof cameras.
 

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+1 on the pentax w60... Great camera and waterproof..
 

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We just returned from a Grand trip and my son carried a Pentax W60 in his PFD and took some awesome shots. He often pulled it out as we were dropping into big rapids and got some nice shots. Landscape shots were nice and he took some incredible marco photos of flowers and insects. Just make sure there is no water on the lens before shooting. A simple wipe with the finger usually works.

There were also people on the trip that were using the Olympus and they seemed to be happy with it. So I think one of these two will be your best option.
 

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Pentax optio is great but....

it has no view finder so hard to compose pic on sunny day. also it'll sink like a rock if you drop it, a design flaw for a wp camera. keep it tethered to you pfd.
here's a pic with optio of hells canyon from last month
 

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Since we have the new Pentax W60 and an older Pentax version, I can tell you that with the W60, the screen is much easier to see while in the sun than the older version. I don't think that any of the smaller waterproof cameras have a viewfinder, but I could be wrong.
 

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I have read reviews from several sources about the Pentax and Olympus cameras- the general conclusion is that they are both good for their intended purpose photography in wet environments, but trail in image quality compared to other compact cameras. Also apparently the Olympus is supposed to have it's seals changed every year. The Pentax W60 has a bigger zoom range 28-140mm.

So it sounds like 2 choices: have the small Canon with good image quality in it's somewhat bulky diving case which is good for over 100+ft so you can dive with it, or get lower image quality in a more compact package with the Pentax or Olympus. Hopefully Canon or Nikon will take a serious stab at this market sometime soon.
 

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Old school, but bulletproof.

Hey, I've got a Nikon "Nikonos V" dive camera FOR SALE that I used to use for all my kayaking shots (I still put it in my raft gear on Grand trips as a solid backup). It's 35mm, but good to 250ft and tough as hell. Finally stopped wearing it on my chest/waist when it nearly beat me to death getting trashed in Jaws 1 hole on the Payette. It takes GREAT photos, if you're still in to 35mm stuff. Have 2 lenses: 28mm & 8mm, fixed. Email me if you're interested.
Otherwise, have gone digital like everyone else, and my money is on the Olympus 1030SW in the video above, plus a Canon Powershot A710 in a drybox, because it has a 6x optical zoom and image stabilization that really works. The Canon is faster and has better zoom, but not waterproof.
 

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Pentax Vs. Olympus

I'm a float fishing guide who has used both the Olympus and Pentax, and I have to say that the Olympus is a bit better. There is protection for the lens and it is easier too see the display in sunshine or while wearing sunglasses.
 

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Here's a sample of a pic taken with my Olympus 1030SW.

 

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Discussion Starter #15
Thanks for all the great feedback and links. I'll be checking out both those cameras tonight.
 
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