Just got a waterproof point and shoot that is super sweet. I don't know if you all have had the same problems I have with Cameras. I have destroyed a Cannon GL-1 video camera with water damage, and a Minolta Dynax SLR that was super nice. Freaking Pelican Cases and Watershed drybags are sweet but not 100% reliable after heavy use.
Just got a Pentax Optio wpi that is 6.0 megapixels and 3X optical zoom. A sweet camera for someone who is fed up with taking time to set up shots. Pull your sprayskirt, open a small dry box in between your legs and take a picture!
I too just got the Optio wpi 6.0. NIce, small and handy. But gosh, is it just me :? or is the menu and selection process overly complex? Seems like there are "500" different functions controlled by 7 buttons and not in a very intuitive way, either.
I recently bought a nice Sony plus the waterproof case. I think I could take it scuba diving if I had the equipment and knew how to scuba dive. I like it because the only reason to ever take it out of the box on the river would be to change batteries or memory sticks, and that would only be on a long trip. Out of the case, it's a nice, small camera that you can use anywhere.
I haven't taken it kayaking yet but a friend of mine has a similar setup with a Canon and seems quite happy with it. I did take it on a week long Labyrinth Canyon trip and it did great.
Another vote for Sony. I bought the 5.1 megapixel digi this summer, and the waterproof diving case, and i have been very impressed with the picture quality and ease of use. takes cool POV pix from in or underwater, and short videos.they also have a large view screen on the back, and are small and lightweight. a couple friends plus the salespeoples at best buy all recommended sony as the best cameras (at least for the wallet sized point and shoot variety) for the money.
only drawback is the total including all the add ons (1gig memory stick, diving case, extra memory stick and batteries for roadtrips) is @ $700-800.00. at that price you could almost get a much fancier camera.... but not one that goes underwater!!! just be careful of the gasket on the case. if it gets dirty or falls apart, its no longer a good seal, and that could get expensive quick, depending on how long it is before you notice.
Optios are cheap enough ($300) that you won't totally freak out if you lose it or break it. It takes great pictures and web-capable video, and it's small enough to fit in your pfd. Extra batteries are cheap as well.
I've had mine through the past season and I've been happy with it. I don't think I would spend $600 on something I might accidently drop in the water, ya know?
I don't want to add up how much I spent on my Sony because I don't want to know, but it was much less than $700-800. Mine's 7 megapixels and I took a ton of great shots on my weeklong Labyrinth trip, with a lot of the pictures being redundant. At the end of the week my 512MB memory stick was full, although I did have a backup with me. Most of the shots were at lower resolution (maybe 3MP, I forget), but they all look great on my computer and whenever I had a great shot I maxed out the resolution. It also takes AA batteries and came with 2 rechargables and a charger. The camera was about $330 and the case was about $130.
The only trouble I had is that the case does make it hard to see the viewfinder, especially in daylight and through all the muddy sand of a river trip. That's why I took a lot of redundant pictures. I was very insistent that the case never be opened on the trip unless it was to change batteries or memory. I was afraid sand would get in and break the seal.
I currently use a pentax optio 33wr 3.2 megapixel, which takes decent pictures. I have carried it in my pfd pocket for almost 2 years and it's held up great, never leaked. I've been looking to upgrade to the optio wpi 6 megapixel. Here's the cheapest price @ $226 I've found for it if anyone's interested: http://www.bwayphoto.com/product.asp?item=pnoptiowpi&l=PriceRunner
If it's anything like it's predecessor, it'll pretty a bomber design, just make sure there's no water drops or fog on the lens when you take a pic. I use a little piece of one of those synthetic chamois drying cloth thingies to wipe my lens before I take a pic, works well.
I have an olympus model (the Stylus line is great).... Its only 5 megapixel But I love it. First is water resistant which means that you can take pictures with wet hands so no need to dry off. Second it is small so you can put it in the smallest pelican case and stuff it in the front pocket of your life jacket. what this adds up to is being able to shoot from your boat, without having to get out, unpack, dry off, repack, and get back in. It has little latency plus is has a sequential mode anyway that will take up to 5 shots. It also shoots video that is comperable to an old vhs video camera. With a 1 gig card you could take 100 pics and shoot 25 minutes of video.
Ofcource it will not compare to an SLR but when you factor in the versatility and convenience it is a great toy.
If you go with a D-SLR, the Rebel XT is the best in its class and Canon consumer/prosumer gear tends to be more reliable than that from Nikon. What I'd really recommend is the magnesium-bodied Canon 20D, with much better manual/auto control options, faster, tougher. But, then, I'm a professional photojournalist and am spoiled with my Canon 1D, so the 20D would be the only acceptable lower-cost camera to me. For most people, the responsiveness, image quality, and features of a Rebel XT would be simply awesome, if not overkill. If you seek more control and will end up eventually spending most camera gear on important lenses eventually anyhow, invest in the 20D.
If you're freaking rich or wanna go pro, get the Pentax OptioWPi and then this fine piece of ballast: http://consumer.usa.canon.com/ir/controller?act=ModelDetailAct&fcategoryid=139&modelid=12012
got an optio 4 meg and it's great. takes good but not awsome vid too. the newer versions are water proof which means you can take pictures not only with wet hands but completly under water. it's the cheapest way to go and you don't have all the extra sh!t to buy (like a case). fyi- you gotta get the rechargable batteries or else you'll spend a fortune replacing batteries all the time. -trev
Good point in mentioning the upcoming 30D (or whatever they call it) ... should be very soon (within 3 months?). A D-SLR is a med/longterm investment, so best to be patient and choose wisely http://www.photo.net/equipment/canon/20D/
Does anyone have experience with the Canon PowerShot SD400?
In terms of size, price, shutter speed, and movie capabilities, it seems to meet my needs. I've seen lots of positive reviews, but I've seen enough negative reviews to make me wonder...seems it might not be so durable? A cracked LCD is the most common complaint. I'm guessing that the majority of the people who write on-line reviews are the ones who are not satisfied, so I don't know how seriously to take them.
If you are looking for a waterproof camera for cheap, pick up a Sony DSC-U60. I don't think they are making them anymore, but last saw them for under $200. No zoom and only 2mpix, but can be carabinered to your PFD, takes a quality picture...
Thanks for the head's up on the Optio at Broadway Photo! I ended up going with them, and it was considerably cheaper than anything else I found on the web. REALLY nice little camera! I just took it to Mexico, and it was so nice to be able to just put it in the pocket of my pfd and not worry about it.
If anyone does buy this camera from them, it's worth doing the package upgrade because you get 2 long-life batteries out of it. The battery that comes with the camera is pretty crappy. Also, make sure you get high speed memory, because even though the camera has a fast shutter speed, you'll still get a 2-3 second delay if you just use regular speed memory. A little expensive, but definitely worth it.
I need to attach a chunk of foam to the camera for boating season...it's waterproof, but unfortunately it doesn't float!
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