Camera Question..again

O, for me it’s the first time and I have acrued a fair amt. of info thru the archives.

Most entail shooting on the water.

I also intend on shooting while on the road bike (bicycle).

The 800spd. fugi throw aways are fantastic for catching moving objects without the blur whether it’s water or land but man…when you want to bring something up close and personal…they suck.

I’m figuring this will be my “I quit Smoking Gift” (quit 12 years ago and every year I give myself something with the $$ I’d have spend on smokes…)next February.

I’d ‘prefer’ something that had some waterproofness to it and I don’t want something so tiny I lose the shot just trying to get my mits to adjust to its size…I’d be very happy with something the size of the fugi or kodak throwaways.

The caveat seems to be shooting stuff at speed.

Under $575. any suggestions?

Thanks in advance

Not exactly waterproof but the Fuji F30 (digital P&S) has the best high ISO performance out there in digital P&S cameras; it goes all the way up to ISO 3200, not that the images are great up there though.

ISO 800 is great and 1600 is still quite usable. Here’s a review of it-

If you aren’t familiar with DPReview it’s a wonderful place to read great in depth reviews of digital cameras.

I’ve had my F30 since they came out mid-summer or so and have been very happy with it. When I’m out and about I usually have it in my pocket with me and I have no real complaints (other then lack of RAW and histogram, which I was aware of when I bought it). It usually accompanies me out on the water if I’m just putzing around with no real danger of getting wet.

Worth a look anyway. Smaller then the cheap throw aways and the images will be magnitudes better. Those things use pretty crappy film for the most part and no shutter/aperture controls leads to under exposed and grainy pics much of the time.

Happy hunting,


Pentax Optio W20
Waterproof Optio W10 (and earlier WP) is main camera for outdoor activity including paddling and racing. Check my paddling blog and photo tips:

The newest model from the Optio series, W20, is below $300 though …

A similar waterproof camera - Olympus SW 720, but not as good in a movie mode.

You can see how Pentax Optio compares to Olympus and other digital point & shoot cameras in this review of 10 compact cameras:

I forgot but Fuji does make a waterproof housing for this camera. Here’s a link to it at B&H (a very reputable on-line seller with great prices)-


Thanks for the links
I’m new into the digital.

Everything I have is SLR with tripod (used to do a ton of stuff for Bicycling Mag. back in the Red Zinger Classic days and stuff for Hot Rod and Car Craft at regional Drags)

I’m not a person to ‘trade up’ so I’d rather get the real deal the first time out.

"at speed"
The Optio series maybe water friendly but isn’t the best p&s for shooting moivng objects at low light.

My Pentax WPI was well worth the money. I’ve had it in rain storms, in the pool, and dropped into the water in the bottom of my kayak.

I don’t know if you can get small ones like the WPI now but if you can it is great for keeping with you to catch those chance shots and it fits inside my PFD pocket as well.

Pentax Optio W10/W20 vs WP/WPi
Pentax Optio W10/W20 are slightly larger than Optio WP/WPi (LCD is larger):

waterproof housing
Before Pentax Optio(s) I was paddling with Canon PowerShot. I bought a waterproof case for that camera. I found that that the case is quite bulky, heavy, not so convenient to use (and expensive). I was using it mostly for shooting videos with a camera mounted on a deck ( Otherwise, I preferred to carry the camera in a small Otter box and take it out for shooting.

I am sure that the waterproof housing is good for diving. Pentax Optio W10/W20 is rated only to 5 feet but some owners take it deeper without problems.

I think that Pentax Optio W20/W10 is a good general purpose p&s camera (and waterproof). If you have special needs that cannot be satisfied by Optio look for another camera and a waterproof housing.

I am shooting much more pictures (and more interesting, I think) on water with Pentax Optio when I used with to Canon PowerShot. And, perhaps an order of magnitude more that I used to shoot with my film camera.

I have been using an Opto W10 for about three months or so. It is very small so it can stay in my PFD pocket which makes it readily accesable, which is of course a big plus. It is waterproof which makes good sense for using it on the water, (my last two cameras drowned from one too many splashes). The camera has given up some of its abilty to produce great shots with downsizing or waterproofing, or just because. The W10 will not produce the same quality results as my lower pixel Fuji film or even low pixel rate Olympus. My other grip is the lack of a view finder. I have looked at both the stylus and my W10 and in direct sunlight the digital display does not do it.

My opinion is that the W10 is fantastic if you are happy with OK or good photos but will not fit the bill if you are after great photos. I think the only alternative which retains waterproof is to go with a waterproof housing.

Happy Paddling,



– Last Updated: Sep-21-06 3:15 AM EST –

I'm just back from vacation (NYC) with 1 GB of photos, all shot with the W10. The image quality is excellent, as long as you don't use too much tele and/or take photos in low light. The lens has some problems at the tele position. An aperture of F3.3 means that in low light situations you need a long exposure time, so you have to fix the cam somewhow (wall, tripod, table,...). A viewfinder would be nice for extreme sunlight, but you can go without it.

On the other hand it's fast, handy, the accu lasts long, the display is big, the video mode is excellent. If you study the manual (also good!) and take an hour to learn all the features and play with different settings you'll be happy with it. As long as you don't need the tele.

The 7 megapixel of the W20 are nonsense, of cause. The lens doesn't do it.

BTW, my "old" cam is a Ricoh Caplio G3 (3 MP). The W10 is better in every case except the tele.
A Review is at

I think it would be good to find which compact p&s cameras are really better than Pentax Optio W20/W10 and with what features.

Fuji F30 was mentioned above. A survey of 10 cameras I am quoting put PowerShot SD700, Fujifilm F11, and the Panasonic FX01 above Pentax Optio W10 and Olympus SW 720:

Then, it remains to figure out if it is worth to go for extra expenses (camera + housing if available) and to sacrifice a convenience of a small waterproof camera to get those features. It may depend whether you need a camera just for paddling (and what kind of paddling) or for something else as well.

If you want a camera to shoot birds or other wildlife from a kayak then Optio and probably any other p&s camera is not for you. If you want to catch some surprising moments when paddling like a swimming wild turkey (, the Optio may do that job.

I believe that great pictures are more a function of a photographer than a camera.