I live and mainly kayak in NJ which might not be the most scenic of states but does have some beautiful and interesting spots that I would love to capture from out on the water with a camera. I’m aware of only one water-resistant digital – the Pentax Optio WR. I’d appreciate hearing from anyone who has experience with it or can recommend some other camera.
I have had good luck with this camera but I’ve only owned it a few months. The pictures are decent, it’s easy to use, I’ve splashed water on it with no negative effects and it fits conveniently in my PFD vest pocket. It is my first digital camera so I do not have a basis for comparison. I hope you hear from others.
BTW- it also has an optical viewfinder which was essential for me so I don’t need to carry reading glasses in the yak.
You might want to take a look at the thread a little further down about problems that people are having with some Pentax models.
I’ve never had an experience with the waterproof boxes, but they make them for a lot of cameras it seems. Walmart carries some for some Canon and Sony’s.
WR vs WP
I bought an Optio 43WR about a year ago and am pleased with it, keeping in mind it is a point-and-shoot camera. I have had no problems with it. The problems alluded to below have to do with the WP model freezing up, something that has never happened with my WR.
If you do buy a WR, just make sure that you use the blue-and-silver Energizer lithium AA batteries rather than ordinary alkaline AA batts. The lithium ones last much, much longer and are lighter. You can get them at half the “normal” price from places like WalMart and Target. Or you can buy a rechargeable set and charger; I have these and found they last longer than regular alkaline batts, but I prefer the blue-and-silver AAs because those last the longest.
The Optio 43WR was discontinued but maybe you can still find some in stock.
You cannot use the WR to take underwater photos, as it is submersible but not meant to be operated under water. If you only need splash protection, the WR should be fine. Even so, I carry mine in a small Pelican (1030?) case on the deck. This also prevents water spots forming on the clear lens cover.
My old Pentax 35mm WR is water resistant but the manual also says not to try to take pictures underwater. I have and it works fine. I’m not recommending this, but at least with mine it works. If the lens extends out from the body, don’t zoom it while it’s underwater, though.