Cameras Again

I know this thread comes up quite often, but it seems every few minutes the technology changes!

I really liked my old square pentax optio, and when it finally had it I got the new Pentax optio W, which takes decent pictures, but isn’t as user friendly, has a proprietary battery, and doesn’t float.

It seems the new Olympus and Pentax are decent, but the feature list is overwhelming.

What is the latest/greatest, waterproof point-and-shoot camera?


Me too.
My Optio33WR is still kicking, but the technology has advanced and I’m thinking of upgrading. A few years ago I would not consider cameras that used other than AA batteries, because they were universally available, and that did not have a viewfinder, because in bright light, the LCD was useless. Battery technology has leaped, and I would now buy cameras that have their own battery, and the current crop of cameras have LCD that are visible even in direct sunlight.

I recently read reviews of the Sony TX5 (Sony is new to WP cameras) that piqued my interest. Has anybody got feedback on those?


I still have an old Optio 43WR, but…

– Last Updated: Jun-13-10 1:59 PM EST –

a couple years ago it began sprinkling in "hot pixels." Unlike newer cameras, you cannot tell it to remap pixels. It also began throwing hissy fits such as telling me the card was full when it wasn't (did this with more than one card). It usually worked but the fits were unpredictable, so I shopped around for a new camera. First I bought an Olympus 1030SW, whose menus and image quality I didn't like. I sold that one and waited.

The waterproof digicam that seems to get the best remarks for image quality is the Canon D10 (I think that's the name of the model). It does use a proprietary battery, though, and it's too thick to be good for stowing in a PFD pocket.

I recently bought a Pentax Optio W90. Still experimenting with it. The macro features are a nice touch for a point-and-shoot, especially the little trio of lights around the lens. Love the manual-control options for things like custom white balance, restricting ISO range even with Auto mode for that variable, etc. Have not tested it underwater or on tripod yet. Supposedly this camera does better at underwater videos than at normal still photos above water. It uses a proprietary battery, though. I miss the old 43WR's ability to use Energizer lithium AA batts, because those lasted longer than rechargeable AAs, and many times longer than alkaline AAs.

One odd thing so far is that I got a better (sharper) image with Image Sharpness on "normal" than on "sharp." The one that was shot with the setting on "sharp" only had sharpened edges while the interior pixels looked like they had been smeared! The one shot with "normal" sharpness was sharper overall, or at least less smudgy-looking--not what I expected. I'm going to do a more controlled test with the camera on tripod, self-timer (to avoid movement from pressing shutter release), and identical settings for aperture and shutter speed as much as I can set them (there's no fully manual control for those). There is a "soft" setting, and I'm hoping what that means is that it tells the software NOT to apply any sharpening.

At this point, I suspect that waterproof digicams simply don't have as good image quality as nonwaterproof ones, period. They are piling on the idiot-proofing attempts ("program modes") while neglecting basic quality. Don't even compare this class with an image shot on good film with a decent lens.

Panasonic Lumix DMC-TS1
For his last birthday, I gave my husband the Panasonic Lumix DMC-TS1. It had just been released but the buzz was good.

This camera takes great pictures and video. It has withstood being bashed around in some rough water, submerged in a pool for filming rolling practices, and is easy to use.

I have a Pentax W60 and, when and if it dies – so far it’s doing well – I definitely would go for the Lumix. It’s still a bit pricey – last year it cost a good chunk of b-day present change – but worth it.

Image quality
"At this point, I suspect that waterproof digicams simply don’t have as good image quality as nonwaterproof ones, period. They are piling on the idiot-proofing attempts (“program modes”) while neglecting basic quality. Don’t even compare this class with an image shot on good film with a decent lens."

Last year I purchased a Pentax Optio W60 and was highly disappointed with the quality of the photo’s, with no view finder it can be very hard to frame up a photo in bright sunlight other than being waterproof and small the camera is nothing special. Just this week I ordered a Panasonic Lumix FZ-35 which has an 18X optical zoom and a viewfinder plus it shoots HD video with image stabilization. I’m not to concerned about the waterproof issue as I keep my camera in a deck bag when not being used.

Fuji film
Fuji film makes a decent waterproof camera. not as good as some choices. but if your on a budget decent quality for the price.

on the plus side with the fuji it will read any pics on a card frome other cameras.

Fujifilm XP10
I got one of these a couple weeks ago and am quite happy with it. They’re $200.00, but I got one on sale for $180.00. Very easy to use and the exposure modes work well. The Program mode allows you to change ISO and exposure compensation. Images are quite good. Distant scenery shots are a bit soft; sharper closer up. Shoots well underwater. Video is good, but sound is a bit weak an the mic picks up internal noise. Maybe not the best waterproof P & S out there, but a good dollar value.

kodak makes one now
My friends got one from Best Buy and they take great pictures and HD video with it.

With the advent of the TS2, the TS1 can be had for a much better price ($230 or so). Just got one for myself and will be taking it out tomorrow.


Me, too…
I’d always had Pentax SLRs and had been happy with them, so it was a disappointment to me that the picture quality on the W60 wasn’t so great.

For awhile I thought it was simply that I wasn’t utilizing all that the camera had to offer – there are a lot of bells and whistles – but when we compared the same shot on my Pentax to the husband’s Lumix, well, there you are.

For now the W60 has to suffice but, when it goes to that great digital picture place in the sky, it’ll be a Lumix (in whatever incarnation) for me.

Kodak + others
The Kodak HD camcorder seems seems to do a pretty decent job for HD video and 5 MP photos. Relatively cheap too for under $200. No real zoom though. And pretty narrow angle of view, which may be good or bad, depending on what you shoot).

The TS-1 and the Canon D10 are better values these days than the “budget” cams I think. The TS-2 being out now lowered the prices for these. Tough to chose on features alone - they all have some strengths and weaknesses and there is no clear winner. All depends on your needs…

Can’t go wrong with the Panny (TS-1 or 2) or the Canon IMO. Have not seen results of the new Fuji but the first version was unimpressive - however I’ve seen that for $99 locally and for that money it is actually not bad at all -:wink:

I have the GoPro as it offers a lot of ruggedness and a very wide angle of view. It shoots great HD video but obviously can’t shoot small objects at a distance convincingly due to the wide angle and lack of zoom. The lack of a screen is a real pain too - never know exactly if you got the shot or not…

I loved the 43wr because it was square and easy to hold and use one handed. they changed the shape with the wr10 and I didn’t like it as much. I know have the wr30 and have used it for many years. I would rather have the square shape again, but I can’t complain about the camera. A chunk of pool noodle on a lanyard keeps the camera afloat.

Still want a waterproof camera, though
The reason I first bought the water-resistant 43WR was because I had missed so many moments for a good trip photo while undoing sprayskirt, reaching ahead of feet to get big Pelican box, carefully opening box and extracting SLR, determining the right exposure, and so on. The 43WR, though not waterproof, was tiny enough to put in a little case on the deck, and being a point-and-shoot, all I needed to do was frame and shoot.

Horses for courses.

Use a StickyPod - both hand free

Use autofocus and just take nice stable photos by pointing your boat.

I’ve always used the Pentax Optio
Currently have a W60 - picture quality is OK and it takes pretty good video. Water cameras take a lot of abuse, so I try to balance cost and picture quality with the likelihood that the camera will get smashed on a rock or sink down to the deep. I’m usually a generation or two behind the current state-of-the-art. I’ll definitely buy another Optio - tough little camera.