Digital Cameras

Once again
Thanks to all. You have given me a wealth of info.

I’ve got a brand new Optio WP

– Last Updated: Jul-29-05 7:37 PM EST –

sitting on my coffee table. Unfortunately, it was shipped with the European A/C plug so I cannot try it out this weekend! Grrr! It looks nice though and the manual seems pretty thorough.

I bought it online through since they were rated well on Yahoo shopping and had it for $267. They shipped very fast (ordered Sunday and in my hands on Thursday) BUT I got the wrong plug. I called today and they said they'd have an adapter in the mail today (multi-voltage charger). If it arrives in a timely manner, I'd recommend them as a source to try should you buy. They were cheap and quick so if they follow through with this minor problem they'll get a rec. -the customer service guy said they've had several problems with them being shipped with the wrong adapter for N. America.

3hrTour (Finding the Optio WP boring with dead batteries)

Two words: Polarizing Filter

– Last Updated: Jul-30-05 8:16 PM EST –

You CAN take pretty good photos at high noon on the water if your camera accepts filters. Polarizing filters are pure magic when the sun is high. That's not to say I don't appreciate the low-angle lighting of morning and evening, because that's usually a great time for photos.


Oh, there's another aspect to this bright- sunshine issue you might consider. Remember that the rest of the country is not the same dry, clear-sky desert environment that you live in. In the midwest and northest (I can't speak for the south), we often don't see the sun for days or even weeks at a time in the spring and fall, and even in mid summer, it's very common for one day out of every two or three to become mostly cloudy or completely overcast by late morning (and that's not even taking into acount the rainy days). I decided to mention this because your "this is the way it is" comment about sunshine reminded me of the time someone asked about binoculars last year, when you told the original poster to ignore all adivice about low-light capability because there was "no need" for anyone to consider that aspect when boating, again due to the "bright sunshine" issue, as if no one else might possibly be on the water at dawn, dusk, at night, or on overcast days.

I give Butterfly +++

– Last Updated: Jul-29-05 11:13 PM EST –

I just bought a Lumix FX5, expected 8 day shipping and it came in 1.5 days, I was amazed. This is not an under the bungees camera, but a 12x optical stabilized lens is worth a little care....

That’s a great camera, eh?!
I’m very impressed with Panasonic’s IS system. Coupled with the Leica lens the FZ5 is an extremely affordable shooter that really gives nice results from a boat.

Wasn’t thrilled with the proprietary battery, but I’ve changed my mind there, as well. Great performance and lightweight.

Carry mine in a Pelican 1120, then in the deck pouch of my my Wildwasser skirt.


Digital Art
Digitals have progressed to the point that they allow for a sizeable degree of artistic expression. Just like film the key is to pay very close attention to the characteristics of light and how they affect your camera. That gives the viewers their first impression of your work and sets the mood. Composition is next. That is how you tell a story so to speak. Placing a subject dead center focuses the eye there immediately where it will linger. Off-centering the subject will make the eye notice the background and go back and forth from there to subject. That gives the brain more of a feeling of being there and feeling the photo.

Action photos require telephoto lens. There’s no way around it. Little dots surrounded by green and blue don’t stimulate the brain enough to be of much interest. It’s far better to focus close up with a telephoto and blure the background to give a sense of motion. Think of want it would be like to ride a wave next to your buddy. You’d only focus on him and barely notice the surf.

I’m sure others could share thoughts. I wish they would.

Sun “drowning” out screen on optio WP
Hey. What about rigging a small tube (made of anything) that surrounds the lcd screen to block out light and allow you to see it better in bright light? The tube would fit right around the screen and be about 2-3 inches.

Pentex Optio
Not the WP, but the WR, is what I have. And I’ve had it for nearly a year now.

As you might have guessed. WR is only “water resistant”. That means it will work down to 5 ft under water. For me, that’s plenty good for kayaking. I don’t plan to spend much time that far under water! ;o)

I didn’t realize thw WP lacks optical viewfinder. I would strongly recommend agaist it on that alone. I used my camera on trip where the sun is so bright that I can’t see a thing on the LCD! Without the optical viewfinder, I wouldn’t be able to see what I was shooting at all. And I’m not talking about any old-age eyes. Just the simple physics of LCD doesn’t work under bright sunlight.

If you’re not planning to dive with it, I think the Optio 43 WR is a great all-around camera that works well for both kayak AND land trips. At 4 mega pixel, and with plenty of control, the quality is no compromise.

Pretty complex

– Last Updated: Jul-30-05 8:23 PM EST –

Went to Best Buy today and they did not have any water proof/resistant cameras. You have to buy them on-line and they do not have the Optio WP listed. Pretty hard for me to buy on-line without holding the camera.

Went to Wolf Camera, they had an Optio WP. The salesperson said it was in a different class (higher) than the 43WR or 33WR. With my over 50 eyes, I am now certain I need an optical viewfinder. I don't want to carry reading glasses in my yak. Kayaking makes me feel young and glasses make me feel old.

Subsequently the salesperson said Pentax has poor image quality due to the plastic lens and we should look at a Nikon Coolpix.

After one day of research and reading your posts, I am convinced our camera does not yet precisely exist:

Waterproof or water resistant
At least 3X optical zoom
Fits in a PFD pocket
Has an optical viewfinder
4-5 megapixels

The closest I can find are the Olympus Stylus 410 or the Pentax Optio 43 or 33WR.

Thanks to the info all of you gave me. Considering I have been researching this matter for ONE day and knew nothing about digitals the day before yesterday, I am now moderately ignorantly well-versed and can ask questions at the stores without appearing stupid.

Thanks again.

Pelican case not a good option.
I’ve used a Pelican case to keep my Canon A40 reasonably dry for two years, but the salt air has taken a heavy toll. The auto lens cover seized up, and the rotary selector is almost impossible to turn. It’s someone else’s worry now, as it got horked from the green room at our local rock show last night. Awww…too bad…now I hafta get a NEW one. Best of all, for once it wasn’t me who screwed up, but the wife. “Gee dear…how could you be so careless??”

So far Ilike the Optio WP.

Did you let it out of the pelican case when not on the boat?

Oh yes
Complete freedom, the case stays with the boat.

I did not use dessicant, and was lax at cleaning the cam after use. Perhaps 2 years is not so bad, but I expect to get more than that out of a dedicated w/p camera, I hope.

and uses two AA rechargable batteries

Pelican Cases
It’s a good idea use a silicon spray on the gasket of a Pelican case to maintain the seal. Especially around salt-water.

Or use a bag or housing and the salt
air will not bother it as it in a sealed enviorment. Also the spray will not get to it when in use.

Got the power cord
Butterfly FedExed the power cord to me today. Got the battery charging so I should be able to start playing soon and maybe even get out on the water with it this weekend. Still can’t review the camera’s performance but Butterfly seems pretty decent.


Pentax Optio 43 WR – just fine

– Last Updated: Aug-02-05 6:32 AM EST –

It's really been the choice of paddlers for the last couple of years, or at least those seeking a small, waterproof unit that doesn't need a housing with the inevitable bulk.

Yes, it's WR (resistant), not WP (proof), but unless you are diving and taking underwater action shots, like underwater views of rolling, the difference is moot for a kayaker.

As for image quality, believe me there will be so mmany factors compromising your on-water shots -- water spots on the lens cover, motion, shutter delay, backlighting, etc, etc, that the you will rearely notice any image issues unless you are looking for pro-level quality. And the WR43 is really quite fine.

But speaking of pro-level quality, take a look at this work -- She doesn't tag individual shots, but I know that most of the kayaking shots and quite a few others are done withe a 43 WR she keeps stuffed down her PFD. Obviously, image quality is not an issue, but the photographer's skill is. I couldn't take stuff this good if I had the perfect on-water equipment -- which does not, as you note, even exist.


what kind of canon do you have? If its a rebel, then you could get a Digital rebel that will use the same lenses as you old canon… It is a big camera though, and kind of bulky for on water use. Takes great pics though…

I think your question was for me but I can’t tell because the thread is getting long. I think the model number was a Canon Z135. Mainly a very good mostly automatic in its day.

Bought the Optio WP
What an awesome little rig. I’m gonna whip it out on our evening group paddle tomorrow night and “accidentally” drop it in the water…