Digital waterproof camera for under $100

I’m inclined to go with the Optio W30 with Kingston 2 GP SD memory card from Amazon for $276.

Before I do that, I want to consider the other end of the spectrum. Do you know of any waterproof cameras to be had, either new or used in good condition, for about $100 or under? I believe a used Optio WP in good condition would be about $150 on ebay.

Side question, does the WP shoot video? I didn’t see it in the specs.


Paul S.

Not under $100…
…but for just a little more ($140), there’s the “GoPro Hero”. 3 megapixels of photographic goodness in a 100’ rated waterproof case.

Comes with a wrist/paddle/handlebar strap. Uses SD (2 GB max.)cards and shoots (640x480) video, too.

Was at REI yesterday and saw some on the rack.

And yes, the Pentax WP’s shoot video.

video with Pentax Optio WP
Here is a specification comparison for Pentax Optio WP, WPi, W10, and W20:

WP and WPi both shoothing video but is 320x240 pixels only. The newer models starting with WP10 has both 320x640 and 480x640 resolution options.

I used to shoot with the original Optio WP, now I am using W10. Here is a comparison of video clips and extracted frames from these two camera models:

There are no significant differences between W20 and W30, except a new “more waterproof” case.

Thanks! - what about SR and bright mode?
Great information! Thanks.

“There are no significant differences between W20 and W30, except a new “more waterproof” case.”

What about digital shake reduction for still photographs, and bright mode on the LCD? The SR, especially for use on the water, is one of the features that persuaded me toward the W30 over the W20. Granted I don’t know how well it works. Here’s the blurb on the two features, from the Amazon web page.

Digital Shake Reduction (SR). The Digital SR mode helps reduce camera shake and subject blur in still photography by adjusting sensitivity automatically to as high as the sensitivity of ISO 3200, to match the brightness of the subject. This enables photography with fast shutter speeds.

Bright, new LCD monitor is easy-to-view. The Optio W30 is equipped with a high-intensity 2.5-inch LCD monitor with an LCD Bright mode that adjusts the brightness of the screen, making it easy-to-view even outdoors in strong sunlight. An Anti-Reflection (AR) coating on the monitor helps make the screen even more visible outdoors.

Interested to know what you think.

Paul S.

Interesting little camera.
I kind of like the wrist strap idea. I don’t even like to stop to pull the camera out of a pocket and put it back.

Would go nice with my Foretrex 101 wrist wearable GPS. If I find a wrist wearable VHF, I might need another wrist :). Either that or a wrist wearable all-in-one.

Thanks for pointing me to the camera.

Decisions decisions.

Paul S.

Go pro $80
If you look around the gopro site, there is a cheaper $80 camera also, but it only has 640x480 resolution.

Shake reduction
Don’t have experience with the newer Optio’s (or any other digicam with this “feature”), but I wouldn’t expect consistantly great images using this form of “shake reduction”. You’ll no doubt get a sharper photo due to it’s use of a higher shutter speed, but it’ll be at the cost of “digital noise” (photos with a grainy appearance - especially in larger prints) from the use of a high ISO (sensitivity) setting, especially with a high megapixel and small sensor - like most (all) of the current compact digicams on the market. It’s just a way they can cheaply add yet another “feature” to the list, but it’s a poor substitute for true optical stabilization which uses sensors to actually shift either a lens element or the sensor to compensate for shake or movement. I guess the argument might be that at least your chances of getting a sharp(er) shot are improved so long as you don’t plan to enlarge the image much past 4x6".

BTW, I’m not specifically slamming the Pentax Optio W series cameras. I use a WPi and am very satisfied with it’s perfomance. For better or worse, high megapixel numbers and long feature lists sell cameras. Whether or not better quality images are the result isn’t always guaranteed.

End rant :slight_smile:

Digital HERO 3 wrist / paddle camera
Hi guys…GoPro here.

Happy to answer ANY questions…feel free to contact us at too.

None of the photos or videos on our site are touched up…it’s the real deal. We highly recommend you guys step up to the new Digital HERO 3…it is the goodness. 3MP photos, 54 minutes of video with sound…from the paddle. WTF? It rocks :slight_smile:

See it here and as well more videos are here

We’re here for you guys…stoked.

OH! In Sept. we’re releasing deck mounts for mounting on your kayak bow and also helmet mounts that can take a beating…serious beating.

So…you’ll be able to video or photo in any way you can dream up.

Hi5 and hope to hear from y’all…paddle on! - GoPro

That’s an excellent chart and it’s interesting that very little has changed. However, I read that Pentax has brightened up the LCD since there were so many complaints about working in the sunlight.

I know with computers there’s a lot of changes that go on, just like your software updates because they find problems that thay correct and don’t want to publicize. For the little money difference, I would always go for the updated model unless there’s a definate incompatability issue with memory or USB etc.

Now that my IRS check is in, WP-30.

Olympus 770SW stylus waterproof camera
The Oly 770sw 7.1 megapixel is a more expensive camera but worth checking out. I got it on sale at Best Buy for $335 not including tax and a 1Gig xd type H memory card which I got on ebay for $24.50 including ship.

This camera can go 30 feet underwater, is shockproofed to drop from 5 feet onto cement and can withstand 220lbs of pressure being placed on it(if you sit on it for example) It’s also small.

My sister has the 720sw (previous model) and likes it.

I got it because I dropped my really nice Dig. SLR camera one too many times and need to take it in for $200 in repairs. I’ll still probably take my nice camera kayaking sometimes when I know the weather will be nice and when I promise myself to be extra careful (I’m pretty hard on things) but having this camera is nice for it’s compact size and ruggedness.

Just got it but it seems to take nice pictures and is easy to use. However it will be hard not having a big zoom lens when I come across herons, or beavers or whatever.

Pentax Optio W30
You might want to be careful about buying the Optio W30. I’m about ready to take a plunge for a digital camera for kayaking and general use, and have been checking out the reviews. Seems like more than a few people have had problems with moisture on the W30 getting into the battery compartment, or just having their camera stop working. From what I’ve read, Pentax will claim “impact damage”, in other words its your fault and they won’t fix it.

The Optio W20 doesn’t seem to have these problems and is identical enough that it will still do the job. Myself, I’m looking at the Canon Sureshot A540, it has automatic settings, aperture and shutter priority, and even a manual setting for creative control. You can also build on it by attaching optional lenses and buy a waterproof case for underwater stuff.

Its cheaper than the Optio initially but the other stuff will add up as you go along. Still, I’d rather have a reliable camera with no surprises, more options, and creative control than take a chance on an unknown if its not backed up by the manufacturer -

I have the w20 and like far no probloms. with a igig card set on 4 megapix at 2 quality you get 1000 pictures. and the pictures tutn out pretty good.

waterproof bags
I was looking at getting a waterproof camera bag for my regular digital.

Ewa-Marine makes ones for just about every camera & video camera out there.

A little pricey though- $165 for the bag for my camera.

Anyone have experience with these?

Other end of the spectrum - $9.99