Waterproof Digital Cameras

Can anyone recommend a good digital, waterproof point-and-shoot? Preferably, it would be one with fully manual, aperture priority, shutter priority, and fully automatic modes. I would also like easy access to the exposure compensation settings and favor optical zooms over digital-only zooms.

Any suggestions out there? I can’t bring myself to shoot with my DSLRs from a 21 inch wide Nordkapp . . .

I’m happy with my Olympus Tough.

It’s a couple years old now, been around the world and used on and under salt and fresh water and still going strong.

It has more settings and features than I could ever learn or figure out, so probably it has the features you are looking for.

good luck

– Last Updated: Aug-03-11 12:17 PM EST –

If you find one that has all that and an optical viewfinder, let me know. Then I can stop shopping for an old Nikonos!

In my experience waterproof camera choices for discerning photographers are severely lacking.

"Panasonic Lumix DMC-TS3 12.1 MP Rugged/Waterproof Digital Camera with 4.6x Wide Angle Optical Image Stabilized Zoom and 2.7-Inch LCD" I own one and really like it. It is top rated on most review sites. Like you, I would never take my Nikon D7000 out in my 21" sea kayak.

…definitely. My husband has the first generation of this camera and it hasn’t failed to take great pictures.

And there is no way in HELL I’d take my Nikon D90 in my AvocetLV, no matter how tight the hatches are or strong the camera strap.

Pentax Optio waterproofs
5X op zoom


– Last Updated: Aug-03-11 1:27 PM EST –

I'm on my 3rd season with an Olympus 850SW. I carry it in PFD. Been dropped numerous times, banged in the bottom of boat, left for a days in wet PFD, done a few underwater shots and save a few scratches is as good as the day I bought it. It is excellent with flowers and macro shots, but zoomed wildlife shots not it's forte. This is my second Olympus, the prior water resistant one lasted 3 years or so with same use before ending up in the bottom of a river! Here's a few examples of pics with it. WW

Having a great time with a Sony DSC-TX5.
Tough as nails so far, and was marked down to only $199. It’s gotten very good reviews and top choice for use on the water in my area. Had earlier used cheaper cameras such as the Kodak Playsport and Olympus W550 while kayaking but they don’t provide the same quality.

scarcity of optical viewfinders
Lack of optical viewfinder is what restricts the short list of cameras I would consider. The fact that this one feature has largely gone the way of the dodo in compact cameras suggests to me that the people who design cameras rarely use them outdoors, particularly in bright glare. 75% of the shots I take outdoors trying to frame the scene on a digital screen are NOT what I wanted. Most of the time outdoors I can’t even see the screen well enough to even pick out major components. When i can use an optical viewfinder, 90% are successfully framed, focused and exposed.

Regarding W90

– Last Updated: Aug-03-11 3:47 PM EST –

I have the Pentax W90 and its a pain to keep checking that all the lids and rubber covers are sealed tight...just another thing that can go wrong and eat up $200.

But its really handy to whip out when Joe Cigarette boat is running out of the channel at full speed and wants to brush the side of your kayak. The funniest thing is that Joe tends to slow down after you take his picture.

There are a gazillion settings, and it can do voice memos or videos. No way to put a filter on it AFAIK.

Check the quality of the videos made by each camera
in HD on youtube and see for yourself.

Pentax kicks %SS

– Last Updated: Aug-03-11 7:26 PM EST –

Been using a Pentax waterproof digital for years
- in 2011 they are on their 12 generation of waterproofs
I'm still running my Pentio Optio Wpi over 6 years old.

Pentax Optio WG 1


Waterproof to 33 feet
Shockproof ruggedized design drops up to 5 feet.
14 megapixels sensor detail.
Wide angle 5X internal optical zoom lens
Large 2.7 inch LCD
Shoots 720p HD video at 30 frames per second.
Digital Shake Reduction- sharp, blur-free images.
GPS functionality - for geo-tagging applications.

It's a mean machine for the outdoors wet environment

May I suggest use of a StickyPod for hands free

I Must Have a Dud of an Optio.W60…
…because it sure leaves a lot to be desired in more ways than one.

Then, again, it could just be me.

Fuji XP20
It’s a really nice little point and shoot camera for under $200. And I know it’s waterproof. My friend forgot she had hers in her fanny pack when she decided to get out of her kayak and swim around for 10 minutes. Camera kept on working.

Fuji WP
Havnt seen them around lately. but have seen another fuji waterproof modol. if you can find the WP it should be at a nice price.(mine was 120$) good quality pics and with a 8 gig card at max quality good for over 700 pics.

lots of swims and still working fine. the new fuji waterproof camera should be even better.

Canon Powershot D10
Still no manual settings but it’s received rave reviews, the sensor is made in-house, and the zoom is reasonable.


I’m not sure you can get full manual control of settings in a waterproof point and shoot.

Personal experience

– Last Updated: Aug-04-11 9:57 AM EST –

I've had one of the 5mp Pentax Optios for many years. It still works fine, but its image quality has never been the greatest. The lens is small, and higher ISO ratings are very grainy. Even under ideal conditions, its images aren't very sharp.

I recently borrowed a friend's Canon D-10, and I was amazed at the difference. I laughed when I saw the 12mp rating, since point-and-shoot waterproofs usually have such tiny lenses that all of those megapixels are wasted. The D-10's lens turned out to be nice enough that I was able to severely crop an image that was taken from far away and still get an acceptable result. If my Optio ever dies, I'll seriously consider one of those Canons.

I'll have to dig up the original for comparison, but here is the cropped D-10 image, scaled down for web posting:


The part you're looking at was just a tiny square up in one corner of the original image. If I had tried that with my Optio, the result would have been pixelated beyond recognition...

Lumix TS3
The new Lumix is pretty sweet. Check out the reviews.

Past experience!
Wouldn’t own a Pentax on a bet.

I begged and bled for the OptioW60 for Christmas two years ago as I’d always used Pentax SLRs (I still have my old one dated 1974…)with good results.

I am now waiting for my OptioW60 to die on me, although I’m too thrifty and would feel too guilty to hasten its “accidental” demise. While it’s easy enough to use and no doubt tough, the picture quality is very grainy and removing the battery is one big complicated pain in the butt.

Like kayaks, waterproof cameras seem to be a matter of personal taste and each have their widgets and their good qualities. However, I won’t be replacing the W60 with another Pentax.

Pentax Optio
My first one took a beating and it still is good.

The newer one has more megapixels.

I plan to use both of them this fall. I think it is a great camera.