waterproof/underwater cameras

Does anyone have any advice on a good camera that is water proof that takes good land shots?

We are looking for one that would zoom in for wildlife (i.e. bird) shots!! If it also could double as our scuba diving camera that would be a bonus!!!

I have been looking for the same.
If you want a nice camera and a dedicated housing you can’t go wrong with the Canon S1. It has a 10X lens (About 320mm equiv) and image stabilization wich is key for shooting handheld with a big telephoto. Canon makes a housing for it that sells for about $200. Camera is about $300 I think.

This is a nice setup for wildlife if you do not plan on printing anything bigger than 8x10 since its a 3MP camera.

I just read that Minolta and Panasonic are going to release some 4 and 5 MP cameras that have big zooms and Image Stabilize. I am waiting to see these cameras. Housings will have to be the generic bag type though…

I dive but have not done any UW photography. My understanding is that you need alot of light to do anything below 20’.

Well yes I can.
The Olympus C-740 Ultra Zoom camera together with the Olympus PT-018 underwater housing foots the bill. Also look at the 750 with 4 megapixel.


The case has all the camera functions available for use .

Sample pictures @


Canon S60

– Last Updated: Jul-24-04 8:30 AM EST –

I just spent two weeks using one on land and on the water in Shetland. It worked really well, but has one major limitation for nature photography use in that it's only 100mm (equivalent) at the high end of the zoom. However, the 5MP resolution should allow you to enlarge and crop images signifcantly, which makes up for the lack of focal length to some degree.

I found that having 28mm at the low end was very useful for landscapes, although I could have used a 24mm lens.

The housing is designed for diving and the focal lengths would be very useful underwater. I took a few underwater shots with it from the boat and they came out very nicely, despite the fact that I had removed the flash diffuser that Canon added to this housing specifically for underwater work.

My girlfriend has an S50 that she used on the trip with similar results. I prefer the controls on the S60, but I like the S50's housing better for use from the boat.

Sony also has a nice line of compact digitals that they make very compact housings for. They don't have full control access, but they're a more convenient size for use in a kayak.

check this out -

check out the aquapac cases on rei.com

Magazine review
Canoe and Kayak magazine has a review of digital cameras (well, of a few digital cameras) this month (Aug '04?). You might find some useful information there (the whole issue has a kayak photography theme, I believe).

I have; mine split at the seam
after 14 months and about 20 uses. Luckily it was on my submersible VHF. Go Canon, Olympus or at least EWA, or go cheap on the camera!

Your mileage may vary but I could never put a

$400 digital camera into an aquapac case.

I would by a canon or olympus with
a dedicated dive housing. Tough enough for some surf, reliable enough to protect your investment.

Once you try video, you’ll never go back
to still photography.

For both above and below water imaging, nothing beats video! Download your video to PC and take still images then, if you want.

Hard-shell cases are available for most major cameras, but they are expensive. An alternative is a soft (bag) case. EWA-MARINE makes many different types for many different cameras, including still photography. I own one and love it. Sure can’t beat the price.

“Once you try video, you’ll never go back”

Been there, done that. And gone back!

No one cares to watch the majority of the video. All they say is “can you freeze that frame to take a closer loook?” Well, the next thing they ask is to blow it up bigger, which doesn’t work so well because it’s pretty grainy. Never mind half of the subject matter don’t move in the first place (sea star, sunset, etc.)! MOre over, you can’t nail a whole video on the cubical wall, either.

In short, the videos got reduced into still pictures, of poorer quality. Don’t bother. Just take nice clear photos.


Posted by: Scupperfrank on Feb-01-04 4:36 PM (EST)

It’s been discussed with a variety of responses based upon all the variables -camera type, camera value, YOUR experience, your boat, your paddling habits and habitats, your assessment of risk, etc., etc., etc.

There’s already QUITE a lot out there, chiropsych, so look it over, and THEN come back -with SUBSEQUENT Qs left unanswered or in need of expansion and/or extrapolation.

Here’s a www.paddling.net head start:






Until then, use a waterproof UW dispo as you make up your mind but still take pics as you

Paddle on!

-Frank in Miami

I scuba and use camera on kayak
I went the other way, I’m an avid scuba diver and have shoot thousands of uw photos and video. I got into kayaking and found that my uw camera gear worked great for paddling.

I have gone digital on both stills and video so the size of my gear is much smaller and easier to handle on a boat.

My current configurations are:

Olympus C-5050 in a PT-015 housing

Sony PC100 in a Light and Motion Mako housing

Both work excellent in kayak or scuba.






They don’t make cameras that zoom in close enough for descent wildlife shots. You need at least a 500 mm lens for that. Photography as an art form is much different than snapshots of my summer vacation. I have several thousand dollars invested in cameras and I still lack equipment to do all that I want.

Aquapacs are a waste of money if you want a quality photos. Might as well us a disposalble. The quality will be the same. Soft plastic can’t deliver quality photos on a consistant basis. They stratch way too easily.

Video and still photography are two different beasts and shouldn’t be compared. It can take many years to master either one.