I see from another post that lots of folks are happy with the Olympus 1030. But does anyone have recommendations for a WP camera with a better optical zoom? 3.6 is okay, but I’d like to get one with at least a 5 or 6x optical. 8-10x would be even better.
You probably have to go with…
…a camera and housing combination to get that level of optical zoom. Short zoom ratios allow the manufacturer to keep the moving optics within the camera body or lens housing, which makes it easy to seal them. You can’t do that with long zoom ratios.
I have a Canon S60 with a housing. It works great and makes terrific images, but it’s bulky, has many hard corners/edges and the viewfinder is partially blocked by the flash diffuser. It’s really designed for SCUBA, not kayaking. When I last looked, Sony seemed to have the most compact and rounded housings.
Makes sense. Thanks. EOM
Comes with a 5x optical zoom.
5X optical not always optimal
I took my new Pentax W60 on my recent kayak methership trip from Ketchican Alaska to Bellingham Wa. At much over 3X Zoom in any type of swells it was very hard to get a steady shot. I was even shooting in ‘Sport’ Mode.
Granted, I had just recieved the camera, and I still haven’t had a chance to read the manual.
Consider using a Canon with a WP case.
You may be able to get all the zoom you want. The cases are more bulky, not what you would want to stuff under your PFD. As a canoeist, I have been happy with mine.
Canon Waterproof Case
I concur with BNystrom, a camera and waterproof case combo is the ideal way to go. I shoot with a Canon S80 and a Canon waterproof case that I purchased off of eBay for cheap. The results can be quite good:
Canon A710 IS…
6x zoom, image stablilization, dedicated water proof housing.
I’m very pleased with this. I’ve taken it on many kayak trips, and one dive trip so far. Sure, it’s not pocket size, but when it’s not in the case, it can fit in your pocket.
Here’s some pics, almost all with this camera.
Shop Nextag.com and e-bay for best prices I can find.
Good work. I use the Elph 800IS.
Telephoto I can do without, but wide angle lens and image stabilization I gotta have. Lots of shots made on the run, in the middle of rapids, have been saved by image stabilization.