WATERPROOF Digital Cameras?

Anyone have any suggestions on a waterproof digital camera that takes AA batts? Like around 300 or less? Any ideas. My little jaunt down the Rio Grande last week killed my last non-waterproof one. :smiley:

I have a Pentax Optio waterproof digital camera and have been very happy with it. All the photos in my gallery and on Snapfish were taken with this camera.

I’ve also got a pentax optio W?20 which i got recently - wasn’t all that impressed with the photos though. We used one of the olympus waterproof ones last year for seakayaking, and i thought the photo quality was a lot better. There’s also a waterproof digital video camera out there (??sharp), which looked even more interesting to me. If you want me to think more specifically about all this I’m happy to, but these are the thoughts from the top of my head!

Olympus has a really interesting looking waterproof camera the Olympus Stylus 770SW 7.1MP Digital Camera with 3x Optical Zoom. Looks like you can find one for around $250. Here’s a little blurb they use: Shockproof. Waterproof. Freezeproof. Crushproof. Introducing the world’s most durable digital camera – the Olympus Stylus 770 SW. You can drop it (from 5 feet), dunk it (to 33 feet), freeze it (-10 degrees C/14 degrees F) or even try to crush it (up to 220lbf), and it will still take amazing photos. If I hadn’t just sent my casio exilm in for it’s yearly overhaul and I wasn’t trying to save up for that new Sawyer Packaraft paddle I’d be all over this camera, I think.

I’ve used that camera quite a bit skiing (though I don’t own one) and it’s performed well both in terms of handling melting snow and taking good shots (as long as you’re not expecting SLR quality). You can also fit it with one of those little rubber sleeves to add another layer of protection.

I think that Olympus will be the one get, thanks.

I’ll second the Olympus stylus DC’s, great pics. Picked up the 1030SW this Spring after dunking my cybershot last Fall. One thing to keep in mind is that they dont zoom much and appear(to me anyways) to shoot in a wider angle, prolly helps with the close underwater shots. But a bit of a different camera than standard point/shoot.

Newbie to the site, spent one day in a Yak last week while im waiting for a Llama to arrive in town. Great fun. Long time/year round boater with several inflatables but im looking forward to shedding all that rubber for the packraft lifestyle and freedom to roam. Let me see if I can add a pic from Olympus.

Dont have any packrafting pics yet, soon :wink: .

Oh ya, does that olympus use AA’s batts? That’s a must.


Carol Crooker showed me a really cool digital headcam (video cam) she has that’s waterproof, made by Oregon Scientific, and costs less than $200. I believe she said it can record over 100 minutes of high-quality footage. Carol, could give us more beta?

The majority of my pix on http://www.peakaweek.com/ taken within the last 2 years were taken with a Optio W10. I have used it from 0’ to 20,000’, from -10F to 90F and in everything from water to snow to sun. I’m quite impressed… and recently have been leaving my big camera on days where I want to go lighter - something I never ever used to do out of fear of not getting the photo I wanted.

Color saturation seems a bit dampened due to JPG compression – but that’s what Aperture is for!

those use AAA batts. For AA you might have to buy a several years old Pentax Optio

Oregon Scientific ATC 2K
On sale at Amazon for $100 through May 18th.
http://snipurl.com/287j5 [www_amazon_com]
Runs on 2 AA batts, 60 minutes recording on a 2 Gig card.
Water resistant - I’ve had no problems in splash/spray and submersed for a few seconds.
Video quality is good youtube quality. Audio is low quality (easy to overdrive/distort), but will pick up stream sounds and screams :slight_smile:
All self-contained, no wires.
The hard thing is getting the angle right on your helmet so the shots aren’t all sky or all water. Eyeballing it is pretty accurate, but the only way to carefully check the angle is to plug the camera into a computer and view the video.
The on/off and record buttons can be operated while the camera is mounted to your helmet, but only with bare hands and you have to push hard.

This camera is lots of fun and inexpensive. Just be careful getting the angle right before you hit the water.

Warning :slight_smile: - More info then you wanted to know…

Here is the info that I have gathered about digital waterproof cameras over the last few years (in no particular order).

“NoAA” means no AA or AAA battery abilities.
Therefore, these are your options for waterproof that can take regular batteries:
GoPro Hero 3=2AAA. Pentax 33WR=2AA. Ricoh 500G=2AA. Ricoh 500SE=2AA. Ricoh G600=2AAA.

“noIS” means no physical image stability (or “anti-shake”).
Image Stabilization would be REALLY handy,.
Unfortunately, no digital waterproof camera has this feature (as of May 13 2008).

“noView” means no optical viewfinder - so you MUST use the LCD.
These cameras have an optical viewfinder window:
GoPro Digital Hero 3; Pentax Optio 33WR; Ricoh Caplio 500G; Ricoh Caplio 500SE.

The GoPro is the least expensive camera here.

Sorry for the dirty code, this is copied from a HTML file a keep. I did not activate all the links to reviews, only the links to press releases.

A little explanation:
The last bit of information for each camera lists the battery life / number of shots.
Within the tyou will find 4 pieces of information:
[] the 35mm lens equivalency
] the speed or aperture of the lens (smaller numbers are better)
[] the number of Megapixels. More MPs does not mean better image quality.
] the date camera was introduced (as yymm). o7ja = 2oo7 January)

After reading the reviews, my personal choice would be the Pentax Optio W30 (#16 below).


  1. GoPro Digital Hero 3
    48 2.8 3 o7ja
    GoPro Digital Hero 3 review1|video|<A](http://rambos-locker.blogspot.com/2007/05/rambo-thor-get-smashed-oc1-surfing.html">video</A>|<A) HREF="http://rambos-locker.blogspot.com/2007/05/hero-at-sunset.html">vid2|<A HREF="http://rambos-locker.blogspot.com/2007/05/testing-rebuilt-hurricane-and-new.html">vid3|<A HREF="http://www.imaginginsider.com/?p=24088">2|<A HREF=“http://reviews.cnet.com/4505-6501_7-32312327.html">3</A> (noMan 2AAA Waterproof to30m) - SD(notHC) __cmM NoLCD! opticalViewfinder 4.5oz 2.6x1.8x1.3” “LiAAA1000shots
    …Hero3 analysis: +($140) -(noLCD! noFocus? noFlash iso50-200auto “Exposure:auto”)) 10sSelfTimer 16MBinside video30fps640x480 [VGA Digital Hero $80]


  2. Pentax Optio 33WR
    37-104 2.8-3.9 3 o3se
    Pentax Optio 33WR rv</A](http://www.steves-digicams.com/2003_reviews/optio33wr.html">rv</A)> (2AA WaterproofNotToBeOperatedUnderWater) - SD 10cmMacro 86Kpx opticalViewfinder 5.6ozW/o 3.2x3.0x1.2" Cr-V3:540shots


  3. Ricoh Caplio 500G wide
    28-85 2.5-4.3 8 o6my
    Ricoh Caplio 500G wide (big! 2AA Waterproofto1m) - SD 1cmM 153Kpx opticalViewfinder 14.1ozW/o 5.2x3.1x2.9" (big!) c$900@vistek Alkaline:80shots/db43:400shots(LcdON)

  4. Ricoh Caplio 500SE wide
    28-85 2.5-4.3 8 o7fe
    Ricoh Caplio 500SE wide site</A](http://www.ricohsolutions.com/geo/">site</A)> (big! 2AA Waterproofto1m GPS(GIS) Bluetooth WiFi+$50) - SD 1(W)/10(T) 153Kpx opticalViewfinder 15.1W/o 5.2x3.1x2.9" c$1129@vistek ______shots

  5. Fujifilm FinePix Big Job HD-3W
    28-84 .-. 6 o7je
    Fujifilm FinePix Big](http://www.dpreview.com/news/0706/07062001fujibigjob.asp%22%3EBig) Job HD-3W (noMan? noAA? “Waterproof” hotShoe) - xD?|SD? __cmM ___Kpx NoView _._ozW/o .x.x." _____shots

  6. Olympus Stylus 720 SW
    37-111 3.4-5.7 7 o6ja
    Olympus Stylus 720 SW rv1|<A](http://www.imaging-resource.com/PRODS/OS720SW/OS720SWA.HTM">rv1</A>|<A) HREF="http://www.popphoto.com/popularphotographyfeatures/3552/underwater-camera-shootout.html">vs|<A HREF="http://www.steves-digicams.com/2006_reviews/stylus720.html">2|<A HREF="http://www.photographyreview.com/sf-1/befid-7185/pid-29008597/productproreviewcrx.aspx">3|<A HREF="http://reviews.cnet.com/Olympus_Stylus_720_SW/4505-6501_7-31675516.html">4|<A HREF="http://reviews.cnet.com/Olympus_Stylus_720_SW/4660-6501_7-6531047.html">vid|<A HREF=“http://www.amazon.com/exec/obidos/ASIN/B000EA0EDO/csfstext-20">5</A> (folded-optic noMan noAA noIS Waterproof to3m slowFocus) - xD 8 Wide115 NoView 3.6 3.7x2.2x0.8” (Never shows shutter|f!) 180shots

  7. Olympus Stylus 725 SW
    38-114 3.5-5.0 7 o6au
    Olympus</A](http://www.olympus.co.uk/consumer/29_mju_725_SW.htm">Olympus</A)> Stylus 725 SW (folded-optic noMan noAA noIS Waterproof to5m) - xD 7cmM 115Kpx NoView 5.3ozW/o 3.6x2.3x0.8" only180shots

  8. Olympus Stylus 770 SW
    38-114 3.5-5.0 7 o7ja
    Olympus Stylus](http://www.dpreview.com/news/0701/07012505olympusstylus770sw.asp%22%3EStylus) 770 SW rv1|<A](http://forums.dpreview.com/forums/readflat.asp?forum=1008&message=22374582&q=770&qf=m%22%3Erv1%3C/A%3E%7C%3CA) HREF="http://www.trustedreviews.com/digital-cameras/review/2007/03/06/Olympus-mju-770-SW/p6">1b|<A HREF="http://www.imaging-resource.com/PRODS/OS770SW/OS770SWA.HTM">2|<A HREF="http://reviews.cnet.com/Olympus_Stylus_770SW_silver/4505-6501_7-32313272.html">3+<A HREF="http://reviews.cnet.com/Olympus_Stylus_770SW/4660-6501_7-6688282.html">vid|<A HREF="http://www.digitalcamerareview.com/default.asp?newsID=3029">4|<A HREF=“http://www.pbase.com/cameras/olympus/stylus_720_sw” TITLE=“Pbase ability to search images by Specific Model based on EXIF info”>eg (folded-optic noMan noAA noIS manometer Waterproof to10m (poor images & UI)) - xD 7 230 NoViewfinder 5.5 3.6x2.3x.8 $360 220shots

  9. Olympus Stylus 790 SW
    38-114 3.5-5.0 7 o7au
    Olympus Stylus](http://www.dpreview.com/news/0708/07082305olystylus790sw.asp%22%3EStylus) 790 SW [eg] rv</A](http://www.imaging-resource.com/PRODS/OS790SW/OS790SWA.HTM">rv</A)> (folded-optic noMan noAA noIS noManometer Waterproof toOny3m(A step backwards from their 770SW) (poor images & UI?)) - xD 7 230 NoView 4.8 3.7x2.4x.8 _____shots

  10. Olympus Stylus 1030 SW
    28-102 3.5-5.110 o8ja
    Olympus</A](http://www.olympus.co.uk/consumer/29_18625.htm">Olympus</A)> Stylus 1030 SW [eg] (folded-optic noMan noAA noIS manometer Waterproof to10m (poor images & UI?)) - xD 2cmM 230 NoView 6.1ozW/o 3.7x2.4x0.8" _____shots

  11. Olympus Stylus 850 SW
    38-114 3.5-5.0 8 o8ja
    Olympus</A](http://www.olympus.co.uk/consumer/29_18595.htm">Olympus</A)> Stylus 850 SW [eg] (folded-optic noMan noAA noIS noManometer Waterproof toOny3m (poor images & UI?)) - xD 7cmM 230 NoView 4.8ozW/o 3.7x2.4x0.8" _____sh

  12. Pentax OptioWP
    38-114 3.3-4.0 5 o5ja
    Pentax OptioWP rvs</A](http://www.trustedreviews.com/print.aspx?art=1226&head=63">rvs</A)> (noAA noIS 1cm Waterproofto1.5m) - SD 10cmM 85Kpx NoView 4.8oz 4.0x2.0x0.9" 180shots

  13. Pentax OptioWPi
    38-114 3.3-4.0 6 o5au
    Pentax OptioWPi (noAA noIS 1cm Waterproofto1.5m) - SD 10cmM 115Kpx NoView</I> 4.8oz 4.0x2.0x0.9" 200shots

  14. Pentax Optio W10
    38-114 3.3-4.0 6 o6fe
    Pentax Optio W10 rv1|<A](http://www.imaging-resource.com/PRODS/OW10/OW10A.HTM">rv1</A>|<A) HREF="http://www.digitalcamerareview.com/default.asp?newsID=2770">2|<A HREF=“http://reviews.cnet.com/Pentax_Optio_W10/4505-6501_7-31677184.html">3</A> (noAA noIS ‘folded-optic’ 1cm Waterproofto1.5m) - SD 1cmM 115Kpx NoView 4.9oz 4.2x2.1x0.9” (no lens cover) 240shots

  15. Pentax Optio W20
    38-114 3.3-4.0 7 o6au
    Pentax Optio W20 rv1|<A](http://www.steves-digicams.com/2007_reviews/optio_w20.html">rv1</A>|<A) HREF="http://www.popphoto.com/popularphotographyfeatures/3552/underwater-camera-shootout.html">vs|<A HREF="http://photokayaker.fit2paddle.com/C560391461/E20061021140245/index.html">2|<A HREF=“http://www.pbase.com/cameras/pentax/optio_w20">eg</A> (noAA noIS ‘folded-optic’ 1cm Waterproofto1.5m) - SDhc 1cmM 115Kpx NoView 5.3oz 4.2x2.1x0.9” 240shots

  16. Pentax Optio W30
    38-114 3.3-4.0 7 o7fe
    Pentax Optio W30 rv1|<A](http://www.steves-digicams.com/2007_reviews/optio_w30.html">rv1</A>|<A) HREF="http://www.digitalcamerareview.com/default.asp?newsID=3061&review=pentax+optio+w30">2|<A HREF="http://www.digicamera.com/reviews/pentax_optio_w30/">3|<A HREF="http://forums.dpreview.com/forums/readflat.asp?forum=1028&message=23055114">4|<A HREF=“http://forums.dpreview.com/forums/readflat.asp?forum=1028&message=22408408">5</A> (noAA noIS ‘folded-optic’ Waterproof to3m) - SDhc 1 115 NoView 4.9oz 4.2x2.1x0.9” u$262 c$350 210shots
    …W30 analysis: -(no3:2, noIS; noViewfinder & NoAA & only 210shot/$70 batt; noExpControl; only 38-114; better photo & UI than Oly 770, but over compressed&sharpened)
    …W30 analysis: +(Waterproof and small - therefore o.k. as a Everyday Everywhere camera; but not as an only camera)

  17. Ricoh Caplio G600
    28-140 3.5-5.510 o8ap
    Ricoh Caplio G600 (2xAAAs if emergency, Waterproofto1m; 37mmFilters; hotshoe; noIS) - SDhc 1cmM 230Kpx NoView 9.1oz 4.6x2.7x1.3" c$_00@vistek db60=360shots/alkaline=60shots