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Old 01-28-2008, 07:56 AM
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Digital Cameras...Again

Since these things are constantly updating I'll tax your patience with a recurring question.

My camera is approaching going kerput so I'm looking. I like quality but don't want it to break my heart when I drop it in the drink. What's the latest in water resistance (Olympia, Pentax)? What do you like for those snapshotz of friends with fish but can also capture that great sunrise photo-op.
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Old 01-28-2008, 08:42 AM
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The Olympus 770SW will get the job done. It is 7 megapixels, waterproof to 33 feet, and shock resistant - 5 foot drop. About the size of a pack of smokes.
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Old 01-28-2008, 10:50 AM
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I have had a Pentax wp and was pleased with it but the photo quality was not as good as when I first got it. I just purchased an Olympus Stylus 790 SW, not sure if it replaces the 770 or just has more/different features. I have not had it on a trip yet, so I can't give you a field report, but it will be with on the plane with me this week.

Form just fiddling with it around the house I think it is an improvement on the Pentax wp. and the pics I have taken are good. The LCD display is larger and supposed to be viewable in bright light which is a feature I really wanted. It also has a lot of settings you can use if you want. One feature that I really like is its Shoot and Select. You can point at a moving object, take a pic and hold it down and it will take a series of quick pictures. Then you can look at them and select the ones you want to save. Instead of pionting at say a jumping fish and hoping you get a shot of it in the air, you can point and hold down and will take a series of pictures, giving you a much better chance of getting a good one. It worked good on my dog moving accross the room.
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Old 01-28-2008, 11:30 AM
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Personally I am intrigued by these new waterproof cameras but have stayed on the compact high-quality lens camera with a diving shell route thus far (e.g. Canon). Most of the time I don't need the shell but it's nice for snorkeling in the tropics etc.

It certainly is not as convenient on the water but you get gorgeous photos off the water at family events, nighttime indoors, etc etc. I use the camera a lot more off the water than on and don't like what I've read and/or witnessed about the waterproof camera limitations during those times, for instance graininess from high CCD amplification, dim display in sun, etc.

If you have the $$ you can buy one for each purpose, but the waterproofs are not the best off the water and the non-waterproofs die quickly on the water but it's probably just a matter of time...

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Old 01-28-2008, 03:25 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by juro
Personally I am intrigued by these new waterproof cameras but have stayed on the compact high-quality lens camera with a diving shell route thus far (e.g. Canon). Most of the time I don't need the shell but it's nice for snorkeling in the tropics etc.

It certainly is not as convenient on the water but you get gorgeous photos off the water at family events, nighttime indoors, etc etc. I use the camera a lot more off the water than on and don't like what I've read and/or witnessed about the waterproof camera limitations during those times, for instance graininess from high CCD amplification, dim display in sun, etc.

If you have the $$ you can buy one for each purpose, but the waterproofs are not the best off the water and the non-waterproofs die quickly on the water but it's probably just a matter of time...

.02
I use a Canon A60 P&S with its custom waterproof housing WP-DC700. The camera has a low resolution by today's standards but is just fine for my purposes. However, the purpose-built housing is not without it's drawbacks. The housing was very expensive, roughly twice as much as the camera itself. You have to shoot using the LCD display whereas I prefer holding a camera to my eye and using it's viewfinder. And last but not least, the housing is very bulky, making the camera + housing almost the size (but not weight) of a digital SLR. Ideally, a fishing camera should fit in a shirt pocket. There were no waterproof digital P&S cameras on the market at the time I was considering options. There were, and probably still are, makers of soft plastic bag-type housings that are much less expensive than Canon's hard cases but from user reports I read at the time, I concluded that they worked okay but not great.
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Old 01-28-2008, 04:32 PM
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I've been very happy with my Pentax Optio both inland and onshore. At 6Megapix, its way better than my old Canon/Dive case combo and a lot more convenient. My only gripe, you have to shoot via the LCD display which sucks in bright sunlinght - despite what Pentax claims!
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Old 01-28-2008, 06:01 PM
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Are you looking into any DSLRs?
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Old 01-28-2008, 06:54 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Frogfish
Are you looking into any DSLRs?
I own a Canon 5D. Too big, heavy and expensive for fishing and not waterproof. You know of course, that dunking a modern camera fries the electronics beyond repair. That is why before the recent advent of waterproof digitals, fishers used the cheapest P&S they could find. The pain was not so high when, not if, the camera got wet. Personally, I fall in at least once a year, guaranteed.
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Old 01-28-2008, 07:04 PM
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I agree with the issues per the bulkiness and loss of eye-cup use. The LCD is quite bright on the Canon D series so its nice while diving and the cases have gotten a lot smaller for the high MP Elf cameras but I do hesitate to use the case when not "swimming" and that's a recipe for disaster down the road.

As far as the original question, the waterproofs seem to be the right recommendation.

there seem to be three top listings - olympus, pentax and 'sea life'
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Old 01-28-2008, 09:09 PM
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Thanks for the feedback. At this point I'm leaning toward the Olympus. There's a new model with 3:1 optical zoom (28 to 105mm 35mm equivlent). I don't like not having a view finder though. I'll continue the research, consult with my photo geek son-in-law, we shall see. Wouldn't mind having an SLR but that's a want, not a need, and I'm just not into it like I was a number of years ago.
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Old 01-29-2008, 11:21 AM
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I have the Olypmus 770SW and it is a very well built camera. I had an Optio W30 before that, but it leaked when I tried to take some underwater shots - so I returned it for the Olympus. A friend also has the W30 and we frequently take pics with both cameras of the same fish in the same conditions. We both use the 'full auto' modes. My impression is that the W30 pics are more crisp and have better greens and blues in bright sunny conditions while the 770 is a little washed out. In lower light conditoins the Olympus is very good. My impression is this has more to do with the camera's ability to automatically adjust for shooting conditions than anythhing else. It is easy to change modes on both cameras to suit the conditions - I now try to remember to do this before taking pics.

Both cameras are extremely small and easy to use and my friend has never had a leak with his Optio so maybe I just got a bad one. A win-win situation if you ask me!
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Old 01-29-2008, 12:04 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Adrian
I've been very happy with my Pentax Optio both inland and onshore. At 6Megapix, its way better than my old Canon/Dive case combo and a lot more convenient. My only gripe, you have to shoot via the LCD display which sucks in bright sunlinght - despite what Pentax claims!
I have the same camera, same positive experiences, and same complaint.
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Old 01-29-2008, 12:41 PM
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I bought the Olympus Stylus 790SW last Sept. I was told that this is the newest-latest version of the 770 model. with 7.1 Mpix and lots of other features. Waterproof to 10 Ft. shockproof at 5Ft. and freezeproof to 14F etc. I really like the large rear LCD viewer and it has been out on the water in my boats and in the water for a few action shots etc. Still keeps on ticking!
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Old 01-29-2008, 01:56 PM
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If I were shopping for a fishing camera today, I would definitely choose one of the waterproof point and shoot cameras now available.

If I wanted a non-waterproof P&S for whatever reason (better quality or features maybe?) I would keep it in a small inexpensive waterproof plastic bag such as those sold for camping/hiking use and only take it out to actually take a picture. This will reduce the risk of getting it wet considerably since most people don't normally spend a lot of time taking pictures when fishing. I do this sometimes with my Canon A60 and the camera in such a bag still fits in a shirt pocket.
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Old 01-29-2008, 11:37 PM
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worth a look

check out the sanyo e1. lots of possibilities for the intersting fish shot and to see what your wets and streamers look like on the swing. i might make the drop soon as they are reasonable on the ebay track.
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