Digital Photography Roundup of Waterproof Cameras

DP Review rounded up the available waterproof cameras for a thorough review. For Kayaking it is a constant question as to which unit offers the best image quality, waterproofing, and durability. In my experience I am 2 Pentax Optio’s into my digital photography career. I am considering a switch to an Olympus. Looks like the 8000 Tough Might be worthwhile.

Check out the review and let me know what you think!


  1. Hi!

    I have had the Canon D10 for 3 weeks and I'm very satisfied with the performance when im using ISO 80 and 100. When I have used ISO 400, the quality is getting poorer. Sometimes the camera has problem with the exposure and the pics gets to much highlighted, not very often and it'snot a big problem. Check out my website for some pics, all pics at the post "rolling exercise" are taken with the Canon D10 and also the two rolling pics in the post "kayaking to Valö". I recommend the Canon D10 but I would consider the Panasonic Lumix DMC-FT1. I have a friend who is really satisfied with his Lumix.

  2. I've had the Canon D-10 for about a month now. It's a bit bigger than I would like, but it fits fine in a mesh pocket on the front of my PFD. Image quality is excellent. Zoom range is a bit weak at 3X (I like 6x-12x) but you have to make compromises when thinking about waterproofing the lens tube. Controls are easy to access. LCD screen is bright and relatively easy to read in bright sunlight. On the kayaking I've done so far (including rolling practice), the camera gets wet, but sheds water easily from the front lens window. Maximum depth to which I've taken the camera so far is about two feet (ie, me in kayak, upside down). Occasionally, if the drops are too fine, I have to use a micro-fiber cloth to wipe off the water and get a clear view. Standard video of 640×480 @ 30 fps, is good but I would have loved to have HD. Power comes from a custom lithium rechargeable battery, which seems to hold its charge well. However, I've purchased a second battery as a spare. Given the freedom from having to worry about dunking my cameras, and the quality of the pics I've been able to get, I'm pretty happy. My other cameras are a bunch of A-series Canon point-and-shoot cameras, a Nikon, and a Canon EOS DSLR. The latter gives fantastic pictures, but I won't risk it on the water.

  3. This spring I bought the Olympus 10 Mp Stylus 1030, which was replaced by the 12 Mp Tough 8000. Except for the 12Mp sensor, it seems to be the same camera: case, optics, etc.

    The camera has worked really well for me. I have taken it out in the water about 20 times with no problems: chlorine-treated pools, atlantic ocean, and lake Michigan. The colored plate on the front of the case is getting beaten up, but who cares? Mounted on the back of my kayak, it has endured plenty of cold shocks, during rolls. The movies look smooth at 30 fps, and I can fit 18 minutes onto a 2 Gb xD card. The battery life has been MUCH better than my other digital camera, a Leica (aka Panasonic), even when cold. The color balance is not as good as my Leica (Panasonic), but I kind of expected that.

    My dell laptop has an xD card reader, so that has not been a problem.

  4. The Olympus (Olympi?) still use xD cards, which makes them tougher to integrate with other readers or cameras. And the image quality doesn't seem so great. I had been looking at the Panasonic TS1, which looks a bit better than the Tough 8000. But then I saw that Pentax has an update to the W line, the W80. SInce the W60 is near the top of the heap of current models, I'm guessing the W80 might edge out the competition.

  5. I saw that today too… RSS feeds are wonderful things.

    I have the W60, and for the most part I like it. It replaced an old WR33 which had the downsides of being bulky, having a small screen and eating batteries (AA's). I like the 5x zoom which is more than average. How often it helps me get a picture which turns out well and couldn't have been gotten with less zoom is a different question.

    My only real complaint is the image noise which, from the review, Canon is the best in that category as usual. The image stabilization of the Canon or Olympus would be a nice addition. On all models, zoom during video would be nice – but few cameras do this anyway, much less those in compact waterproof shells.

    If I were in the market for upgrading, I'd probably consider the Canon if it didn't look so much like a silly toy and prone to slipping out of wet hands.