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Digital Cameras

Tim Negronida

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I’m entertaining the idea of getting a new digital camera and I was wondering if anyone has any recommendations.


I would be looking for a camera that can take some minor abuse and might handle getting wet without causing damage, possibly one that might take some underwater shots too.


If anybody has any suggestions, they would be appreciated.

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Here are a few waterproof cameras to consider.


Olympus 770 SW(Shock & Waterproof) - 7 Megapixel, 3X optical, 5 Ft. Shock, 33 Ft. Water. DIS(Digital Image Stabilization) $375


Olympus 720 SW - 7 Megapixel, 3X optical, 5 Ft. Shock 10 Feet Water. $285


Pentax Optio W30 - 7 Megapixel, 3X optical, 2 Hours @10 Ft. Water, image stabilizing. $299


Pentax Optio W20 - 7 Megapixel, 3X optical, 30 Minutes at 10 Ft. image stabilizing. $230


If your not planning to make an underwater movie. I think either Pentax camera or the Olympus 720 SW should do well.

I have paddling friends that carry the Pentex Optio W20 and the Olympus 720 & 770 SW cameras.

The nice thing about any choice is the image stabilizing capability.


Its tough to take a photo will the wind and current have their way with your rivercraft.

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I carried my SLR around my neck last season, and besides being risky, its rather uncomfortable. I'm going to buy this little camera to keep in my gear:







I owned a Canon A530. I thought it did a really good job capturing images however I had a problem with the zoom on the lens. Afterwards I learned that problem is quite common to Canon but they refuse to address it. It costs almost $150 to have this problem fixed so I would purchase an extended warranty. I just bought an HP M425 for a $110. Just a basic 5.0 megapixel, 3x zoom digital for recreational use. The pic quality is not as good as the Canon but I will be happy if it works for more than just 1 year.

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Hmmm, thanks for the tip Mark. A co-worker has the camera and has not reported any issues (yet). Still, hearing this makes me a little leary. Common to Canon or just this model?

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Thanks guys, all the info will be helpful.


I tend to look at these type of decisions in two ways, do you buy the inexpensive so that if you trash it won’t hurt as much or do you spend more for quality so that hopefully it holds up longer.


Few years ago I got tired of my cell phone always crapping out on me, so I laid out ”the big bucks” for the Rock. The Rock was a 2 lb. cell phone that was billed to be indestructible, ya right, it didn’t last a year. Went with the cheapest next figuring I will simply replace it when it goes bad, now I want a new phone but this thing won’t die.


Thanks again, Tim.

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Hmmm, thanks for the tip Mark. A co-worker has the camera and has not reported any issues (yet). Still, hearing this makes me a little leary. Common to Canon or just this model?


It must have been common to Canon. It is referred to as an "E18 Error". This should shed a little more light on the subject: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/E18_error

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I'll throw my two cents in here for what it's worth, since I too am looking for a new camera. We have three digitals in the household, and based on my experiences with them, have set up some parameters for my new purchase. Perhaps these will help.


How many pixels do I really need? Will I EVER do any large sized blow ups?

Optical zoom, what is enough ?

media storage, the other cameras use SD cards so I'm not going to change that

battteries: current cameras use AA's and we have the chargers, plus they are less $$$ than lithiums

underwater settings

waterproof case available ?

videos? limited time or as much as the card will hold?

how many fps for the video? 15 fps is grainey, 30 fps is pretty good, 60fps, replaces my video camera

will it record voice? not all do

How will I use it, just for some fishing pics or family vacations too ?

ISO settings, really important for indoors.

flash capability

if it gets too big and bulky, will I use it?


I bought a Nikon Cool Pix 4100 a few years back, and my only thoughts were to take it fishing. It had to be small and fit in a pocket, which it does.


Four years and a couple of thousand pics later, I have a few hundred fishing shots, and about two thousand family vacation pics. So my real world usage was something different than what I had envisioned. The reason I do not take more fishing pics, is that I'm usually too lazy or tired to drop everything and then drag it out of it's waterproof bag, take the pic put it back etc. etc. If I had a waterproof case so I could just carry it around my neck I think I would use it more.

Am also hoping to take some underwater shots in some of the clearer streams.


We took a trip to the Keys, and since I did not have a waterproof case for my Nikon ( it was available in Europe, go figure ) we bought the cheap off the shelf underwater film camera. That really got me thinking.


Went to Paris last spring, and discovered the limitations of my Nikon in large indoor settings with variable light conditions. Because of the cameras limited ISO range, It was impossible to get any decent shots in some of the museums and cathedrals. In many instances I had to take the same shot at 3 or 4 different settings just to get one good pic. My son had just bought a Canon IS 2 with a 10 x zoom and a higher ISO range and he saved the day. He was able to take indoor shots I could not, and his night shots, especially of the Eiffel tower and some of the bridges along the Seine turned out great. I was ready to buy the Canon IS 3 , but I came to the conclusion, that because of its size and weight, I would not have lugged it around Paris. We also do a lot of skiing out west, so the IS 3 is too big for my pockets.


Canon has a number of pocket sized digitals, with underwater settings and watertight cases for them. Much more than Nikon has available. Take a look at Canon's web site and do some research. The new power shot 560 and 570 look interesting as well as some of the s series cameras. Hope this helps. Good luck


Mike D

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If you want to take the camera fishing with you, the waterproof models are a must. I had a regular digital camera I carried in a waterproof case, but getting it out while holding a big bass in one hand and my fishing rod in another was just not working. The waterproof cases that allow you to take pictures without removing it from the case, cost as much as the camera and are so bulky they are tough to carry while wading.

I have a Sony waterproof model that is no longer made. I just keep it in my pocket and it's always ready for a quick picture. If I drop it in the water, it's raining or I take a dunking myself, no harm. I carry it on a retractable cable so even if I do drop it, it doesn't go far. It even comes back to me.

As far a the number of pixels goes, the higher the better. Even if you don't enlarge a photo, if you crop a photo and then re-size it to even a 4 X6, you'll see what the difference can be. Memory cards are so cheap these days that even if you have to change formats, it's not going to cost you much. None of the pocket cameras take good video. If you want video, buy a separate video camera.

I like to be able to zoom in but I don't need much of that on my fishing camera. I have a non-waterproof model and an SLR for my dry land shots.

For fishing, if you wade, the camera has to be small and to protect it from the river it has to be waterproof.

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There aren't too many models to choose from. Try this one.

Pentax Optio W20 7.0-MEGAPIXEL Digital Camera



I've been covetting those for a while, I just can't justify the expenditure. I've trout fished with a guy that carries a Canon Digital SLR, I'd be way too nervous with one of those.

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