Roundup of Underwater Point and Shoot Digital Cameras

Nikon Coolpix AW100This type of camera intrigues me. They are a great choice for the hunter, backpacker, fisherman, white water rafter, skydiver, skier and snowboarder. In fact, you can take them along on most any activity that can be detrimental to most photographic equipment.

Olympus TG-1I have been selling cameras for some time, and this segment of point and shot cameras seems to come and go. For many years Olympus held a rather dominant position in the market segment. All things can change in a dynamic market, and we now have more players in the market segment now. At this time, we stock five models from four manufacturers. There are more choices out there, but for the scope of this post, I have limited the models to those that we stock. The five models range from $129.95 to $399.95. Which model should you buy? Lets look at the main features of each.

Model Pixels Zoom Screen
Dots
Video Depth
Impact
Min. Temp. GPS Price
Nikon
Coolpix S30
10.1 MP
CCD
3x
29-87mm
2.7″
230K
720p 9.8′
2.6′
32˚F No $119.95
Nikon
Coolpix AW100
16.0 MP
CMOS
5x
28-140mm
3″
460K
1080p 33′
5′
14˚F Yes $349.95
Canon
PowerShot D20
12.1 MP
CMOS
5x
28-140mm
3″
460K
1080p 33′
5′
14˚F Yes $349.95
Panasonic
DMC-TS4
12.1 MP
CCD
4.6x
30-140mm
2.7″
230K
1080p 40′
6.6′
14˚F Yes $399.95
Olympus
TG-1
12.0 MP
CMOS
4x
25-100mm
3″
610K
1080p 40′
6.6′
14˚F Yes $399.95

Canon PowerShot D20While most of these cameras share similar specifications, there are differences. Subjective observations may also help you decide, such as color choice, weight, handling and ease of use. Before making a final decision I would recommend coming into the store and give all the cameras a thorough inspection to see which camera catch your eye.

Nikon Coolpix S30These cameras open up many photographic possibilities that are just not available to conventional camera equipment. True you could put your camera in an underwater housing and go even to even greater depths than the cameras mentioned here, but that ability comes with the added expense and size. Nikon offers some tips on underwater shooting on their website.

It is worth noting that while most folks will not take their camera out competition kayaking, to maintain the water proof feature, these cameras should go back to the manufacturer annually to test and maintain the seals.