Quantcast Good underwater camera? - digitalFAQ Forum
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02-16-2009, 10:51 PM
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Quote:
http://www.waterproofcameras.com/cgi...tion&key=SL320
what’s your opinion on this camera? I’m looking for an affordable underwater camera and this seems to have decent reviews online.
My opinion is summed up in one word: Blah.

Point-and-shoot (P&S) cameras are already bottom-barrel in the world of cameras, and the more no-name you get, the worse off they tend to be for image quality. The six megapixel (6MP) resolution is also not all that impressive in the age of 7MP-10MP P&S cameras. Knowing little else, I would even bet it has high noise and low ISO performance.

In fact, all of the specs on that camera in your link appear to be a few years old. From SD-only (2GB max), to low-res movie mode, to megapixels -- it's old tech. Professional cameras, even mid-range DSLRs, can get away with being even 5-10 years old and take great shots, but a P&S cannot compete with what you'll find in stores in 2009. In fact, a five- to 10-year-old DSLR can often outperform a two-year-old P&S.

I would suggest buying a good camera. Get either of these:
  1. Sony DSC-W120 ($110-125 range), and for the best deal (free shipping, no tax), buy from Amazon.com using this link: http://www.amazon.com/gp/product/B00...SIN=B0011E4N5C
    It comes in several colors too: Silver, Pink, Black, maybe a few others. I own the black one. It has excellent high-ISO performance at ISO 3200, low noise, and a decent video mode about on par with VHS tapes (a lot of cameras still look like pre-HD Youtube quality, less than VHS).
  2. Canon Elph SD-1100IS ($150 range), and for the best deal, Amazon is suggested again, using our affiliate link: http://www.amazon.com/gp/product/B00...SIN=B0012YC7AE
    It also comes in several colors: Silver, Blue, Pink, Bronze, Brown, maybe a few others. It's not as good at high ISO (max ISO 1600, and a tad noisy), but the video mode is pretty good, better than the Sony.
Those are honestly the best two cameras on the market right now, for a mix of price, size and performance. Each is the size of a pack of cigarettes, sub-$200, and images can look great.

Then I would suggest using an underwater kit or "baggie" housing for the few times you need it underwater. This way you get an excellent camera for ANY TIME, and just use a bag the few times you take it on a dive or a swim.
  1. I did some looking around, and no surprise, Amazon had a lot of options, and again for the best price points for the best products. This one looks interesting: http://www.amazon.com/gp/product/B00...SIN=B000YOLOM0 -- and for all of $13, hardly a major investment! I might buy one myself for an experiment, later in the year.
This is how many professionals take photos underwater. They use the best SLR or DSLR possible, and then buy an underwater housing for it. That's more expensive, but consumers can do something very similar on the cheap, as explained above.

Underwater-only cameras just aren't done that much, although they surely exist, are used and have a userbase/fanbase out there. I guess it all depends on how much you plan to use it underwater, as to whether a true "underwater camera" is required.

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  #2  
02-17-2009, 12:32 PM
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thanks for the heads up. I like to amazon solution. I think I'll give it a shot.
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