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Compact Waterproof Camera

Updated on September 29, 2014

Interested in a Compact Waterproof Camera?

If you've ever gone snorkeling and wished you could save the beauty of the underwater world for your friends and family confined to the shore, then perhaps a compact waterproof camera is right for you. Even if you only want to get those pool shots or simply have a camera that's tough enough to survive the beach with ease, an investment in one of these more rugged cameras may be the way to go.

Read further on this page to learn what features to look for in a compact waterproof camera and look through some of the popular options.

Why Would You Want a Compact Waterproof Camera?

A compact waterproof camera might be right for you if you have an active lifestyle. Many of these cameras survive drops, repel moisture, resist dust, and even tolerate extreme cold temperatures. So, for those who ski, snowboard, snorkel, swim, hike, mountain bike, and more, a waterproof digital camera can offer the durability needed.

In fact, a compact waterproof digital camera can be great for people with small children too. Because kids like to play with gadgets and aren't always as particular about how they handle them, a waterproof camera can survive the encounter more readily.

What to Consider When Buying a Waterproof Camera

Once you decide a compact waterproof camera will suit your lifestyle, it's time to do some shopping.

First you want to consider all of the same things you do when buying any camera. Here are just a few things to think about:

Does the camera offer the resolution that you want?Typical casual users are ok with 5 megapixels but 8 is good if you want to crop photos or enlarge them much.

Is there optical zoom and image stabilization? Zoom helps you get in close with distant subjects and image stabilization helps reduce blurriness due to unintended camera shake.

Does the camera offer the features you prefer?If you want a lot of automated features such as red eye removal, face detection, and so forth check for these. Many casual users also don't want to deal with setting exposure, white balance and so forth, thus having a variety of shooting modes is important. Sports mode for fast action, night for those low light scenes, portrait, landscape, panorama, and macro (close up) are among some of the popular options.

Does the camera offer video with sound?A camera that doesn't film video is fine but if you want video capabilities be sure to look for that feature and assure that the quality of the video is satisfactory.

Next you will want to consider your special needs:Check to see at what depth of water the camera will function.Determine if the camera is dustproof.This is necessary if you will be using the camera in other harsh conditions such as at the beach, around sand dunes, and so forth.Determine if the camera is temperature hardy.If you will be exposing it to winter temperatures it will need to be able to operate under such conditions.Check to see that the camera is easy to operate.Whether you're swimming or skiing with gloves, it's seldom easy to hit too tiny buttons or navigate lengthy menus when you're active or in harsh conditions. Ease of operation is very important.

What are the Options for a Waterproof Camera?

A compact waterproof camera can of course be used outside of the water as well. If you choose one, it's certainly possible that you will need no other camera. For those individuals, it's very important to look at the overall features to be sure it meets all of their photo needs.

For those who don't find the perfect underwater camera, there's also the option of purchasing an underwater camera housing (when available). This allows the user to select their camera of choice and then "dress" it for underwater use when necessary.

For those who aren't necessarily in the market for a compact waterproof camera but have a one time need for shooting underwater photos, perhaps for a vacation or a pool party, there is the option of purchasing a single use or disposable underwater camera.


Canon Powershot D10 and D20

Canon PowerShot D10 12.1 MP Waterproof Digital Camera with 3x Optical Image Stabilized Zoom and 2.5-Inch LCD (OLD MODEL)
Canon PowerShot D10 12.1 MP Waterproof Digital Camera with 3x Optical Image Stabilized Zoom and 2.5-Inch LCD (OLD MODEL)

This Canon Powershot D10 is a 12.1 megapixel camera with 3x optical image stabilized zoom. It also happens to be a compact waterproof camera, capable of operating at depths of 33 feet and temperatures as low as 14 degrees Fahrenheit, surviving falls of 4 feet, and nearly impermeable to dust. It gives users numerous features like face detection, blink detection and more as well as 19 shooting modes and 16 special scene modes.

It comes with Lithium-ion battery pack, battery charger, wrist strap,CD-ROM,

USB interface cable and AV cable.

The newest version of this Canon camera is the Powershot D20 which has improved low light performance a 5x optical image stabilized zoom, 1080p video capabilities, offers an electronic wind filter for improved audio, and still offers the same rugged features that allow underwater shooting.


Canon Powershot D10 Preview


Fujifilm Finepix Z33WP

Fujifilm FinePix Z33WP 10 MP Waterproof Digital Camera with 3x Optical Zoom (Black)
Fujifilm FinePix Z33WP 10 MP Waterproof Digital Camera with 3x Optical Zoom (Black)

This 10.0-megapixel Finepix is another waterproof digital camera. It operates in water up to 10 feet deep and features 3x optical zoom and a 2.7 inch LCD screen. This camera offers face detection as well as 12 editing functions including red eye removal. It will also capture VGA quality video at 30 frames per second.

It comes with 50 MB built-in memory and an expansion slot for SD/SDHC memory cards. It comes with rechargeable Lithium ion battery and is available in black, bright pink, and lime green.



Kodak Sport Waterproof Camera

Kodak EasyShare Sport C123 12 MP Waterproof Digital Camera (Red)
Kodak EasyShare Sport C123 12 MP Waterproof Digital Camera (Red)

This is a basic camera that's perfect for beginner's. It's also a great option for those wanting a compact waterproof camera. The Eayshare Sport allows you to take still image and video in water at depths up to 10 feet. It features a 12 megapixel sensor so that you have plenty of detail even if you enlarge your images or crop them a great deal. It features a 2.6" LCD display, 5x digital zoom for getting in close, face detection technology, 5 color modes for letting you get creative, and multpile scene modes to assure you get the right exposure and focus.

Technologies like intelligent scene selection, intelligent capture control, and intelligent image processing allow this small camera to make most of the tough decisions for you while assuring vibrant color, great detail, and even clarity in shots taken in low light. Users can share images in the Kodak Gallery, on a Pulse photo frame, or on sites like Facebook, Flickr, Twitter, YouTube, ORKUT, and more with the press of a button. They can also enjoy their images on HDTV in 16:9 format.

This camera is also dustproof making it a great choice for shooting outdoors. It operates off of 2 AA batteries.



Nikon AW100

Nikon COOLPIX AW100 16 MP CMOS Waterproof Digital Camera with GPS and Full HD 1080p Video (Orange) (OLD MODEL)
Nikon COOLPIX AW100 16 MP CMOS Waterproof Digital Camera with GPS and Full HD 1080p Video (Orange) (OLD MODEL)

Nikon also offers a good compact waterproof camera for any outdoor activity. It offers a 16 megapixel sensor, with advanced vibration reduction image stabilization and motion detection to help get better focus. It has a 3" screen, built in GPS and e-compass functions so that you can get Point of Interest and location information to guide you and allow you to geotag your shots.

It's shockproof for falls up to 5 feet and can operate in temperatures as low as 14 degrees Fahrenheit. Users can even take shots or video in water as deep as 33 feet. It can shoot up to 3 frames per second and record 1080p video with stereo sound. This device offers a number of in-camera effects and even has an underwater mode for better color and exposure.



Olympus Stylus 1050SW

Olympus Stylus 1050SW 10.1MP Digital Camera with 3x Optical Zoom (Black)
Olympus Stylus 1050SW 10.1MP Digital Camera with 3x Optical Zoom (Black)

The Olympus Stylus 1050SW is perfect for those with an active lifestyle due to it's rugged nature and it's extremely easy controls. This compact waterproof camera offers 10.1 megapixel as well as 3.6x optical zoom and 5x digital zoom for getting up close with distant subjects. The wide angle zoom is also great for getting everything in the shot even when you're in tight quarters.

Other automated features include face detection and smile shot, shadow adjustment to help when shooting in bright sunlight when shadows can be problematic, and a wide variety of scene modes for those who don't want the hassle of choosing all the right settings for the best exposure and so forth. The 1050SW even provides an onscreen guide to help you troubleshoot difficult shots.

The bright 2.7" LCD makes framing and reviewing shots easy but the best news for those who have a more active lifestyle is the fact that the 1050SW is not only a compact waterproof camera, but is also shock proof, freezeproof, and crushproof. It can easily survive a drop of up to 5 feet, operate safely at temperatures down to 14 degrees Farenheit, and tolerate water depths of up to 10 feet. The aluminum exterior, interior rubber gaskets, O-rings, water repellant lens coating, and Underwater scene mode all combine to make it a great choice for underwater shooting.

Another advantage the 1050SW offers is it's "Tap Control". Tap Control allows the user to operate and work through the camera's menus by merely tapping on the sides or top of the camera rather than manipulating tiny buttons. Perfect for those times when bulky gloves are worn. Of course, the extra large shutter button and sliding, lens protecting faceplate which powers the camera on can also make snapping your shots easier as well.

While capable of producing impressive prints up to 18x24", the Olympus Stylus 1050SW doesn't stop there. It can also capture video with 640x480 resolution at up to 30fps and will record audio as well.

The 1050SW allows you to easily and quickly transfer images to your computer with it's USB 2.0 connector and included cable. It can store images on both xD and microSD cards. It is available in black, silver, champagne, and blue.


Olympus Stylus 1050SW


Panasonic Lumix TS3

Panasonic Lumix DMC-TS3 12.1 MP Rugged/Waterproof Digital Camera with 4.6x Wide Angle Optical Image Stabilized Zoom and 2.7-Inch LCD - Red
Panasonic Lumix DMC-TS3 12.1 MP Rugged/Waterproof Digital Camera with 4.6x Wide Angle Optical Image Stabilized Zoom and 2.7-Inch LCD - Red

This Lumix TS3 is an outstanding choice for outdoor use. This camera features a 12 megapixel high speed CCD sensor, 2.7" LCD screen, a LEICA Vario-Elmar DC 28mm wide angle lens, built in GPS, compass, altimeter, and barometer. It offers 4.6x optical zoom, a built in LED light, and 1080p video with dolby digital stereo sound.

This compact camera offers 4 active outdoor scene modes including sports, snow, beach and snorkeling, and underwater. You won't miss important shots or get blurring thanks to the Sonic Speed autofocus. It's dustproof, freezeproof to 14 degrees F, and can withstand a fall of 6.6 feet. You can also shoot photos and video in water in depths of 40 feet or less.



Ricoh PX

Ricoh PX 16 MP Waterproof Digital Camera with 5x Optical Zoom (Green)
Ricoh PX 16 MP Waterproof Digital Camera with 5x Optical Zoom (Green)

The Ricoh PX is a very portable camera with a 16 megapixel sensor, 5x optical zoom, image stabilization, noise reduction features, and a 2.7" scratch resistant LCD screen. This rugged digital camera can be submerged in up to 10ft of water for 60 minutes. It's also dustproof and shockproof to falls of 5 feet or less.

This compact waterproof camera has 28 different scene modes and allows the user to customize up to 5 of their favorite modes for easy access. This camera also features multiple aspect ratios, a continuous (burst) shooting mode, and the ability to record 720p HD video at 30 frames per second.


A Closer Look at the Ricoh PX

Learn More About Underwater Photography

Getting a waterproof camera will be just one step in the process if you want great photos.

Photo Credit

Introduction: James Wicks.

Why Would You Want a Compact Waterproof Camer: egarc2.

What to Consider: Tom@HK

What are the Options: TraveOC.

Did You Find the Compact Waterproof Camera You Wanted? Let Us Know!

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    • profile image

      anonymous 6 years ago

      I agree that one of the most important thing in a waterproof camera is the image stabiliser. But it's a pity that many newbies look for fancy design over this.

    • Spook LM profile image

      Spook LM 6 years ago

      You always provide such useful information and you did say if one enjoys an active life. For me this is close enough to say, blessed by a sporting Angel.

    • profile image

      julieannbrady 7 years ago

      Quite timely for us as I went to Target and bought a waterproof disposable Kodak film camera for our recent kayaking trip ... still need to snap a few more shots before I finish off that camera.

    • SusannaDuffy profile image

      Susanna Duffy 8 years ago from Melbourne Australia

      You're tempting me to take up underwater photography now

    • profile image

      JAV010 8 years ago

      Thanks For This Greant Lens

    • chefkeem profile image

      Achim Thiemermann 8 years ago from Austin, Texas

      Your lenses are always so helpful! I'll have to bless this one, too.