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Compact Waterproof Camera

Updated on February 22, 2018
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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.


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 these devices 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? Typically, if you have at least 8 megapixels, there is enough there for a very good quality photo, even if you crop or enlarge it a bit. This should not be hard to find at all!
  • 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.
  • Does the camera offer WiFi for easy sharing? This feature isn't a necessity, but it is a convenience.
  • 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.

Who Makes Cameras That Are Waterproof?

There are many manufacturers of waterproof digital cameras. Ricoh, Panasonic, Olympus, Fujifilm, Nikon, Sony, and others all have waterproof devices.

The Ricoh WG-50 is waterproof and can be used at 46 feet, offers an extreme macro mode and can withstand a drop of 16 feet. It offers a 16 megapixel sensor.

The Nikon Coolpix 100 is a very affordable option and it can be used as deep as 33 feet and sports a 13.2 megapixel sensor.. While the Olympus TG5 is said to be waterproof to 50 feet and has a 12 megapixel sensor.

Of course, there are also "sports and action" oriented camera makers that offer waterproof devices as well.


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