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Rent an Underwater Camera for Your Vacation

Updated on July 10, 2014

An Affordable Alternative to Disposable Waterproof Cameras

For many people, a trip to Hawaii, Mexico or the Caribbean is a once-in-a-lifetime event, and snorkeling in the warm tropical waters is often the highlight. Unfortunately, electronics and water don't play well together. So if you want to capture photos of your ocean adventure, your regular smartphone and camera aren't going to work.

Many people think the cheapest way to go is to get disposable underwater film cameras at the store. But for about the same price as you'd pay for two disposable cameras, film developing and a CD with your digital images, you could rent an easy-to-use Canon underwater camera for a week, take as many photos as you want above and below the water, and never worry about paying for film processing. Here's how.

(Image of waterproof Canon Powershot D20 provided by amazon. See link below.)

I love waterproof cameras. In fact, I own four of them. But I am a scuba diver, I have season passes to a water park, I live in a coastal state, and I use the cameras for my business. For me, it makes sense to own a waterproof camera.

But for other people who are taking a beach vacation and don't need an everyday camera that is waterproof, renting is a good option. And it's cheaper than you might imagine.

You can currently rent a Canon Powershot D20 underwater camera online for one week from BorrowLenses for $35 plus shipping and handling. (Check website for any price changes.) That's about the same price you'd pay for two disposable cameras, the cost of film developing and a CD with the digital files.

So why is an underwater camera rental a better deal if the price is about the same? With a disposable camera, you can only shoot 27 exposures on each camera and then you'll have to wait until after your vacation to see if the photos turned out.

When you rent a waterproof Canon Powershot D20, you can take as many photos as you'd like, and shoot HD video, too. And of course you'll have an LCD screen to immediately see if your photo looks good or if you should take another one. In addition, the Canon has a 5x optical zoom so you can get closer to your subjects than you could with a disposable camera. In other words, you'll have all the great features of digital cameras that made film cameras obsolete in the first place.

So which sounds like a better deal?

Of course, you're probably wondering if an underwater digital camera is complicated to use and if you'd be better off going with a disposable camera for the ease of use. The answer is a resounding no! If you can click a button, you can use the Canon PowerShot D20. There's one button for taking still photos and one for taking video. You can leave the camera on Smart Auto the entire trip or choose settings such as Portrait, Handheld Night Scene, Low Light, Underwater Macro and more.

And you don't need to worry about any bulky waterproof housing. From the outside, this camera looks pretty much like any other compact camera. It's slim and compact, but the body is waterproof to 33 feet, shockproof to falls from 5 feet and dustproof/sandproof, too.

If you're thinking about buying disposable waterproof cameras for your beach vacation, think again about renting a camera instead. When you look at your photos and videos at home, you'll be glad you did!

BorrowLenses describes their easy rental process in four steps: Shop, Ship, Shoot, Send Back. Here's a quick description of each step.

  1. Shop

    The first step to renting an underwater camera is finding it. In addition to the Canon PowerShot D20, BorrowLenses also offers waterproof action cams from the GoPro HERO line. Read each description and decide which one you want and how long you'd like to rent it. Options range from 3 days to 4 weeks.

  2. Ship

    After you've decided on a camera, you'll add it to your shopping cart and select the shipping option - standard, overnight, or pick-up (if you happen to live near any of their pick-up locations in 12 states).

  3. Shoot

    Your camera will be delivered on the day you specified with a prepaid return shipping label and the exact date your package needs to be postmarked. So take your gear and have fun!

  4. Send back

    When your rental period is up, simply pack the gear back in the box in which it arrived, add the prepaid shipping label, and take it to your nearest mailing center or call the shipping company to pick it up. Items need to be postmarked by the return date.

Want to Buy It Instead? - Get your own Canon PowerShot D20

The Canon D20 isn't designed only to take great photos underwater. It's also perfect for everyday shooting. With high quality features inside a compact, weatherproof design, the D20 is a good choice for anyone who wants a small rugged camera that can go anywhere.

Canon PowerShot D20 12.1 MP CMOS Waterproof Digital Camera with 5x Image Stabilized Zoom 28mm Wide-Angle Lens a 3.0-Inch LCD and GPS Tracking (Blue) (OLD MODEL)
Canon PowerShot D20 12.1 MP CMOS Waterproof Digital Camera with 5x Image Stabilized Zoom 28mm Wide-Angle Lens a 3.0-Inch LCD and GPS Tracking (Blue) (OLD MODEL)

Product features:

- Waterproof to 33 feet, temperature from 14-104 degrees fahrenheit

- 12.1 MP Canon HS SYSTEM with a High-Sensitivity CMOS sensor

- 5x Optical Zoom with 28mm wide angle lens

- 3.0-inch Pure Color System LCD

- GPS tracker to record image locations

- Full 1080p HD video with dedicated movie button


Sample Photos and Video from the Canon D20 - See it in action

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