I have the Olympus stylus 850 SW and love it. I can just throw it in my wader pocket and dont have to worry about it. It takes good pictures even though i dont, and its pretty indistructable. Theres a big dent in it that got there some how but it still works perfectly.
I've got the Olympus 790 sw. Its pretty sweet, rugged (in its way). I'm guessing that you are going to get these two suggestions: The Pentax and the Olympus. I went through this whole search for the waterproof camera a while back.
Check out some product reviews online, and then just find the one that fits your budget best.
I've found that the Oly 790 I have works great for everything I need it to. good underwater shots, good above, etc. etc. Keep in mind, if your taking the underwater shots yourself (of your own fish and what not) it can be hard to set up a good shot (what with awkward angle, struggling fish, etc.).
but good luck, they're fun to have and play around with.
I went in a different direction. I bought a nice digital camera (Canon PowerShot) several years ago and then bought an underwater housing to preserve the camera. That gives me a lightweight camera for hiking and a beefy housing for underwater or wet weather shots. I made my decision before the advent of the growth in waterproof cameras, and I might make a different decision whenever I replace what I have. But this is another route one might take.
I've had my Olympus 725SW since I had to replace my earlier Olympus after it was dunked in the Yakima a while ago. I love it and it is with me most of the time I'm fishing. Easy to use and I don't worry about it getting wet. I have a lanyard on it, only to keep me from dropping it somewhere deep in the river and is supposed to be safe to drop from 5 meters I think.
There are newer models out, but other than more mega pixels and maybe a few more features I don't think they're that much different. Olympus does use an XD card, so if you have other memory cards from other digital cameras, you may want to consider the Pentax.
I'm not sure that there are other options than the Olympus and Pentax, but a search on the site should give you a lot more info on these cameras.
I have a pentax optio w30, it is a great camera and takes nice pictures as long as the light conditions are decent. However once the light starts fading the pictures tend to get grainy looking. Other than that I have been very impressed with it though.
After researching all of the threads on this site and others I bought the Pentax w-60. Josh Root of this board recommended it for (among other things) it has a wider angle lens. We have taken about 1000 pix with it of all kinds. The underwater stuff turned out great. I am not a expert but this camera takes good pix and I am still learning about some of the features. I would recommend it.
I bought the Sanyo Xacti E1 toward the end of last year. It's waterproof to 1.5M. 6 mega pixal. What's neat about the unit is it takes both video and pictures. The thing is very compact. About the only thing I can complain about is the zoom controls are a bit small for my banana fingers. Otherwise it's a great little camera for the fishing trips and vacations where you will be getting wet.:thumb:
I have an Olympus and love the fact that I don't have to worry about dropping or dunking it. With that said, they don't float! If you get one I would make sure to look for a floating wrist strap that attaches just like the lanyard. One was suggested to me and I am very glad I bought it! Before I picked up the float I was always concerned about dropping it while taking an underwater shot in a lake. I just had the image in my mind of it slipping out of my hands as I reached for a 20 inch trout that wouldn’t hold still. Have fun