Digital Camera Question

Hi, im deciding on 2 cameras. A Pentax optio W30 and a Olympus Stylus 720Sw.

What i need to know from you guys is this.

Do they both do underwater video/audio

How does the 720sw do with close up "macro" mode shots. Like of bugs. I see it doesnt have a Macro mode, only Auto Focus. But im wondering if you just get close enough it it still takes crisp shots. If anyone has done this please post the results.
I tried out the Olympus but didn't care for the amount of (noise???) in the black and dark areas of the shots, especially those taken at lower light levels. The shutter lag was also noticeable as well, something which I did not like at all.

My .02
I've got the 720, and couldn't be happier with it. I've never had a problem with macro on it. I don't know how close you're wanting to get, but within the realm of normal expectaions for a point and shoot camera, I think it works fine.

I just took this; in low light (my porch light), hand held, from about 14" away. You'd of course have better results in proper light, and from a tripod...and from a DSLR. For reference, the spider is smaller than my pinkie fingernail.

I think for point and shoot, it does very well.

The first pic is the original, the second is cropped and digitally blown up.



There was a New York Times article on waterproof cameras. I believe those were the two models they looked at (for sure the Pentax W30 was one of them). Both the cameras got a really poor review. You might want to look for the article before deciding.


Bent rods and tight lines!
I got the new 770 SW Olympus and it is indestructable and takes decent pictures. I have a high end Canon Digital SLR and get spoiled but this camera is the one for fishing. Check out the review on


Native Trout Hunter
I recently got the Optio W30, and it is a great camera. For the price the pictures are awesome. You can check out some pictures that I took with it on the golden trout post under the trips section. The macro on this camera is great as well.
I have a pentax Optio WP, I think their second attempt at an UW camera. I have a friend who's got a an Oly UW, maybe the one before the mentioned model? Anyway, my take was that the Pentax had a little more CA at the wide angle, but otherwas was better quality at the pixel level. My pentax is complete mush at 100 percent. If I were to do it over, I'd probably go Oly. Currently the Oly is more waterproof and durable.

The shame is that neither have A, S/T, or M modes. But...I bought it for a carry-in-my vest, won't worry about getting it wet fishing camera. And it's performed flawlessly at that task. ;-) I've even taken it snorkeling in salterwater and it's still just chugging along. UW pics are a blast, too.

Dan Page

Active Member
I have the Pentax Optio W30 and am very pleased with it. I've taken alot of great fishing shots and movies. Have yet to try anything underwater. I've heard the Olympus is a great camera but quite a few bucks more than the Pentax.
There are other threads on this subject. A search will give you more information.

John Hicks

Owner and operator of Sea Run Pursuits
I have the Pentax wp30 and love it. It is tough in low light situations but I may just not know how to use the camera. The macro and underwater settings are awsome.


New Member
If you are looking for an Olympus 720, Go to ebay and type Olympus 720 in the search box.

You will find some 720's listed by:
Olympus Auctions

The cameras they list have been returned to them for some reason or another, Olympus themselves refurbish these cameras after sending the original owner a new camera and sells the refurbished camera on ebay through subsiderary, Olympus Actions
The cameras come boxed with "ALL" the original equipment, down load cables, batt, etc.
The cameras have a warrantee.
You can often pick the 720 up for less than $200

I have purchased 6 cameras from them and they have "ALL" worked flawlessly so far, some are are going on 3 yrs.

If a 720 is what you are interested in, it's woth a look.

As a disclaimer, I sell nothing on ebay and have no ties with Olympus actions. As a matter of fact, I rarely see much on ebay that I am interested in paying the bid price for. I have a hard time paying much more that 1/2 price for something, from someone I don't know. However, Olympus actions is a reputable dealer with literally thousands of satisfied cutomers

Good luck :thumb:


Waters haunt me....

I have looked at all three cameras. The Pentax optio w30, Olympus 720 and the 770. I have spent hours (days) on the internet reading reviews and comments from users. I ended up buying the Pentax W30.

I had the earlier version which is the Pentax Optio w10 and loved it. Olympus did not have water proof cameras then. It is now held for ransom by my daughter and she would not give it up. It takes awesome pictures including macro shots. I even take pictures of humming birds that feed on our feeder right out of our window.

I am an Olympus fan and I wanted an Olympus for my next camera. I read all the reviews but what I got was for all the waterproofing and shockproofing and indestructible features it has, it is just a decent camera. It seems like Olympus put a lot of time and money in making it practically indestructible but forgot the quality of the pictures. Nonetheless I have to see it for myself and do the comparison. What I found out is, the comments to a point are true. The pictures and the LCD for me are quite grainy. However I'm told that when it's time to print, the pictures come out really well. As far as ease of use, especially on those moments when you need to be able to quickly switch modes when an opportunity arise for an awesome picture, the Oly, both the 770 and the 720 are just too complicated. It was not user friendly to my taste. On the other hand, the Pentax W30 is super easy and you can switch modes in less than 2 seconds.

So here's my take- I just can't justify paying almost $399 for the Oly 770 when I can get the Pentax W30 for $238 with a free 2 gig memory card. ( from Amazon). For almost twice the price, I can just buy another one if I end up running over my camera with my car.

I am very pleased with the camera and put it in my front shirt pocket whenever I go out. I fish the salt almost exclusively right now ( due to the proximity of it) and have dunked my camera countless times and sand and grit has no effect on it. By the way it takes awesome underwater videos too.

Again this is just my observation so feel free to make your own.

Tight lines

Neither are great cameras in terms of functionality or picture quality, but the Optio is a good bet if you want a submersible camera in that price range.



Assylum Escapie
I have the optio and it takes good enough pictures for what I want it for. its just a keep in the boat who cares if it gets soaked camera and it always works and takes great pictures really clear pictures, as for the under water pics go I have only done a few but at the same time I am still very pleased with it.

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