Waterproof digital camera

Richard E

Active Member
Any of the Olympus Stylus SW series. On Amazon you can find reviews of the various models, which should be helpful.

I have the Olympus 725SW (from Costco), and it's a very good camera. The pictures are very good, but not great. However, it's tougher than heck and waterproof, and I never have to worry about if it's going to work or not. I've used the video function frequently, and it's so convenient to take video and stills from the same compact waterproof, durable camera.

I recently listened to a Brian O'Keefe presentation, and he said that he takes his Olympus SW (I can't remember which he head, the 1030 or 1050 or . . . ?) everywhere with him. He loves it. If Brian endorses it, then it's the real deal . . .
Great thread. Does anyone have experience with the 1030's in saltwater? Sure they are water proof but are they corrosion resistant as well?


I have the Olympus U720SW. I like it for what it is, a weatherproof camera that is easy to take where it can get wet. It does work fine underwater if you can find the fish.;)

It has some major drawbacks for me though.

You have to frame the picture by looking through the screen on the back. There is no 'look through' like on most other cameras. It is very hard to even see what you are trying to with light at your back.

The same thing applies to changing the settings. They change by pushing a little button and you must scroll through all 22 options to find the one you want. It is hard to see the screen outside in bright light and if you are trying to deal with a fish or action it is darned near impossible.

The lens is digital and thus picture quality is not as good as an optical lens. Even at 7 megapixels. Just as optical recordings, you lose on both ends.

I much prefer my old C-50 when I can safely carry it.

Brian Miller

Be vewy vewy qwiet, I'm hunting Cutthwoat Twout
Nice article Josh and great pics from the WFF users.

I carry a Canon S1 or my phone (with a real good camera for a phone) in a dry bag but it takes too long to get ready for a shot. I have a Rollei 35 that has been repaired (but never been quite the same) after a dunk so I'm ready for an overbuilt weather/splashproof camera. Googling "digital camera waterproof" brings up a hit on a review site where the author has a lot of nice things to say about the Olympus but reader comments are alarmingly negative about reliability. Quite a few users say that their 1030 SWs have leaked from day 1 to a few months after purchase even though they have followed all of the directions in the manual, and when they call or send the camera to Olympus that they are told it's their fault.

This thread is a few months old now and I wonder if there are any 1030 SW and W60 users that can offer any updates.


dead in the water
Looks like Canon has joined the waterproof digicam party with it's new PowerShot D10 12.1 MP with 3x optical image stabilized zoom and 2.5-inch LCD. More at: http://www.usa.canon.com/consumer/controller?act=ModelInfoAct&fcategoryid=2590&modelid=18332

I played with that camera at the PMA trade show. And while I'm typically a Canon fan, in this instance I would suggest that WFF people steer towards the Pentax or Olympus models. The Canon is easily the biggest and chunkiest of the current waterproof cameras. I got the feeling that htye were designing it more for people to use with ski gloves or while snorkeling than while doing something like fishing. It's hard to tell from the images on the web, but the Canon's lens barrel actually sticks out fairly far and so the camera is a lot less "pocketable" then the others in it's class. That having been said, I have no doubt that image quality and user interface will be up to Canon's usual high standards.

There is also the new panasonic TS1 waterproof camera which I also checked out at PMA. Slightly less of a depth rating for this camera than others. But I'm not sure that many people on this board intend to use theirs at 3 meters underwater.

Kent Lufkin

Remember when you could remember everything?
I played with that camera at the PMA trade show[/URL]. . . .

There is also the new panasonic TS1 waterproof camera . . .
Thanks for your common-sense insights into both the new Canon and the new Panasonic waterproof digicams. Like other cameras, it sounds like these each have their own unique strengths and weaknesses. Nonetheless, it's nice to see other players in this product niche.



still an authority on nothing
Great thread. Does anyone have experience with the 1030's in saltwater? Sure they are water proof but are they corrosion resistant as well?


I use my 1030SW in salt water without fear, even for the occasional underwater shot. But when I get home, it gets a rinse, a buff, I look at the lens and the gaskets on all the little doors just to be safe.
I paid 400 for mine, and later saw the 1050SW at Costco in Lacey for 200, but still don't regret the purchase at all:thumb:
The 1030 SW is an awesome camera but perhaps the best feature which no one has mentioned is the wide angle lens it has... makes a huge difference especially for those close up fish pics. Love mine!


dead in the water
The big camera review sites (DPreview, Steve's, imaging-resource, etc) are all about the same as one another. There is good information on all of them regarding technical specs and pixel-peeping performance.

My larger issue is that very few of those places write their reviews from a "photographer" point of view. That isn't to say that the people writing aren't photographers, because they probably are. But the information in the reviews is heavily slanted towards minute comparison of technical specs that may or may not have any real world relevance. When I write reviews for photo.net (which doesn't publish nearly as many reviews at the sites mentioned above), I try to write from the standpoint of an experienced photographer using the camera in real world situations. There are a few other websites that do the same sort of thing, luminous-landscape.com is a very good example. But often photo community forums are going to be where you will get a lot of "real world" questions answered.

Both types of reviews have their place, but be sure you are getting the whole picture when looking for a camera. There is a world of difference between the studio when a camera is bolted to a tripod shooting images of a test chart and the real world where you are trying to figure out which button to press in the 10 seconds you have that record steelie out of the water.

Or, don't stress on it too much and just buy whatever camera you can afford. On some level cameras are a lot like fly rods. Any fly rod will catch fish, any camera will take photos. If you buy from a well known company, you aren't likely to get screwed in any serious way.

Greg Armstrong

FYI; Costco has the Olympus 1050SW @ $199.99 on their website right now. They have other higher end waterproof Olympus models available as well for more $. They don't offer the 1030SW with the wider angle lens however as "Gorgefly" mentioned, that's the one I'd like to get. If anyone finds a good deal on that one. let me know!
Thanks, Greg