Camera makers target the holiday season to saturate the market with their products. Given the multitude of choices, a potential buyer is likely to be confused about which one to buy. If you are fond of water sport such as scuba diving, and snorkeling, you should look for a camera that can be used underwater. Usually camera makers use a watertight silicon skin to make digital cameras waterproof, and put them in hard housing to allow them to be submerged while taking shots.
Waterproof cameras are made to be submerged upto a specific depth; some can be used at depths of up to 15 feet. Camera Size and weight are also very important. A larger camera is harder to handle steadily. A waterproof camera needs a strap attached to a user’s wrist, to prevent them from sinking beyond recovery. Auto-focus mode may not work if the level of light in the water is low.
If you are not into scuba diving or snorkeling but want to use a camera when you are in or near water, then the Pentax Optio W30 could serve your need. The Optio W30 allows you to capture images underwater up to 10 feet, for 2 hours.
Amateur photographers may not use all the capabilities present in a high-resolution digital camera. The high resolution comes at a high price. Also, an optical zoom is more important than a “Digital zoom” which just enlarges a part of the image. The Optio W30 has a 6X optimal zoom, a huge improvement over its forebear, the W20.
The 2.5-inch LCD monitor offers an LCD Bright mode to adjust the brightness of the screen if necessary for improved viewing in the sunlight. The Optio W30 also features a Face Recognition function and Macro Photography mode to allow image capture at under half an inch; this facilitates close-ups.
A few words of caution: there are some precautions you should take in underwater photography. Before you change the battery, or the memory card, make sure the camera, and your hands, are completely dry. The waterproof function does not apply to the Optio W30’s accessories.
Also, insure that you take a good look at the warranty card. It is usually valid only where you bought the camera. If you want to use your camera abroad, over a prolonged period, switch to international warranty. This way, your camera will be covered overseas.