I have a Pentax Optio W60 I use for snorkeling — its a fun toy to bring on vacations.
Potential buyers should be aware that typically, underwater photos are less than great with amateur equipment — typically, the color scale is weak, a function of the difficulty of shooting through 6 feet of H2O vs. mere thin air.
The on land photos are crisp and colorful. Its easy to operate, with a nice size viewer.
The W60 lists for $419 on Amazon, but ignore that price — you can catch it on sale for as low as $209, which is what I paid in April of this year. And the 4GB memory card has dropped in half from $14 to 7.99.
I bring this up because I saw an even more rugged version discussed in the Time’s Gadgetwise blog: The Pentax Optio Waterproof W80. (Pentax video here). Reinforced polycarbonate plastic and aluminum plating, with the necessary gaskets to keep out water.
It can go 3 feet deeper in water than the W60, absorb more shock, has a few more megapixels and has a better zoom. I don’t see anything so compelling that it would make me replace mine, but if you are shopping for an underwater camera, this one is worth considering. At Amazon for $285.
If you are planning any warm weather adventures thios winter — or even if you enjoy taking smaps of the kids around the pool or on the beach, this type of rugged, waterproof camera is nice to have.
And for added laughs, try taking a shot (with flash) of someone in a pool — a sibling or brother-in-law works best — and then say “Hey, take a picture of us” — then toss the camera towards them, but just barely out of their reach. (Hilarity ensues).
Good clean fun for the whole family . . .
Pentax Introduces Its Latest Waterproof Camera
Gadgetwise, June 25, 2009, 3:26 pm