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Old Apr 10, 2008, 4:29 PM   #1
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I am looking for a second camera, a backup to the family digital SLR. I want a small, pocket sized type, that I can take to the beach or use at the pool with no worries. I want good quality pics, but am price conscious since it is a backup. A friend recommended the Canon SD1000 plus the addition of the Canon WP-DC13 Waterproof Case; or similarly the Canon SD850 + WP-DC15 Waterproof Case. Is this overkill? The housing costs almost as much as the camera. What would you suggest for a water-friendly (but not necessarily scuba worthy) unit for a family vacation? Is the Olympus Stylus 770SW comparable in quality to the Canons without the need for the extra case?
Thanks!
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Old Apr 10, 2008, 5:00 PM   #2
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The Olympus SW models (770SW, 790SW, 850SW, 1050SW) should do well on the beach and resist the sand and water better than any other compact camera.

The picture quality appears to be OK, but not as good as the Canon Elph cameras.
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Old Apr 10, 2008, 7:08 PM   #3
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The Olympus SW models 770 and 790 image quality can be compared to the Canon ELPHs using this link to a Comparometer;

http://www.imaging-resource.com/IMCOMP/COMPS01.HTM

This may help you decide which way to go. I usually just put my small camera inside one or two ziplock bags. Or, you can probably find a water-tight small bag to carry it in. I also use the ziplock bag method while kayaking. We don't do white-water.

Here is a link with several water tight bags to consider. I may go this way this summer.

http://www.thewaterproofstore.com/ca...FQFqlgodQzGdHA

Dennis
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Old Apr 10, 2008, 7:31 PM   #4
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denncald wrote:
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The Olympus SW models 770 and 790 image quality can be compared to the Canon ELPHs using this link to a Comparometer;

http://www.imaging-resource.com/IMCOMP/COMPS01.HTM

Dennis
I made the comparison and the Canon Elph's had a much better picture at every ISO. Just to see what would happen, I compared the image quality of the most expensive Olympus SW camera, the 1050, against the $110 Canon A470. The inexpensive Canon was much better at every ISO.
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Old Apr 10, 2008, 7:52 PM   #5
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Flawed image comparison methodology: comparing a 7mp digicam vs 10mp digicam at 100%. The 7mp digicam - unless it's really bad - will often win because of lower photosite density. If you resample both images to 6mp, they look pretty similar.

Photo enthusiasts have been complaining for years now about too many megapixels.
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Old Apr 12, 2008, 11:05 AM   #6
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I am also budget conscious and agree that waterproof housing is too expensive, even if you already own the camera. Plus, it is too bulky and rather overkill if you just want "splashproofing" and not "underwater" capability ("splashproofing" allows submersion into shallow water as long as it is not too deep - the camera should have a waterproof rating eg. JIS)

I would also go for a camera which is built with weatherproofing capability, such as the Pentax W series and Olympus SW series. I read in the forums that the major problem with these weatherproof cameras is water leakage in places where you can open, especially the battery / memory card cover. There is a rubber seal but this is a wear-and-tear part. If you do not lock the cover properly, it does not do its job properly.

I have a Pentax W10 and bought a silicone skin for the camera on recommendation of posters in the forum, which is skin-tight and covers the major compartment doors, adding an extra physical barrier to the water and against accidental unlocking of the doors. I had no problem with water leakage with this, but I only use the camera on the beach and at kids wading pools, and have never submerged it under salt water (fresh water - yes - in the bathtub!). The silicone skin also provides a non-slippery grip. It only costs up to about $20. Google "silicone skin (model of the weatherproof camera)". Duct taping the covers also works (and may work even better), but it is messy and cumbersome.

As for picture quality, the Pentax and Olympus are probably not as good as Canons, but it should be decent in bright outdoor sunlight for casual family shots.
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