How to Choose an Underwater Point and Shoot Camera

Water and electronics have never mixed well. Getting any type of electronic device wet typically meant the death of that equipment. But today’s underwater point and shoot cameras are defying age-old standards and making it easy for you to take your camera wherever you want to go, even if it’s in the water.

But how do you choose the underwater camera for your needs?

The best waterproof camera for you may not be the bestselling or highest resolution model on the market. Instead, you need to select the model that will meet your needs and stay within your budget. Here are some considerations when choosing an underwater point and shoot camera.

underwater point and shoot camera - fujifilm xp150Budget – If you’re on a tight budget, your choices in cameras are limited to waterproof disposable film cameras and cheap underwater digital cameras. Disposable cameras are the cheapest option available, but may not be right for you if you don’t like film or don’t want to be limited to maximum of 36 exposures per camera (or less, depending on the camera). Alternately, you can find cheap underwater cameras under $100. These may end up being cheaper in the long run because you’ll be able to take unlimited photos and don’t have to pay for film processing and developing.

Quality – The type of photos you’ll be taking and how you plan to use them will determine the quality you’ll want in an underwater camera. Do you want something to capture once-in-a-lifetime photos of your snorkeling trip in Australia that you plan to hang on the wall? Or do you want something to shoot photos of the kids at the local swimming pool that you’ll view on your computer? Think about your needs before you select a camera. Currently, the Sony TX 200v is the highest-resolution underwater point and shoot camera on the market, but it also comes with the highest price tag. Cheaper high-resolution alternatives include the Panasonic TS20 and the Nikon AW100, or you can opt for lower resolution and quality at much less cost with a camera such as the Kodak EasyShare C123.

Features – In addition to being waterproof, what features are you looking for in a camera? The best rugged cameras on the market are also dustproof, shockproof and freezeproof and offer bells and whistles such as GPS, an altimeter, barometer, 3-D imaging, panoramic photos, and other high-tech goodies. Do you need these functions? Before being swayed by a long list of functions you may never use (or learn how to use), decide what features you really want and need in a camera. If ease of use is your main requirement, you might want to look at something like the Nikon S30 or the Kodak EasyShare C123. If GPS is your main requirement, you’ll want to look at cameras such as the Nikon AW100, Panasonic TS4 and Fujifilm XP150.

A good underwater point and shoot camera can last for years and go just about anywhere, so before purchasing, take some time to decide what you want, narrow your list to a few possibilities, and then read some reviews to get more information and make a final decision.

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