Waterproof Digital Cameras

The Buyer’s Guide to Waterproof Digital Cameras

While most digital cameras are used to take pictures of things on land, far from the reach of deep water, some buyers actually are looking specifically for a model that can travel with them to the pool, into the ocean at the beach, or even deep into caves. These cameras are perfect for capturing everything form underwater family memories to unique kinds of wildlife and rock formations that make for great storytelling. Shopping for waterproof digital cameras requires its own set of concerns and considerations, though, and consumers would be well advised to know the ins and outs of this unique field before they open their wallet and buy any of the models on display.

Before heading out to a local retailer, be sure to make the considerations listed here so that the best, most durable waterproof model can be selected from the large number available. The right waterproof camera will take the limits off of digital photography and allow even the furthest reaches of nature to be documented and brought home for all to see and experience.

The Absolute Biggest Consideration: How Low Can it Go?

Perhaps the best comparison for waterproof cameras is another waterproof device that’s equally essential and quite sensitive: the watch. Watches weren’t always universally waterproof, and today some models still are pretty sensitive to even the water in a home’s shower or bathtub. When buying a new watch, however, consumers have learned to pay close attention to whether or not it actually is waterproof and, if so, how deep the watch can be submerged before its waterproofing technology fails to work and damage is incurred by the internal gears.

Digital cameras operate in the exact same fashion, with manufacturers producing models that can descend to varying depths with their owners. Some of the most affordable waterproof digital cameras on the market can only go to about five feet below the water’s surface, making them good for swimming pools or snorkeling, but bad for pretty much every other environment that they might be asked to endure. Thankfully, most manufacturers boldly advertise the functionality of thee cameras on their labels, eliminating the prospect of a deep-water surprise for consumers.

Before picking up and buying any digital camera advertised as waterproof, look at how many feet of water it can endure. If the rating is relatively low, keep that in mind. If a low waterproofing rating just isn’t compatible with the camera’s likely uses, simply pass over it rather than try to accommodate your travels and photos to its limitations.

Keep a Budget in Mind Before and During the Buying Process

Consumers on the market for a digital camera that is waterproof should keep in mind that they will pay a slight premium for this luxury. This is generally because it takes quite a bit of extra design and manufacturing processes to make sure that water cannot leak into any of the camera’s seams or damage any of its functions at varying depths. Be prepared to add as much as 20 percent to 25 percent of a traditional camera’s price to a waterproof model when shopping for one.

More than that, though, consider the maximum cost that should be spent on this camera. That will help narrow down the available models, as well as their features. In some cases, consumers with a tighter budget may have to sacrifice megapixels for waterproof depths, or they may have to sacrifice optical zoom for megapixel ratings, in order to get the camera that best meets their needs in the water.

Either way, having a general idea of the price that can be paid before heading to a local retailer can avoid overspending or sticker shock when looking at a waterproof model.

Check the Camera’s Buttons for “Compatibility” With Diving Gear

Consumers who are using their waterproof digital camera for diving or other activities with apparel is required should make sure that they can still use the camera when they’ve got gloves on their hands. Most diving gear significantly limits the use of the fingers, and that can make snapping pictures or changing photo settings quite challenging with some models.

It might look a bit strange, but don’t be shy about going to a local retailer with diving gear in hand. In fact, don’t even be shy about testing out the camera with that diving gear on the hands, either. This is a key way to determine whether a waterproof camera can meet the needs of each diver during use. If it can’t, there’s no reason to make sacrifices or spend money on a camera that can’t do its primary job when it’s needed the most.

Pay Careful Attention to Lighting Requirements

Some waterproof digital cameras are not able to take underwater pictures without a light source. That can make it pretty challenging to use the camera at its lowest-rated depths, or in environments like caves where natural light is distinctly lacking. Other cameras actually can take this kind of picture, as they have a different kind of sensor and a flash that is more powerful for underwater use.

Because the lack of pictures in dark environments can severely reduce the usefulness of a waterproof digital camera, consumers should always look at a camera’s specifications to see how it handles such an environment. If the camera can’t handle low light, move on and select another model that will prove more versatile and durable in a wider range of scenarios.

Choose a Powerful Optical Zoom

Underwater life is stunning and makes for excellent pictures, but it sometimes must be appreciated from a pretty far distance. Make sure that a waterproof digital camera’s optical zoom is sufficient for use when taking pictures of far-off marine life, as resorting to a digital zoom underwater can make subjects pixelated or too low-quality for picture taking.

As with All Cameras, Test and Research Before Buying

Waterproof digital cameras are a great way to take impressive pictures without being on land, but they require the same careful research and pre-purchase testing that consumers should perform on all digital imaging products. With careful buying, testing, and research, it’s easy to find the right underwater camera for each unique hobby or marine interest.

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