Underwater Cameras

zerolimit

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I have the Olympus 770.

Pros: Great case design, super rugged, good battery life. very small

Cons: Poor focusing and light balancing. Shots are really hit and miss. Some will be just crystal clear with deep rich colors. Next shot under the same conditions will be washed out and lacking crisp detail.

I don't know from experience but from the pictures I've seen posted, the new Optio from Pentaxt takes better pictures than my Olympus.
 

Joni

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I have the Olympus 770.

Pros: Great case design, super rugged, good battery life. very small

Cons: Poor focusing and light balancing. Shots are really hit and miss. Some will be just crystal clear with deep rich colors. Next shot under the same conditions will be washed out and lacking crisp detail.

I don't know from experience but from the pictures I've seen posted, the new Optio from Pentaxt takes better pictures than my Olympus.


The 770 also says ALL-WEATHER not WATER PROOF, just like my 730. You are right about them being very LIGHT sensative. Barely turn and it will change colors. Like I said, I miss the view finder. I like this camera, but as someone who has had both Pentax and Olympus, I am going to say in the $400 and less price range, Pentax is the best. But, you will miss out on some features going with the waterproof models in the same price range.
 

zerolimit

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The 770 also says ALL-WEATHER not WATER PROOF, just like my 730. You are right about them being very LIGHT sensative. Barely turn and it will change colors. Like I said, I miss the view finder. I like this camera, but as someone who has had both Pentax and Olympus, I am going to say in the $400 and less price range, Pentax is the best. But, you will miss out on some features going with the waterproof models in the same price range.
Joni,

Mine's the SW model. Maybe there is more than one version of the 770. I'm not sure. From the manufacturer's site:

Shockproof. Waterproof. Freezeproof. Crushproof. Introducing the world's most durable digital camera — the Olympus Stylus 770 SW. You can drop it (from 5ft), dunk it (to 33ft), freeze it (-10°C/14°F) or even try to crush it (up to 220lbf).

I've had it down to about 15ft, confirmed drop test performance, down to about 27 F, and sat on it with my 215lbs arse. OK so far and that's all well and good but I'm disapointed in metering and focusing.
 

Joni

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There must be a couple of models of 770. Like you said the SW says it all.
For the price I got mine I am not going to complain....much;-)
 

zerolimit

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If it weren't for modern photo editing software, i would have ditched mine despite it being the best design concept for a small field camera I've seen.

I would like a viewfinder too. I still find myself putting the thing up to my eye like it's going to do any good. I took my 1972 Nikon out to the river a couple of months back because I've got some cool filters for it (including Polar). Granted, that old camera takes fabulous pictures anyway, but I was shocked at how much better they look than my dig.
 

Fly2Fish

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The 770 also says ALL-WEATHER not WATER PROOF, just like my 730.
Joni, per online reviews Olympus Stylus 770 SW Digital Camera Review the Olympus Stylus 770 SW is waterproof, and to 33 feet. This in addition to being ruggedized against extreme temperatures and five-foot drops, sitting on camera, etc. Of as much interest to me, however, the Olympus appears to have a smaller footprint than the Pentax Optio W30, being 3.6" in its largest dimension (width) compared to 4.2" for the Pentax's largest dimension (again, width). Overall, the Pentax measures 20% larger than the Olympus, not an inconsiderable amount when you consider the competition for equipment space while wading. Of course, like everything else in life, there's trade-offs, and it appears from reading this thread that the Pentax might be the superior camera in its picture-taking versatility. However, for the sole purpose of taking pictures of trout and not landscapes, macros of insects, etc., the smaller footprint of the Olympus might be worth those trade-offs to some.
 

zerolimit

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Joni, per online reviews Olympus Stylus 770 SW Digital Camera Review the Olympus Stylus 770 SW is waterproof, and to 33 feet. This in addition to being ruggedized against extreme temperatures and five-foot drops, sitting on camera, etc. Of as much interest to me, however, the Olympus appears to have a smaller footprint than the Pentax Optio W30, being 3.6" in its largest dimension (width) compared to 4.2" for the Pentax's largest dimension (again, width). Overall, the Pentax measures 20% larger than the Olympus, not an inconsiderable amount when you consider the competition for equipment space while wading. Of course, like everything else in life, there's trade-offs, and it appears from reading this thread that the Pentax might be the superior camera in its picture-taking versatility. However, for the sole purpose of taking pictures of trout and not landscapes, macros of insects, etc., the smaller footprint of the Olympus might be worth those trade-offs to some.
The size factor and durability were the kickers for me too at the time of purchase. It is a great wading/hiking tool. However, there have been a bunch of times in the last year that I found myself wishing I had a better picture and would have put up with a bigger camera to get it. Your mileage may vary.
 

Joni

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I still find myself putting the thing up to my eye like it's going to do any good.


LMAO me too.


Fly2Fish, thanks by the way. My camera has all the other details EXCEPT the waterproof. It does take great macros though. I just got so use to my Pentax Si and it took some fantastic pictures. I didn't care if I took pictures underwater. Just too bad I missed the bag on my tube and it was floating for several hours.
2007 has bee the year for great losses for me and the camera is amoung one of them. Just got to get tuned into the olympus plus get the down loading down again.
 

Fly2Fish

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Joni, you have had some tough losses this year. It's bad enough when they occur one at a time, but when they bunch up like that, it's really tough.

BTW, I just found out from one of the Olympus Stylus 770 SW reviews that the "S" stands for shockproof, and the "W" for waterproof. I'm just amazed they kept the same model number, with only that distinction for such a major change. That same review listed it as a "Top Five Compact Camera" (& the only one in that class that was waterproof), with "good" imaging. Given how electronics change so rapidly with consequent price drops, I'll probably wait to buy until just before I go fly-fishing this spring, but for right now, this is the camera I'd get. No worry about dropping or dunking it, and the smallest footprint in its waterproof class.

Hope you have a nice Christmas and a great New Year!

Cheers, Neil
 

Jackster

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Is the lens on that Olympus motor driven and does it protrude when you turn it on? That's one of the reasons I sold my Olympus digital before getting the Pentax.
Also, I wouldn't forsake good image quality for something that's just a little bit smaller. The bottom line IS the picture, right? :icon_wink



 

zerolimit

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Is the lens on that Olympus motor driven and does it protrude when you turn it on?
No, the lense is all internal and fixed. There is a little servo powered lense cover that actuates like a shutter when you power off.
 

Fly2Fish

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. . .I wouldn't forsake good image quality for something that's just a little bit smaller. The bottom line IS the picture, right? :icon_wink
Well, yes, but that's a false comparison between the Olympus and the Pentax (among a pretty small universe of waterproof - not just water resistant) compact cameras. As I mentioned, the Olympus rated in the Top Five Compact Cameras in at least one review I read, with "good" image production, although anecdotal comments in this thread seem to indicate that the Pentax may have the edge on macros and certain other features (not borne out by the reviews), which extra features may or may not matter to the photographer.

As someone who has more - and far more expensive - cameras than fly rods from my days as a professional photographer longer ago than I care to admit, I've learned over the years that the bigger the camera's "footprint", the less likely I am to carry it along if it's an adjunct to another activity like fly-fishing. While I've carried expensive non-waterproof cameras along with me on the river, I was so nervous about dropping them in the water that it detracted a good deal from the fun of the trip. And there are plenty of other Posters on this thread who will attest to the ease in dropping a camera in the water, with always-fatal results.

Bottom line: There's no area more obviously subject to trade-offs than cameras - we all know this: fast lenses with wide apertures = large heavy lenses, etc. With digital, however, even though electronics cannot overcome the deficiency of inferior glass lenses, smaller can be better (but usually at a higher price).

Just my two cents . . .
 

Jackster

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Well, yes, but that's a false comparison between the Olympus and the Pentax (among a pretty small universe of waterproof - not just water resistant)
The Pentax W30 is waterproof for up to 2 hours at 10' depth. That should be plenty for all but the hardiest or clumsiest fly fishers.

As I mentioned, the Olympus rated in the Top Five Compact Cameras in at least one review I read, with "good" image production
Were all 5 camera's waterproof and was the waterproof Pentax in that test? Apples-for-apples means much more

As someone who has more - and far more expensive - cameras than fly rods from my days as a professional photographer longer ago than I care to admit
What was your film camera brand of choice and did you use Olympus then too?

I've learned over the years that the bigger the camera's "footprint", the less likely I am to carry it along if it's an adjunct to another activity like fly-fishing.
That's why it's so great both the Pentax and the late-comer to the waterproof/water resistant digital camera scene, Olympus, are so small. Both are really quite comparable to each other in side, especially when compared to dragging an SLR on the water.
 

Fly2Fish

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The Pentax W30 is waterproof for up to 2 hours at 10' depth. That should be plenty for all but the hardiest or clumsiest fly fishers.
Absolutely right.

Were all 5 camera's waterproof and was the waterproof Pentax in that test? Apples-for-apples means much more.
No, the only waterproof camera in that comparison was the Olympus. But all that tells you is that the Olympus rated well in the Compact Camera segment, even among non-waterproof cameras.

What was your film camera brand of choice and did you use Olympus then too?
Nope - Nikon was my preference. Never used Olympus.

That's why it's so great both the Pentax and the late-comer to the waterproof/water resistant digital camera scene, Olympus, are so small. Both are really quite comparable to each other in side, especially when compared to dragging an SLR on the water.
I couldn't agree more. It's a great time to be picking cameras in the tough world of waterproof/shockproof/etc.
Jackster, didn't mean to raise your hackles . . . just my opinion, FWIW.
 
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