By Christina VanGinkel
A few years ago, my family took a vacation to a Waterpark. We did so again this year. Having purchased a brand new digital camera just before this departure, and ironically right before our getaway a few years ago, it was a shock to my husband each time when I told him that we needed to grab a disposable camera before we headed off to our destination. The first time he asked if I was afraid of my new camera being stolen. I told him that had nothing to do with it. I needed a waterproof camera for snapshots inside the Waterpark itself. This time around, when I again said we needed to grab a disposable, he questioned if the new camera was not at the least water resistant. No, it was not I replied. He responded with the reply that you would think manufacturers of digital cameras would ever get with the program and create a waterproof camera.
Well, browsing the site CamerasandCameras.com the other day, I decided to do a quick search for a 'waterproof digital'. I was pleasantly rewarded with just such a camera. The Pentax Optio WP 5MP Waterproof Digital Camera with 3x Optical Zoom offered exactly the options I would have chosen were they available before I purchased my first camera several years ago. This camera has one feature that I like right off, that being the 3X optic lens. While some people may be content with a digital zoom, I feel they are redundant in today's computer world, nothing more than a fancy way to say that you are cropping the picture, while an optic lens is a true zoom, bringing your subject in closer for a clearer shot from a distance.
The Optio WP 5MP Waterproof Digital Camera with 3x Optical Zoom is also waterproof, not just water resistant. It can handle being underwater, up to 1.5 meters for half an hour at a time. This can go from the pool, to the lake, even beneath the big water bucket dump at your favorite Waterpark. Imagine all the cool photos you can capture with this, and not worry about whether or not you got the shot you were trying to capture, as you do with the waterproof disposables that are so common.
If the camera gets sand on it beachside, no worries there either, as you can just run it beneath the faucet for a quick rinse. As to size, it is both flat and small so it can easily be tucked into the pocket of your shorts or slipped into your beach bag with ease. It has a large, two-inch LCD screen for easy viewing, and with its 5.0 Effective Megapixels you can easily print pictures up to an astounding 13 x 17-inch. Not to be outdone, this camera also has features rarely all seen together in one single camera. Recovery Function for Erased Images, Synchronous Sound Record which lets you actually record a sound byte to accompany your still shot (perfect for capturing the sounds of your family's shrill screams as the huge buckets of water pour down on them all in good fun!), red eye, and macro mode. Along with full-color, black and white and sepia color modes available even during movie mode, a green mode (allows you to save settings), and continuous AF and Tracking AF, this camera is a great all around camera that can work literally anyplace. Pricing varies, but this camera is comparable in price to some other cameras with half the features.