Revealed : 10 Digital Waterproof Cameras for Under $200 Bucks

surfer using onboard handsfree waterproof camera

A view from the GoPro SURF camera. The waterproof camera can snap your picture every 2 seconds or record the video of your actions for nearly 1 hour while you surf.

Photo credit Marlin Photo

Everybody knows that a waterproof camera is not cheap. Unless it’s a disposable one you buy from that small camera shop by the beach.

But right here I’m going to reveal to you not one — but 10 non-disposable, digital waterproof camera that you can buy for under $200 bucks.

Yes, there are waterproof cameras at this price.

waterproof camera under $200

From top: Pentax Optio W80, Fuji XP10, Intova's SS1000 and lastly the GoPro Wrist HERO

1. Pentax Optio W80 | $180

The 12 Megapixel Pentax Optio W80 was supposed to be Pentax’s most rugged camera in 2009 and replace the earlier W60. But when critics complain about it’s grainy pictures, the price goes on a free fall. Now it’s 40% cheaper.

This Pentax has a HD quality video as well as a wideangle lens – not something you usually find at this price tag. It’s also freezeproof and shockproof from falls of up to 3 feet.

If you only need postcard size pictures from your waterproof camera, Optio W80 is a good contender.

2.Pentax WS80 | $125

An entry level waterproof camera, the 10 Megapixel WS80 is only waterproof to 5 ft – so it’s only useful around the pool or shallow river.

But it has HD video and Auto-tracking to maintain focus on moving subjects. If that is not enough, it even have  a weird function that makes people with big faces look more attractive.

Launched in August 2009 for $250, it’s now 50% cheaper.

3.Fuji Z33WP | $170 or less

This entry level 10 Megapixel camera was a hit in 2009 because it’s one of those rare sub-$200 waterproof digital camera in the market.

It can shoot around 200 pictures per charge and comes with a commendable 2.7 inch LCD. The picture quality is acceptable if you mainly shoot outside but don’t expect much indoor.

Here’s a tip. If color is not important, get the black one as it’s normally $20 cheaper.

4.Olympus Stylus 550 WP | $180

This 10 Megapixel camera used to be Fuji’s z33WP rival in 2009. It’s waterproof up to 10 feet and has a 3x zoom. But like most Olympus cameras before 2010, it uses a non-standard xD or microSD memory card.

5.GoPro Surf Hero | $159.99

Need a handsfree camera? Just mount the 5 Megapixel Surf HERO on your surf board, set it on and it will shoot videos or snap your pictures automatically every few seconds.

A 2Gb SD-card (not included) will record 56 minutes of video or nearly 2,000 photos, enough to squeeze tears of boredom from your officemates. And it’s waterproof to 100 feet (30 m) – deeper than any rugged cameras in the market today thanks to an added casing.

6.GoPro Wrist Hero | $139.99

The wrist HERO one is similar to the above camera in term of the specifications. But instead of using a suction cup, you use an adjustable strap to put it flat on the wrist. So when you need to take a picture, just raise your hand and shoot.

7.Fuji XP10 | $199.95

The XP10 may probably be one of the best deal for 2010. The company says it will release the XP10 in February, so you’ll probably find it in stores right now.

This 12 Megapixel camera has a HD video, 5X zoom and is waterproof to up to 3m. It even have a metal body.

While it looks similar to the low end Fuji Z33WP, this one is freezeproof and shockproof.

8.Samsung AQ 100 | $199.99

This year, the Korean giant’s first waterproof camera will go head to head with Fuji’s XP10. In term of specifications, it is almost the same as the XP10. But I heard that it will only be shipped in late March.

9.GE G5 WP| $180

This is another waterproof camera for the pool or shallow water. Rated to be waterproof up to 10 feet, the 12.2 Megapixel was unveiled to reporters in February, so you probably need to wait a few more months before seeing one in stores.

It has 4x zoom and supports up to 8 Gb of SD storage card. But there’s no HD video.

10.Intova SS1000 | $39

Now, if your budget is really tight and a disposable is not an option, you might want to consider the Intova SS1000. This transparent camera uses 2 AAA batteries and supports a microSD storage card of up to 2GB.

No, it’s not a disposable camera. It’s just a really, really cheap waterproof camera. If the picture sucks, you can just throw this camera into the sea.

I know, there’s no Sony or Canon up there. But don’t blame me because they both sell for more than $300.

What do I recommend ?: If you’re into action sports, definitely go for the Hero cameras.

But if you’re looking for a waterproof camera just for an occasional trip to the beach, you might want to look at the rugged W80 or Fuji XP10.

Now, which one will you choose ? | Here’s a link to all available cameras in one page

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1 Comment

  1. best waterproof camera
    March 14, 2011, 9:08 am

    Id go for the Pentax Optio W80. I have it and it rocks

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