When it comes to buying cameras these days, there are way too many choices: Megapixels, zoom lenses, DSLRs, HDR. You practically need an engineering degree to sift through all the information. Now throw in the challenge of trying to find a waterproof version with everything you need and you’ve reached a whole new level of confusion. To provide some help, we’ve chosen five rugged, waterproof cameras that are perfect for documenting your best memories at the cottage.
Canon Powershot D20 ($299)
The Powershot D20 is a great fit for outdoor and underwater adventures. Waterproof up to 33 feet, temperature-resistant from -10°C to 40°C, shockproof up to 5 feet, and equipped with a GPS tracker, this thing is loaded and rugged. With a 12.1 megapixel sensor, a 5x optical zoom (this will create superior images to digital zoom), and a wide-angle capability of 28mm, the price is right. In the tough compact range of cameras, this is a solid option and will also film 1080 HD video with the touch of a button.
GoPro Hero3 Black Edition ($399)
The people over at GoPro are not messing around. And you’d be hard pressed to beat this 12-megapixel camera. While not waterproof itself, the included housing is submersible up to 60 feet. The image quality is top-notch. But the great thing about the GoPro is all the add-ons. Whether combining with apps on your iPhone or other GoPro add-ons, you can do just about anything with these little cameras: Time-lapse photography, HD movies, and built-in Wi-Fi make this a solid choice for an underwater camera. The lack of a LCD screen can be tough to deal with, but you can also buy add-on backpack screens, or link it to your phone to see what’s going on.
Nikon Coolpix Aw110 ($325)
Nikon claims this camera to be waterproof, freezeproof, and shockproof. And for all intensive purposes, it is. Waterproof to up 59 feet, temperature resistant to -10°C, and able to stand a drop of 5.6 feet is a good start to a tough camera. Add to that a 16-megapixel sensor, 1080 HD video capability, GPS mapping, and a 5x optical zoom and this is a serious contender for your cash. For me, a major selling point would be the built in Wi-Fi: This is a feature that all cameras will have soon enough, as it allows you to instantly send images to your device and the share it via social media. Pretty cool if you ask me. Plus, this camera comes in a cool red, blue, or camouflage body.
Otterbox Armor Series ($100)
Sure, it’s not a camera, but let’s face facts here: Every one of us has a camera in our hand at nearly all times during the day. It already cost us a ton of money and it takes pretty amazing photos. Smartphones are more common than ants at a picnic these days, so why not make it waterproof and durable, too? The greatest thing about the smartphone camera is that we always have it with us. And if it’s waterproof, then we really can take it wherever we want. The Otterbox can do this for you.
Olympus TG-2 iHS ($350)
Not only is the Olympus TG-2 waterproof up to 50 feet, shockproof from 7 feet, and freezeproof up to -10°C, it’s also crushproof (to 220lbs) and dustproof! On top of being one tough little cookie, it features a 12 megapixel sensor, 1080 HD video, 4x optical zoom, plus another 4x digital zoom giving you an effective zoom of 8x. This camera also features GPS capabilities allowing you to track where you’ve been and where each image was taken. A couple of add-ons are also available for this camera, including a fisheye lens and a tele-converter for extra zoom.