Pogue Reviews Waterproof Cams, Sanyo Xacti E1 Floats Above the Competition

Illustration for article titled Pogue Reviews Waterproof Cams, Sanyo Xacti E1 Floats Above the Competition

Pogue takes a a few waterproof cams down to the local waterpark for testing and finds Sanyo's 6MP Xacti E1 to be of better image and video quality than the rest. I've always found the Xacti cam's nice, but the low light performance to be lacking. That doesn't matter when you're talking about beach and pool time, however. I believe its image quality is better than the other cams in this roundup, but it's only rated to 5 feet of depth.

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He also tests two traditionally shaped 7MP cameras, the Optio W30 ($237) and Olympus's Stylus 770 SW ($270). The Olympus is a fully rugged setup, shock and extreme temperature resistant, good down to 33 feet of water; the Pentax is good for 10 feet at two hours. I've used the previous generation Pentax and loved it for hawaii conditions. But I did lose it on a reef and only then did I learn what Pogue points out: None of these damn things float. [NYTimes]

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DISCUSSION

I own an Olympus 770 SW (I owned the 720 SW before it) and it is an amazing camera. I'm currently using it in a variety of ways in Dubrovnik, Croatia in the Adriatic Sea. I've taken my 770 SW down to 45 feet SCUBA Diving before chickening out and coming back up to around 30 feet. I was under for about an hour and had zero issues taking pictures. When I returned to the surface and showed the divemaster, he was shocked at the extremely high quality of the underwater shots. He also thought it was great when I threw it against the deck of the boat a few times and turned it on without any trouble due to its shock restistance.

I've also received wows for its above-water performance. My only complaint is taking night scene photos in low light - particularly landscape pics. You have to buy a tripod or set the camera down on a wall or some other inanimate object to really get the best quality picture.

I mostly love my camera because of the horrified looks I get from many Europeans as I casually jump into the water for a swim with my very non-waterproof looking 770 SW tethered to my wrist. I then pop out of the water and take pictures of their shocked faces.

Sorry. I finally had to switch over from Gizmodo Voyeur to Commenter and pop my commenting cherry.