Waterproof Cameras

Being on the water as much as we do, we have quite a list of lost, broken, abused, and waterlogged cameras! The 2 cameras we are now using for our kayak tours photos are the Cannon SD800 with the waterproof housing, and the Optio stylus wp. We originally were using a Cannon SD 400 with the waterproof housing, but it was lost on a tour.

The Cannon SD800 IS w/Waterproof housing


  • Bigger Buttons to push
  • Larger and easier to find
  • Takes abuse
  • Takes fast pictures
  • Good Quality
  • View finder


  • You have to keep the inside lens of the waterproof housing clean as well as the lens of the camera you are using
  • we had one of the buttons to turn on the power on the inside of the housing get free an
  • old battery charger does not work with new batteries(is this an annoyance of anyone else)

The Optio Stylus WP

  • Smaller
  • takes good panoramic pictures
  • good resistance to cold
  • slips in your pocket and is not obtuse


  • Gets washed out with light easily
  • Slower to take a picture(Not good, as you float by what you want to take)
  • No viewfinder
  • grainy images
  • xd card(you need another card reader if your computer doesn’t read xd cards)
  • hard to look at viewing screen with sun on it
  • horrible battery life with stock battery

Tips to using a camera on the water

  • Turn the camera’s options to stay on all the time, but have it shut off the display after 30seconds, that way you don’t have to turn the camera on and wait for it to load before every photo as well as it somewhat saving the batter.
  • shoot with the sun at your back or to the side to reduce glare
  • shoot with the sun directly in front of you if you are looking to get a great silhouette photo
  • Rain-x on the outside lens of the waterproof housing will stream the water off the lens and reduce unwanted water marks on the lens.
  • Attach your camera to your life jacket, but make sure that you can use it within eyes distance and that it does not impede your safety or paddle stroke or bounce around(I don’t like it hanging from my neck for very long, I like it carabinered to my pfd and laying in my lap.

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