Expert Recommendation

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Best Compact Point and Shoot Digital Camera for Travel Photos Under $350 with Waterproof Body
By Fotoguy
Expert (27 Recommendations and 7 Compliments)
Send a ComplimentComplimented (Change)
August 10, 2009
Overview

Even though the 12.1 megapixel Canon Powershot D10 with its brightly colored, rounded body looks like a toy, it is not! It delivers excellent images with its quality 3X zoom lens, is freeze-proof to -10C (14F), heat-proof to 40C (104F), drop-proof from 1.2 meters, waterproof to 10 meters (33 feet) and thoroughly ruggedized. It is the perfect compact, digital point-and-shoot for the active outdoor enthusiast.

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My Best In Class Pick
Canon PowerShot D10

Canon for its first waterpoof camera pulled out all the stops in producing the Powershot D10. It looks like a toy, but underneath that colorful, rounded, unconventional looking body lies a truly superb performer. The camera is fast for a point-and-shoot, powering on in just 1.0 second and auto-focusing in 0.9 second.

The D10’s 35 to 105mm (35mm equivalent) f2.8-4.9 zoom lens has built-in optical image stabilization, and while a little stingy on the wide angle side is excellent optically, but slow at zooming taking almost two seconds to cover its entire range. However, it is well mated with a 12.1 megapixel CCD sensor producing low noise images that are sharp with lots of fine detail up to ISO 400. However, above 400 due to more aggressive noise control, sharpness and fine detail are greatly reduced. Color balance is excellent even in Auto mode, and even underwater. Auto-exposure is excellent. The built-in flash, although not all that powerful–what point-and-shoot’s is?–works well in air or water.

Features abound on the Powershot D10 including Face Detection, Blink Detection, i-Contrast Control, eighteen Scene Modes, ISOs from 80 to 1600, and a special 3200 mode which is really useless; shutter speeds from 15 to 1/1500th seconds, seven White Balance settings, and 640x480 and 320x240 30 fps movies. Sorry. No HD video available.

So, if you’re looking for a camera for your next river rafting trip to the Amazon that will fit in pocket or backpack, sheds off dirt, mud, water, takes a beating and still delivery great images, the Canon’s Powershot D10 is the camera for you.

Pros
  • +
    Waterproof to 10 meters
  • +
    Build quality
  • +
    Ruggedized
  • +
    Image Stabilization (in lens)
  • +
    DIGIC-4 Image Processor
  • +
    i-Contrast Control
  • +
    Face Detection
Cons
  • -
    Zoom Range
  • -
    No HD video
  • -
    Size
Canon PowerShot D10 is the Best Compact Point and Shoot Digital Camera for Travel Photos Under $350 with Waterproof Body
Where to buy
Canon PowerShot D10
  • Best Price: $239
    Amazon See It »
Specifications
  • Zoom: 3.0x
  • Resolution: 12.1MP
  • Size: 4.1 x 2.6 x 1.9 in.
  • Battery Life: 220 shots
  • Waterproof: Yes
  • Easy to Use: Yes
More
Want More Opinions? See:
Website Reviews (3 reviews)
  • Highly Recommended at DPReview.com
  • Dave's Pick at Imaging-Resource.com
  • Rated Very Good by CNET.com

Comparing My Best In Class Pick with Other Good Choices

Product
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Canon PowerShot D10
2
Pentax Optio W60
Customer Rating
Price $239.95 $449.99
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Effective Sensor Resolution
12.1 megapixels 10.0 megapixels
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Shutter Lag Time (including auto-focus time)
0.9 sec 0.4 sec
Power to First Shot Time 1.0 sec 2.7 sec
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Min Focal Length (35 mm equivalent)
35 mm 28 mm
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Max Focal Length (35 mm equivalent)
105 mm 140 mm
Image Stabilization Type Yes (in lens) No
Min Focus Distance (not macro) 19.7 in. 19.7 in.
Min Focus Distance (macro) 1.2 in. 0.4 in.
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Max Aperture (wide-angle)
f/2.8 f/3.5
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Max Aperture (tele-photo)
f/4.9 f/5.5
Video Available Yes Yes
HD Video Available No Yes
Max Video Resolution 640 x 480 pixels 1280 x 720 pixels
Max Video Frame Rate (max resolution) 30 frames/sec 15 frames/sec
Min ISO Setting 80 50
Max ISO Setting 3200 6400
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Viewfinder Available
No No
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LCD Screen Size
2.5 in. 2.5 in.
LCD Screen Resolution 230000 pixels 230000 pixels
Waterproof Yes Yes
Battery Life 220 shots 205 shots
Size (W x H x D) 4.0 x 2.6 x 1.9 in. 3.9 x 2.2 x 1.0 in.
Weight (with batteries) 6.7 oz 5.8 oz
2
Pentax Optio W60

Pentax Optio W60 comes in a very close second to the Canon Powershot D10. Image quality is almost as good even though the W60 has a 10 megapixel sensor instead of 12. What mostly relegated it to Number Two, but still recommended, was its 4 meter (13 feet) waterproof rating. However, it has a longer 5X zoom lens (28 to 140mm equivalent), 720p HD video, if only at 15 fps; and is smaller and lighter.

Pentax Optio W60 is one of the Best Compact Point and Shoot Digital Cameras for Travel Photos Under $350 with Waterproof Body
Where to buy
Pentax Optio W60
Specifications
  • Zoom: 5.0x
  • Resolution: 10.0MP
  • Size: 3.9 x 2.2 x 1.0 in.
  • Battery Life: 205 shots
  • Waterproof: Yes
  • Easy to Use: Yes
More
Want More Opinions? See:
Website Reviews (2 reviews)
  • Recommended at DPReview.com
  • Dave's Pick at Imaging-Resource.com

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