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ASID Industry Partner

July 15-31, 2006


TECH SUPPORT

Watertight
by Greg Tarr

NEW DIGITAL CAMERAS BLUR THE LINE BETWEEN SURF AND TURF

Last issue, we told you about the latest digital cameras. But in most instances, water and digital photography don't mix. Or do they? Camera companies have recently added new waterproof models and watertight cases to their lines—indispensable products for boating trips or beach volleyball games, where water or sand can infiltrate and ruin a traditional camera. Some of the new models are even appropriate for scuba diving.

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Pentax, for example, has long offered underwater cases for some of its digital camera models, but its OptioWPi waterproof models, which sell for about $300, don't require cases for protection. The cameras' regular housings will keep out sand, dust and water up to a depth of about five feet. These tiny units come in a choice of red, blue and silver body colors and offer six-megapixel resolution and a built-in 3x zoom lens.

Going deeper, SeaLife, a camera manufacturer specializing in underwater photography equipment, offers a five-megapixel digital camera called the DC500, which, like the OptioWPi, doesn't require a separate case and can be taken to depths of up to 200 feet. The camera runs about $680 at scuba diving shops and some electronics retail stores. Skin and scuba divers will enjoy its "shark mode" that enables taking fast shots of quickly moving underwater objects. Although designed for the water, the DC500 is equally adept at picture-taking on land with its built-in 3x zoom lens.

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