By Chip Lenkiewicz, Penn Camera Tysons Corner
I have been a big fan of these cameras, in particular those that are drop-proof from at least five feet. But I wanted to share a lesson learned from one of the first beach-proof cameras - an older Pentax Optio. An expensive lesson for me... never borrow a camera from a friend. My tale begins with a cruise I was taking. I was going to to hang poolside and do some snorkeling - that is where it got expensive.
I took my friends camera with me thinking of pools and beaches. And some simple snorkeling. So for snorkeling I never thought I would meet the 10 foot depth of this Pentax Optio. I thought that in snorkeling I never get deeper than the 10 foot depth that camera was rated for. Boy was I wrong!In the end I flooded the camera and had to replace it. This is one of the reasons I suggest underwater cameras for snorkeling that go to 30 feet.
So my advice is that if these cameras are more about the beach, pool, and sand - then cameras that are between 10-15 feet are great- otherwise opt for one that is more robust.