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In the freezing cold of late winter, it’s hard to imagine using an underwater camera – unless you were lucky enough to escape to one of the tropical paradises in our Pacific backyard. Then what better way to remember your winter than by looking at photos of coral and fish in those warm reef waters.
I did this recently. Before heading off on a trip to Rarotonga, I picked up the Canon PowerShot D30 – a rugged little camera that’s completely waterproof.
It feels odd walking into the ocean holding a piece of technology and even odder swimming with a camera on your wrist. But it’s worth it. The camera comes with a special filter for taking underwater shots (and you have to remember to turn it off when you get out, if you don’t want your next photos to have an orange tint).
The photos are fantastic. However, unless you’re a gun at aiming while floating, I recommend using the video function more often. And when you leave the water remember to rinse it in fresh water and then clean off the lens.
While it’s a heavy little beast, the big chunky buttons and rugged construction help when you use it in water. It also reassures you it’ll really take the punishment. (It’s also shock proof but I didn’t test this.)
Out of the water, it takes perfectly good photos – making it a good all-rounder.
Overall score includes:
Image quality (50%): Unless otherwise stated the cameras are set to full automatic function – including exposure, white balance and focus – with maximum resolution and image quality setting in JPEG.
Ease of use (30%): An evaluation of the manual, viewfinder, monitor, data transfer, shutter delay, inserting/removing memory, changing settings, controls and batteries.
Screen (10%): A rating of image quality of the screen, and the difference between the height and width displayed and what is recorded on the final image.
Video quality (10%): A rating of the quality of short video clips.
Flash (0%): A rating of the strength and evenness of the flash lighting at different distances. Does not add to overall score.
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