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Finding a sturdy digital camera

pentax-200×148.jpgI have been saving up for a digital camera that I can bring on camp-outs. I have been looking for a while but am not sure what to buy and what I will really need. If I were to buy a camera it would need to be capable of going underwater and capable of falling and taking a beating. I am looking forward to doing more advanced things in Scouts but want to be able to show my family and friends. I have been struggling with this for a while and came to you since I know you will point me in the right direction.

—Sean the Shutterbug, Madison, NJ

A: Hey Sean. First off, you’re not alone: There are so many cool new digital cameras on the market these days it can be overwhelming indeed.

So before you buy, start by taking a look at our Gear Guy buyers guide here.

From what you told me in your email—especially the bit about needing a camera that’s capable of going underwater—you’ve really narrowed down your choices.

A good option is the new Pentax Optio W30 ($300; 1-800-877-0155 or It has a 7.1-megapixel resolution, lots of cool automatic photo modes, and it’ll handle a dunking down to a depth of 10 feet. It’s also small enough to tuck in your pocket while hiking, and sturdy enough to handle a beating—especially when you protect it with the optional slip-on rubber cover.

If $300 is out of your budget, check out the Optio W20—it’s basically the same camera, just an older model. One of my buddies is a professional photographer and it’s the camera he uses when he doesn’t want to lug around all of his camera gear. You can find it at sites like for about $240.

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9 Comments on Finding a sturdy digital camera

  1. Thanks for tip on this camera. Just what I’ve been looking for – AND there’s even a $30 rebate now through January on their website!

  2. hey, pack rat. When I go to summer camp I put it all in a 30 gal plastic tub

    P.S. its alot easier to ft all your syuffis you role up your clthes tightly

  3. no free gear amigo

  4. i mean please

  5. I need lots of gear i dont even have any. Lease help me out

  6. drummer1031 // July 10, 2007 at 5:09 pm // Reply

    i really need a hiking backpack. i’m tired of using my dads thats about to rip any second and its really old. i need one cheap, long lasting and durable. please help.

  7. me dude 53 // July 8, 2007 at 11:36 am // Reply


  8. summer pack rat // July 3, 2007 at 4:10 pm // Reply

    What kind of gear should you take to summer camp? Mainly, i want to know what a good way to carry it all in is- duffel bag, backpack (hiking kind, not school kind), suitcase, or some other kind of hard casing?

  9. I really want to get a light weight backpacking tent but my troop is small and we

    don`t go on many hike ins I don`t kknow if i should stay with the one I have or get a new one could you give me some advice?

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