I’ve struggled with this for a long time. I’ve owned a total of 6 underwater digital cameras. Three of those, if you can believe it, actually got lost or stolen. One leaked and died and I still own two. I have had 2 Olympus cameras that I pretty much hated. I had three Pentax cameras that I liked very much until they evaporated into the ether. Now, I have a new Nikon (AW 100) that I’m pleased with (for the moment).
One of my major gripes with most underwater cameras is that there is a huge lag time between pressing the button and the picture actually being taken. That means you end up missing the shot. My Olympus also has this really great thing where when you turn on the camera and take a picture that setting results in a blurry picture. So, to make it take anything decent you have to turn in on and then change the picture mode.
The Nikon, for me, is pretty sweet. Very little lag time and very little delay from when you turn the camera on to when you can take your first picture. I like all of that.
I was excited to read a post over at The Trout Underground pointing to a Waterproof Shootout. This should answer some questions for ya! That link has people who actually know cameras doing a more comprehensive job of it. Worth looking at for usre.
Side note on the Nikon AW100… you can’t charge this thing with the USB. You have to have the wall mounted charger. I grabbed a charger that had “Nikon” on it and thought that would work. It won’t. Takes a different Nikon charger, which I have at home, but not with me now. Means I won’t have many pictures this weekend.