Some divers love taking underwater pictures as do the staff at Coconut Tree Divers. The question arises time and time again as to which camera and housing to buy. We were looking for an entry level camera for the new underwater photographer. Also, for a solution to use as a rental camera that would not break the bank. With that mentioned, we also wanted a camera that took good quality pictures. Finally we wanted something that was easy to use.
Enter the 12.1 mega pixels Canon PowerShot SD1300 IS Digital Elph. As of this writing the Camera can be purchased via eBay for $150.00 or less. It is a small and compact point and shoot, likely the standard these days. The housing we selected for this camera is a Canon WP-DC36. It retails on Amazon for $190. There are several waterproof cameras but as of late they are limited to about 33 feet. There is plenty of life at that depth, but our morning dives are generally down to 100 feet. The afternoon dives max out at 60 feet. Until these depths increase we will continue purchasing housings for our cameras.
Originally we were thinking of purchasing the Canon PowerShot G12. That is an excellent choice, but quite more expensive. Jose, our in house photographer started searching and purchased an SD1300 for himself. It has worked superbly. It is extremely easy to use and provided you put a big enough SD card in it, video is also available. As part of our Divemaster program we have started to get DMts who are further along in the program to take pictures. We want them to experience taking the pictures and uploading them to social media sites. Also to be able to put together movie clips which may also be shared online or on a flat screen at the shop. Many of the shots on our Facebook page come from this little camera. We are not implying that the more expensive solutions do not work, simply that this one does. As someone trying to purchase all your gear, the dollars add up quickly.
It has an underwater setting. The flash can be turned on or off with ease, macro mode is available and the video mode is also accessible underwater. Some cameras don't let you switch. This camera gets a double OK.