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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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10 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. The BL is so cool, I mean it has everthing. You can get the right type of gear from the Gear Guy. You can also see the currents in the main section. And to make your friend laugh there is the Think & Grin jokes, but best of all you get money for submiting jokes. Life is good.

    P.S, Do you think the “Girl Scouts” have this much

    P.P.S, I don’t even think they get a magazine

  10. 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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