Canon D20When shopping for the best waterproof camera with optical zoom it’s important that consumers understand the difference between digital and optical ratings. Most consumers tend not to pay much attention to them, but rather focus more on other features on the camera that may be more important. The question of zoom ratings come into question once the user begins taking pictures.

What needs to be understood is that digital zoom is just a nice term used to sell cameras. The actual feature to look for is the optical rating. The digital aspect of picture taking doesn’t bring the subject in closer for the photo, but actually magnifies your subject, for example like a magnifying glass.  The portion of the image you want to bring in close is cropped so to speak and then digitally enlarged to the size of the viewfinder.  This actually simulates optical close ups, but what results is a loss of image quality.

Experts agree that the optical rating of a camera is an important feature to consider than digital. An optical lens moves the subject closer for taking a photograph without sacrificing image quality. The higher the optical rating, the farther away you can be from your subject and still obtain a decent, clear, close-up image.

With all this being said, you may be even more confused. The point is when choosing the best waterproof camera with optical zoom, you have to compare other features of the model that are important to you and not just focus on the optical number. So, you want to choose a model that has features that compliment your optical choice. All the features taken together will provide you with a nice quality image.

The bestselling waterproof cameras with optical zoom have 4x, 4.6x and 5x ratings. These models also have other features designed to assist in producing superior photograph results. This can also be judged by reading consumer reviews and images submitted by users of the camera you’re considering. Keep in mind that specialty cameras like the waterproof ‘tough’ models have modest optical levels, but you will find much higher options on DSLR or SLR models.

As far as which cameras are recommended, the Panasonic Lumix DMC-TS20 has a 2.7 inch LCD display, 4x optical, 16MP resolution and video records at HD 720P. Based on consumer reviews, video and photos submitted by users, this camera seems to be a good buy. Not only is it a bestseller, but it is also one of the most wished for, gifted and popular models on Amazon. The images and videos are acceptable with most users stating they really like the camera because of the quality of the images and video. You can take a look at user submitted images and video by clicking here.

The Canon PowerShot D20 has a 3 inch LCD display, 5x optical with image stabilization, 12MP resolution and video recording at HD 1080P. Experts state the higher the optical rating, the more the device would need some type of image stabilization because the image will shake. Take a look at the images from the PowerShot D20 by clicking here.

Last, but not least is the Olympus TG-1iHS. This model has a 3 inch LCD display, 4x optical, 12MP resolution, GPS & eCompass and video records at HD 1080P. It also has some great photography features that enhance the picture taking qualities of the camera. It is also crushproof up to 220 pounds.  Checkout consumer submitted images by clicking here.

Photography experts state to always look for focal length, which is indicated by a 35mm equivalent or as a comparison to a 35mm film camera. Further, compare optical ratings of each camera, but do not make the mistake of comparing optical ratings and megapixel resolution. Optical levels are not dependent on the number of megapixels a camera may have because the resolution of the final image doesn’t change no matter how much you close in on your subject. However, the same cannot be said of digital levels because as you zoom in your subject image quality is reduced.

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Filed under: Waterproof Camera Buying Tips

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