Last Christmas I bought my mom a digital camera for our vacation. Because I knew there would be snorkelling trips, I chose the waterproof Fuji FinePix XP30. I chose it because I bought the XP10 before going to Hawaii, and for such an affordable little camera I was pleased with the results.
The idea of snorkelling without being able to take pictures was a horrible thought to me, but the waterproof casing for my 7D was, the last I checked, completely beyond my finances (>4000 ish). By comparison I bought my mom the XP30 for about $150 Canadian.
The little camera is dust proof, shock proof and apparently freeze proof, in addition to being waterproof up to 10 feet. It takes pretty decent photos above water as well – here is a pic of a little hermit crab that we intruded upon.
The main problem I found with the underwater photos is the strong green tint, but you can see that I’ve fixed that with a little tinkering on a levels adjustment layer. A little work in photoshop produces a dramatic effect. Without it though, the photos are pretty green and the bright colour of sea creatures are muted.
The camera can certainly take a beating. We dropped ours, soaked it and left it in the sun for a while and it took it all in stride.
The main area on this camera that I couldn’t groove on is the underwater video. The sound of the motor in the camera when you zoom in and out is very loud in the video. The zoom quality is not great and the video is harder to colour correct than the photos are. However, for the price, and the fact that underwater video is tough for many reasons (stability, white balance etc.) I’d say it’s pretty good value for the price.
These photos were taken in Hawaii with the camera’s predecessor, the XP 10 – you can see the shots are gorgeous, albeit not very high res.
All in all I’d recommend this little guy. Mom had a blast with it, and so did we!