Read reviews for the Optio W30 Camera by Pentax as submitted by your fellow paddlers. All of the reviews are created and written by paddlers like you, so be sure to submit your own review and be part of the community!
I took a digital photo class, and it took photos equal to any SLR in the class in most conditions, as long as you didn't have to use a long lens(the zoom on this camera, like most "point and shoots", is minimal). The macro setting takes closeups to 1 centimeter, and the results have been amazing. Color, clarity, overall quality of the photos has been better than any point and shoot I've ever used of any size or price, and at least as good as my film SLR in most conditions.
My only real beef with the camera is the lack of a view finder, because the screen is really hard to see in bright light. I bought a little hood attachment that sticks to the screen, which helped a little with the visibility, and is a definite advantage to keep the screen from being scratched in the kind of conditions I use it in.
The camera ingested a large amount of water about halfway down the Grand Canyon run and quit working altogether thereby depriving me of the pictures I would have taken had I bought another camera.
After leaving the Grand Canyon, I was heading to northern Colorado to do some paddling so I called Pentax and told them that I was on the way to their headquarters in Golden and I wanted my money back. They could keep this water filled hunk of junk and use it for a fish sinker. I called them again while I was in their parking lot to let them know that I was there. I sat in their reception area for nearly an hour before anybody, besides the receptionist, would talk to me. I thought about getting arrested while I was there, then decided against it. Finally, two guys came out with a new W30 and after a half hour of talking I finally figured out that there was no way I was ever going to get my money out of these jerks - so - like a moron I took the new camera. It has the same problem as the first camera with the video.
As to the ability to see the screen, nothing you can do will make it were you can see the screen in bright sunlight. You will be reduced to pointing the camera in the general direction of what you want to photograph and pushing the shutter button.
If you own a Pentax, I wish you the best of luck. If you don’t, I would recommend that you keep it that way. I don’t like the camera and I really don’t like the people that work for Pentax. There is a lot more to the story but I don’t need to sit here and type up another couple of pages, just let me reemphasize - the worst customer service I have ever encountered. As a matter of fact - I think I’ll take another stab at getting my money back today. I’ll let you know how it works out.