Before you decide on which waterproof camera to buy, and assuming that you are not a professional photographer, nor want to use the camera below 10 feet, these are some factors you should consider:
Conforming To Standards:
Japan being a dominant manufacturer of cameras, Japanese Industry Standard (JIS) Waterproof Standard 8 and JIS Dustproof Standard 5 can be considered as the benchmark for deciding on a good waterproof camera for amateur use. You should be able to use the camera at up to a depth of 10 feet.
Design & Weight:
As you intend to use the camera under water it should be designed to fit snugly in your hand, while having sufficient heft to make for efficient use. The build should be rugged, using standard aluminum and plastic. It should be light-weight, and not more than 6 ounces. A wrist-strap should be provided, to prevent the camera from slipping, and falling into the water.
This is an important factor, and should include covers for DC and the USB/AV jacks, as well as protection for the battery and storage card compartment, from water.
The camera should be in the 5 - 7 mega pixel range, and have at least a 3X optical zoom lens. A reasonably wide aperture range will give more landscape photo options. High ISO will give relatively noise free photos.
Look for a sufficiently large LCD display, at least 2.5 inches, apart from Auto Mode, Movie Mode, Synchro Sound Record Mode, Digital Shake Reduction, Movie Shake Reduction, Drive/ Burst Mode, Playback Mode, and Manual Control options, as well as good shutter speed. The camera should also have sufficient memory to permit continuous shooting for sufficient time, in its movie mode.
Once you have all the above features, check whether the camera is priced reasonably.
Richard J. Runion is the President of Geostar Publishing & Services LLC. Rich loves net research & blogging. His new blog on Pentax Waterproof Camera is comprehensive and well-researched. Read his blog at: http://www.pentaxwaterproofcamerareview.com/