Wednesday, May 16, 2007


Olympus Stylus 720SW waterproof camera

See my review of the new model Olympus Stylus Tough 8000 waterproof digital camera.

Great for photography of whitewater river kayaking trips

(Updated 12june2008.) It is incredibly difficult to get good pictures while paddling a kayak down a whitewater river. After using this Stylus 720SW camera on a handful of river trips I'm pretty happy with the pictures that the Olympus 720sw waterproof camera produces. After getting the boat into a relatively stable spot I'm able to quickly get out the camera and get photos of others kayaking through a whitewater rapid or surfing at a playspot on the river. Then I can quickly slip the camera inside my pfd and paddle out to rejoin the action.
(**** - my rating - very good - 4 stars out of 5).

Critical review of features and operation of the Olympus 720SW waterproof camera

* The power on/off button is tiny. This could be a problem for boaters who wear gloves.

* The 3x zoom is good for getting a little closer to the action, but still enables sharp pictures to be taken, even from a boat that is getting bounced around in the river.

* There is a time delay between turning on the camera and when it is ready to take the first picture. There is also a time delay between taking one picture and when the camera is ready to take the next picture.

* The big, bright viewscreen is very nice, but in sunny conditions on the river it is sometimes hard to see exactly what will be in the picture.

* The camera is small enough to fit nicely slipped inside my pfd when not in use, but large enough to allow hurried, one-hand operation on the river without worrying about getting a stray finger in front of the lens.

* The sturdy lens cover automatically closes to keep water off of the lens when the Olympus 720SW waterproof camera is not being used.

* My 1GB xD memory card can hold 294 pictures at the highest quality setting.

* The special battery lasts through a day of photography, but extra batteries and/or a method for recharging in the field would be needed for longer trips.

* A special cord is needed to download pictures from the camera to the computer, but no special software is required.

* The 7 megapixel resolution that the Olympus 720SW waterproof camera captures in each photo is enough to allow a nice small picture to be cropped out of a larger picture.

* The pictures benefit from sharpening with photo editing software, especially when cropping a small piece from a larger photo.

* Stylus 720 SW - Olympus.

Newer models - Olympus Stylus 770SW & Olympus Stylus 790SW

Here are some updated models in the Olympus Stylus waterproof camera series.
Olympus Stylus 790SW Waterproof Digital Camera.
Olympus Stylus 770SW Waterproof Digital Camera.

Newer models - Olympus Stylus 1030SW & Olympus Stylus 850SW

New cameras in the Olympus Stylus waterproof camera series - 1030SW & 850SW.

More about:
Reviews - Equipment for Whitewater Kayaking.
Photog tutorials - are you serious about photography? - BRT Insights.


Well, I totally agree with your overview of this camera. I got it for Christmas almost two years ago and i absolutely love it--I've had it in the pools, the gulf, taken bath time pictures of my niece and nephew, and also had it in the lake..but here's my one and only complaint. I've never dropped it from above probably 2 feet..and I've NEVER had it any deeper than a foot below the waters surface..and somehow or another, THERE'S WATER INSIDE MY CAMERA!! Yep, the lens fogged up over the weekend, the LCD screen has moisture pockets that can be seen from the outside and it started to go black as I took pictures with it on Saturday. I've contacted Olympus but I have no idea what will be done. I've taken very good care of this I guess it just goes to show..Nothings ever exactly what you hope it will be.
Thanks for the info! Please comment again when you get a response from Olympus.

In the camera manual it says "In order to preserve the water resistant feature, as with any underwater housing, it is recommended that the waterproof packing (and seals) are replaced annually."

My Olympus 720SW camera is still working great, but it is definitely time for me to get new waterproof packing and seals.
I recently bought a 1030 SW. I was shocked to find many reviews about the battery cover popping out while in the water. I suspect that this is caused by the air in the battery compartment being presurised and push open the battery cover. As soon as the battery cover pops out, the camera is ruined. I have heard some people managed to get free replacement fr Olympus while under warranty.I guess if your camera is out of warranty, you whould be very carefull. To SOLVE this problem, I bought a BATTERY COVER SECURE LOCK! This little gadget securely locks the baterry cover and will never pop out. I think this will help may camera users protect their waterproof camera fr getting damaged. Any interested parties can contact me if you are interested to find this product. email the salesman sales at
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