What do we mean by Point and Shoot??Simply these are the new breed of digital cameras that offer compact size and features like still images and video capability. They do not have the interchangeable lens capability but generally have zoom lens capability and built in flash. Some offer external strobe flash operation.?Having a large number of pixels on the imaging chip can affect the auto focusing in low light conditions that you will experience underwater. 5 to 12 MP is fine for most cameras that will be used underwater.?When you are choosing a camera to use underwater it is best to see if there is an underwater housing for your model before you by the camera.?The features you want in the camera for underwater are close focus ability, RAW recording for your files, if possible an external flash hot shoe, video recording, and an ISO range from 50 to 1200. Because you will taking images of subjects that are moving you need to get a camera that does not have very much shutter lag. Shutter lag is the time it takes for the camera to record the image after you press the shutter lever. Any time longer than a 1/10th of a second will be frustrating to you.?Selecting a housing for your camera you need to decide what features you will need. Does the housing have external handles? Can eternal strobe flashes be used, Can you easily use close-up lenses or wide angle lenses. How big is the housing and can you access the controls you need? Are spare parts available and where can you get it serviced?
The most popular brands are Canon, Nikon, Olympus, Sony and Panasonic. Not every manufacture supports all camera models for underwater use. At this point in [br]time Canon seems to be leading the market in popular models for underwater. The G9, G10 and G11 are the most popular with the SX-20IS and SX120IS following the selections. Nikon has the Coolpix P5000 and P6100 and the P6000 as their lead models. Olympus has several models but they do not have direct link to strobes except for external fiber optic sync. The same applies to the Sony cameras. The Panosonic LX2 and LX3 have only one manufacture supporting then and the cost is higher.