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Olympus Stylus 720 SW

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This is one tough camera. I dunked it into the harbor, even took some snapshots of the muck, rinsed it under the tap, and it’s still snapping fine. Olympus’ $399 Stylus 720 SW has a 3x zoom lens and can take digital photos as large as seven megapixels. It offers no less than 28 shooting modes, ranging from standards like “portrait” to more esoteric situations like shooting “through glass.”

However, traditional photographers may be annoyed that they cannot set the camera’s shutter speed or F stop, or even see what they are. Other negatives: The camera’s USB port is proprietary and won’t charge the battery, so you must keep track of the included cable and large battery charger, and the photos are not as sharp as those taken by some comparably sized cameras. Still, though, the truly waterproof 720 SW is a great pocket camera for boaters.

This article originally appeared in the September 2006 issue of Power & Motoryacht magazine.