This is my 4th Canon camera and my 10th or so digital, having ventured into the world of digital photography in 1998 or so. Later I replaced my film SLR with a Canon 10d and most recently a Canon 50d. Kellie and I spend a lot of vacation time in the tropics and love to Dive and Snorkel, so the hunt for a waterproof digital camera was on.

We read numerous reviews on all of the underwater models, comparing warranty coverage, maximum depth, servicing, requirements, etc. and the Canon Powershot D10 simply came out on top. Even though it had a more awkward shape than its Olympus and Fuji brethren, it also had the simplest servicing requirements and a more useable depth for when we took it underwater.

Unlike some of the more frail waterproof cameras out there, Canon integrated a certain level of toughness and rigidity into its D10. Indeed, the company markets this as an “adventure cam,” and that’s exactly what we went on with this by our side. Designed to be waterproof, freezeproof and shockproof, we have successfully been able to sufficiently test all of these qualities, from kayaking through Class II /III rapids on the John Day River to snow shoe and ski adventures in the Cascades, to multi-week dive and snorkel vacations where the D10 saw hours of underwater use daily.

As a overall camera, the D10 will definitely suffice as your primary point and shoot if you’re kosher with toting around a rather large (comparatively speaking) device. Compared to your standard Altoids Box sized point and shoot camera, the D10 looks a bit awkward with odd bulges. Still, as a camera it’s rather small. There will be no issues finding your in your day hatch or a dry bag for this guy on your extended kayak trips. With the awkwardly named Canon AKT-DC1 Accessory Kit you can simply attach the camera via caribiner to your deck bag or PDF for easy access while out on the water.

The accessory kit included a trio of replacement face plates and a number of cable attachments that can be affixed to any corner of the camera.  We’ve used these attachments exclusively and highly recommend it if purchasing the camera for any kind of adventure or expedition duty, especially on or under the water.

Battery life has proven to be acceptable and high discharge replacements are available. We have been able to squeeze out around an hour of video along with a several  hundred snapshots before the battery warning indicator comes on. Outside of that, we never once have taken enough shots to drain it completely in a day, although over the course of a week long trip you need to be conscientious about using the video functionality extensively if you want the battery to last. We haven’t done any formal battery life testing, but overall we’ve been very impressed by just how long the rechargeable cell holds up.

Image quality is pretty good, especially when evaluating this call of camera and that you consider that this is an designed for underwater use.  Canon loaded this shooter up with some of its more advanced features (DIGIC 4 processor, optical image stabilization and face detection), and in most cases, you’d never be able to tell that you were shooting with a made-for-water camera.

All told, the Canon PowerShot D10 is a stellar camera for what it does. Canon advertises this shooter as one that’s cut out for adventure, and after surviving multiple trips and adventures with aplomb, I can truthfully say they really delivered.  The camera didn’t flinch after being drug through sand, shoved under salty waters for hours on end or banged up against a kayak. It has even seen ours in subfreezing temperatures with nary a hiccup. It’s more than just a waterproof camera that’s only marginally larger than a standard point and shoot.  It’s a rugged, lightweight shooter that should suit most everyone but the professionals.

For samples of some of the photos that the D10 has produced, look through some of the images in the gallery below.

3 Responses to Canon Powershot D10 Waterproof Camera Review

  1. hpeisu says:

    Great review… made my decision on what camera to purchase easy!

  2. Tigger says:

    I’m looking for a new camera for take photo while kayaking. It should be waterproof camera or regular point-and-shoot camera?

    • admin says:

      Go with a waterproof camera… the are all point and shoot anyway and much more rugged for a minimal cost increase of a standard point and shoot.

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