Canon IXUS 800 / Powershot SD700 Underwater Camera

Canon continue to produce excellent digital compact cameras with affordable underwater camera housings that let scuba divers take their camera with them

Canon Powershot SD700 or Ixus 800I’ve long been a fan of the Canon IXUS range of digital compact cameras, and when my Canon IXUS 400 died on me earlier this year after some rough treatment, I’ve been seriously tempted to buy another in the range that will work both above and below water.

The Canon IXUS 800 is the European name for the Canon Powershot SD700 – talk about confusing labels! You can view both through the links above to Amazon.co.uk and Amazon.com.

The Canon IXUS 800 is, for me, a real step forward for digital compact cameras because it manages to fit a 4x optical zoom into a similar sized body rather than the usual 3x Optical Zoom that you find on almost all digital compact cameras. Coupled with a much bigger LCD screen and more megapixels, its slightly more bulky appearance and weight is a reasonable tradeoff for the extra power you get.

Canon IXUS 800 - Powershot SD700 Waterproof CaseCrucially, the IXUS 800 also has an waterproof underwater housing available that isn’t more expensive than the camera itself. To my mind, Canon have pioneered making underwater housings affordable, mainly by designing the cameras so that several models will fit the same case. On every dive boat I’ve been on, it’s always Canon cameras in their underwater camera housings you see floating in the wash tank after a dive.

You see the underwater camera housing for the IXUS 800 and underwater housing for Powershot SD700 on Amazon as well.

One depressing fact that comes of looking at the UK and US price for the same housing – the US price is almost HALF the UK price! The US Dollar is weak against Pound Sterling at the moment, but even so, UK buyers are being ripped off here, no question. For that matter, the camera itself is cheaper by around a third of the price in the US…

There are plenty of reader reviews of the Canon IXUS 800 and the Canon Powershot SD700 on their respective Amazon pages, and the camera gets an almost universal thumbs up.

There’s also a very positive review at CamerasUnderwater.info, which is a great site dedicated to reviewing cameras, um, underwater.

In short, then, the extra zoom power of the Canon plus the availability of the waterproof housing makes this pretty much the default choice for what my next digital compact camera would be.

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Make Sure You Have Diving And Travel Insurance

World Nomads is one of the leading travel insurance providers and their coverage also includes scuba diving to 40 metres too if you select the relevant options. Make sure you're covered insurance-wise both above and below water.