PROS / This camera can dip down to 82 feet under water.
CONS / It comes with a 12.1-megapixel image sensor, which is below the 16 megapixels most waterproof cameras have.
VERDICT / This is one of the most rugged cameras in our comparison, and it takes good quality underwater pictures.
The Canon PowerShot D30 is an underwater camera that was built to withstand the elements. This waterproof camera has the second-best maximum depth rating of 82 feet underwater. It can operate at those depths for up to an hour. That is impressive for a waterproof camera.
In addition to its impressive maximum depth, the camera is also highly durable. If you are skiing or snowboarding in a blizzard, you can still pull the camera out of your pocket and shoot pictures. Its lowest operating temperature is a fairly standard 14 degrees Fahrenheit. It is also shockproof with a maximum drop height of 6.5 feet. If you are trying to snap a picture but the camera slips out of your hand, you can rest assured that it will continue to work. Its dustproofing means that you can bring it along as you go four-wheeling in the sand dunes. Wherever your adventures take you, this camera should be durable enough to handle it.
For our underwater testing we attached each camera to a tripod and positioned it to capture images of our underwater test scene. The underwater image that the Canon D30 produced was good with vibrant colors. The underwater flash made the image bright and clear. There are little bunches of leaves throughout out test scene – more specifically violet and orange ones on the left side of the scene – that are not as detailed or sharp as some of the best underwater images. When you zoom in on those areas, the lack of detail is further exploited. Although the color saturation was exceptional, detail flaws led to its B+ grading.
Our dry-land image testing included capturing photos of our test scene in a controlled lighting environment. When we compared the Canon camera to our best dry-land image and the test scene itself, there was some noticeable grain (noise) when we zoomed in on the color box. Also, between the purple and red boxes in the bottom right corner, we noticed color bleed where separating lines aren't crisp. That's just a single example – color bleed-through was noticeable throughout. The fact that this waterproof digital camera is only 12.1 megapixels could have something to do with the lack of image sharpness when zoomed in. Image sensors that are 16 megapixels are considered standard in the waterproof camera world today.
The PowerShot D30 does a good job at accurately displaying gray, white and black squares throughout the test image. With cameras that can't white balance properly, the black and white squares will fade and light gray squares and white squares will look the same color. Separating these neutral colors is important to image sharpness, and this camera can do it.
This camera is packed with features, including face detection, image stabilization, GPS for image geo-tagging and 1080p video recording. The only really important feature this camera is missing is Wi-Fi functionality. Wi-Fi connectivity can make it easy for you to upload photos from your camera straight to smart devices or social media.
Other top-rated underwater cameras we reviewed are a bit easier to navigate. There are a few different areas to navigate to get to specific menu options. This camera's parameters are not all located within one menu, like other cameras. There are different menus for different camera parameters, which makes it frustrating to make parameter adjustments.
The Canon PowerShot D30 is one of the most durable cameras in our lineup. It can handle dust, dings, 82 feet of submersion and cold temperatures. On top of its toughness, it takes good pictures. It only boasts a 12.1-megapixel image sensor so the image quality isn't as sharp as some of the 16-megapixel cameras we reviewed, but the color saturation, especially underwater, was above average. This camera can handle more than just an average day at the beach.