When I decided to buy two different waterproof point and shoot cameras and test them I made sure to test them under a variety of conditions. While most likely I'd be using this type of camera for museums and the occasional hike too strenuous or wet to take my DSLR along I want a camera that could perform as a backup if needed. After reading favorable reviews for the Canon Powershot D30 and the Nikon Coolpix AW120 I bought both of them on Best Buy's website and had them delivered to the house. The price is great and they have a liberal 30 day return policy on camera equipment which I've taken advantage of to make sure I really like an item before keeping it.
On Friday Katrina and I drove in to Milwaukee because she had a job interview and I tried the camera out at the Milwaukee Public Library. I thought both cameras performed similarly indoors except the Nikon corrected the lighting a little bit, removing some of the yellow tone that was actually really there. However, the pictures still looked very nice except for when the flash automatically went off in the picture of the display of Nancy Drew books. In the future I would turn that off, in my opinion most pictures suffer when flash is on and I only use it when absolutely necessary.
Now of course I didn't take the camera for an actual underwater test, which both cameras are rated to handle and even have a separate setting for. The closest I got was a foggy cold morning in Twin Lakes down by Lake Mary.
I tried to use the macro feature but truthfully may not have engaged it correctly since I didn't check the manual first and was more concerned with getting my gloves back on my cold, damp hands.
As far as ease of use goes I thought the waterproof compartment hatch easier to manipulate on the Nikon but liked the adjustable wrist strap and hand holds on the Canon better.
I'm leaning toward the Canon but truthfully like them both enough that I don't trust my instincts. The Canon is $100 more, is it worth it? Thoughts?