Waterproof Digital Camera
Use Protection, use a Waterproof Digital Camera!
Digital cameras have electronic circuit boards that are easily damaged by water. This means that they should not be used in inclement weather where they can get wet. For this reason, many people prefer the option of a waterproof digital camera, or at least the possibility of creating what is essentially a waterproof digital camera, by using a relatively cheap waterproof casing that will protect it. Just be aware that a waterproof digital camera is not what you need for underwater photography, unless it specifies that the unit can be used under water.
The secret is to read the specs. Like most other things in life, waterproof frequently means water-resistant. So you can walk in the rain and get the camera wet, but don't go diving with it.
Basically, a waterproof versus an underwater camera is ideal for all-weather conditions. Take it to the beach, go hiking with it, go boating or fishing, even go skiing in the snow, or be prepared to get caught in a storm. Some models can, in fact, even be used underwater, although only to a certain depth. For example, the Olympus 8000 is said to be able to work in water that is up to 33 feet or 10 m deep. The FinePix Z33, Fuji's first waterproof model, can also be submerged to this depth, as can Canon's more expensive version, the brightly coloured, egg-shaped PowerShot D10. Thereafter, you need an underwater model, designed to take the extra pressure.
Most of the cameras that fit into this more water-resistant category are also said to be shockproof. At the end of the day it probably means that they will take more abuse than some other models. Drop them, wet them ... they carry on working. Various manufacturers, including Canon, Fuji, Olympus and Panasonic all have at least one model that fits the description, but they are all basically point-and-shoot varieties, and probably not as good as less hardy point-and-shoot models.
They are all quite tiny and will fit in the palm of your hand. While they all seem to offer between 10 MP and 12 MP, image quality isn't that great. This means that your photographs won't be that good. It's the reviews that say they don't even meet the standards of good point-and-shoot models.
So you are going to have to decide whether you want something that can cope with the elements, or something that will produce real quality at the risk of ruining your equipment. That means that before you buy, you'll need to weigh up the pros and cons of any waterproof digital camera.