For Comparison's Sake: Waterproof Point-and-Shoot Cameras

These point-and-shoots are all waterproof, and they offer a plethora of terrific options.

If there’s anything better than having a blast on the water, it might be getting it all on video to upload to YouTube or Facebook. These hero cams let you share your adventures — in both stills and high-definition video. Some even upload directly to the Web. These point-and-shoots are all waterproof, and they offer a plethora of terrific options. Here are just a few of our favorites for under $330.

GoPro Hero $259.99; goprocamera.com

The Numbers: 1080p HD video; 5-megapixel stills

Rundown: GoPro touts itself as a maker of "wearable" digital sports cameras, and the company has made quite a splash in its market. The idea is that, in addition to traditional shooting, you can actually mount the camera to your body and record anywhere you go. Very cool. Protected in a quick-release polycarbonate housing, the Hero is waterproof to 180 feet. It can record up to 2½ hours on a single charge and comes with an adhesive mount to attach to curved surfaces of your boat.

Especially Cool: Its ability to record in a wide variety of professional-quality HD formats. Plus, GoPro offers packages tailored with different accessories for specific activities (like surfing) for less than $300.

We Like: Its all-around versatility, quality and ruggedness. Accessories can be purchased separately — boaters might consider a roll bar or handlebar mount.

Olympus Stylus TG-610 $299.99; olympusamerica.com

The Numbers: 720p HD video; 14-megapixel stills

Rundown: The Stylus Tough series is just that — tough. The TG-610, for example, can survive a five-foot drop, operate in temperatures as cold as 14 degrees and shoot underwater to 16 feet — all good characteristics for on-the- water activities. Autofocus tracking locks in your subject and continuously adjusts focus and brightness, regardless of movement. Olympus also offers an Eye-Fi wireless memory card (sold separately) that facilitates media uploads to social-networking sites.

Especially Cool: A 3-D photo mode captures two shots from different angles of any given scene and creates a cool, realistic 3-D version.

We Like: Its ruggedness. A lightweight stainless-steel and aluminum exterior houses interior rubber gaskets and o-rings designed to keep out the elements.

Kodak Playsport $179.95; kodak.com

The Numbers: 1080p HD video; 5-megapixel stills

Rundown: Waterproof to 10 feet, the new PlaySport features an auto-focus function and built-in image stabilization for sharper videos. Kodak says the unit is shockproof and dustproof, making it a good option for the boat or other outdoor activities. on-camera editing lets you extract stills from video on the camera's 2-inch LCD screen, and four capture effects, including black-and-white and sepia, facilitate creative shooting.

Especially Cool: A share button lets you e-mail videos and images or upload them to social-network sites such as Facebook, Twitter, YouTube and Flickr. Simply tag the media on the water, and watch it automatically upload when you plug into the computer later in the day.

We Like: The price, for starters. Plus, an underwater white balance mode should help the quality of in-the-water stills and videos.

Pentax Optio W90 $329.95; pentaximaging.com

The Numbers: 720p HD video; 12.1-megapixel stills

Rundown: The 11th generation of Optio products, Pentax's W90 is waterproof to 20 feet and shockproof to four feet. With a wide-angle 5x optical zoom lens and a 2.7-inch LCD with 16:9 widescreen aspect ratio, this camera offers easy underwater viewing. It also can be equipped with an Eye-Fi wireless memory card (not included) that allows you to share media on online social sites such as Picasa Web Albums, YouTube and Facebook.

Especially Cool: A digital microscope mode with LED lens lighting allows you to capture the most minute subjects you encounter. You can shoot these objects as close as one centimeter from the camera.

We Like: The camera's fast face detection and pet recognition functions, which preprogram faces in memory and optimize focus and exposure upon recognition.