I bought my wife an Olympus 790SW point-and-shoot camera before we left for Hawaii on vacation, and I’m growing increasingly fond of the little thing. It doesn’t really compare to my Canon 5D’s image quality, but it’s so small and handy that it’s easier to carry. Even better, it seems to be indestructible–it’s submersible and can be dropped up to 4.5 feet without breaking anything.
In other words, it’s the perfect beach camera for families with small kids. Plus, you can take it snorkeling, just in case one of these pops up:
or some of these:
There are more pictures on Flickr if you’re interested.
It also takes semi-decent video. I wouldn’t confuse it with a HD camcorder, but I wouldn’t take the camcorder in the water, either. Here’s my son’s first time snorkeling:
It’s around $260 on Amazon, if you’re interested.