We've got a great little community here! I'd like to say thanks to all who responded to my plea for camera information especially Gary at Srfnff, PonoBill of Kenalu, Chad of Chad Industries, Brewer over at BlueLine and Denis- who's a pro- thanks for all the good information.
I decided to go with the Olympus 1030sw- I ordered one a couple of days ago for $260 and spent another forty bucks or so on xD cards- a pretty good price I thought. I chose the Oly because I need a camera with the nuts to hang out with me. I'm tough on equipment (by the way PonoBill gives a great description of dropping his Oly, fumbling for it in the air and in the bobble shooting it across the room twenty or so feet- kind of the polar opposite of Franco Harris' amazing ball scoop- thanks for that Bill). This summer the camera will experience the sweaty cantina's of southern Baja, the heat of Bend, the grit of a northern Baja campsite and the waxy depths of my surf trunk wax pocket- if it's going to hang out with me it's got to go the distance. I'm sick of not trusting my camera gear- let's hope the Oly is up to the test.
If you've got any experience or secrets to share about shooting with this platform please send them my way- I'll post them up here. I'm a total amateur when it comes to this stuff so no piece of information will be too basic for me. Especially video mode- can't wait to try this thing out.
Camera Grom's Cut: As you know Grom shoots the video and edits his own cut- here's what he put together (rumor has it he's closing in on the dough for his new digital SLR- stoked!):