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Old 11-11-2012, 10:31 AM   #1
papaschtroumpf
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Default waterproof camera

My dad wants a waterproof camera for Xmas. I don't know much about them, I know he is looking at those:

PANASONIC LUMIX TS4
PANASONIC LUMIX TS3
CANON D20
NIKON AW100

Any thoughts or advice? Are there any good deals coming up on those or something similar?
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Old 11-11-2012, 03:48 PM   #2
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i have this sony tx5
works great so far since maybe 2 years already
http://store.sony.com/p/DSC-TX5/B/en/p/DSCTX5/B
photos and vids look amazing under water. very rugged as i have dropped it several times, accidentally as well as intentionally.
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Old 11-11-2012, 06:25 PM   #3
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how water proof
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Old 11-11-2012, 06:28 PM   #4
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Not very as I understand it. My dad is the "official photographer" of a hiking group, and wants to make sure the camera will not get ruined from dirt, rain or being dropped in a puddle..
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Old 11-11-2012, 10:58 PM   #5
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Panasonic has been a real player in the "Tough" camera game for longer than Nikon or Canon. The TS line is fantastic. I would get the TS3 if he could get a really good deal, TS4 if the price difference isn't much. The TS20 is cheaper and should be fine for rain/puddles/etc. I think the TS20 is rated to 10 or 15 feet, while the TS3/4 are rated to 30 or 40 feet of water.
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Old 11-12-2012, 04:48 PM   #6
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If I'm to get one I'll get the Olympus TG1. f2.0 lens might make a difference underwater because there is less light, plus the lens is in the center of camera instead of the corner like most other rugged camera.
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Old 11-13-2012, 07:01 AM   #7
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i had a rugged Olympus cam before.
quality of photos, in and out of water, was terrible. on top of that, it uses a proprietary memory card format. not sure if anything has changed in 3 years since.

added: and then water leaked in and the Olympus camera died instantly in the ocean while snorkeling.
took my Sony snorkeling and surfing in Maui and it is still working fine.

Last edited by luv2liv; 11-13-2012 at 09:59 AM.
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Old 11-13-2012, 09:20 AM   #8
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Proprietary card format would be a deal killer.
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Old 11-13-2012, 10:15 AM   #9
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Olympus cams should all use SD cards now. I think they used to use XD cards which were only really used by Fuji and Olympus IIRC.

I've got a TG-310 and it uses SD cards. Not the best photo quality, but it was only like $110 which was by far the cheapest waterproof camera around at the time. The underwater photos and video are decent, but out of the water it is clearly inferior to a slightly older Canon ELPH in terms of image quality.

The new design of the TG1 looks like it should be an improvement.
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Old 11-13-2012, 02:52 PM   #10
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I've had good experience with Panasonic, my TS1 is still going strong after all these years, including several water dunkings. I avoid Sony like the plague, due to their touch screen obsession and atrocious noise reduction. If I had to buy a rugged camera now, I'd probably go with the Nikon. It's got the best image quality based on the sample images I've seen, and doesn't seem to give up any features compared to other cameras. Canon should really rethink their design philosophy and they might have my attention.
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Old 11-13-2012, 08:10 PM   #11
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I'm in the same situation i still hesitate between Panasonic and Kodak...Check out this site for some waterproof cameras reviews http://thebestwaterproofcamerareviews.com/
it may help you making your choice. Let us know Papa shtroumphe (French???)
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Old 11-17-2012, 08:05 AM   #12
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gopro
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Old 06-06-2013, 01:11 AM   #13
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I got a Nikon AW100 earlier in the year and recently took it on holiday with the kids. Took some underwater shots and generally abused it. Image quality is as you would expect not comparable to DSLRs, but it does the job when I can't be bothered lugging the full kit around. I think it's a good waterproof camera. I recommend you also read the professional review for this model at http://topbestwaterproofcamera.com and http://www.amazon.com.
To be honest, tough cameras have never been known for their image quality, so you're best off just going for one that has received good reviews in other aspects.
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Old 06-06-2013, 01:51 PM   #14
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If you already have a camera you like, you can just get a protective bag like this:

http://www.amazon.com/DicaPac-WP410-...lx7+waterproof
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Old 06-06-2013, 02:47 PM   #15
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I just bought the Olympus TG2 iHS for my trip to Cancun, which I just returned from. This is the new version form this year, following up on the TG1. It's billed as a "rugged" camera and also waterproof. I used it actively in the ocean and snorkling in an underground cave (cenote). It of course did just fine. Here are some of my thoughts.

The PROS:
- f/2.0 lens (on the wide end, not constant aperture obviously). This is HUGE...and the single biggest reason I bought this model. Don't underestimate how much this helps over others that start a stop or two slower than this.
- Looks nice (if you like black and red).
- Has screw on accesory lens adapters for fish eye and telephoto. Not a big deal to me but could be a nice selling point.
- Has a great macro mode and can shoot VERY close in super macro mode.
- Built in GPS. Nice from travel photos.
- It has an Aperture priority mode. Along with exposure compensation, white balance, and ISO being manually set from the same on screen location gives at least a feeling of more control than you get with many other compacts.

The CONS:
- It has the same loud zoom noise during video shooting that many complained about in the TG1. This not a big deal to me as I use zoom very sparingly if at all during video.
- It's still just like any other ho-hum compact on the inside. Tiny, unimpressive sensor, poor high ISO, ect. The f/2.0 lens at least helps a little. There are no other waterproofs with anything better for sensor though.
- Panorama mode works pretty well...but is limited to 3 frames and stitches VERY slowly.
- I found the rear LCD screen scratches a bit more easily than I had hoped. I have a couple small scratches in it already from my trip.

In short while inside it's just an average compact sensor based camera inside, it's still probably the best waterproof/rugged you can get for this year most likely. The f/2.0 lens is big selling point and worth it IMO over other choices. If you are used to using other compacts it will be great. If you are used to the speed and image quality of a good m4/3 or DSLR it of course be less impressive, but that is true of all small sensor compacts. The aperture priority and again, f/2.0 lens, do help bridge the gap though if you are an experienced shooter.

Overall I like it....but won't use it for situations other than where the rugged/waterproof comes into play because I have a D7000 for that.

Samples from my trip:

Nope...it doesn't leak...







Panorma mode does in fact work well, though slowly:




Without f/2.0 and optical stabilization you have no hope of this...even then I got a lucky sharp one:




Shot low ISO, slow shutter with a little gorilla pod:




High ISO 1600, starts to break down, aggresive noise reduction...but at least usable.

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Last edited by Silenus; 06-06-2013 at 02:49 PM.
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Old 06-06-2013, 02:52 PM   #16
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Oh and BTW...yes it's just regular old SD cards liek any other camera on the Olympus. No problem there. I actually used the old 32GB MICRO-SD card from my HTC Thunderbolt, in an adapter, in the camera. Works fine.
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Old 06-10-2013, 09:31 PM   #17
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i really want it
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Old 06-11-2013, 10:05 AM   #18
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PS - I am strongly considering putting mine up for sale now that my trip is done. I just don't see using it much with my D7000 (which I take with me often). PM if interested.
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Old 06-13-2013, 06:02 PM   #19
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Childs View Post
If you already have a camera you like, you can just get a protective bag like this:

http://www.amazon.com/DicaPac-WP410-...lx7+waterproof
i saw this and ordered me one for my lx7 (had to get a larger bag), looking forward to trying it out. my family has a small lake outside of town and it is stocked with fish, including koi (the giant goldfish). the water is very clear and the fish are very used to being around people so i am hoping to get some good shots of them
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Old 06-13-2013, 06:19 PM   #20
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Quote:
Originally Posted by xSauronx View Post
i saw this and ordered me one for my lx7 (had to get a larger bag), looking forward to trying it out. my family has a small lake outside of town and it is stocked with fish, including koi (the giant goldfish). the water is very clear and the fish are very used to being around people so i am hoping to get some good shots of them
I hope it works out. I'm going to get one when my LX7 arrives.
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Old 06-14-2013, 03:05 PM   #21
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I wonder how the Pentax WG-3 compares to the Oly TG-2. They probably have the same F2.0 lens and same size sensor. I bought the WG-3 for $233 from Amazon because it is almost a $100 cheaper than the TG-2, plus it can take high speed 720p 120fps video (though limited to only 15 sec).
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Old 06-16-2013, 09:46 AM   #22
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Quote:
Originally Posted by xSauronx View Post
i saw this and ordered me one for my lx7 (had to get a larger bag), looking forward to trying it out. my family has a small lake outside of town and it is stocked with fish, including koi (the giant goldfish). the water is very clear and the fish are very used to being around people so i am hoping to get some good shots of them
I have one of those bags (exact same brand, DICAPac) that I used for a time with a Canon SDxxx model. The bag worked great, and it was a generic enough shape to also fit a friend's camera.

Couple of cons:

1) It is pretty much a big hassle to manipulate any of the buttons on the camera, and the plastic is kind of hard to see through if you're not holding it just right.... refraction between the water, the plastic bag, and the air inside the bag, plus reflection from the bright sky above. Big buttons like the shutter are ok, and you can zoom in and out, barely. Small zoom lever on those tiny cameras! Made for fingertip use in normal usage, but manipulating it through thick plastic resulted in a fair amount of imprecision. And using any of the setting or navigation buttons precisely was not really in the picture.

2) The part that protrudes for the lens barrel is made of black plastic around the sides and also a bit of a front lip around the edges of the nice clear plastic (glass?) that you shoot through. Your camera will probably have some wiggle room inside the bag, so your lens will not necessarily be centered on the clear part, and it is hard to keep it from slipping around and having the black part block part of the picture. (Looks kind of like very dark vignetting on one corner of the photo.) YMMV; it depends on the size of your camera relative to the bag.

So, it works fine, but is not ideal. The resulting photos and videos made while snorkeling in Mexico were intriguing enough for me to decide to buy a dedicated underwater camera for next time.
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Old 06-16-2013, 07:09 PM   #23
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If you are using a Canon camera I recommend the dedicated waterproof housings.

Pros-
You have access to pretty much all features and buttons of the camera.
They are made for the camera and if you take care of the housing..ie make sure the seal is clean and greased it should never leak on you.
They are good for diving, not just snorkeling..so no guessing..hmm am I close to the max of this bag or not.
Reasonably easy to read displays and the lens is lined up with the housing properly..so less distortion.(nothing is perfect).

Cons-
It will likely work only for the 1 camera you purchased it for. Many do work for multiple cameras..however it is unlikely you will have one of them. Plus new versions of the same camera (due to canon redesigns) will not work with the camera.
Tend to be expensive. But if you buy last years camera and last years housing..much cheaper.
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