kayaking camera input needd

I’m considering getting a waterproof digital camera for when I go kayaking and kayak-camping. I’m considering getting a Panasonic Lumix TS1 or TS2. Do you think it’s necessary to get a waterproof camera for photo taking during that? If so, what do you think of those two cameras?

If you are going to pull the camera out
often to take pictures while you are paddling, then a waterproof camera is a good idea.

An alternative is to find a very good point-and-shoot, and also buy an underwater housing for it. This option will probably be more expensive, because of the added cost of the underwater housing, and the housing and camera together will be more bulky than a waterproof camera. But sometimes you can get more features or performance in certain point-and-shoot cameras than you can in available underwater cameras. Also, when the camera is removed from the housing, it may be more compact than most waterproof cameras.

Just my opinion---- Get a waterproof camera, and make sure you get both optical image stabilization and a lens range with wide angle capability.

Even if you’re paddling a really stable boat so rolling is not something you worry about, kayaks are wet all the time. Your hands get wet from water on the paddle, keeping a non-waterproof camera dry means wiping your hands dry every time you use the camera and taking the camera out of at least a semi-waterpoof bag. Means you’ll miss most of the shots you took the camera to get.

Bill H.

Save your money
On the waterproof camera unless your looking to shoot under water. I bought one last year and was highly disappointed with the image quality plus to get good shots outdoors you really need a camera with a viewfinder. I have since replaced it with a Panasonic Lumix FZ-35 which takes awesome pictures and HD video as well. I just keep it in my Watershed deck bag for easy access.

Panasonic TS-1
I have the TS-1 and like it for what it is - a good waterproof camera. It fits in the pocket of my pfd, so is very accessible, and I don’t have to worry about it getting wet.

That said, it is a waterproof camera, and it does have an extra element, the non-retractible lens cover, as do all waterproof point and shoots as far as I know. Because of this, the image sometimes seems a little softer than my other camera, but I look at it this way, I’m getting photos that I wouldn’t be getting otherwise.

I bought it after a lot of research, most of which said to go with the Canon D10(excellent, but very bulky)if you’re mainly taking pictures underwater, or go with the Panasonic if your concern is it just getting wet. At the price you can get it for now, around $230, it’s a very good deal.

Email me if you want to see some of my photos.


Most are underwhelmed by waterproof

– Last Updated: Aug-09-10 9:22 AM EST –

cameras. What I wrote to my paddling club forum is below. Yeah, we mostly stick to calm inland waters, so, that's a factor. And, I recently thought I had killed the camera when I was using my Greenland paddle, since my hands were always wet, and the camera went flakey. But, it dried out ok.

All but maybe 2 of these photos were taken with the Panasonic TZ5:






I enjoyed John T's roundup of waterproof digital cameras. John, since you invited opinions on cameras, I'll take the opportunity to expound my own view...

One day I expect I'll have a waterproof or "punishable" camera, but I am waiting until the zoom lenses get up into the range available in non-toughened compact cameras.

Using 35mm lens equivalents, the shortest zoom I can be happy with is 280mm. My current camera is a Panasonic TZ5, with a 10x zoom lens. In 35mm eq, it's a 28-280mm. My bigger compact now sees little use because it won't fit in my PFD pocket; its lens is 35-420mm.

The current crop of toughened cameras have 5x zooms that give about 140mm eq. on the long end.

When shooting wildlife, you can never have enough zoom! And, having a lens that can reach out and touch someone gives more opportunities to shoot people in a spread-out group, or to frame sunsets or landscapes, etc.

What about the practicality and economics of choosing a non-waterproof camera? My TZ5 is almost 2 years old. I paid $206, delivered, when the waterproof cameras were $340 or so. I have come close to dunking it one time, and, I do have to sometimes protect it from spray. I always carry a waterproof box or bag that I can put the camera in if the going gets tough and wet. In the 11+ years I've been kayaking, I've unintentionally flipped my boat 3 times, and 2 of those I was pushing it to learn leaned turn skills.

I do realize that it's _possible_ that my camera could be turned into a disposable at any moment, but, it's just not very likely. So, it's a calculated risk. If I killed my TZ5 tomorrow, I could pick up a lightly used replacement on Ebay for $135 (I just checked average completed auction prices). So... I can own and use a long-lens compact for nearly two years, and I could destroy it and then replace it, for about what a waterproof camera with a shorty lens would have cost in the first place.

Another thing to consider is that many people have aging compact digitals laying around the house. They're worth little on the used market, so they could be put to use on the water. If they get wet, it's a shoulder shrug. Or, looking at those "obsolete" cameras from another perspective, I see decent used cameras on Ebay with 5x zoom for $75. You could use and/or destroy 4 of those for the price of a new waterproof camera with a similar lens.

Alright, I'm not saying the non-waterproof camera is an optimal solution for everyone, but, it's something to think about.

I have an old (2006) Pentax Optio W10 which is still leak tight and in use (after years of heavy use in salt water). It stays right on my kayak under the bungees.

Images are not comparable to SLR’s, but still good enough for me and the web. It takes good videos as well. The worst image is the one you can’t shoot because your cam is not ready for it. And you don’t save a penny if your non-waterproof cam takes a salty shower…