I looking at getting a waterproof point & shoot digital camera. Does anybody on here have any recommendations? Thanks.
From my experience with them…
they are only good if you are snorkling or scuba diving.
If you are in your canoe or kayak and you see a good underwater subject, You hold the camera over the side, but then cannot see the view finder or screen, and have to guess where you are aiming it. Nine times out of ten, your subject gets cut off
Then you have to hold it with one hand, and try to push the button with the same hand, unless you are some sort of contortionist.
I had a decent camera, but gave up and just imprint the good subjects in my mind.
Some one needs to invent a camera with the view
finder on the top.
We have owned a few waterproof point and shoot cameras and I read a lot of reviews before buying our most recent camera about two years ago. The Lumix takes much better pictures than our previous Sony and Pentax cameras.
Whatever camera you buy add a float to the strap because although they are waterproof they don’t float.
Gopro Hero HD
Yes, it’s a video cam, but also takes high quality stills. To use it with a viewfinder at all you have to add the LCD back, but you can do that. The Gopro Hero isn’t waterproof by itself, BTW; it’s got a super waterproof housing that truly works. There are diving quality housings too, so you can go really deep if you want that.
The new ones, version 3, are smaller and lighter than ever and also have wifi capability built in to link with some cellphones, so at least on land your phone can act as the viewfinder. You still need the LCD screen to see under water, however, as wifi is stopped by H2O.
If you get a Gopro you have all kinds of fun capabilities, more mounting potentials than you can shake a stick at (including on a stick!)
Gopro Hero HD 3 costs $3-400, depending on the model, which is not bad for a camera at all. If you want to go cheaper, a used HD 1080 original (not the 960) goes on ebay usually for under $100. So a Gopro is in the range of many other waterproof digital still cams.
Panasonic Luminix TS
I have this one:
I only paid $250 for it from Amazon. At the time it was the best reviewed rugged, waterproof camera and overall it is a good but not perfect camera. Still I would recommened this line and would probably buy another one if needed.
There is a new model out now, the TS-4 and it still seems to be one of the top reviewed cams.
So far mine is about 1.5 years and has survived a trip to Disney, many kids parties, sandy beaches and many kayaking trips. Still looks like new and working great.
I read the first few reviews on Amazon and I think the Good Camera But… review captures some of the bad points and like him I would still buy and recommend this camera.
I will add the GPS functionality is nice for geo tagging photos but it takes a while for it catch your current position if you are turning it on and off. At the start of my last river trip, when you are taking pics of people getting ready to kayak (which takes a while…) it was tagging the photos for about 15 mins at the last place I used it 80 miles away. You can manually force it to update but it can be slow and if you really need a correctly tagged photo you probably need to check against a handheld GPS first.
Second the Lumix no problems 2 yrs
Very good pics. Splashed a lot but have not drowned it at depth yet. Bit bulky though. R
Medium quality stills. Don’t get their
hopes up. I’ll bet even my 5 year old Canon Elph in its waterproof case can outdo Hero stills, and my new Canon G15 will pound Heroes into the ground.
Monoprice is coming out with a cheaper version of the Gopro next month – only $100.
I will be interested to see how it reviews with Monoprice tech crowd.
Nikon Coolpix AW100
I bought this at Costco before Christmas. It seems to be about $120 now. It is waterproof to 40 ft, freezeproof, and shock resistant. I rigged up a mount on the front of my kayak to take some video just after Christmas. The bonus feature is a built in GPS.
Where is it $120
When I read your post I felt cheated because I paid over $200 for it.
Quick Google search has it at $220 or threabouts. Its highly subject to lens flare. Using the backlight feature helps a lot when you are pointed toward the sun.
A friend bought his wife a Go Pro, …
and for under water, they are not worth the money.
They constantly fog up, and have absolutely no zoom.
After watching her exasperation with it, I wouldn’t get one
California Kayaker Magazine review
California Kayaker Magzine ran a set of reviews on a few cameras (Pentax, Olympus, GoPro, and Oregon Scientific). The reviews are getting a little dated now, as most of these brands have newer versions of the cameras. But I think they are worth reading for the comparison of the pros and cons of POV versus handheld cameras.
Reviews were in issues 6 and 7. All issues can be read online for free at http://www.calkayakermag.com/magazine.html
Own both Nikon and Lumix
The Lumix takes quality pictures given that you understand it’s limitations. The Nikon is a better bet if you are snorkeling and taking pictures underwater. For taking pictures from your boat it is a toss-up. Understand that number of megapixels for current cameras does not matter. Buy the cheaper one.
Pentax Optio WG-1
I have had a bunch of waterproof camera over the years (they may be waterproof, but they don’t float), and they have all been versions of the Pentax Optio. Pictures are good as along as the conditions aren’t too bad - rainy days, shadows and snow are all problems, but you can usually fix things on the computer after. It takes surprisingly good video. For paddling, you really can’t go wrong with this camera.
I haven’t looked at any of the newer generation of the Olympus Stylus cameras, but the one i got 4 or 5 years ago still takes great pictures, just remember to get a floating wrist band so you don’t lose the camera
Lumix gets my vote but
remember, it may be waterproof but it DOES NOT FLOAT. I use a lanyard from my pfd
I have a year old one that is …
Please tell me how you take underwater pictures from your boat ???
See my post above
In case you do, add a Lifeproof case to it and there’s your point n shoot plus all the other iPhone-y things. It’s also a real case to use terrestrially.
DryCase would be another option but only for aquatic activities.
See you on the water,
The River Connection, Inc.
Hyde Park, NY
Not so sure of that
Gopro 3 has 12 MP in resolution. The lens and software combo does favor single width, wide angle to very wide angle, which some won't like, I realize. Fogging is cured with cheap anti=fog devices. The housing is very rugged, goes down deep and the dive housings go deeper. The basic units all come with the waterproof housing as part of the package, so you don't pay extra unless you want one specifically for diving deep.
Your G15 is a $500 camera requiring another $300 underwater housing and has a 12.5 MP resolution. So at twice the price you can have a great zoom, but it's bigger and won't work as well for video nor for places where you need small light camera.
If you understand the Gopro's intended major use - video - and its secondary use - stills - you have a very versatile camera system to work with. If you want a zooming, truly waterproof still camera that might shoot short videos, then you don't go the Gopro route, something like the Canon will do better.
Just depends upon the intented use, really.
Its called not point and shoot
but point, guess and shoot. I have lots of underwater pictures of nothing.
Unless I counterbalance and get on the floor of the boat with my head in the water…which is risky on the ocean.