Jan 5, 2010 at 11:46 am #1253808
Ok, shutterbugs. I'm no photographer, but I'm willing to fool around with setting aperture, shutter speed, etc manually once in a while. What are some good waterproof cameras? (Not waterproof like a dive camera- just waterproof like an "it's no big deal that I just dropped my camera into the pond" camera.)
I have an older Pentax W-somethingorother waterproof, but I find the lack of control frustrating. The longest shutter speed possible is only 4 seconds, for instance.Jan 5, 2010 at 12:18 pm #1559775
Olympus has a good line of waterproof cameras that are also very tough.Jan 5, 2010 at 2:56 pm #1559815
@mocs123Locale: Southeast Tennessee
All of my shots have been with an Olympus Stylus 720WP since 2006. I never adjust anything manually except for the flash. I am not going to say it is the camera that takes the best pictures for the weight, but it rains A LOT where I hike and it is nice to not have to worry all the time about my camera. I also tend to take pictures in the rain when everyone else I hike with is afraid to take their camera out of the ziplock.
My photos are here:Jan 5, 2010 at 3:46 pm #1559831
Can I suggest starting here?
It's a reasonably comprehensive roundup of the current crop. I'd stay clear of Oly until they drop the inferior xD card format (slow and max of 2GB). If I were shopping today, I'd probably end up with the Panasonic TS1.
RickJan 5, 2010 at 3:54 pm #1559835
@ryanLocale: Northern Rockies
I've used the TS1 through most of 2009 and LOVE it. And I'm super picky. It's a fantastic little camera for a waterproof, and it shoots very good video too.Jan 5, 2010 at 6:12 pm #1559908
@mocs123Locale: Southeast Tennessee
My only complaint after looking at the Panasonic TS1 was the fact that it had no lens cover whatsoever. I just felt like that was a design oversight.Jan 6, 2010 at 7:07 am #1560060
The Consumer Electronics Show is happening right now, so there will be some new cameras introduced. That will probably mean some price reductions on the current crop of WP cameras in the coming months.Jan 6, 2010 at 7:14 am #1560063
Thanks, all. I'll look up some of this stuff.
Rick- as a matter of fact I had found that review myself. But I'm, frankly, not educated enough on the subject to troll through the reams of technical specs and translate them. Thus my question: waterproof AND fully manually adjustable? My Pentax isn't terribly adjustable, and the 4 second limit on shutter speed REALLY irks me.
Offhand does anyone know the shutter speed range on the TS1? The Panasonic website says it has a "starry sky mode" so I asume that it is reasonable, but doesn't really say if there is a limit. Is it infinite?
Again, thanks.Jan 6, 2010 at 9:03 am #1560110
@goldenmeanieLocale: Los Angeles
The FT1 / TS1's shutter speed in Intelligent Auto and Normal Picture modes ranges from 1/1300 to one second. There are some scene modes, for example, night scenery, candle light and fireworks where the shutter speed can go as slow as 8 seconds. The starry sky scene mode allows the setting of shutter speeds as slow as 60 seconds – longer than average for a compact.Jan 7, 2010 at 9:13 am #1560449
With CES going on there are boatloads of new cameras being unveiled, and from the swarm we discover that Oly has relented (finally) and plopped themselves into the SD card camp (ditto Sony). They unveiled this new "Tough" series camera so-equipped. Don't know how good it will be but I'm impressed at the 28mm eq. wide angle and the trout-lure pink option. Multiuse!
RickJan 7, 2010 at 9:25 am #1560453
@goldenmeanieLocale: Los Angeles
And… It has Beauty Mode!Jan 7, 2010 at 9:32 am #1560456
Rick brings up a good point about CES. Some nice cameras may come out. Sony just released a nonwaterproof camera that has a built in gps and compass to put location info into the exif data for your pictures. I think that's awesome. Too bad it's a Sony, with a memorystick and a lithium battery.Jan 7, 2010 at 9:42 am #1560461
Plus its got 10x zoom.
My Oregon 550T isn't even 6 months old and I'm already considering the Gear Swap.Jan 7, 2010 at 10:07 am #1560477
The zoom is nice too. I'm just hoping someone makes a similar camera, except with SDHC memory, AA batteries and full manual mode. I don't think I'd be able to refuse that camera…if I have money.Jan 7, 2010 at 10:43 am #1560489
Good news on the Sony front:
"A slot for Memory Stick PRO Duo and SD/SDHC memory cards (sold separately) is offered on all new models to suit users’ personal shooting preferences."
Death to xD and Memory Stick in one week. Progress I can believe in!Jan 7, 2010 at 10:47 am #1560493
That's awesome news!!!Jan 8, 2010 at 1:51 pm #1560852Jan 8, 2010 at 2:40 pm #1560868
That's amusing how they have a dig at its sensor size. Yes, it's a PS camera. Noisy pictures are what you get when you don't pay for a big sensor.Jan 10, 2010 at 8:32 pm #1561524
@b-g-2-2Locale: Silicon Valley
Before you go too far down the camera selection road, just be aware that there are professional camera bodies with a high degree of weather-tightness. But, those would not be of interest to an ultralightweight photographer.
The compact slightly-waterproof cameras can pass some waterproof dunk tests, but those would not be of interest to a real photographer.
It kind of depends on whether you are doing photography, or whether you are just taking snapshots.
–B.G.–Jan 26, 2010 at 6:56 am #1566317
No word on price or release date.Jan 26, 2010 at 11:54 am #1566416
As a somewhat sheepish owner of a mediocre quality waterproof camera, and after two years and several thousand pictures with it, many on wet trips, waterproofness no longer very high on my backpacking camera features list. There are occasions where such will allow you to snap a shot you wouldn't take otherwise, but not many. I can honestly say that my camera has never been wet beyond a few drops. More important by far is a reasonably weatherproof, and easily accessible case. This will allow you to take pics with any camera without letting it be drenched.
What a waterproof camera provides the backpacker is a little insurance for those of us who are a bit protective of our gear. I'd take a close look at where you will likely be going, and determine how many pictures you'll be wanting to take while standing in a downpour. My suspicion is not too many. As a rugged backup for the professional (like Ryan) who can't afford to lose a shot, OK. But if it's your only cam, you'll get much more performance for your money, especially in low-light, by going for a higher-end point and shoot, I think.Jan 26, 2010 at 12:36 pm #1566437
Yes, Andrew, it is necessary. Importantly, waterproof cameras are almost always also rated DUSTPROOF. I often find myself in very unpleasant places- I picked up my current waterproof Optio in Afghanistan, for instance, where the model was very popular. Or, ever try to keep a camera functioning during a shamal? That talcum-fine dust gets in EVERYTHING.
So, yes- necessary.
As I've mentioned I'm not a shutterbug. I'm mostly taking snapshots and "I was there" kind of photos. But I am at least advanced enough to on occasion want to play with manual settings myself, or set up a long shutterspeed shot, or whatever. I'm definitely not into swapping lenses, though.Jan 26, 2010 at 2:32 pm #1566474
@rcaffinLocale: Wollemi & Kosciusko NPs, Europe
> ever try to keep a camera functioning during a shamal? That talcum-fine dust gets in EVERYTHING.
Understood, but maybe most BPL readers don't experience such dust storms?
CheersJan 26, 2010 at 5:35 pm #1566554
I've seen multiple people's camera lens get dust or dirt in them and no longer open up and extend out. I'll never buy anything except waterproof cameras for backpacking and paddle trips.Jan 27, 2010 at 11:53 am #1566822
Heck, Roger, you Oz natives have some pretty significant deserts of your own, no? :o)
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