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Discussion in 'Other Systems' started by xdayv, Feb 12, 2012.
Summer is fast approaching, always wanted to buy a waterproof camera... any suggestions?
I just got myself a DMC-TS3. Haven't had the opportunity to put it through its paces, though.
Oh, you want waterproof, not just water resistant? Well, Oly certainly has the broadest range and longest history with their Tough series (TG-310, TG-610, and TG-810). However, the new entrants are starting to look pretty nice. Sony came out with one which is pretty sleek and stylish, but it has the toughness of Oly's cheapest $150 Tough (TG-310), at the price point of their toughest $350 Tough (TG-810). The Sony is a pretty "tough" sell. xD The new Panasonic however (the DMC-TS3), has both the specs and price point of Oly's best TG-810 model. It seems very comparable. Panasonic has always had a great history with point-and-shoot quality, so I imagine their new waterproof probably takes good pictures. Then there's a new Nikon model, which I don't know anything about. It looks uniquely well built, but that's all I can say for it. It's the newest of the bunch, and again untested...
I will add that the only waterproof camera which consistently gets slammed for having the worst image quality is the Fuji. But then, if you're asking for suggestions on this forum then you're probably not so interested in the bottom-line cameras anyways.
You can't always rely on the numbers in camera models anymore, but the TS3/FT3 is actually the third generation of Panasonic's waterproof compacts which date back to 2009.
My pentax waterproof p&s has been just about indestructible. It has been to multiple countries, underwater, buried in the snow, dropped, and simply pummeled. It continues to work perfectly. It is an older model but I wouldn't expect anything less from the newer versions. I have gotten many of my favorite pictures from my pentax simply because it is with me no matter what. It rides in my jacket on my dirtbike now which is a pretty violent retirement from its original job as my main camera. I still get many pictures from it that I am proud to claim.
My dad uses a year old Olympus Tough for scuba diving and it works well. I have taken many nice pictures with it and I really like the camera. The nice thing about olympus is that you can get reasonably priced factory housings for the cameras as well. Our oly has been down to about 150 feet in belize and works perfectly. It is slow like most P&s camears but the IQ is good and with a good external flash it functions quite well underwater.
If someone forced me to buy a new one now I would have a tough time deciding between the pentax or the oly. They both work wonderfully. I'm sure the other manufacturers make good cameras but I wouldn't even consider the other manufacturers as I have had such a good track record with these two.
P4220378 - 'Refurbished Olympus Stylus Tough 6020' by RedTail_Panther, on Flickr
P4220392 - 'Refurbished Olympus Stylus Tough 6020' by RedTail_Panther, on Flickr
There are only two cameras worth considering. The Sony TX5/TX10 and the Panasonic TS3. Yes, there are plenty of other tough waterproof cameras from the likes of Olympus, Canon, etc. The problem with those is that they put the emphasis on tough and ended up with pretty bad caemras. The Sony and Panasonic are good cameras that happen to be tough. The Sony TX5/TX10 are just like the other TX cameras. They don't even look like tough/waterproof cameras. They just happen to be. I've had my TX5 for a couple of years. It's been a champ and has never let me down even though it's been abused. The Panasonic TS3 is also a good camera but the case does scream "I'M TOUGH". So it's not exactly subtle. The TS3 does have better underwater controls since the TX cameras use a touchscreen that isn't very useful underwater.
Check out this roundup.
The Sony TX's can be had very cheap. I got my TX5 the first week it was out for $200 even though the MSRP was $400 or so. Amazon recently had the TX10 for $168.
Been using Canon D10 for a year and a half and it's great camera. The odd design is not for everyday use but if it's just a back-up camera, it's not really bothering and it's reassuring that the camera will survive in all conditions. It's a bargain nowadays.
Pics from Boracay:
Get the E-M5 and the soon to be released underwater housing.
If you have an iphone4(s), then might consider this:
iPhone 4/4S Case - Gen 2 - LifeProof Apple Cases - LifeProof Store :: LifeProof Cases
You can take it down 10' under water!
My two cents on the subject are these:
1. Seals will fail eventually, and will need replacement, usually every year to be safe.
2. Image quality usually suffers to make these cameras waterproof. If you are in to pixel peeping, you'll be disappointed.
In my experience I have only dealt with the Oly Tough series, so I'd recommend those.
I own the Panasonic TS3, and I love it for the beach and pool! I follow all the directions and soak the camera after any saltwater exposure. We have had it for a year now, and use it often. All the photos in this flicker set were taken with it. I would highly recommend it for both photo and HD video.
Panasonic TS3 - a set on Flickr
Summer has officially started..
This video was taken with the Panasonic TS3....love this little underwater camera. My son and wife with my first grandchild were visiting several weeks ago and it was all about the pool and the beach!!
<iframe src="https://player.vimeo.com/video/38459885?title=0&byline=0&portrait=0" width="639" height="359" frameborder="0" webkitAllowFullScreen mozallowfullscreen allowFullScreen></iframe>
Oh how I wish I were in the Philippines right now!
You should come over - I'll give you a free tour!