Waterproof Cameras

Discussion in 'Open Gear Talk' started by Biro, Jul 3, 2013.

  1. Biro

    Biro SC Hall of Famer Subscribing Member

    Aug 7, 2011
    Jersey Shore
    I had a waterproof camera a number of years ago, one of Panasonic's TS series cameras. It had the best image quality of the tough/waterproof cameras at the time but its rear LCD was so useless in bright light that I gave it away after one summer season of use. I'm thinking about one again - and may want to purchase very quickly as we're headed onto the Independence Day holiday weekend here in the States. Does anyone have any thoughts about the latest models or experience with them? I've read a number of professional reviews and both the Olympus TG-2 and Nikon AW110 seem to keep rising to the top of the heap.
  2. bartjeej

    bartjeej SC Hall of Famer Subscribing Member

    Nov 12, 2010
    DPReview have just started a series of waterproof-camera-reviews, they've done the Canon D20 and Olympus TG-2 so far (TG2 got a silver award). Panasonic TS4 and TS5 are still highly regarded, not really exceptional in any specific area but very capable in pretty much every respect. Sony's TX** series is pretty capable too, and very small, but less rugged than the Panasonic, Olympus or Nikon. My personal choice would be the TG2 or the TX30, depending on whether I need the camera more for ruggedness or smallness - but the AW110 seems like a capable middle ground in terms of size and weight, without giving up a lot in terms of ruggedness compared to the TG2.
  3. Andrewteee

    Andrewteee SC All-Pro

    Jul 8, 2010
    I have an older Olympus Tough camera that has held up over the years, if that helps. I've read that the TG-2's LCD can be tough to see as well. Might be an artifact of the waterproofing of LCDs?
  4. Whatever you get, make sure it has at least 920k for the LCD screen. I used to think 460k was enough but its not... and the rear screens are getting way too glossy. I think now, based on how my XZ-1 is in bright light (not too bad) I would probably go Olympus, but you'd have to check those specs, and I dont know if the TG series has the same kind of screen
  5. lenshoarder

    lenshoarder SC Veteran

    Mar 7, 2012
    I would get a Sony TX. Their image quality is at the top tier of the waterproof camreras. Only the Sony and Panasonics have IQ that matches their non waterproof cameras. All the other waterproof cameras come in cases that brightly and boldy advertise their tough and rough capability. The Sony TX rugged cameras look no different from their other non rugged TX cameras. Unless you note, the model number you'll never know. They look just like normal cameras. Some say the Sony's aren't as rugged. I've had a TX5 for 3 years and it's been dropped, stepped on, kicked, fell off a cliff and not only does it still work but is still mostly waterproof. I say mostly since the Sony's are built like cameras with a factory waterproof case. The outer case is cracked. Stupid elephant. So that leaks. The innercase is still waterproof. If it's completely dry, it works fine. If it's completely submerged, it works fine. If it's only kind of wet, the lens fogs up between the real lens and the glass protecting the lens. Note, that you are supposed to replace the seals on a waterproof camera every year for it to stay waterproof. I have never done so. The shutter button sticks at times, but all in all, it's still usable. Pretty good for a not very rugged camera.

    As for the controversy between the TX5/TX10/TX20/TX30. Upto and including the TX20, I don't think any of the TX5's successors have better IQ. In fact, I think they got worse even though the specs like pixel count all rose. The TX30 may have fixed all that.
  6. Luke

    Luke Super Moderator Subscribing Member

    Nov 11, 2011
    Milwaukee, WI USA
    It definitely costs more money, but I think a dedicated underwater case for your LX7 or one of your other cameras would be cooler (in a Dr. Frankenstein sort of way). Plus you won't be tempted to upgrade to the next best waterproof camera.
  7. RT Panther

    RT Panther SC All-Pro

    Dec 25, 2012
  8. Biro

    Biro SC Hall of Famer Subscribing Member

    Aug 7, 2011
    Jersey Shore
    Well, there's an idea.

    The Fuji seems to usually come out at the bottom of a group test. But I like to maintain an open mind. Have you worked with the XP200? Tell me more.
  9. entropic remnants

    entropic remnants SC All-Pro

    Mar 3, 2013
    John Griggs
    Fun video from The Camera Store TV on the subject. I have no experience with those cameras though sorry.

  10. Biro

    Biro SC Hall of Famer Subscribing Member

    Aug 7, 2011
    Jersey Shore
    Yes, I saw one and, once again, the Nikon and the Olympus rose to the top. Seeing this makes me wonder how our friends at the Camera Store made out in the recent floods.
  11. entropic remnants

    entropic remnants SC All-Pro

    Mar 3, 2013
    John Griggs
    Their review of the new Zeiss Touit lenses deals with that a little. It's a mess up there.
  12. RT Panther

    RT Panther SC All-Pro

    Dec 25, 2012
    No...My daughter has an old XP20 and that's about it..:redface:
  13. LisaO

    LisaO SC Regular

    Jul 11, 2010
    I picked up a TG-2 a few weeks ago when it was on sale before fathers day. I originally was going to get the Nikon AW110 but looking at it and the Olympus TG-2 side by side I went Oly. Screen is much brighter, F2.0 lens and I like the red color. I've had various waterproof cameras over the last few years and sold my Canon D10 about a year ago.
  14. Eryx

    Eryx New to SC

    Aug 3, 2013
    DPReview has been reviewing few waterproof cams recently, and will finish with a round up.
    From what I've gathered, the IQ still isn't quite satisfying. If they could make a sort waterproof RX100 (in the form of an RX10 with a prime lens)...
  15. AntoninaWinegar

    AntoninaWinegar SC Rookie

    Jul 25, 2013
    New York
    why dont you look on to nikon and sony collections, check out their official website for getting the absolute solution for this thing
  16. Garylh

    Garylh SC Veteran

    I have owned the Olympus, Panasonic and Sony water proof cameras. Currently use the Sony tx20. All three of these cameras are using the folded zoom lens design that Minolta pioneered over a decade ago now.. Which compromises optical quality for compactness and no moving parts outside of camera body.

    Water clarity as well as how deep u go will have a bigger influence in terms of picture iq then most of these cameras iq issues. That being said, if u are planning to use it above water, then that is a horse of another color.

    A good underwater housing will be best of all worlds but in the past, one of the issues has been over heat dissipation. At one time I had a canon s50 w/ underwater housing. The warning on the housing was it could overheat camera if u leave camera on above water.. I did not ever have a problem, but did notice that it did get very warm..

    The issue w/ any underwater camera whether a simply p&s that is good for 15ft or so or a Nikonos, really is that there is a probability of flooding... Of course this includes the underwater housings as well.

    At end of the day for me, I don't shot professionally, so I would rather have something like an rx100 for my normal vacation shots and the Sony tx20 for those underwater snaps (I only snorkel). If I lose the tx20 due to flooding I am not going to cry about it. If u are a diver, totally different ball game, underwater housing rated for how deep u go or nikonos like camera only game in town.

  17. Biro

    Biro SC Hall of Famer Subscribing Member

    Aug 7, 2011
    Jersey Shore
    You know what? I stumbled on a Fuji XP60 at Best Buy this past weekend. Now, of course it's not as good a camera as something like the Oly TG-2. But if one already has decent cameras for on-land use, I think the little Fuji isn't bad at all... especially with a pricetag of under $200. It's main sin seems to be the almost-total absence of any noise reduction at any ISO. On the other hand, that can be a good thing (NR tends to be too aggressive in many cameras like this) and the noise doesn't seem to get as bad as with many other cameras as the ISO rises. Plus, I can run noise reduction in iPhoto or Aperture with little trouble. I also appreciate that the Fuji gives you a 3:2 aspect ratio option - which is kind of rare among most compacts and waterproof/tough compacts in particular. I wonder how the XP60 does against Oly's sub-$200 waterproof camera, the TG-820.
  18. There have been many times I have wished for a waterproof cam, when out and about and not having the K5 + kit lenses with me. Think I may look into it a bit more (gawd... a different camera for every situation... now that is self-indulgent!).
  19. Biro

    Biro SC Hall of Famer Subscribing Member

    Aug 7, 2011
    Jersey Shore
    Yeah, I had a Panasonic TS1 a number of years ago. In fact, our daughter still has that camera today. And while that Panny never failed me, I can't ignore reports about the occasional failure of the waterproofing in such cameras - for whatever reason. That's why, while cameras like the Oly TG-2 are impressive, I tend to want to shop among in the sub-$200 class. That way, if the camera eventually fails I won't feel so bad.
  20. Good thinking!! A dead cheap waterproof, always in the bag, I dont swim so it doesnt need perfection but I dont want to spend heaps, either.