Which waterproof compact camera can be called (most) serious?

Discussion in 'Open Gear Talk' started by JoepLX3, Nov 12, 2010.

  1. JoepLX3

    JoepLX3 SC Regular

    41
    Jul 11, 2010
    Already owning LX3 and K-x and on the beach in Japan, scared to use my camera's while playing with sand and water, my mother telling my daughter she can get a camera for her birthday, I thought:
    - Which waterproof compact camera can be called (most) serious?

    Probably it will be too expensive, but still an interesting question, right?
     
  2. deirdre

    deirdre SC Top Veteran

    652
    Sep 26, 2010
    I can tell you what I did when I looked at all the prices and reliability for all the cameras: picked up a used Nikonos V. It's not exactly compact, but it is a tank.
     
  3. Mal

    Mal SC Veteran

    275
    Sep 23, 2010
    Liverpool / UK
    Just to be sure....

    Do you mean a purpose built camera... like the Nikonus or Sealife


    Nikonos-V.

    [​IMG]


    Or are you talking an underwater housing like these ones made for your LX3... from DIGIDEEP


    [​IMG]

    [​IMG]
     
  4. deirdre

    deirdre SC Top Veteran

    652
    Sep 26, 2010
  5. silverbullet

    silverbullet SC Regular

    133
    Oct 20, 2010
    Germany
    Sometimes an Oly is hanging around my neck when I'm out with my Hobie Trimaran.
     
  6. JoepLX3

    JoepLX3 SC Regular

    41
    Jul 11, 2010
    I was more thinking about a compact that I always take with me and if we (family with young kids) unannounced (or planned) end up at the beach or swimming pool then I can still safely use it. Taking pictures from within the pool/lake/sea is secondairy priority, to the camera not dying on the spot (if you know what I mean).
     
  7. Mal

    Mal SC Veteran

    275
    Sep 23, 2010
    Liverpool / UK
    Then its not an underwater camera you want.... Its a 'waterproof' camera. There are many on the market to choose from... As you have already got a Lumux, here is their new range of waterproofs....


    [​IMG]


    Panasonic today introduced the new LUMIX DMC-TS2, a successor to the company’s first rugged digital camera designed for active outdoor use, the LUMIX DMC-TS1. Featuring High Definition video recording capability, in the AVCHD Lite format, the new 14.1-megapixel LUMIX TS2 further strengthens its toughness when compared to its predecessor and is waterproof to 33 feet (10m), shockproof to 10 feet (2m), freezeproof to 14° F (-10° C) and dustproof....


    More info


    Another cheaper option... is to simply carry an aquapac or other proprietary made bag in your car, or camera bag.... to pop your LX3 into... on such occasions (I have one for the beach)


    [​IMG]
     
    • Like Like x 2
  8. deirdre

    deirdre SC Top Veteran

    652
    Sep 26, 2010
    The thing to watch out for with all waterproof cameras is that one must must must maintain them properly.
     
  9. wolfie

    wolfie SC Veteran

    299
    Sep 19, 2010
    "Destroyer of Cameras"

    could be my byline - 5 cameras - 1 DSLR and 4 canon powershots lost to water intrusion.:rolleyes:

    I can recommend the Dicapac - still have one for the sole surviving powershot and it has survived me falling over in slippery boulder rivers and in saltwater. And so cheap. The major downside is the handling through the vinyl does detract from the fun of actually handling the camera as it slips around inside it.

    I have not not gone for any of the current breed of WR compacts as they all use the smallest sensors going (1/2.3 or 1/2.7) and the image quality from all of them seem to be significantly below their dry-land cousins.

    What I'd like is a WR body with 4/3 or APS sensor and a fixed lens to simplify construction and then you can have clip-on converters for wide or tele instead of interchangeable mount. Basically the Fujica X100 but sealed.

    Or as I have dreamed before, a digital Fuji HD-M:
    Fuji_HDM.

    C'mon Fuji - just resurrect the design and stuff some digital innards in it - easy as!
     
    • Like Like x 1
  10. bigrig

    bigrig New to SC

    9
    Nov 8, 2010
    • Like Like x 1
  11. JoepLX3

    JoepLX3 SC Regular

    41
    Jul 11, 2010
    Would my K-x (icw with smaller lens like the 18-55 mm kit or new 35 mm F.24 lens) fit in such bag?
    - But it indeed kind of puts an end to a lot of the fun, but so will the TS2 (e.g. no DoF control and noise limiting low light applications without flash).
    - In case my LX3 dies, it wil be a difficult choice between the GF, LX or TS line and given price might be an important factor to me, if resulting image quality isn't too bad then the TS will become my DSLR companion for the rough days.
     
  12. deirdre

    deirdre SC Top Veteran

    652
    Sep 26, 2010
    The bags are problematic; read through all the reviews for any you're considering.
     
  13. JoepLX3

    JoepLX3 SC Regular

    41
    Jul 11, 2010
    The Pentax W90 seems to be a reasonable underwater camera as well (cheaper and cool macro feature)
     
  14. deirdre

    deirdre SC Top Veteran

    652
    Sep 26, 2010
    This is why I suggest reading the reviews. I did read the Pentax W90's reviews on Amazon, and for underwater cameras, I really suggest reading the 1- and 2-star reviews, then taking them with a grain of salt.

    I've read the W90's manual, and there's no specific steps before taking the camera underwater. So why did so many of them fail?

    People who know underwater cameras will tell you the following about the Nikonos:

    1) Make sure to keep it wet until you can flush it with good, clear water, preferably hotel tap water (and not filtered water on a boat). This means keeping it in a bucket of salt water if necessary.
    2) Instead of rinsing in the sink or shower, drop it in the toilet and flush five times. (Not recommended for cameras smaller than the Nikonos!)
    3) Too much silicone grease is almost worse than too little.
    4) Learn the procedures for flooding.
    5) Clean, clean, clean. Dirt enables leaks.
     
  15. JoepLX3

    JoepLX3 SC Regular

    41
    Jul 11, 2010
    Funny but technically understandable, that means besides point 4, can you tell us what you mean there?

    I actually don't understand why it is so diffult to make good water/dirt resistant camera, especially if the lens is not moving on the outside.
    - start with limiting the external openings to a bare minimum and make a cover in plastic arount the rest from one piece (melt two against each other) just like cheap playing ball (or just like the plastic bag, with sealed closure - only a little stronger).
    - buttons should be too difficult if you use plastic closure from one piece
    - battery & memory card, why make them come out every time? WiFi for data transport and simple electric adapter for loading the included rechargable battery and clean the contact with sand paper if charging doesn't work very well any more...
     
  16. deirdre

    deirdre SC Top Veteran

    652
    Sep 26, 2010
    On point 4, the Nikonos is an old enough camera to be almost completely analog. If you do flood the camera, it's still salvageable with a few steps. You'll lose the roll of film, but with luck, not the camera.

    If you read every "waterproof" point-and-shoot review, you'll see there's an apparently significant failure rate. That's why I went for an older, better-known, film camera.
     
  17. wt21

    wt21 SC Hall of Famer

    Aug 15, 2010
    I got an old Oly waterproof cam. Oddly. the pics below water are far better than above water. It cost less than $100 used, and it's lasted two years so far. To me, this is a "disposable" purchase.

    Can Canon D10 I think is supposed to have really good IQ for a waterproof camera. It doesn't used folded optics like the Panny and Olys do, but I've only read the reviews. Don't actually own one.
     
  18. Mal

    Mal SC Veteran

    275
    Sep 23, 2010
    Liverpool / UK
    You can get bags (like Dicapack) large enough for Dslr's....


    [​IMG]
     
  19. bartjeej

    bartjeej SC Hall of Famer

    Nov 12, 2010
    bart
    THAT would be my perfect camera! Although if they could make it a bit smaller than the X100, that'd be nice I guess...

    Biggest problem with the Pentax W90 (besides small sensor) is the lack of image stabilization, really a deal-breaker for me.
     
  20. rpclark

    rpclark New to SC

    7
    Nov 15, 2010
    I would buy a Canon d10-ish camera with an s95 sensor and a fixed focal length of 35 mm equivalent f2.0. D95?