Point and shoot for backpacking - waterproof?
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Thayne N
(teethless) - MLife

Locale: SF CA
Point and shoot for backpacking - waterproof? on 06/21/2012 12:59:16 MDT Print View

Hey all-

I read and searched and didn't find any current threads that I felt applied. (I'm kindof a luddite) I'm looking to take a step up from the camera in my iphone! I see these agro-styled "waterproof, shockproof" type camera's around and wonder if this is the tree I should be barking up? Or is this a chance for the manufacturer to really cheap out on the internals? I like the idea of not having to baby the thing in the outdoors.

Ideally: I would be spending less than $300 (<$200?), have the option to use easy batteries (AA or AAA), and it will not be the heaviest thing ever. I understand tradeoffs are a part of the process...

Any suggestions are appreciated.

Thanks!

Rog Tallbloke
(tallbloke) - F

Locale: DON'T LOOK DOWN!!
Re: Point and shoot for backpacking - waterproof? on 06/21/2012 14:05:26 MDT Print View

People seem to rate the Olympus tough series in that price range very highly. Olympus have nice colours and processing straight out of the box. Small and light too.

Franco Darioli
(Franco) - M

Locale: Melbourne
Point and shoot for backpacking - waterproof? on 06/21/2012 18:05:38 MDT Print View

you can find a Panasonic TS3/FT3 on the net for $250/300.
LiIon batt, about 300 shots per charge.
Still the best image quality out of a weatherproof compact camera.
(the newer FT4 just has a few extra features)
Franco

Edited by Franco on 06/21/2012 18:06:18 MDT.

Rog Tallbloke
(tallbloke) - F

Locale: DON'T LOOK DOWN!!
Re: Point and shoot for backpacking - waterproof? on 06/22/2012 00:45:16 MDT Print View

Not available new any more and not waterproof, but my old Ricoh GX200 is built like a tank and can use 2 AA size batteries in an emergency. Fabulous quality 12mpx images in good light but struggles with noise above ISO 400. The auto mode is good (with the right settings) but the camera really shines for those who want full manual control and customizable functions.

The AAA/AA battery stipulation is going to limit your choices in the waterproof camera market, and with LI-ON batteries being cheap and packing more power I think you'd be better off buying enough spares for your trip, or rigging a solar charging solution.

USA Duane Hall
(hikerduane) - F

Locale: Extreme northern Sierra Nevada
Canon on 06/22/2012 06:54:50 MDT Print View

I've been looking for a smaller p & s, Canon has a nice looking D40 or something, had it written down at home. Sounds like a bp camera.
Duane

Rog Tallbloke
(tallbloke) - F

Locale: DON'T LOOK DOWN!!
Re: Point and shoot for backpacking - waterproof? on 06/22/2012 08:38:38 MDT Print View

This is probably worth a read:
http://www.dpreview.com/reviews/Q311waterproofcompactgrouptest/

Will Webster
(WillWeb) - M
Waterproof on 06/22/2012 12:26:10 MDT Print View

I bought a Panasonic TS3 recently, for a week-long outing where I felt that I needed waterproof and dustproof. I got some decent shots, but it took a lot of exposure bracketing to compensate for the lack of RAW capture, and I did a lot of post-processing. None of the images were what I would consider critically sharp. Understand, I usually shoot with a DSLR or a Canon S95. I kept the GPS and all the other battery hogs turned off, and managed to get 1000 shots on two batteries over a period of 8 days.

If you need waterproof/dustproof/shockproof, and you're OK with shooting jpeg, and you just want something to email or print small it's a good camera. If you can protect your camera from the elements you could get a camera with the same image quality which weighs less and/or has a much better zoom range, or you can get a lot better image at the same weight as a waterproof.

I'm hanging on to the TS3, but mostly as something to throw in my pocket when I'm going paddling in case something pops up and I don't have time to open the drybox.

Edited by WillWeb on 06/22/2012 19:18:56 MDT.

Thayne N
(teethless) - MLife

Locale: SF CA
maybe a non-toughcam? on 06/22/2012 17:33:09 MDT Print View

Thanks for all of your opinions!

Obviously I'm no pro, and my expectations are pretty low. I liked the idea of the "tough camera" just so I don't have to baby the thing...and maybe get some novel shots! But hearing Will's experience (which is kinda what I was thinking/fearing) maybe I'll try to be a responsible camera owner and go with a lighter/cheaper/less abuse-able option. Anyone have a recommendation? I think I won't be taking many more pics over the course of a trip to factor AA/AAA compatibility into my decision making. Thanks for the d40 suggestion, it looks like a little more camera than I am looking for.

Here is another toughcam shootout for anyone else who has been searching:

http://www.lenstip.com/134.1-article-Waterproof_cameras_test_2012_-_part_I.html

Franco Darioli
(Franco) - M

Locale: Melbourne
Point and shoot for backpacking - waterproof? on 06/22/2012 18:29:33 MDT Print View

pics taken with an older version of the Pana.
Not great but maybe good enough...pana 1
Pana 2
Pana 3
Pana 4
Pana 5
Franco

Bob Gross
(--B.G.--) - F

Locale: Silicon Valley
Re: Point and shoot for backpacking - waterproof? on 06/22/2012 18:48:22 MDT Print View

The first photo was one of Franco holding onto the guylines below his Tarptent.

You don't want those things to get away from you.

--B.G.--

Franco Darioli
(Franco) - M

Locale: Melbourne
Point and shoot for backpacking - waterproof? on 06/22/2012 19:23:12 MDT Print View

That was New Year's day up in the Alps.
Two 56 year old guys playing with their toys...
I use an older WP Pentax for the same reason my mate uses his WP camera, so that we don't care if sand/dirt/water/snow is about.
We both sold cameras including pro stuff up to 8"x10" but are of the opinion that the best camera at home is not as good as a so so in the pocket...
(our tents were about 200m away , 2x 5' guylines employed)
Franco

USA Duane Hall
(hikerduane) - F

Locale: Extreme northern Sierra Nevada
Point and shoot for backpacking - waterproof on 06/23/2012 09:09:36 MDT Print View

So many cameras, so much to digest. Ug!
Are we pushing TT shelters again? :)

That was a Canon model D16 that had all the "proofs", not the one I mentioned from the top of my head in my earlier post. I do see Olympus has a model or two there, the small, local, still in business camera shop seems to mostly carry Canon which is fine, nice to get personal help from them. I'm sure they can get other brands.
Duane

Rog Tallbloke
(tallbloke) - F

Locale: DON'T LOOK DOWN!!
Re: Point and shoot for backpacking - waterproof on 06/23/2012 10:06:23 MDT Print View

Canon D16??

Anyway, if the OP fancies something with some zoom capability now he's decided waterproof isn't essential, he might look at a Canon SX230. GPS built in for an emergency fix (burns battery if left on) and pretty stunning in auto 'point and shoot' mode. My lady just picked one up off the 'bay for cheap, and I'm struggling to better its output with my heavier and pricier Ricoh GXR with the zoom lens module on.

Yuri R
(Yazon) - F
TS4 for sale on 06/29/2012 15:08:57 MDT Print View

I bought a TS4 for a trip abroad (just got back last night). It did great and was easy to use, but i have decided to get a more advanced camera (probably not water-proof), so I'm selling the Panny TS4 - let me know if you are interested.