Rugged waterproof cameras with excellent image quality
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Travis Leanna
(T.L.) - MLife

Locale: Wisconsin
Rugged waterproof cameras with excellent image quality on 03/26/2013 22:34:48 MDT Print View

Ok guys. This topic appears every so often, but what are the front runners in this area?

I'm looking for a waterproof camera that has good battery life, panoramic mode, and most importantly, fantastic image quality.

Secondly, I would like a good zoom and good HD video.

Overall, I guess I just want a waterproof camera that has the capabilities of taking gorgeous shots. I know that it's also up to the photographer to have the ability to do so also.

The Panasonic DMC-TS5D looks nice.

Edited by T.L. on 03/26/2013 22:41:20 MDT.

Roger Caffin
(rcaffin) - BPL Staff - MLife

Locale: Wollemi & Kosciusko NPs, Europe
Re: Rugged waterproof cameras with excellent image quality on 03/26/2013 23:09:21 MDT Print View

Please define 'waterproof'. Do you mean swimming underwater, or do you mean OK in the rain?

I have recently been upgraded to a Canon G15 from a Canon G11 (at a very low cost) when Canon lost my G11 during repairs - very nice ...

Cheers

Martin RJ Carpenter
(MartinCarpenter) - F
Re: Rugged waterproof cameras with excellent image quality on 03/27/2013 06:29:15 MDT Print View

Very true that - fully waterproofed for diving seems to come with quite a premium.

I'm very happy with my (~4 year old?) compact weather resistant lumix but mostly because it can sit in my rucksack hip pocket and come out and take decent photos at high speed with the intelligent auto mode etc.

They do OK printed at A3 but obviously there are non trivial limitations from a small lens like that. Really powerful zoom you won't get.

Olympus very likely have a similar sort of model and likely the odd other company by now.

rOg w
(rOg_w) - F - M

Locale: rogwilmers.wordpress
deleted on 03/27/2013 06:47:06 MDT Print View

deleted

Edited by rOg_w on 06/17/2013 20:07:23 MDT.

Travis Leanna
(T.L.) - MLife

Locale: Wisconsin
Re: Rugged waterproof cameras on 03/27/2013 07:43:22 MDT Print View

Well, I don't need one for diving, but should be waterproof enough to be ok if I take a swim while packrafting.

I'd like to keep it below $350.

rOg w
(rOg_w) - F - M

Locale: rogwilmers.wordpress
deleted on 03/27/2013 08:07:12 MDT Print View

deleted

Edited by rOg_w on 06/17/2013 20:08:21 MDT.

Travis Leanna
(T.L.) - MLife

Locale: Wisconsin
Re: Rugged waterproof cameras on 03/27/2013 08:14:24 MDT Print View

Rog, it's my understanding that it's the sensor that makes the most difference in image quality.

Is this true?

If so, and you have two different cameras with equal sized sensors, what are some other specs to look at in regards to image quality?

Martin RJ Carpenter
(MartinCarpenter) - F
Lens on 03/27/2013 09:17:44 MDT Print View

Well the stuff the light comes in through matters too :) Although with anything waterproof that tends to be quite constrained.

One thing to watch might be the time to switch on from cold. That seems fairly important for normal hiking use and when I last looked seemed to vary quite a bit. Maybe it's improved in general now.

Travis Leanna
(T.L.) - MLife

Locale: Wisconsin
Re: Lens on 03/27/2013 10:12:05 MDT Print View

Lens...indeed! :)

Being ignorant about the subject, what are some attributes that make a lens good?

Travis Leanna
(T.L.) - MLife

Locale: Wisconsin
Here's where I'm at on 03/27/2013 10:22:16 MDT Print View

I currently have a Canon PowerShot SX210 IS. I know that a waterproof won't have the optical zoom that mine currently has, but it looks like many of them have better sensors and the ability to be slightly abused. I dropped my camera in the snow this weekend, and while it is fine, accidents happen, things get dropped, people fall out of boats, etc.

Ben 2 World
(ben2world) - MLife

Locale: So Cal
Re: Rugged waterproof cameras with excellent image quality on 03/27/2013 14:03:18 MDT Print View

Travis:

Looking for a digital survivor -- no matter how long the soak or how deep the water? Click here and be amazed.

Edited by ben2world on 03/27/2013 14:04:26 MDT.

Roger Caffin
(rcaffin) - BPL Staff - MLife

Locale: Wollemi & Kosciusko NPs, Europe
Re: Re: Rugged waterproof cameras on 03/27/2013 18:23:49 MDT Print View

> it's my understanding that it's the sensor that makes the most difference in image quality.
Not so fast. If you stick a crappy lens in front of a superb sensor, you will get superbly registered crappy photo.
You need both sensor and lens.

The whole area of image and lens and camera quality could be the subject of a 27-part series of articles. Not going there! Instead, use existing expert web sites such as
www.dpreview.com
reviews.cnet.com/digital-cameras
www.dcresource.com/
photographic-central.blogspot.com.au/
and doubtless many others.

Cheers

Franco Darioli
(Franco) - M

Locale: Melbourne
Rugged waterproof cameras with excellent image quality on 03/27/2013 18:57:44 MDT Print View

Travis
All of those WP/shock proof camera use a very small sensor, 1:2.3" , and "folded optics" (like in a periscope) limiting somewhat the size and type of lens used in them.
The sensors themselves can be 12 or 16.4 mp now but in the end is the way the image is processed on board that makes the difference.
That and the lens.
Most have a 4x zoom starting at F2.8, the Olympus TG 2 starts at F2 , that is one stop extra so twice as bright (one extra shutter speed).
Still it does not appear to be all that much better than the Pana in low light and the Pana has a longer long time exposure (60 sec vs the Oly 4 sec)
I would look carefully at both the TS5 and the TG2.

Travis Leanna
(T.L.) - MLife

Locale: Wisconsin
Re: Re: Re: Rugged waterproof cameras on 03/27/2013 21:38:00 MDT Print View

Noted on the quality lens. I'll look into those.

Franco, when you say "look carefully at both the TS5 and the TG2," does that mean they're both good and competitive with each other, or look carefully because they might not give you what you're looking for?

I was looking at the sensor size and originally thought they were larger/better than my current camera, but I was wrong. Its the same size.



To all: I can pull all of the specs to compare cameras, but not having a lot of experience with cameras, it's hard to translate those specs into real world differences. So, I'm not asking anyone to do my research for me, but can anyone give me any real world comparisons in terms of image quality between my current Canon SX210 and say, the Panasonic TS5? Will I really even notice a difference (besides zoom).

Franco Darioli
(Franco) - M

Locale: Melbourne
Rugged waterproof cameras with excellent image quality on 03/27/2013 23:30:32 MDT Print View

Sorry, I meant I would choose out of those two.
So far I have only seen the specs for the new Pana, so I would wait till some comparisons are done between those two or DPReview and the like run another class test.
In the last class test the Pana TS3 came out on top and the TG2 was not out.
The TS5 has a different sensor and processing so it may be better on paper but not as good in reality.

Travis Leanna
(T.L.) - MLife

Locale: Wisconsin
Re: Rugged waterproof cameras with excellent image quality on 03/27/2013 23:34:16 MDT Print View

Thanks for the clarification, Franco.

Nathan Watts
(7sport) - MLife
Re: Rugged waterproof cameras with excellent image quality on 03/28/2013 20:10:15 MDT Print View

This is probably bulkier and more expensive than many of the options you are considering, but the image quality will be far better. Sony RX100 wrapped in a waterproof housing.

Even with the housing it's more compact than many cameras. Remove the housing and its a compact pocketable camera - but no longer waterproof.

Housing

Rx100

Franco Darioli
(Franco) - M

Locale: Melbourne
Rugged waterproof cameras with excellent image quality on 03/29/2013 20:58:53 MDT Print View

here is a mini review of the Pana TS5 with some still shots and a couple of video clips :
http://reviews.cnet.co.uk/compact-digital-cameras/panasonic-lumix-dmc-ft5-review-50010564/

Travis Leanna
(T.L.) - MLife

Locale: Wisconsin
Re: Rugged waterproof cameras with excellent image quality on 03/30/2013 17:30:27 MDT Print View

Thanks guys, I'm slowly looking into things.

I just had my camera out last night on an overnight and realized that there are dust particles INSIDE the lens. I'm torn between a camera with a larger sensor ~1.7" vs a worry-free backpacking camera.

joe newton
(holdfast)

Locale: Bergen, Norway
Panasonic FT3 (TS3) on 03/31/2013 00:03:16 MDT Print View

I happily grab my little Panasonic FT3 (TS3 in US) waterproof point-and-shoot for most backpacking, packrafting and bikepacking trips. It swings from my hand or sits in a pocket, always ready to use in an instant while my GH2 has to be lugged around in a separate waterproof, padded bag. "The best camera is the one you have with you" and for outdoor trips that to me means the camera that's in my hand or pocket, not cosseted deep in my pack from the elements :)

How good the image quality has to be comes down to your aspirations. Me, I just want some images to help jolt my memories on occasion or share some impressions of my trips with my friends. If you're looking for commercial quality then there are obviously other, more expensive options.

https://vimeo.com/62787813