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Waterproof camera features
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John S.
(jshann) - F
Waterproof camera features on 06/15/2013 16:23:53 MDT Print View

I'm looking at waterproof cameras. Here are some of the newest at

Please rank your top features you look at when buying new, in order of importance to you. Mine might be

1. image stabilization
2. battery life
3. optical zoom
4. HDMI connectivity
5. weight

Does anyone find gps unnecessary?

What minimum video features do you look for? (1080p, 30 fps)

Edited by jshann on 06/15/2013 16:33:17 MDT.

Greg F
(GregF) - F

Locale: Canadian Rockies
Wp cameras on 06/23/2013 20:08:09 MDT Print View

The first thing I look at is the lens. Two factors - Optical zoom and the lens f-stop. The smaller the f-stop the more light gatering capability and the better lowlight performance.

Next is focus speed in various light conditions.

Image stabilization is a plus provided it is lens or chip based and not software based.

I dont worry about the gimmicky fatures like wifi, gps, art filters. To me they are just extra stuff that might be nice.

DPreview just started to release a series of new reviews on wp cameras. This is the first of six so i assume the rest will come out in the coming weaks.

I dont shoot much video at all so I am not concerned but I usually shoot at 720p with lower compression and I think it looks better than 1080p with higher compression if you compare on an mb/sec basis. If you have the card space low compression 1080p 24or30 fps is the bet.

Edited by GregF on 06/23/2013 20:10:57 MDT.

John S.
(jshann) - F
Re: Wp cameras on 06/23/2013 20:31:02 MDT Print View

Thanks Greg!

Franco Darioli
(Franco) - M

Locale: @Tarptent
Waterproof camera features on 06/28/2013 17:28:23 MDT Print View

"The smaller the f-stop the more light gathering capability"'
To clarify this point, when you read photo reviews "small F stop" means something like F11/16/32, that is 1/11th and so on of the available light (F1)
In this case Greg meant a small number,(referred to as wide or large F Stop/aperture) in this case F1.8 /F2 compared to the more common F3.5 and smaller.

Low light capability is also determined by the type and size of the sensor as well as the firmware, in other words how the on board processing chip handles the image.
So having, for example , two lenses with the same specs, one camera can still give you better low light performance than the other.
When DPReview does the final comparison all will be revealed.

Added :
f stopsensor size
(most compact weatherproof camera use the 1/2.3" sensor )

Edited by Franco on 06/29/2013 00:24:39 MDT.

Will Webster
F number on 06/28/2013 20:54:48 MDT Print View

To clarify Franco's clarification: F number is the ratio of (effective) focal length to (effective) lens diameter. Saying that a lens is f/2.8 means that the diameter of the light-gathering area is the focal length divided by 2.8 (that's why a slash is used traditionally - it's division). Cut that diameter in half so it's f/5.6 and the light gathering area is reduced by a factor of 4. Going from f/1 to f/11 is 3 1/2 halvings in diameter (11 ~ 2^3.5), so the light gathering area is reduced by a factor of (2^3.5)^2 = 128.

The fastest modern lenses I'm aware of are f/0.95.

Edit: Clarified the math

Edited by WillWeb on 06/29/2013 08:01:55 MDT.