Camera for Snorkeling Pictures

Started Apr 4, 2013 | Questions thread
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ramrem
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Camera for Snorkeling Pictures
Apr 4, 2013

We will be celebrating our 35thanniversary with a snorkeling vacation in Sulawesi, and we are trying to decide on a camera to use while snorkeling.  We are not accomplished photographers.  We would only occasionally make prints as large as 8x10s, and we will sometimes view our pictures/video on our laptop or HD television.  Looking at this site, some dive forums, cnet and Amazon, I have narrowed things down, but I am not sure I know enough to know how much weight to give to the often contradictory comments.

Priorities:  Under $450; unlikely to leak (Lumix TS series and several other dedicated underwater cameras are criticized for leaking in some forums); relatively good IQ for underwater pictures; relatively easy to take the pictures and to maintain the camera/housing and avoid leaks (three snorkeling sessions per day for four days) .  Finally, we would also like the camera to be a reasonable good point and shoot for regular dry land photography.

After looking at the reviews and forums, I have three leading candidates.  1) We already have a Canon S100 and we can get the Ikelite housing for about $325.  The camera has generally favorable reviews and we like it.  I know that it has RAW capability, but we have not used RAW.  The reviews/forum comments on the Ikelite housing for the S100 indicate that it does not readily control all of the camera functions and some buttons/levers are said to be somewhat difficult to control.  The Ikelite housing seems to be preferred over the Canon brand housing.  2)  The Sony DSC WX-5  and Ikelite housing together would be about $440.  The camera is not reviewed as much as the S100, but there are several positive write-ups noting the nice aperture/low light capability, HD video, and a nice lens with 24mm at the wide angle.  The Ikelite housing write-ups for this camera are also limited.  I did not see reports of problems with the buttons or levers, but I did see a couple of comments that the Ikelite does not control the mode dial.  3) The Olympus TG2 has some favorable reviews, but because it is so new, the major sources have not yet reviewed it.  Olympus tough cameras generally appear to be the safest re leaks, but I have not read any review that seriously tested the water tightness of this camera.  The biggest criticism I found re the TG-2 is the lack of detail, apparently due to Olympus’s overly aggressive noise cancellation software.

If any of you have experience with, or knowledge of, any of the above, or if you can suggest another alternative, I would love to get your input.  Thanks.

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