Waterproof/beach camera to supplement my gear

Started Jun 8, 2013 | Discussions
mgn2
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Waterproof/beach camera to supplement my gear
Jun 8, 2013

Will be heading to beach vacation soon with family. Already have a Fuji X100 and Sony NEX-6 with enough AF+MF lenses. Since we will spend a good portion of our time at the beach or  in the pool, I'd like to get a rugged, water-resistant/water-proof camera that is under $200 so I don't feel too bad if it gets destroyed/drowned or takes mediocre pictures (my expectations for P&S and waterproof cameras relative to my current gear are low). Don't care about fast lens as there will be plenty of light. Don't care about megapixels. Should have decent sensor size. Would be great if it could should 720p or 1080p video. IQ should be at least as good as an iphone 5, otherwise I'm better off buying a rugged case for my iphone(s). I just don't want to miss moments with my family because I don't have my camera on me or afraid it will get sand or water in it. I'm also open to buying a new smartphone as I need a phone anyway, and then could kill 2 birds with 1 stone. Thanks much!

Fujifilm FinePix X100 Sony Alpha NEX-6
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OpticsEngineer
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Re: Waterproof/beach camera to supplement my gear
In reply to mgn2, Jun 8, 2013

A couple of weeks ago I got the recently discontinued Sony TX20 waterproof and shockproof. Very compact and takes nice photos.  It was $189.

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mgn2
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Re: Waterproof/beach camera to supplement my gear
In reply to OpticsEngineer, Jun 9, 2013

OpticsEngineer wrote:

A couple of weeks ago I got the recently discontinued Sony TX20 waterproof and shockproof. Very compact and takes nice photos.  It was $189.

How do the Panasonic options compare?

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mgn2
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Re: Waterproof/beach camera to supplement my gear
In reply to mgn2, Jun 9, 2013

So far I've come up with:

Panasonic Lumix DMC-TS25

Sony Cyber-shot DSC-TX20

Fujifilm FinePix XP200

Panasonic Lumix DMC-TS4

Olympus TG-830

Which is the best option?

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yooperguy
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Re: Waterproof/beach camera to supplement my gear
In reply to mgn2, Jun 9, 2013

Several options to include your smart phone suggestion.  Here's a couple links I found that might offer some options.  DPR did a review on these camera types back in 2009, but I didn't find anything newer.

http://www.pcmag.com/article2/0,2817,2366987,00.asp

http://www.adorama.com/alc/0011795/article/The-Best-Rugged-Cameras-Right-Now

I have the Canon underwater housing for my older G9, so that's what I use.  It would be more convenient size-wise to get the more compact all in one cameras, but I think image quality is lost.

Dennis

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mgd43
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Re: Waterproof/beach camera to supplement my gear
In reply to yooperguy, Jun 9, 2013

I recently bought a Fujfilm XP55 from Staples for $119. The current model is the XP60 and it sells for $199 at B&H and Adorama the last time I looked.

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MarkInSF
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Re: Waterproof/beach camera to supplement my gear
In reply to mgn2, Jun 9, 2013

mgn2 wrote:

Will be heading to beach vacation soon with family. Already have a Fuji X100 and Sony NEX-6 with enough AF+MF lenses. Since we will spend a good portion of our time at the beach or  in the pool, I'd like to get a rugged, water-resistant/water-proof camera that is under $200 so I don't feel too bad if it gets destroyed/drowned or takes mediocre pictures (my expectations for P&S and waterproof cameras relative to my current gear are low). Don't care about fast lens as there will be plenty of light. Don't care about megapixels. Should have decent sensor size. Would be great if it could should 720p or 1080p video. IQ should be at least as good as an iphone 5, otherwise I'm better off buying a rugged case for my iphone(s). I just don't want to miss moments with my family because I don't have my camera on me or afraid it will get sand or water in it. I'm also open to buying a new smartphone as I need a phone anyway, and then could kill 2 birds with 1 stone. Thanks much!

At that price any rugged camera is going to have a tiny sensor.   They all do so they can fit the optical path inside and not need an extending zoom.   So don't expect image quality above the most basic entry-level point &  shoot.   In bright light around the pool you can still take fun pictures.

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OpticsEngineer
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Re: Waterproof/beach camera to supplement my gear
In reply to mgn2, Jun 9, 2013

"How do they compare?"

I have to admit I did not shop around at all.  The camera was for my 7 and 9 year old daughters.  They love the not-waterproof TX-66 so I was getting them one more similar so they did not have to share on vacation this year.

This is a link to and old round up comparison (2011).  None of the cameras are current obviously, but I think (for no good reason actually) that the updated versions do not stray too far from the older models.  Although from reading the Olympus forums I think maybe the image quality of their newer offerings might have improved more than the other models.

http://www.dpreview.com/reviews/Q311waterproofcompactgrouptest

http://www.dpreview.com/forums/thread/3483500

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igorek7
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Re: Waterproof/beach camera to supplement my gear
In reply to mgn2, Jun 9, 2013

mgn2 wrote:

So far I've come up with:

Panasonic Lumix DMC-TS25

Sony Cyber-shot DSC-TX20

Fujifilm FinePix XP200

Panasonic Lumix DMC-TS4

Olympus TG-830

Which is the best option?

I would recommend Panasonic Lumix DMC-TS4 or TS5, both of which are fantastic, and were selected by various reviewers as best rugged & waterproof cameras for the last two years, including the Technical Image Press Association (TIPA) awards.

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happypoppeye
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Re: Waterproof/beach camera to supplement my gear
In reply to mgn2, Jun 9, 2013

mgn2 wrote:

OpticsEngineer wrote:

A couple of weeks ago I got the recently discontinued Sony TX20 waterproof and shockproof. Very compact and takes nice photos.  It was $189.

How do the Panasonic options compare?

Your iPhone with waterproof case will have better IQ than any compact waterproof camera.

From what I've used and seen:

Sony tx20 - bought and sold - best IQ out of the four here but all touchscreen control is super annoying and makes the camera just way too fiddly and not fun

Nikon aw100 - underly horrible white balance and focus ...gave to my ex-girlfriend ...hehehehe

Olympus TG-2 - what an oversized and overpriced piece of junk. Noise reduction is horrible ...Olympus deserves to go out of business with noise reduction like that

Panasonic ts20 - one of the funnest beach cameras I've ever used ...got mine for $139 bucks ...ts25 is the replacement ...bought this about a year and half ago before the Oly, Sony and Nikon ...and the only one I kept and am still using. IQ is horrible, super slow  ...love this little thing.

Just realize, whatever you buy, that these waterproof compacts are horrible IQ wise, with, what I've seen, the more expensive ones having worse IQ with just more features for the money.

...get a good iPhone cover is my suggestion.

A few Panny ts20 beachers:

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happypoppeye
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Few more...
In reply to happypoppeye, Jun 9, 2013

ts20's ...again, IQ is horrible, but memories aren't made by IQ:

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mgn2
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Re: Waterproof/beach camera to supplement my gear
In reply to happypoppeye, Jun 9, 2013

Exactly the reply I was looking for. Thanks for cutting through the bull ! Your pictures are great btw, and more than capture the moment - thats all that counts for me. I'm going to get the TS20 used or TS25 IF I don't get a smartphone with waterproof case. Which smartphone would you get? Iphone 5 (I have iPhone 4 right now)is obvious but what else is as good or better? I'm considering Samsung S4, HTC One, Motorola Droid Max HD, Sony Experia Z and the Nokia options that are subsidized in the US by a contract plan. It has to be at least as good a phone and camera as the iPhone 5. Cheers!

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happypoppeye
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Re: Waterproof/beach camera to supplement my gear
In reply to mgn2, Jun 9, 2013

mgn2 wrote:

Exactly the reply I was looking for. Thanks for cutting through the bull ! Your pictures are great btw, and more than capture the moment - thats all that counts for me. I'm going to get the TS20 used or TS25 IF I don't get a smartphone with waterproof case. Which smartphone would you get? Iphone 5 (I have iPhone 4 right now)is obvious but what else is as good or better? I'm considering Samsung S4, HTC One, Motorola Droid Max HD, Sony Experia Z and the Nokia options that are subsidized in the US by a contract plan. It has to be at least as good a phone and camera as the iPhone 5. Cheers!

Thanks mgn2 ...and I have no idea on phones ...I would say undoubtedly the iphone5 but that is with no knowledge of camera phones ...that would simply be an opinion from all the photos I've seen from the iPhone.

Sounds like you know what you're getting yourself into with the waterproof compacts too ...just realize the IQ is bad on all of them but they are perfect for "capturing those moments" and for me, the cheap price just adds to the fun factor because its an absolutely no worry type camera.

Good luck ...have fun.

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