More on waterproof cameras

I’ve been looking around the internet over the past few days for information about waterproof cameras. I found this useful video on a group test by What Digital Camera.

Of the cameras tested, the Olympus TG2 and the Panansonic Lumix FT-5 come out as the best. More detailed reviews on are complimentary about the TG2 and the FT-5 within the context of underwater/rugged cameras. Of the two, I think I prefer the TG2 and the image quality seems to be the best. So far so good.


However, looking on Amazon, the TG2 gets a bit of flak for not being as waterproof as advertised. Elsewhere there were some comments about the lens ring coming off. The FT-5 also gathers some less than ecstatic reviews both on Amazon and the Panasonic website.

Admittedly, there may be some bias as people are more likely to be motivated to write a bad review if something has gone wrong. While I don’t intend to do a lot of underwater shooting (even on the Challenge!), a waterproof camera that isn’t fully waterproof is not very impressive. If I’m spending £260-£300 on a camera, I don’t expect it to fail in its major selling point.

HX-WA30_SpecIt was also suggested that I look at the Panasonic HX-WA30 video camcorder, since I might want to take video footage. On paper, it looks very good, but turn to the reviews on the Panasonic website and it doesn’t look so rosy.

At this point, I’m beginning to lose the will to live. I feel I’ve gone round and round in circles and not ended in any firm conclusion. The Sony WX100 that I have takes great pictures. I do have an old Olympus Mju 770SW camera, which is waterproof, but the pictures are of variable quality and has poor video.

I could take photos with my iPhone in its Lifeproof Fre case in bad weather. Unfortunately my iPhone is only 16gb  with about 2gb free, so I have to be a bit careful. I also don’t want to use too much battery as it doubles as a GPS.

I suspect I won’t bother with a waterproof camera until I can find one that definitively fits my needs and gets some unqualified good reviews. Until then a combination of the WX100 and iPhone will probably have to suffice.


16 thoughts on “More on waterproof cameras”

  1. I’ve been using an Olympus Tough for almost three years, it’s come a long way with me in some rough conditions and I love it. I just like not having to worry about it and have it fixed on my chest strap in a cheap holster. Pictures are good enough, indeed the were good enough to publish in TGO with a feature I did.

    I’ve drowned two digital cameras in the past so for peace of mind they are worth it.

  2. Aaaargh! You’re making it even more difficult for me 😉 Good to know you’ve had a positive experience. Presumably it’s the previous model.

  3. Hi Robin, just help/hinder your choice, I’ve owned a Panasonic FT3 (predecessor model) for 3 years and I love mine. Takes really good photos (all my blog photos up to now are taken with it). I can confirm having taken loads of underwater shots that it is indeed waterproof

  4. Hi,
    Being just a general outdoor enthusiast (more mountain biking than walking) i’d seriously recommend looking at the action camera market.
    I know it’s not strictly a photography style camera, but when a friend and i go out we use his GoPro as a normal camera. What you don’t get in terms of a view finder and multi settings, you more than make up for in ruggedness and reliability. We recently ran across kinderscout after climbing up the Crowdon’s Clough waterfall, then proceeded to abseil over Kinder Downfall (it was cold…). Using his GoPro was good because we could throw it to and from each other and not get hung up about it.
    Anyway, it’s just a suggestion as the quality of the pictures is good and they’ll last for ages taking just pictures.
    All the best with whatever you go for 🙂

    1. Thanks. Good stuff. My main reason for thinking about a waterproof camera is being able to take photos in poor weather, not so much for their artistic content but as a record of how things were 🙂

  5. Re the go pro a paddler I know lost his paddling the Dart, it came off his helmet. A couple of months later a guy found it washed up on a beach and found him through a paddling forum. All it required was a recharge, it even had the footage of it rolling along the riverbed until the battery died!

  6. They can do time lapse series too. Stick it on top of a pole outside your tent or in a tree looking at the tent and capture a time lapse series of the sunset/storm.

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )


Connecting to %s

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.