Best Waterproof Camera.

Discussion in 'Digital Video' started by TheEpicFilmCo, Jan 26, 2009.

  1. TheEpicFilmCo macrumors regular

    Dec 31, 2008
    Hello. I will be going snowboarding in a couple of months time and I want a camera or camcorder to take some photos and videos. I will be taking it kitesurfing, windsurfing and bodyboarding in the summer so it must be waterproof to at least a depth of 3 meters.
    I have looked at the Panasonic SDR-SW20 but that is not waterproof enough for my needs.
    I have also looked at the Sanyo Xacti waterproof cameras but they are not waterproof enough either. The VPC-Wh1 that has just been released can go down to 3 meter underwater but at nearly £400, it is over my budget.
    So, for my budget of between £200- £300, I think I will be better off with a waterproof camera that can take good quality video.

    The Pentax optio W60 can take HD video but only at 15fps, so O don't think that will be good for fast moving sports.
    The Olympus mjuTough- 8000 looks good with it's wide angle lens and is plenty tough enough for my needs.
    I also found a cheaper extreme sports camera here. However, I don't think that the video quality of this will compare to the video of the 2 other cameras above.

    If you could please help me decide on which camera to get I would be very grateful.
    Thanks a lot.
  2. Alucardx03 macrumors 6502a

    Feb 10, 2008
    Are you looking for a still camera, or a waterproof camcorder? The examples you list are for still cameras, but this is posted in the digital video forum, so I'm not sure...

    For my purposes (occasional scuba dive, etc), I have a Sony HDR-HC7 and official waterproof case. I've taken this down (perhaps stupidly) past the recommended depths and have never had a problem. I also have a Canon SD900 10mp still camera and the waterproof case for that.

    Both solutions work well, and would probably be cheaper than buying out-of-the-box waterproof cameras. In fact, I think aftermarket waterproof cases are safer because it's possible to see leaks before they ruin your camera.

    So, if I were you, I'd pick out the camera that would best suit your needs and then find a waterproof casing for it. The cases also help with shock-absorption to an extent.

    Just my two cents.
  3. jeremy h macrumors 6502

    Jul 9, 2008
  4. Fonzijr1964 macrumors 68000


    Feb 26, 2008
    i was about to make a forum asking a similar question. Nice site. Do they ship to the US?
  5. jeremy h macrumors 6502

    Jul 9, 2008
    Best ask them - but - a lot of the stuff they sell comes from the US, so with the exchange rate etc you'd probably be better off staying more local. Also, if you're buying proper (expensive) underwater gear remember you'll probably need to get it serviced (o rings / controls ) etc.
  6. jmbill macrumors member

    Dec 17, 2008
    Olympus do several models of compact camera which are waterproof to 3 meters and shockproof. They come under the 'SW' range. They can shoot both still video's and have a movie mode.

    I've just sold my Olympus SW camera. I found the image quality to be poor. Normal photographs had poor contrast with blurry edges and underwater photo's always seemed to have a 'milky' appearance. Plus the absence of a view finder which made photography in bright sunshine impossible using the screen.

    They are not as waterproof as they claim to be. After taking some photo's in rock pools (at a depth of no more than 30cm) I noticed a few weeks later that the inside of the battery compartment door had some corrosion! Olympus would only exchange the camera under warranty if it was completely dead. The seals are really thin around the doors.

    I think you would be better buying a decent camera and investing in a separate waterproof housing for it. It will be more expensive, but will give you better results.
  7. iKwick7 macrumors 65816


    Dec 29, 2004
    The Wood of Spots, NJ
    I've been thinking of getting the Olympus 1030sw for my needs.

    I'm going on a cruise in a few weeks and I need a new camera anyway, so I figured I might as well get a waterproof one. It can handle up to 30 feet below water and has some good reviews - check it out on amazon.
  8. ChrisA macrumors G4

    Jan 5, 2006
    Redondo Beach, California
    Yes. Agree 100%. If the spec says "3 meters" what it realy means is that it is "splash proof" or OK for light rain. Do NOT take a camera like that in the ocean kite surfing.

    For that you will need an "under water" camera or housing. Buy one that is marketed to scuba divers. I have a few of these and have personally taken then down below 100 feet of sea water many times.

    The best way for you to go is to buy a normal camera and then buy a housing for it. Go to the Canon, Sony and Olympus web sites and look for underwater housings. Each company makes housings for a sub-set of their product line. Buy a camera for which there is an available housing. You will have quite a wide selection. But it is a real MISTAKE to buy the camera first as many do not have a housing available.

    There are also third parties who make housing but not cameras. These are typically very high quality but to expensive for your needs.

    There are also cameras from the likes of "Sea and Sea" that do not require housing but they are bulking and expensive

    In any case look for something with a rating of at least 100 feet. and even then treat it well as they can leak if there is as much as a hair or grain of sand in the o-ring. What you fall and the camera hits the water the impact is the same force as taking the camera down many feet, you need that 100 foot rating if you are doing such high energy sports as kite surfing

    If you are kite surfing, this is an example of the thing you should be looking for

    For skiing you can get by with a zip lock freezer bag. Keep the camer in the bag except when you are stopped and stable and using the camera
  9. eleven2brett macrumors regular

    Oct 20, 2008
    I wanted to shoot some footage of Hurricane Ike when it came through. I took a freezer bag and cut a hole in it the size of my lens. Stuck the len's trough and taped it down, and taped a piece of glass over the front of the lens. I had my camcorder out in the rain for quite awhile and found very little water in the bag when I was done. I did this when i went snow skiing too. Problem wasn't so much water as it was temperature there though.

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