Recommend a good waterproof P&S

Discussion in 'Digital Photography' started by spice weasel, May 20, 2010.

  1. spice weasel macrumors 65816

    Joined:
    Jul 25, 2003
    #1
    Hi folks,

    I'm looking to get a good rugged and waterproof P&S. I spend a lot of time in and around the water and would rather not subject my dSLR to the dangers of submersion. Last summer I had a close call while sea kayaking, and that was enough to convince me to get a waterproof camera.

    I'd also like this P&S to be good enough to act as a general carry-around camera when I don't feel like lugging my dSLR around. So it's non-underwater picture quality needs to be pretty good, and it has to be pocketable enough that I'll carry it around. Video isn't all that important, since I have a waterproof pocket camcorder.

    There are lots of waterproof P&S cameras on the market these days, and it's difficult to make a decision. Based on what I've read so far, I'm considering the following:

    - Pentax Optio W90
    - Panasonic Lumix TS2
    - Sony Cyber-shot DSC-TX5
    - Canon D10

    The Canon gets great marks for picture quality, but the form factor is off-putting. It looks like a little ball, and I'm sure it carries in the pocket like one as well.

    Any input would be appreciated. I'm not wedded to the list above, nor to any particular manufacturer. I just want a good, all-round camera that will take a bit of a beating in and out of the water.
     
  2. TheNewDude macrumors 6502a

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    Mar 17, 2010
    #2

    Yeah as for picture quality Canon is tough to beat, but it looks UGLY! I don't know what canon was thinking.

    The TX5 is a great camera, also has a touch screen. It's also Sony's FIRST underwater camera. Gives you a lot of features.

    The one i recommend is the Olympus Tough 8010. That thing is a solid camera! It's Shock proof upto a 6 feet drop, it's Crush proof to 200 lbs, it's waterproof to 30 feet and Freeze proof to -10 degrees C.
    It's not Olympus' first Tough camera, they have been making these for years, so they have good experience. It does 720p Hi-Def movie too, so u don't have to carry your pocket camcorder around too. And it now takes SD cards so you won't have to spend more money on buying xD cards.

    So the toss up for me would definitely be between the TX5 and Tough 8010.


    My 2 cents! Good luck with your decision!
     
  3. El Cabong macrumors 6502a

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    Dec 1, 2008
    #3
    The Olympus TOUGH models have a poor reputation, except that they can take more of a beating given their size than the competition. Reviews bash them for having poor controls and image quality, which I can attest to, having owned one. Since you're not diving or throwing your camera against rocks, something less heavy-duty and better in terms of interface and image quality would probably be better.

    I have a TX7 (the TX5's hydrophobic cousin), and it's a great performer. I would've chosen the TX5 if it had 1080p video, but it only has a measly 720p [/sarcasm].

    I'd say Sony TX5 as a first choice, followed by Panasonic TS2.
     
  4. spice weasel thread starter macrumors 65816

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    Jul 25, 2003
    #4
    Thanks to both of you. I've read the same things about the Olympus models, and that's why I didn't put them on the list. I was leaning towards the Panasonic until I read about the Sony. But since it was Sony's first foray into the waterproof camera realm, I wasn't sure. Good to know that its TX7 cousin is a great camera. I certainly like the slim profile.
     
  5. Grimace macrumors 68040

    Grimace

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    with Hamburglar.
    #5
    The Canon D10 is one of the few true waterproof cameras - most only go down 10feet. That said, the Canon does not have a 720p video option - but the picture quality is awesome! (I've done dives down to 40ft and it holds up perfectly)

    What sort of time frame are you looking at? There are rumors of a D10 replacement soon.
     
  6. spice weasel thread starter macrumors 65816

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    Jul 25, 2003
    #6
    Really? That would be great if Canon came out with something new soon. I'm not in any huge rush, but with warmer weather here I'll soon be doing a lot more water-related activities. I just need something for snorkeling, playing at the beach, kayaking, and that sort of thing.
     
  7. TheNewDude macrumors 6502a

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    Mar 17, 2010
    #7
    I have the Sony TX1 myself. Even though the features are great, the performance lacks. The pictures often are grainy and low light pictures have a lot of disturbance.

    The features are definitely cool. I use the burst and Swipe mode a lot.
     
  8. TheNewDude macrumors 6502a

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    Mar 17, 2010
    #8
    Yeah if you can, definitely wait!
    It's about that time when Canon should be coming out with a new model of the D10. Can't say I've heard much about it, but the timing is about right.

    I know a Canon regional sales rep. I will ask him for info. If I do hear something, I will let you know.
     
  9. Mac'nCheese macrumors 68030

    Mac'nCheese

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    Feb 9, 2010
    #9
    I've been going back between brands for months, wanting something for the summer vacations. I finally settled on the Sony TX5. I should have it in a day or two. I could post or im you a review if you still want one.
     
  10. spice weasel thread starter macrumors 65816

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    Jul 25, 2003
    #10
    A review would be really helpful. Thanks!

    And NewDude, if the sales rep you know coughs up any info, that would be helpful too. I just read that some people in Canada are getting new models in return when they send in their busted D10s for repair. So something must be in the pipeline.
     
  11. TheNewDude macrumors 6502a

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    Mar 17, 2010
    #11
    Yeah this is the "New Camera Line Up" time of the year.

    So lots of new products keep coming out with new and updated specs.

    I haven't heard of anyone getting a new D10 updated model from Canon yet first hand, but I will be sure to ask the guy I know.
     
  12. Mac'nCheese macrumors 68030

    Mac'nCheese

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    Feb 9, 2010
    #12
    Its on the truck! SHould be here any minute! Today, new camera. Tomorrow, Lost. Monday, Super Mario Galaxy 2. I'm in nerd heaven!!!!!
     
  13. pdxflint macrumors 68020

    pdxflint

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    #13
    Let's hope you stay that way if Lost fizzles out... ;) I know... off topic! Sorry.
     
  14. Mac'nCheese macrumors 68030

    Mac'nCheese

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    Feb 9, 2010
    #14
    OK. Its here. Obviously I didn't do a full-on review that you can get from a web site with stats and examples but here goes:
    Keep in mind, im not a pro. Just wanted a camera that takes decent shots and videos (I am in the market for a real HD camcorder so if anyone can recommend a mac-friendly, sd-card storage camcorder, please do) of my kids when we are on vacation and for basic everyday use. Wanted something that could be used at waterparks and on the beach, not necessarily underwater but splash proof and shock proof in case we drop it. My current camera is an Olympus Stylus 810 8 mexapixel and we print out on a tiny canon selphy so that's our standard. The Sony is a tad smaller and uses a touch screen for all menu access but that's not hard to get used to. I took a few inside shots, an underwater shot in the bath and then a hd video starting above the bath, under the water and then back out again. I compared the video to one I took with the olympus and its hard to see any huge improvement. Maybe if I watched it on an HD tv.... However, its good video and audio and I certainly cant take underwater video any other way. I need to take more shots to really compare the photo quality. The first was blurry, probably my fault and the second looked good but printed out a little darker then usual. I'll use this one for a bit and get a better feel for how things come out under normal use - outside and maybe get used to some of the settings. First impressions: easy to use, video is nice enough for a still camera, photos aren't a giant leap better then my old one (this is 10 mp) but I also probably didn't use the correct settings either. Obviously the best part is that it does work well underwater and if I am sacrificing some quality to get shots I wouldn't be able to with my old camera, then so be it. Hopefully, I get a nice hd camcorder for the important stuff and this will be used for disney world and the beach. More to come if you want.....
     
  15. Mac'nCheese macrumors 68030

    Mac'nCheese

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    #15
    P.S. Just recorded a real short video and watched it on tv. It was grainy on the tv while the video looked better on the iMac. Strange....
     
  16. Chip NoVaMac macrumors G3

    Chip NoVaMac

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    Dec 25, 2003
    Location:
    Northern Virginia
    #16
    Work in a camera shop; and have sold many of the Olympus Stylus Tough series... and nary a complaint. That being said now that we have the Sony TX5 in our shop.. I like the design and features. Waiting to see how the Sony works in the real world with customers and not in forums or blogs.

    The proof is in the shots you come back with.
     
  17. Mac'nCheese macrumors 68030

    Mac'nCheese

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    Feb 9, 2010
    #17
    any thoughts on a hd camcorder for a mac owner? DO you guys sell the Sanyo Dual Camera Xacti VPC-FH1ABK? Its the only hd sd-flash card model like it on the apple web store so I was wondering if thats a good choice for a new camcorder. Its time to upgrade since my old canon is having audio problems (I think when the old mini-dvs get older, you can actually hear all the mechanics inside on your videos). Anyway, I'm in the market for something simple but better then those flip type cameras. Needs to be able to download the hd video onto my imac and use imovie for simple editing.
     
  18. Chip NoVaMac macrumors G3

    Chip NoVaMac

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    Dec 25, 2003
    Location:
    Northern Virginia
    #18
    The Sanyo Xacti series we did carry a couple years ago - they did not match up to the IQ or features that camcorder users wanted at the time.

    I looked at the specs on the current model you mentioned. Seems like Sanyo took the Xacti line to camcorder status - so know idea how well that model will do.

    For my shop we hang with Canon video cams mostly with a few Sony's. The closet in specs to the Sanyo you mentioned will be with the Canon HF-S series at about twice the price - but maybe twice the performance maybe.

    The Sanyo specs:

    The Canon specs on the HF-S series:

    Both from their websites.

    Will say that Canon's Instant AF does work very well.

    Not sure based on what I read on the Sanyo site - but the Canon will take a shotgun mike, a surround sound mike (based on the model IIRC), and a video light - all through their mini-S adapter shoe.

    I have seen some 8x10 images from the Canon HF-S 8mp series and they hold up well over P&P shoots at the same megapixels.

    As for either being able to be used on your Mac... have not tried the Canon as of yet here.

    We are going OT here... but I will say that as a still photographer that has dabbled in video I love my Olympus Pen series cameras. They import flawlessly on to my iPad. So I can't see why they can't be used on my Mac's. I just don't need "unlimited" video recording time here. I tend to short clips that don't last more than the 8 minute I have on my Olympus EP series cameras...
     
  19. Mac'nCheese macrumors 68030

    Mac'nCheese

    Joined:
    Feb 9, 2010
    #19
    Just a quick follow up to my review. Used my TX5 today for the first time in normal conditions. A backyard party, some indoor shots, some shade, some video, etc. Just transferred all my photos and videos to the imac and both the wife and I were very happy with the quality. We have agreed to use this as our primary camera and are glad that it can also withstand water, shock, etc.
     

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