So i'm off to Se Asia and want to take to some awesome photos/videos of me in the water with elephants and tubing in laos. or say i capsize a canoe around phi phi don island whats the best way to keep my camera safe from water or dropping it etc some kind of bag? also i know this is probably the wrong place but what about my passport if i want to go for a swim don't fancy leaving that and my money laying around do i take it all in the water in a bag ?
Diapac and Aquapac are the two main brand names but they're quite expensive plastic bags and don't protect your camera from shocks (eg when you capsize from a canoe). I haven't tried them but I'm a little dubious about what the image quality is going to be like. You have to take the pictures either through the plastic bag itself or through what is presumably a low quality lens incorporated into the plastic bag.
I use an waterproof camera (Canon D10) which is also shock resistant. It's waterproof up to a depth of 10m and takes pretty good snorkeling pictures. The image quality is much better than the Olympus "tough" mju series. The Canon also seems a lot less prone to leaking. There are some other waterproof models on the market too but I haven't tried them.
You can buy inexpensive dry bags in Thailand that could also serve as a day bag as they have a strap. I use the 5L size. It's heaps big enough to put camera, passport, wallet, book, suncreen etc in and very tough and waterproof. Can also be used as a bucket to wash clothes or a waterproof bag for carrying liquids during flights...prevents all your clothes in your checked in luggage getting soaked in shampoo or vodka.
I have an small Aquapac that use when I go out kayaking, and it's perfect for keeping my camera dry. I wear it around my neck, tucked into my lifejacket and take it out of the bag when I want to take a picture. (This means I only do it when in stable water and it's not raining). Photo through the bag are much lower quality - slightly hazy, etc.
I have also tried to take it snorkelling and it's mostly been a waste of time. The camera doesn't focus well through the bag, the quality of photos is mostly poor, and it's near impossible to see the view screen on the back of the camera to see what you are taking a photo of. I've gotten a few OK photos underwater but then I compare them to photos that people have taken with proper underwater cameras, and there is no comparison.
There are some available underwater camera pouches for compact digital cameras that is less expensive than the hard cases- for DSLR cameras
#6 shintai has been a member since 14/12/2011. Posts: 9
I'd recommend looking into a GoPro Hero2 camera. They're waterproof (come with a waterproof casing), very durable, and are basically built for being dropped and filming underwater.
Super high image/video quality for the size of the camera, too.
1) You'd have to buy one - ~$250
2) Want an LCD screen on the back? $80 more
3) Only shoots in fisheye (won't zoom in)
Other than that, you're probably stuck with the waterproof bag option.
#7 Dayyanum has been a member since 12/7/2012. Posts: 22
You might be wiser to pick up a decent, yet inexpensive, waterproof camera for this venture. The Panasonic Lumix series or the Olympus Tough line are both good ones to have and take great pics in or out of the water, up to 40' down.
#8 fishface12 has been a member since 22/7/2012. Posts: 1
All you need to have is a waterproof camera casing. Check this link, this might help you a lot.
#9 travelinasia has been a member since 8/8/2012. Posts: 18
What ever you do, do NOT get a Panasonic one. Everybody I know who owns one (myself included) have been bitterly disappointed with their apparent 'water proof' abilities. Mine was ruined in only its 4th time in water whilst snorkling in Con Dao, and a friends failed after she put it on an outside table at a pub whilst raining!!
#10 norbit has been a member since 21/8/2010. Posts: 16
I bought a tiny Canon 220 HS with proper underwater casing last trip and it's brilliant because I can stay in the water as long as I like now but the waterproof Canon D10 is still going strong too, no leaks and pretty good image quality.