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Choosing a camera (waterproofing) Help!

Posted by Ejh9110 on 18/4/2012 at 15:59

I'm going to be heading to SE Asia this summer. I'll be in Siem Reap for 8 weeks from the end of may through mid July and then I plan to travel around between Thailand and Laos.

I was ready for a camera upgrade and I just bought a Canon Powershot S100. Now I'm second guessing this because I'm worried about always having it some sort of camera waterproof bag that I know they sell now. I know they sell some pretty nice waterproof cameras now, but I'm a Canon girl at heart and I just can't pull myself to make a switch. I definitely plan on hitting up Krabi and Railay for some adventures. Does anyone out there use any of those water camera bags? Thoughts on them?

#1 Ejh9110 has been a member since 10/4/2012. Location: United States. Posts: 3

Posted by goonistik on 19/4/2012 at 00:22

I guess it depends how much you plan to spend. The camera pouches are ok for the money.

Canon manufactures an all-weather case for your S100.

The case is rated to 3 meters. I've seen some used cases on sale at ebay for $50 or less which is about the same or a little bit more than some camera pouches. However, it is ebay so caveat emptor.

#2 goonistik has been a member since 7/1/2010. Location: Philippines. Posts: 563

Posted by busylizzy on 19/4/2012 at 01:02

If I were you, I'd splash out for the case that goonistik links to. (I wish there was one at a reasonable price to fit my camera!)

I have used the pouches quite a few times over the years. Here's my comments:

- it's hard to focus underwater. The fish are moving, the water is moving and you are moving.
- it's hard to see the screen to see whether you are focuses or not. Too much movement, and reflection and light refraction (?) between the monitor and the pouch.
- you need to try to keep the lens flat up against the pouch otherwise the pics can be a bit cloudy.
- movies generally work better than photos.
- you need to be really careful when you seal the pouch. Once, I had a small bit of plastic folded back at the top which got in the way of the seal. When I went underwater, a few drops leaked in and the moisture very quickly inactivated my camera for a few hours.
-it's best to turn the camera on before you get in the water, and pre-set it to wide aperture if you can.
- you can't zoom in as it butts up against the bag, it gets an error on the camera then shuts down. Then it's bloody hard to get it turned back on once you are under water.
- you have to be really careful with the bag. If you scratch and rough up the clear plastic, it'll show in the photos.

Overall, they are a bit fiddly. But I'm not prepared to splash out for a more expensive camera box option., so it does the job. Only about 20% of my photos are keepers though! You also have to be careful that you don't spend your whole time underwater fiddling with the camera rather than enjoying the view. (But then I guess that applies above water, too!)

I do find it very handy to take my camera kayaking, though, I put it around my neck, it keeps the camera nice and dry, but I open it up and remove the camera to take my pics.

#3 busylizzy has been a member since 31/12/2007. Location: New Zealand. Posts: 2,152

Posted by SBE on 19/4/2012 at 16:49

If you want decent pictures I'd say definitely go with the proper casing. There's no point in having a great camera if you're going to be taking pictures through a poor quality lens or a plastic bag. It'll be rainy season when you go but a waterproof case would mean you'd be able to take pictures outdoors whatever the weather as well as being able to go snorkeling with it.

I love taking pictures underwater and last trip I bit the bullet and bought a camera with underwater housing after years of using compact waterproof cameras. Had I been rich enough I'd have chosen the S95+40m housing (your S100 hadn't been released then) but even my much cheaper Ixus220HS + waterproof housing gives excellent image quality straight out of the box and I love not being limited to a maximum of 60 minutes underwater use at a time! (Last time I looked there wasn't a single waterproof camera on the market that allowed you to stay in the water longer than an hour)

Because the Ixus 220HS is tiny the casing is relatively small. I think the S100 is quite a small camera as well so the casing for it shouldn't be hugely bulky either.

I still like my waterproof Canon D10 (solid performer and has never leaked) but I like my new camera even better because it's got significantly better specs for underwater use (wide angle, HD movies etc) and with the 40m housing I don't have to worry about staying in the water too long any more. I won't be going back to waterproof cameras unless they do one with decent seals and excellent image quality. Every time manufacturers do upgrades it seems to be just bells and whistle fancy software, not stuff that users actually want and need like robust seals that allow you to use the camera all day when you're on a snorkeling trip!

The 40m housing I have lets you use most (but not all) of the camera functions. The weatherproof 3m version has fewer buttons by the looks of it but it's still probably a lot easier to use than the waterproof bag Lizzy's got. If you have to have the camera turned on before putting it in the bag and keep it switched on all the time you're in the water then your battery is going to run out quite quickly for a start!

#4 SBE has been a member since 14/4/2008. Location: Global Village. Posts: 2,055

Posted by titchenerm on 13/8/2013 at 22:49

Hi Ejh9110,
I posted a thread a while back asking about what camera is best for travel that was waterproof. At the time you suggested the Olympus E-620 vs the Canon Powershot D10. I held of buying and waited to the last minute to buy a camera due to the holiday price drops and was fairly sure I was going to get the D10. During that time the Panasonic Lumix FT1 came out and sat as the biggest rival to the D10 with good reason. I'm sure by now you can see where this is going.

Most of the reviews I have read suggest that IF you are looking for a camera that is mainly to be used IN the water then the D10 is the winner. However, IF you are looking for a waterproof camera that is to mainly be used OUT of the water, the Panasonic takes it home. If only it were that simple. (For me anyway)

Though tests show that the Panasonic has better optical zoom, better battery life, better video, a bigger LCD screen, and is generally better "in almost every respect" the Canon produces better image quality and has no problems with video converting. I have read several instances where problems arose with transferring/converting the Panasonics AVCHD videos. Also noted is the slow turn on time, slow response time, and even as one review put it, hard to even tell when it has started recording. It has worse accuracy in Auto white mode than the D10 and as often mentioned, "stiff mode dial". There are a few more problems that I won't mention, I just wanted to point out a few to make a point. None the less, it is on par with the D10 in all the reviews I have read. I am not trying to make the Canon look like the better of the two I just need help deciding which one to buy with a more solid decision based on more than simply deciding if I will be using it more under or above water.

So, as the experts, and other members that read this, I ask, money aside, what would you personally chose and why?

#5 titchenerm has been a member since 4/7/2013. Posts: 1

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