new waterproof compacts

Discussion in 'Photography / Video' started by tkww, Feb 7, 2012.

  1. On the Panasonic, the GPS can be on all the time, off, or airplane mode. In airplane mode, the GPS comes on when I turn on the camera. There is some lag in the GPS connecting with the satellites...sometimes very brief and other times not happening. Don't know if the camera needs to be still or not. Wouldn't think that would matter.
  2. I've had good luck with them too. As I said, I have a bias against Sony stuff. But that's me. I had an early--maybe the first--pentax WP camera, and I swore I would never touch another pentax again. The waterproof was fine, but the battery situation was so laughable--for example, it drained batteries while off, so if you hadn't used it in a few weeks, you were SOL unless you charged it. And the overal product life was simply too short. I use Nikon SLRs but have no experience with their P&Ss. I'm sure they're not horrible, but I have a preference for Canon compacts....

    I love the looks of the Oly, except it falls down for GPS functions (like logging). If that's not a big deal, no worries. I would investigate what Bruce mentions below, the "airplane" half-asleep mode to see if that can reduce acquisition time and extend battery life. It does do HD@60 fps if you want that. The Canon has some great feature sets, but does top out at only 24 fps for HD. Again, only if you care.

    If you're coming from a phone, ANY of theses are going to be awesome for you. While you wouldn't catch me dead with another pentax, really, just buy the cheapest one and I think you'll be pretty darn happy.

    Well I think the hitch is that you need faster aqusition than on/off offers. If you had to wait 30 seconds between turn-on and picture taking, how darn often would you even bother. So what I'll be interested in figure out is the airplane mode Bruce mentioned and what the other cameras off for low-battery consumption. Yes, if you left it on the whole time, in an instantly-ready mode, you'd drain juice very quickly.

    I suspect it has to do with geography (obviously) but also the quality/power of the of the GPS in the camera. Meaning, I doubt it being "on" all the time would or wouldn't help. People who have sports GPS watches talk about, how sometimes they just get dropped.

    I'm really curious if other cameras offer something like this. OOC, what's the average time it takes to acquire the signal? When you say "brief..." If you were to put an average time on it?
  3. The problem with these cameras is that all make some sort of serious compromise somewhere, and often where they wouldn't even have to. Canon offers timelapse movies but not timelapse stills. Why? Because they were too damn lazy to program it in.

    I love my TS1, but the sensor is horrible. It needs to go. And from what I can tell they're still using the same one, 3-4 years later. Why oh why? Everybody else switched to BSI-CMOS sensors, so why the heck are still using a really mediocre, old-tech CCD?? And the same lens? Which is really only a 3x, because the 4-5x end of it mushy garbage. I can't tell if they've updated it or not, but the specs are still the same. It leaves me gasping. But they got GPS right in this one, and they added manual exposure mode. Great! But it's kinda weak on movies. :-?

    And this same game go with each one of them. The Oly LCD has almost three times the resolution of the Panny. (Commence head beating.) Nikon caps the bottom at one second shutter and offers no timelapse and minimal movie options. And it just goes on and on.

    If someone is a power user, none of these cameras are right. I'm being overly picky and I realize that. For many people who will never touch the mode dial and only ever use the shutter, zoom, and movie buttons (menu? What's a menu?), any of these are fine. Personally I'd probably go Panny or Canon.

    But....If I had my way it would look something like:
    • Decent sensor, por favor. 12 MPs is fine if means even half a stop better in low light. BSI-CMOS only, CCD need not apply.
    • 15 - 1/1500 or 1/20000 shutter range. Add a manual exposure mode, no matter what a PITA it would be to set. And a timelaps mode (it's already there from the movie function anyway).
    • Lens has to start faster than f3.9, period. F3.3 to f4.5, or f2.8 to f4 -4.5, anyone? Bueller? Bueller?
    • Lens has to be e28 (no 35 here). I don't care if it caps at 4x for quality or speed. Hell I'd probably even settle for 3x since most of the 4.~x and 5x are unusable at their long end. The Oly 25-100 is a good start, but still falls short.
    • HD movies at 60 and 30. lower res movies at much faster fps, al a Canon. And timelapse movie function, with several options.
    • GPS with the works: logging, sleep mode or some other low-consumption option. And altimeter/compass aren't that tough so just put it in there, though I could live w/o it.
    • at least 400K LCD screen
    • The battery can never be too big. (Or good looking.) Or too big.
    • Waterproof, yes, but you don't need to make it scuba-diving worthy. If you're going to beef it up, beef it up in the toughness/drop rating, not the depth rating. Ever tried to hold your breath to 30 feet, Canon? But here's a hint, it's pretty easy to drop it from head-height. And onto something hard, like rocks.
    • Please put decent flash in it. Doesn't have to the world's greatest, just something decent.
    Personally, I'd give up 1/4 - 1/2" in width and height and 1/8 - 1/4" in depth--plus the weight that would imply--if they'd just put it all in one. And I'd pay 50-75 bucks more. Because it'd mean I could stop taking two cameras. Can we just stop having to choose between a lens and movie features? Or a GPS features and an LDC screen? Please??

    Sorry, rant over.
  4. When I got my Sony TX5 waterproof, I got it to have something to take fishing and not worry about, and to get adequate landscape shots. Turned out it took great landscape shots, and better shots and movies than our family canon point and shoot.

    Also the thin form factor and press down lens cover works great. I can grab the camera with one hand, lower the lens cover, which turns it on, and make a shot in a couple seconds, while holding the rod with the fish in the other hand!

    Be sure to look at the Sony TX20 or TX10 before deciding.


    PS. remember waterproof does not mean it floats! You can get floating foam wrist straps, or just hang it around you neck to avoid losing it to the bottom of the lake!
  5. Quick follow up on my past reviews: The Panasonic TS4 is a nice camera with some great features (really like the integrated Baro altimeter while hiking), but it also has one serious durability issue. It seems the door covering the ports/card slot has a tendency to pop up when bumped, even though is has a 'lock.' This proved to be the case on TWO samples I field tested -- and has been reported by other testers as well. So though billed as rugged and shockproof, it''s not.

    Of course, an accessory door popping open isn't the end of the world, but it is the end of the camera if it pops open, or even comes loose, underwater -- especially in salt. I did fill the first field test sample with water while shooting trout in the Tilton when I failed to notice the door was loose (likely bumped when I was pulling on my waders as it was in the wader's pocket). Dead camera. Replacement was nearly drowned in Arizona's Oak Creek -- door came fully open when I merely jumped off a 5-foot ledge into knee-deep water with the camera in my belt pocket on my pack. Fortunately,I kept on my feet and the pocket stayed above the water level.
  6. For me personally the Nikon AW was the best option after knowing someone that has field tested it almost since its inception. They all have limitations its just that the issues with the other like competior models seemed to be worse in respect to durability, photo quality, software...etc.

    Plus, now its $50 cheaper at Costco.
  7. Thanks for a timely thread guys as I recently had to replace a lost Pentax WP5. Dan, I read your review of the Pentax WG2 and picked one up. Thanks! I am clueless about cameras, but so far I have been happy with it. I did replace the useless short strap and biner with a light neck strap (one of the badge holder ones we get at OR) and put a heavy retractor on that so I don't drop it but still have it ready to shoot. I've been playing with it a bit and found the underwater setting on Sunday and it worked much better on that setting than without it. Here's two:

    [​IMG] [​IMG]
    Dan Nelson likes this.
  8. Hi Guys, I have been using the Panasonic Lumix DMC TS-3 for nearly a year now and I think its quite good. The shutter lag and image stabilization features are a lot better than some of the cameras I have had... My one complaint is that the GPS really sucks and does not work half the time. I hope the the TS-4 fixes this problem, although I think I will stick with the TS3 a bit longer before I upgrade
  9. I agree!
  10. Thanks for the info guys...I don't know a damn thing about camera's or photography, but picked up the Lumix DMC-TS4. I really like it so far. My daughter got luck on this one, I was releasing the Dolly, and the Coho just happened to be in the background.

  11. Nice Jeff! (Or, rather "Nice" to your daughter)
  12. Great pic! I haven't tried using mine underwater.
  13. I like to Bragg on her every chance I get. We won't talk about the 20 or so other pics of rocks and bubbles.
  14. Amazon had the Panasonic Lumix TS4 on a one day special for $100 with free shipping! I bought one even though I am happy with my TS3. BTW, I have not any problems with the doors opening on me as noted by another poster. I do check that the tab is on "lock" before putting the camera underwater.

    The camer is a bit more now but still well under retail.
  15. Here are a couple of shots from "Curtis Creek" with a Canon D10 for comparison.
    2011 Sep 24 004b.jpg

    BTW, I had to pull the partially eaten little guy out of this one's mouth before I could get to my fly to unstick him 2012 Sep 03 003_JTMPab7b.jpg
  16. Sorry to double post this but I got no answer in a "Why Camera GPS? thread" I started to ask this question...
    I personally don't want any GPS metadata in photos of trips to my Curtis Creeks or favorite backcountry lakes that I might publish in a public forum. I use Android GPS navigation and fishing log apps that track position, route on custom USGS quads, and catch events displayed on Google satellite maps that I can share with friends. I'm curious, why do you like GPS in a compact waterproof camera for taking photos of your fishing trips?
  17. Well...I don't use GPS navigation much, or fishing log apps. So that's one thing. Second, metadata can be (and IMO should be) stripped in photos, particularly if you're sensitive to that kind of thing. Since I take hundreds if not thousands of photos for every one I post somewhere, I'd rather take the data out of the few than have it missing from all the rest. (And from what I've seen, if something is really that private, it just shouldn't be posted at all, pictures or not.) And, I use my fishing camera for more than just fishing pictures--which is to say, most of that usage isn't "secret" as far as location.
  18. The Panasonic TS4 has exactly the same specifications as the TS3 so there is not much difference to the older model. However it does have a manual mode which is useful, especially if you use your camera underwater, as you can adjust the settings to account for lighting.
  19. The guy in the shop is absolutely right.. DONT USE THE GPS FUNCTION unless you must, as its really annoying when your battery is drained after just few minutes. Its not worth it at all. Personally I would go with the Panasonic waterproof camera as its a good all rounder.
  20. anyone using the new olympus tough TG-1 IHS?

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