new waterproof compacts

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

  1. jwg

    jwg Active Member

    Joined:
    Aug 22, 2009
    Messages:
    909
    Likes Received:
    376
    Location:
    West Richland, WA
    I got a Sony TX5 a couple of years ago. Fantastic waterproof camera. Currently TX10 or TX20 is the model available. my next camera will be a sony too. Simple form factor, i hang it around my neck with the camera held in a pocket or attached case. Pull it out, pop the lens cover down, and shoot, all one handed if need be (e.g. rod on other hand).

    The choice of settings can have a huge effect on the observed lag. If I am in full "intelligent" automatic, the camera looks for faces to recognize and tries to figure out all kinds of other things before releasing the shutter. Changing to P, programmed automatic mode, makes a huge difference in getting a faster shutter release.

    Jay
     
  2. tkww

    tkww Member

    Joined:
    Nov 11, 2006
    Messages:
    634
    Likes Received:
    165
    Location:
    WA
    I haven't included the a Sony yet. I I have a tendency to hate Sony for perpetually trying to foist proprietary memory and/or connection formats on users. And, I've had 3-4 Sony products break over the last decade. I just sort of lost my enthusiasm for them. But maybe I'll get around to adding one of theirs.

    Please note: at the bottom is a "sheet1" and "sheet2" If you click on sheet 2 you'll see a bunch of written notes.

    https://docs.google.com/spreadsheet/ccc?key=0Am5DTfw8b-n0dFp1Y3FTN2RZbXMtdEd4R2dCNkhYd0E
     
  3. tkww

    tkww Member

    Joined:
    Nov 11, 2006
    Messages:
    634
    Likes Received:
    165
    Location:
    WA
  4. silvercreek

    silvercreek Active Member

    Joined:
    May 19, 2012
    Messages:
    501
    Likes Received:
    318
  5. Brian White

    Brian White Recovering Bugmeister

    Joined:
    Oct 5, 2009
    Messages:
    502
    Likes Received:
    191
    Location:
    Further from MT than I'd like (B-vue, WA)
    After having read all of this.....I am now just as unsure as before on which is best choice. On the other hand, any camera I get will be an upgrade over my current point and shoot camera (my phone - apologies to all the good photographers cringing when they hear that). I don't carry any camera when I fish, though I'd be tempted to do it with a waterproof point/shoot I think.

    I went to a camera store and did some playing with the nikon, canon and olympus. Still need to try Panasonic, pentax and a sony if I can lay hands on one. I have had good luck with Panasonic as a brand in the past though I've never owned a Panasonic camera.

    I did ask the shop guy about GPS and battery life and he says it sucks the life out of any of them. He suggested toggling it off until you actually want to take a shot and then turning it on just for the shot. Not sure how practical that would be.
     
  6. Bruce Baker

    Bruce Baker Active Member

    Joined:
    Jul 17, 2007
    Messages:
    725
    Likes Received:
    108
    Location:
    Olympia, WA
    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.
     
  7. tkww

    tkww Member

    Joined:
    Nov 11, 2006
    Messages:
    634
    Likes Received:
    165
    Location:
    WA
    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?
     
  8. tkww

    tkww Member

    Joined:
    Nov 11, 2006
    Messages:
    634
    Likes Received:
    165
    Location:
    WA
    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.
     
  9. jwg

    jwg Active Member

    Joined:
    Aug 22, 2009
    Messages:
    909
    Likes Received:
    376
    Location:
    West Richland, WA
    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.

    jay

    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!
     
  10. Dan Nelson

    Dan Nelson Hiker, Fisher, Writer, Bum

    Joined:
    Oct 20, 2007
    Messages:
    901
    Likes Received:
    468
    Location:
    Puyallup, WA
    Home Page:
    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.
     
  11. obiwankanobi

    obiwankanobi Active Member

    Joined:
    Apr 19, 2007
    Messages:
    1,358
    Likes Received:
    161
    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.
     
  12. Freestone

    Freestone Not to be confused with freestoneangler

    Joined:
    Sep 30, 2003
    Messages:
    3,134
    Likes Received:
    2,885
    Location:
    Central WA
    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.
  13. Chrissy

    Chrissy New Member

    Joined:
    Aug 22, 2012
    Messages:
    1
    Likes Received:
    0
    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
     
  14. Bruce Baker

    Bruce Baker Active Member

    Joined:
    Jul 17, 2007
    Messages:
    725
    Likes Received:
    108
    Location:
    Olympia, WA
    I agree!
     
  15. Jeff Sawyer

    Jeff Sawyer Active Member

    Joined:
    Feb 25, 2011
    Messages:
    582
    Likes Received:
    468
    Location:
    Tacoma WA
    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.

    Alaska2012029.jpg