Waterproof camera options?

Mar 14, 2012
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My family is considering a lot of kayaking and some snorkeling on the next vacation (southern FL), so I'm considering specific for this purpose. I'm looking at the Olympus Tough TG-5, but I'm not thrilled about the size of the 1/2.3" sensor, when I'm used to FF. Or would it make more sense to get something like the G7XII (1" sensor) and get a waterproof case for it? Or something like a DiCAPac for the EOS-M (I can see this being the cheapest and worst ergonomic option)? Or is it worth getting something like a nimar water sports housing for the 5DIV with a lens port (it looks big and clunky and unwieldy)?

Max output size is expected to be 12"x12" (photobook). Any suggestions and comments on similar experience would be greatly appreciated!
 

Jim Saunders

EOS 6D MK II
Sep 9, 2012
1,125
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hhaphoto.com
I lack the depth (sorry) to recommend a particular camera but I'd make sure your choice floats; dive housings are presumably pretty close to neutral buoyancy.

Jim
 

Kit.

EOS 6D MK II
Apr 25, 2011
1,149
562
TG-5 is by far the easiest solution and should be good enough for daylight. If you want something working with lower light, you may consider SeaLife DC2000, but it has two major problems: not wide enough lens for underwater closeups (32mm equivalent underwater without a dome port becomes closer to 50mm equivalent) and very slow writing of RAWs (JPEGs are OK).

Waterproof cases are good for diving, but may be too bulky and have too stiff buttons for kayaking. Bag-style housings... I have no experience with them, I would expect them to be less bulky than the hard cases, but even worse in operation.
 
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Don Haines

Beware of cats with laser eyes!
Jun 4, 2012
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I use a TG-5, and it is attached to my PFD by a string so that when I drop it, it does not end up on the ocean floor....

It works ok in good light, and is quite robust.


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Don Haines

Beware of cats with laser eyes!
Jun 4, 2012
8,091
1,570
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Thanks! Looks like I'll be ordering the TG-5 soon!
Whatever you get, make sure it has underwater shooting modes.... If it doesn't, then it isn't meant for underwater...

BTW, I was at a camera trade show ages ago, and the Olympus booth had an aquarium with goldfish in it.... inside the tank were a couple of Tough series cameras and they encouraged you to put your arm in and take pictures.... I thought it was a great way to make a point....
 
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Jun 12, 2013
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I have an older Olympus Tough camera and am satisfied with it for basic outdoor adventures, which is what it's designed for. I wouldn't try to pull large prints from mine or the newer ones or use them for underwater adventures, but that's just my opinion. If you can afford one, the SeaLife cameras are the best choice for all-around adventures. The DC2000 checks all the boxes for that, but it's not as advanced as a high-end dry-land camera put in a good enclosure.
 
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old-pr-pix

EOS RP
Dec 26, 2011
371
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Another happy TG-5 user here. I got it mostly for the data it collects: GPS coordinates, electronic compass, altitude, etc. and use it for planning trail routes. I'd say you would be happy with output up to 12x12 especially if you don't crop a lot. Pushing it to a double page spread - 24x12 might be a stretch but could work well for some subjects. As Don said in good light it is great performer. TG-5 took a resolution hit from the TG-4 (12 mp v. 16 mp) in an effort to improve low light performance somewhat. It's just a fun camera to use. Lens is fine but I've experienced some softness at the long end - combination of lens and my ability to hold rock steady with arms extended - I definitely prefer a viewfinder! Aperture control is a little funky, not really fully adjustable, I think there are just three steps (someone will correct me I'm sure).
 
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Kit.

EOS 6D MK II
Apr 25, 2011
1,149
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TG-5 has two steps of physical aperture (corresponding to /2.0 and /2.8 on the short end), which is already better than its 2.3" competitors, and a 3 stops ND filter.