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Best waterproof video camera?

DiSnEyF@n

Well-Known Member
Original Poster
#1
Hi all... I’m curious to see what kind of video camera will be best for my trip down there. I had a waterproof camera that lasted about 3 years and I can’t find a good one that is similar to the one I had. I’m looking into GoPros but I thought I’d ask on here first. I don’t want to spend more than $200 total.

Thanks for your input.
 

yensid67

Well-Known Member
#2
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DiSnEyF@n

Well-Known Member
Original Poster
#4
Is the go pro reasonably priced? I feel like (in researching the cameras) that the go pro doesn’t have a small viewing screen like most cameras do. Can anyone confirm ?
 

wendyphant

Active Member
#5
Is the go pro reasonably priced? I feel like (in researching the cameras) that the go pro doesn’t have a small viewing screen like most cameras do. Can anyone confirm ?
It depends on the model. I have Hero 4 which has a screen. Also it contcts via wifi to my phone so I can see what my son is filming and can view it afterwards
 

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thomas998

Well-Known Member
#7
Hi all... I’m curious to see what kind of video camera will be best for my trip down there. I had a waterproof camera that lasted about 3 years and I can’t find a good one that is similar to the one I had. I’m looking into GoPros but I thought I’d ask on here first. I don’t want to spend more than $200 total.

Thanks for your input.
Your limit on how much you are willing to spend puts a limit on the quality of what you can get. If you are truly limited to 200 then I would suggest your best option is getting something used which will limit you options based on what is available but will give you a chance at something better than buying new.

You don't mention what kind of camera you currently use but you might consider the possibility of using it and just spending money on an underwater housing for it. I have wasted money on some inexpensive water proof cameras before and was never satisfied with them when I actually used them. One big problem with the cheap ones is that they will have a small sensor which means they will also have a small lens. That become a problem when you are out of the water and the camera gets water splashed on it. A single drop of water that hits a small lens pretty much makes it useless because everything will be distorted vs a water proof case on a larger lens camera will usually only have a bit of blur in one spot where the water is. In both cases the image you get is affected but with the larger lens and a drop of water you can still usually make do with the image. That would be my major concern with something like a go pro. The lens on them is very small so one drop of water on the lens will likely kill their usefulness.

Also why do you want a waterproof camera? Do you have something in mind you want to photograph where you'll get wet? Aside from trying to get some photos on wet rides I don't really see a lot of value in a waterproof camera. I've wasted my time years ago lugging around a camera that was waterproof because I wanted to try and get a shot on splash mountain on the last drop, didn't work as hoped but did endure lugging a heavy camera plus underwater housing for a day - all in all a mistake and not worth it at all.

If you are just worried about your camera getting wet just get a decent camera bag and keep your camera in it when it rains or you get on a wet ride. I've never lost a camera from moisture and that includes taking them on rides where I got completely soaked and all the camera had to protect it was a decent camera bag with a zipper.
 

KeithVH

Well-Known Member
#8
There's also something like this. If you plan on snorkeling, pictures in the pool, etc. and want to stay under your price, PLUS have at least a good, basic still camera, this wouldn't be a bad option.
 

thomas998

Well-Known Member
#9
There's also something like this. If you plan on snorkeling, pictures in the pool, etc. and want to stay under your price, PLUS have at least a good, basic still camera, this wouldn't be a bad option.
I wouldn't suggest this one. My daughter had one for a trip to Puerto Rico and the photos were pretty nasty. I think it has way too many pixels for the size of the chip the photos even on dry land were not that clear. She took a few snorkeling and the color was way out of whack. I think the fastest the lens would go was around f4.0... So only good if you have lots of light. In the end I think my daughter sold it in a garage sale when she got back because she was so disappointed with the results it gave.

The upside was the camera was waterproof... but that doesn't matter much if the photos it takes are too poor to print.
 

Jahona

Well-Known Member
#10
Right at 200 the GoPro Hero5 Session is one of the better small action cams in terms of build and video quality. The downside is it lacks a screen to view what you are shooting, requiring a phone or tablet to be used as a viewfinder. For the most part what you point it at will be what you get in your footage. With as wide of an angle lens the GoPro uses it's not always a problem lacking a viewfinder.

If you are looking for a more traditional camera style the Fujifilm FinePix XP120 will probably work ok. Great weather sealing and ok photo and video quality for the price. In reality you would need to spend something around 400 to find get a camera with a better quality sensor.

Low light ability on any of these cameras is going to be pretty poor. Expect high grain and underexposed images.
 
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KeithVH

Well-Known Member
#11
I wouldn't suggest this one. My daughter had one for a trip to Puerto Rico and the photos were pretty nasty. I think it has way too many pixels for the size of the chip the photos even on dry land were not that clear. She took a few snorkeling and the color was way out of whack. I think the fastest the lens would go was around f4.0... So only good if you have lots of light. In the end I think my daughter sold it in a garage sale when she got back because she was so disappointed with the results it gave.

The upside was the camera was waterproof... but that doesn't matter much if the photos it takes are too poor to print.
Interesting. I just figured you'd only get so much for 130 bucks anyway. I'm surprised it's that bad, Panny usually makes at least serviceable products.
 

thomas998

Well-Known Member
#12
Interesting. I just figured you'd only get so much for 130 bucks anyway. I'm surprised it's that bad, Panny usually makes at least serviceable products.
Yes I expected more from it and even told her it would probably be a decent enough camera for her trip. Unfortunately it arrived a day before she left on the trip so we had no real test of it prior to the trip.
 

thomas998

Well-Known Member
#14
There's a Fuji XP90 for ~200 but I have no idea whether it's any good. I think the price point may be a serious limiting factor here.
Agreed on the price being a limiting factor. Best luck I've had with a small underwater camera has been a Sony RX100 with a waterproof case. It isn't perfect but you can get reasonable results.
 

KeithVH

Well-Known Member
#15
Agreed on the price being a limiting factor. Best luck I've had with a small underwater camera has been a Sony RX100 with a waterproof case. It isn't perfect but you can get reasonable results.
Not to hijack the thread but are you using one of those Polaroid cases for $150 on Amazon?

To the OP, this is another option but needs to be around $400. You could get a dive case from Polaroid and expand available cameras a lot.
 

thomas998

Well-Known Member
#16
Not to hijack the thread but are you using one of those Polaroid cases for $150 on Amazon?

To the OP, this is another option but needs to be around $400. You could get a dive case from Polaroid and expand available cameras a lot.
It was from B&H but yep same cheap case. I see no point in paying for a high end case for a digital camera when the newer versions come out a year or so later with just enough of a change to make your underwater case useless for all but the one years model it was made for. I've some other underwater cases made by the camera companies specific for their camera and honestly I don't see much difference in the quality of the Polaroid case to more expensive cases. I haven't used it much deeper than 30 or 40 feet so I have no idea if it would really take 100 feet as it claims. But it was really intended to be used for snorkeling so I'm not concerned. If you are considering it, it does have a few issues; The strap doesn't work well as the strap material is too slippery when wet so those friction clasps are pointless better to just tie a knot in the strap which is what I had to do the first time I used it. Biggest problem is there is the glare you get off the rear of the housing. If you are on land in sun or near the surface shooting down when it is sunny it is hard to see the screen. No real work around I've found for that problem and you are often forced to shoot from the hip without really being able to frame your shot. Otherwise it does function as it should.
 

DiSnEyF@n

Well-Known Member
Original Poster
#17
So thankful for everyone’s responses. I’m going to look into maybe getting a waterproof case for my current video camera.
 
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