New waterproof cameras

Discussion in 'Photography / Video' started by tkww, Feb 15, 2014.

  1. tkww Member

    Posts: 464
    Ratings: +66 / 2
    Both Nikon and Canon have introduced new waterproof/rugged compact cameras. The Canon continues to be under-speced considering the marketplace, but I'm sure it's a fine camera. It's big point is how deep it can be taken underwater (25 meters!). It has some interesting movie/video options and built-in GPS.

    The Nikon appears to be a decent upgrade from previous models.
    • A different lens that starts faster (f2.8 vs f3.9), and starts at a wider angle (e24mm vs e28mm)--though the same 5x zoom range so not as long on the telephoto end (e120mm vs e140mm)
    • Both US and Russian GPS for faster and better acquisition.
    • Better video options (more 1080 options, more frame rate options.
    • Longer battery life (albeit a slightly heavier camera).
    • An ~50% increase in resolution on the back LCD screen.
    • Wi-fi for transfer, but best of all it offers iOS/Android apps for control of the camera via a phone or tablet.
    • They're offering a silicone cover/case option, and a chest harness option (feeling the heat from GoPro? :)).

    The Nikon AW120
    From Nikon's site

    The Canon D30

    Unfortunately it looks like nikon is using the same sensor, so don't expect too much in the way of better low-light/noise performance. They do offer two higher ISO options in certain modes, so they've either fine-tuned their NR algorithm and/or upgraded the processing engine.

    I have a Panny TS-1 that I've used and enjoyed for years, but there are enough things about the AW120 that I might very well be upgrading....
  2. Josh dead in the water

    Posts: 2,937
    NW Washington
    Ratings: +497 / 2
    I find the new Olympus with the 21mm lens to be more interesting.

    IMO, until someone actually integrates a functioning navigational GPS into these cameras, the GPS function is pretty useless. Unless you like giving away your fishing spots and burning battery power.
  3. tkww Member

    Posts: 464
    Ratings: +66 / 2
    Somehow I completely missed that introduction. 21mm is certainly interesting. It remains to be seen how good any of them are in the corners. I will rarely turn down mm's at the wide end, but I'm not sure I need 21mm in a fishing camera. Distortion/perspective is fun but also something that has to be managed. And I do prefer f2.8 to f3.5. (Olympus does have the TG-2 with a 25-100 f2 lens also.)

    Nikon does allow maps to be used in their camera. I'm not sure/doubting much in the way of "navigational" features like waypoints and whatever. Personally I rarely use GPS for that, but more to it, I'd rather see a camera that's a better camera (or cheaper) and not a better GPS unit. Though the same case could be made for including GPS at all.

    As far as giving away fishing spots: Some places that's a moot point (hey, surprise!, I was at Lenice). But for spots that I'd like to keep quiet...well, posting photos of them is, in general, just a bad idea. Just talking about them on the internet is a bad idea. But to the point, it's no biggie to me to strip the EXIF data if I'm going to post photos. But when I look back at photos taken 3 or 5 or more years ago I often find myself wondering where exactly it was taken. I may know what body of water, but not remember which spot on it exactly. I'd love to have that info. Battery drain? Sure, but everything has a cost. Video is a battery drain. But none of the features have to be used if one doesn't want to use them. You can leave GPS off.
  4. Bruce Baker Active Member

    Posts: 543
    Olympia, WA
    Ratings: +44 / 0
    Panasonic upgraded the TS series. The latest is the TS-5. One of the upgrades is being able to set the exposure manually. And it offers WiFi transfer and apps to control it from a smart phone as with the Canon and Nikon.
  5. tkww Member

    Posts: 464
    Ratings: +66 / 2
    And the TS5 has NFC in addition to Wi-Fi. My only real complaint about the Panny TS1 is the lens, and they haven't changed that from what I can tell. The lens is fine wide angle, but absolutely falls apart at the telephoto end. I realize that I'm a little picky since I'm used to using zoom lenses that by themselves cost many, many times what these cameras do.

    So I guess I'm hoping the Nikon does a little better. The lens also starts wider and faster max f-stop throughout it's range compared to the current TS5 (I'm betting the TS6 has the 24-120 lens). The Nikon also has twice the resolution on the back LCD (900K vs 450K) and a few other/more video options.

    I've loved the TS-1. I had an early pentax optio WP camera before it, and that thing was a huge POS. A really poorly designed camera. I was so excited when it died. The TS-1 has been reliable, battery lasts a long time, etc. I have nothing "bad" to say about it. It's made me a believer in the Panny brand. But, all things considered, if I were picking a WP camera up today, it'd probably be the Nikon AW120.