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Old 28-08-2016, 00:05   #1
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Camera help

We want to buy a waterproof camera that's reasonably "idiot proof"
without breaking the bank. We don't dive so only require for general use and snorkelling. Little bit we know we want is Panoramic mode, Wi-Fi, GPS, Min 4 - 5 zoom. After that it all goes fuzzy!! Research thus far has the new Olympus TG4 as a likely candidate? Must be other options require help please
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Old 28-08-2016, 00:49   #2
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Re: Camera help

I have owned and used the Nikon Cooplpix AW100 for the past couple of years. Its a simple yet excellent peice of gear. Its waterproof to 10 metres so for snorkelling it will more than meet you needs. The video component ( full lHD) of the unit is much better than I ever thought it would be and has given us very good underwater video.

Hard to beat for a cheap but good value camera. Every time I think of upgrading I wonder why as the current model is doing everything I want. As for idiot proof. I can use it, enough said



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Old 28-08-2016, 01:46   #3
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Re: Camera help

Thanks Greg. Yes the Nikons get great reviews as well. Just good to have users feedback before I head off to the camera shop and get that glazed look in the eyes with all the technical jargon their going to throw around to impress me. Just confuses the hell out of me instead. Cheers
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Old 28-08-2016, 02:40   #4
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Re: Camera help

Another vote for the Coolpix.

We've got the S33.

Very happy with the ease of use, image and video quality.

It's spent quite a lot of time in seawater with no problems and still looks as good as new.


Same as Greg's 100 - it's good for 10m so does fine for us snorkelling and playing in the water.


(We've also go a much more expensive NIkon D5300 DSLR but the Coolpix sees far more use )
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Old 28-08-2016, 03:09   #5
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Re: Camera help

Over on the Photos of Anchors Setting thread, Nolex77 and his Mermaid are producing great results with the Olympus TGi-2. That has been superseded twice now with the TG-4 the latest model.

The camera is waterproof although Nolex77 does use it in a housing, but you wont need that.

https://www.dpreview.com/products/ol...mpacts/oly_tg4

Ok... I just reread the OP post and the TG4 was mentioned. I would say, go for it.

I have the TG3 but stopped using it when I bought a DSLR & UW Housing, but it seemed pretty good.
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Old 28-08-2016, 04:34   #6
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Re: Camera help

Quote:
Originally Posted by hoppy View Post
Over on the Photos of Anchors Setting thread, Nolex77 and his Mermaid are producing great results with the Olympus TGi-2. That has been superseded twice now with the TG-4 the latest model.
Yes, Hoppy is correct. We have used a TG-2 for all the underwater photos. The underwater results have been excellent. The exposure, focus, etc is normally spot on and it has taken a lot of photos without missing a beat.

I am not sure how helpful my experience has been in that I have taken very few above water shots and the underwater photos have all been taken with the housing, so we have not given the waterproof rating much of a test.

Similarly, we have taken very few videos. There is a bit of noise on some movies from the internal working of the camera, which could be annoying if video was important. My only other criticism is that the viewsceen is not very bright, but I believe they have changed this on the later models.
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Old 28-08-2016, 04:43   #7
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Re: Camera help

I have a TG-4 and a coolpix aw120. They are both good cameras. The TG-4 is more flexible (gives you more control over settings) but more complicated to use. The coolpix is more automatic and simpler to use. I find that the coolpix has more of a tendency for the lens to fog when immersed in cool water. So much so that I actually run my genset and air conditioner and blow dehumidified air into it for about 2 minutes before I take it in the water. The instructions even say to only open the cover in a low humidity environment. Where do you find one of those on a cruising boat? I have also found that storing it in a sealed plastic container with desiccant helps. If you purchase an external battery charger you can minimize the amount of time the cover needs to be open. Why do I go through all this trouble for the Nikon? It's just easier to use underwater. I do a lot of macro photography and it is much easier to do it with the Nikon than fumbling with all the settings on the TG-4. Things you want to take pictures of underwater often don't wait around for you to fumble through a bunch of setting options. Also The TG-4 has a round central lens that looks like a big eye, while the Nikon has a square lens up in the corner. I find that smaller fish tend to freak out and leave when you point the TG-4 at them but not so with the Nikon. I guess in the ocean when something with a big eye starts focusing on you it is not a good thing. Another thing that affects my photography that may not be an issue for you is that the corner mounted lens of the Nikon allows me to take macro photos and videos of creatures in small holes because I only have to get the corner of the camera in the hole to do so, where I could not possibly get the center mounted lens of the TG-4 anywhere near the hole.

The current model of the Nikon is the AW130 which seems to be an AW120 with a deeper depth rating. Both Cameras seem to meet your basic needs. If you just want a simple point and shoot I recommend the Nikon. If you want to play with a lot of optional settings go for the TG-4.
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Old 28-08-2016, 04:50   #8
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Re: Camera help

We've been using a Fuji Finepix XP70 for a couple years now. Compact, waterproof to 10m and ticks off many of your "must haves". Good little camera and it didn't break the bank.

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Old 28-08-2016, 08:26   #9
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Re: Camera help

I have a Nikon Coolpix 130, works great, I love it
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Old 28-08-2016, 09:01   #10
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Re: Camera help

I've just researched the TG-4 & it is the only one of this type of waterproof, rough use point n'shoot that offers shooting in raw. I doubt if that would mean much to you if you don't do any post-processing, but it makes a big difference to those of us who do.

The link provided above was good, and allows you to compare the various cameras.

CaptBill, that was a really worthwhile review of the two cameras. Thanks for that.
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Old 28-08-2016, 10:46   #11
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Re: Camera help

When ever I see a question like this I assume the person posting is looking for a low end camera. The go to site for such things is dpreview and their waterproof camera roundup. While this link is to the 2015 roundup they do have individual reviews of more recent cameras.

One consideration a lot of folks asking questions like the OP asked is how one views image quality, and to some extent how much they will be doing post processing to improve the image quality.

While not true in all cases it is fair to say you get what you pay for in underwater photography. On the other hand there is a trade off between ease of use with a smaller cheaper camera and unmatched image quality you will get with a DSLR in a good housing with good quality lighting.

Another consideration is you can almost always get last years model at a big discount along the lines of 90% of the function/image quality for 50% of the price.

One nice thing about the dpreview roundup is there are lots of pix from the various cameras so you can get some feel for which ones meet your standards for image quality. The review also lists things like battery life (which may be important if you are in the water all day, but a non factor if you are only jumping in for a short dip and then back out where you can recharge), the difference between using touch screens underwater which is almost always a problem and buttons which are easier to use when wet. I suggest you check out the dpreview roundup and see if you find something that meets your needs.

My guess is your best bang for the buck is a Olympus Tough TG-3.
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Old 29-08-2016, 01:19   #12
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Re: Camera help

Many thanks to all who shared their experience with the different models.
Captain Bill the detailed direct comparison of the two main players was fantastic thanks as was Tomfl for suppling that link. Think we'll go with the new Olympus TG4. Most times it will be in "point and shoot mode" but has a few nice features we'll make use of. And do like the new raw format for hi-res / sharper images. Now what about all those extras bits. Tele-converter?? fisheye converter???? Have to have those bits I recon.
StuM how long you had your Belize 43? Only picked ours up in Melb in Jan but love it already.
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Old 29-08-2016, 15:02   #13
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Re: Camera help

One thing to keep in mind with all underwater point and shoot cameras is that they recommend replacing the seals every year. I have had an Olympus TG 3 for over a year and have no plans to replace the seals as I suspect that it would be cheaper just to buy a new camera every few years than to replace the seals every year. Might be a consideration for using an underwater housing, although these too seem to cost as much as a new camera.
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Old 29-08-2016, 16:29   #14
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Re: Camera help

Thanks for the heads up on the seals replacement Mike. Was unaware of that in the fine print and will check out costs.
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Old 29-08-2016, 17:10   #15
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Re: Camera help

Re the extra bits, my thoughts are to get the camera and learn how to use it. Get familiar with it, and then add on as you see a need. Unless, of course, you can get a package that gives all at a really good price.
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