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  1. #1
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    Waterproof camera choices

    I'm planning to get a camera to take pictures during MTB and adventure races. So far I've used my iPhone 5S, but it is not very good. Low light performance is poor and it does not capture the magnificent views from high places very well.

    The camera must be waterproof and shockproof. Especially during the adventure races it will see lots of water.

    I've studied all the available options carefully and it seems that there are not too many choices.

    1. Waterproof compact camera with 1/2.3" sensor. Most of the compact cameras fall into this category (Fujifilm XP130, Canon D30, Nikon W300, Lumix TS7, Olympus TG-5, Ricoh WG-50). Out of those Olympus seems best. It has fastest and widest lens and bigger pixels - that should result to better low light performance, right? RAW mode, also good 4K video recording, image stabilization, useful accessories (camera holder for backpack strap, telephoto converter, etc). But the sensor is still small - only 1.64x bigger than iPhone 5S. Weight is 250gr. Price is around €400.

    2. Nikon 1 AW1. 1" sensor - 6.7x bigger than iPhone. Two different lenses: 30-75mm zoom lens with f/3.5-5.6 aperture, total weight 540gr and 27mm fixed prime lens with f/2.8 aperture, total weight 480gr. So quite heavy and bulky. It is old model, no stabilization, no 4K video (not priority too me). Price is around €700, but availability is poor.

    3. Sony DSC-RX0. 1" sensor, 24mm prime lens with fixed f/4 aperture. Tiny - only 110gr. No 4K video, but has super-slow motion video (1000fps), no stabilization. No flash. Price is around €630.

    4. Leica X-U. APS-C sensor - 21x bigger than iPhone. 35mm prime lens with f/1.7 aperture. No 4K video, 635gr. Price is around €3000. Out of my reach.

    TG-5 is good feature-wise, but low-light performance is not good. RX0 is very tempting, but I'm little bit afraid of the flexibility. AW1 is bit too bulky. I would like to have the camera easily available, so it means it is not in the backpack but rather mounted pack straps or perhaps belt.

    So, what are your thoughts, suggestions, experiences?

  2. #2
    saddlemeat
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    What will you be doing with the images?
    I ride with the best dogs.




  3. #3
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    Sharing in web mostly.

  4. #4
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    Friend had older panasonic and worked ok, eventually had corrosion problems. Hes on olympus now and pretty happy with it.
    I started with the first Canon waterproof. I now have the Nikon AW1. Id love it if someone had a ruggedized m4/3, but this was the closest thing. Its a tank. I can vouch for its ruggedness, i ride with it slung over shoulder so i can snaps pics on the fly. Ive crashed, slammed it in van door, tossed it to buddies, rode in torrential rain, and it works fine, even though it looks pretty bashed. Its images are a toss up though. For web it’s fine. Low light not the gratest, but better than compacts. My m4/3 stuff easily outdoes it. Unfortunately the Nikon 1 system is dead, what you can find is what is left, i dont think Nikon will be making anything for it anymore. Maybe when they release their new mirrorless system theyll eventually make something to evoke the Nikinos, which they alluded to with this one, but the Aw1 is no Nikonos.

  5. #5
    saddlemeat
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    The TG-5 will be fine. Editing skills are always a bonus for great looking images.
    I ride with the best dogs.




  6. #6
    eri
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    Definitely try before you buy to be sure it meets your needs. I bought an open box tg5, used it on a rafting trip. Spent tme to take good pictures. When I got home after 9 days I had 1500 complete crap photos, quality was way worse than I expected, worse than my iPhone 6s plus. Lucky I could return it. It held up to days of submersion but photo Quality reminded me of my first pocket digital camera from 2000, little better than a toy. I couldn't get a single good print.

    My camera now is a d800 with a manual focus 20mm lens, weighs many pounds but I can print 30x20. Otherwise I bring my phone. I am utterly and completely satisfied with the d800 images, but the size and weight mean it can only come on training rides and nothing too epic.

    For a smaller compact the only camera I've used that meets the bar is the sony rx1rii, which is amazing and it's images are better than the d800 with my lens. Very expensive, still heavy but stunning. Beyond stunning? A used old rx1r might be an option?

    Otherwise I really think you should consider upgrading your cell phone, latest apple and samsung have better at end cameras than your old phone and better water resistance. Better than a tg5...

    Note: I don't know anything about the rx0, try before you buy!
    Last edited by eri; 3 Days Ago at 05:45 AM. Reason: NOte
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  7. #7
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    Thanks for all the feedback. I was playing with RX0 yesterday in store. The screen is crazy small. Eyes need some time to refocus in order to read from it. But the size is very good and build is really solid. I can rent one for a day to test it out. Actually it would be good to be able to test some other cameras at the same time, so I could better compare the images. Comparison with some smaller non-waterproof camera would be good idea to understand how much I loose by going full waterproof.

  8. #8
    saddlemeat
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    ^Waterproof cameras are rarely the answer, maybe a good carry pouch would do if you are not shooting underwater. GoPro also comes to mind.
    I ride with the best dogs.




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