Too often a summer adventure in or near water also means an adventure without a camera. Some of us have learned by experience that water and most of our personal technological devices, cameras included, do not mix. But that doesn’t have to be the case. Recently, PC Magazine editors took a spin with several rugged, waterproof cameras so that we all may be able to capture images of the best of summer water fun.
Among the most budget-friendly options is the Panasonic Lumix which can be immersed in 16 feet of water, survive a five foot drop and keep on shooting even if the temperature dips to freezing – which isn’t usually in the summer. Obviously, at a price point below $200, the Lumix isn’t as rugged as the more expensive models. Its photos are also not as sharp for larger prints and videos are limited to 720p resolution. But for showing off your daytime water adventures on your Facebook page, it is just fine.
For a little more money, the Pentax Optio WG-2 GPS can be dropped, submerged, frozen and even “crushed.” Obviously, it isn’t clear to us how you might keep shooting with a crushed camera but perhaps the definition of “crushed” is different for different people. Still, it can be submerged in 40 feet of water and still keep on clicking. Its video quality is impressive with zooming capability while shooting. Meanwhile, the GPS function could be useful if you get lost in the ocean.
At the higher end of the waterproof cameras is the Olympus OM-D-E-M5 which goes for around $1300. It’s a star performer with numerous controls, programmable functions and most of the features desired by the most dedicated photographers. Alas, being waterproof and being immersed are two different things. The Olympus OM-D-E-M5 will work in a blinding rainstorm, but under the sea – well just don’t try that.