Waterproof Camera: Help me decide!

Which waterproof camera setup should I get?

  • #1: Outex Case for the Canon 6D

    Votes: 3 33.3%
  • #2: Waterproof 'tough' point and shoot

    Votes: 1 11.1%
  • #3: GoPro+ LCD or Hero4 Silver

    Votes: 3 33.3%
  • #4: Lifeproof Case for my iPhone

    Votes: 1 11.1%
  • Other: post in the comments.

    Votes: 1 11.1%

  • Total voters
    9

Nick

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Aug 9, 2007
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My birthday is coming up and I think I'm going to use it as an excuse to splurge on some sort of waterproof camera setup. Last year I ended up going swimming with my unprotected Canon 6D a few too many times. All ended well thanks to my trusty pool noodle 'Fat Boy Swim', but I really like getting out into the water and getting different angles and I want to stop risking thousands of dollars to do it. I also have some kayaking planned where I'm always nervous about having my DSLR on the boat and having to always take it in and out of a dry bag sucks. So I'm trying to decide between the following options for being able to take photos in and around the water. I made this a poll and I'd love to hear your opinions/thoughts.

Option 1: An Outex case for my 6D.
This would be cool because I could be totally waterproof and still have killer image quality from the 6D and also get RAW images. Downside is that it's expensive at about $320 $380 for the kit that I'd need. And I'd have to put it on and take it off.

Option 2: A cheap-ish waterproof point and shoot like the Panasonic Lumix Tough Cameras
Downside would be having another camera and more batteries to worry about. Cost is reasonable at $190. Image quality would not be as good as I'd like.

Option 3: A GoPro Hero+ LCD or Hero4 Silver
If I did this I'd want the LCD screen for it so I could actually compose shots. And aren't they about due for a Hero 5 soon? I'd hate to buy a 4 and then have it be obsolete in two months. Cost for the Hero+LCD is $299. I'm not sure how it stacks up to the Hero 4 though. Any GoPro users out there know? @steve? EDIT: I just realized the Silver has a built-in-screen too. Maybe that would be better?

Option 4: Lifeproof case for my iPhone 6+
It took Lifeproof forever to finally release a case for the 6+, and now that it's out, I'm reluctant to get it since I know I'll probably upgrade in September when new phones come out. But then again, it's only $100 and the photos are pretty nice out of the 6+ with image stabilization. I kind of think Option 2 might be better than doing this though. I'd rather lose a $190 camera in the lake or river than aa $900 iPhone.

What would you do if you were in my shoes and needed a camera in the water more often to take pictures of your ducky?
 

steve

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Dec 11, 2013
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2,140
I'm not much of a photographer, so take my opinion with a few LARGE grains of salt.

I'd go with an outex tethered to your fat boy swim. I think the biggest fear is dropping it and having it sink. Water damage would suck, but not as much as losing your entire camera, media, photos, and lens. You take incredible shots with your 6D. Anything less would be... well... less. I think no matter what you go with, you're still going to want incredible images like the one posted above. That alone pretty much rules everything else out.

For option 2, I'd go with a waterproof case for the iPhone. I am blown away with the pics an iPhone will take. I almost question if it takes better pics than the lumix tough cameras.

In my opinion, GoPros take mediocre pics at best. An iPhone takes much better pics than a GoPro. The GoPro Hero 4 silver is going to be the best one with an LCD. If you're not planning on shooting video, I'd skip the GoPro option entirely. I'm excited to talk with them at OR this year to see if there are any more improvements coming down the pike, but I haven't heard anything about the hero 5, and they're pretty tight-lipped until they go on sale. If the y did do one, it'd most likely be released closer to the hollidays. It still feels like the hero 4 is pretty new. I don't know what else they could pack into a new model other than NFC, or possibly 96 FPS 4k. Or maybe we'd get lucky and they'd improve the picture quality on them.
 

Nick

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Ha! Fat Boy Swim might be a little overkill for floating a camera, but I definitely get the point! I'd definitely need to get a float or little buoy or something if I wasn't going to have it tied to me somehow. Good points on the image quality. I can see myself being disappointed by not having the full DSLR experience.
 

Jammer

❤2Hike
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Joined
Feb 23, 2012
Messages
641
I offer up option #5 -- an outer case for a cheap point and shoot.

I had the Pentax WG-2 and didn't really like it. It survived two trips in Utah and then died in Cancun just last month. I guess it was user error, but I swear I securely fastened the battery compartment. This is the 3rd camera I've ruined due to water damage. I think eventually it's bound to happen if taking a lot of photos in water. Thus... I don't think I would want to risk a good camera/phone even in the case -- especially if you need to take said device in and out of the protection frequently.

Option #2 is good if you can get it at a good price. But again, my Pentax captured fairly nice images, but was a little too bulky as a pocket camera for my taste (especially on a hike when I'm not in the water 99% of the time.) I really think you could get a better/cheaper point and shoot and then just use the case when needed. I also liked the "rugged" feature of the Pentax as most of my cheap point and shoots succumb to sand-caused lens errors after 2-3 years. But alas... the Pentax had about the same lifespan.

So... I think my next underwater camera will be a cheap point and shoot paired with a case.
 

Nick

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Aug 9, 2007
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Hmmm... I do have a Canon S90 still that takes decent shots and even shoots in RAW. Last I checked it was like $300 for a good enclosure for it though. Maybe I'll have to take a look at that again. Still kinda bums me out that I wouldn't have ultrawide though.

I shot a few shots with a friend's Panasonic waterproof camera on my last trip. These were all taken with one similar to the one I linked to above. Better quality than I expected. It makes me question whether a cheap P&S in a waterproof case would really be much better than just having a waterproof camera like that. It was about as small as most P&S I've seen around.





 

Nick

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Has anyone here ever used an Outex case on a DSLR? I wonder if it would be something I could just leave on for a whole trip and not be that bothered. It would have to get opened up for battery swaps, of course, but that wouldn't be too bad.
 

wes242

This one time...
Joined
Feb 4, 2012
Messages
605
I have looked at many things over the years. I wanted a diving housing for my DSLRs years ago, but they cost more then the camera, and now I don't have the cameras anymore. I have had a handful of gopros but sometimes I just want a more easy to use camera with other options. I bought a Olympus Tough camera a couple years back but I hardly used it. I gave it away. I have thought about doing the life proof case myself, but just haven't gone for it.... yet. Since I always have my phone with me then maybe thats the way I will go next! I would love something for the DSLR, but I just don't want to mess with it.
 

Nick

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Have you looked at the Outex case, Wes? They're largely universal. If you get a new camera that doesn't have the same fitting, you just buy a small piece and still use the same case. And they supposedly retain full feel and use of all the buttons through the latex (or whatever that stuff is). I really wish I could put my hands on one without spending $400, but the idea that it will work on more than just my current camera makes it pretty tempting.
 

Vegan.Hiker

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Jul 5, 2014
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I voted GoPro since you mentioned using it for a kayaking trip. I thought about picking one up before my last kayaking trip to suction cup in a waterproof case to the kayak and totally regretted not getting it when I was out there.
 
Last edited:

wes242

This one time...
Joined
Feb 4, 2012
Messages
605
Have you looked at the Outex case, Wes? They're largely universal. If you get a new camera that doesn't have the same fitting, you just buy a small piece and still use the same case. And they supposedly retain full feel and use of all the buttons through the latex (or whatever that stuff is). I really wish I could put my hands on one without spending $400, but the idea that it will work on more than just my current camera makes it pretty tempting.

I haven't, but that $400 tag, which is cheaper, I still am not sure I want to deal with. Unless I am always shooting where I need it.
 

Nick

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I couldn't decide which way to go in time to call it a birthday present. I did however just pull the trigger on the Outex case for my 6D. I have two multi-day paddling trips in the next few weeks so I figured this was as good a time as any. I was thinking about getting a buoy or float of some kind to tie the camera to in case I drop it off the boat, but then I figured why not just have a leash for the camera attached to the boat itself? I might still attach it to a fender or something when I'm swimming with it though.
 

Nick

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Joined
Aug 9, 2007
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Got the Outex today. Really not impressed by a few things such as the lack of a lens cap, the required $30 crappy neck strap and the fact that the LCD eye piece won't stay on my 6D. And if I use the neck strap it just pulls right off the back of the camera. :thumbsdown: Already tempted to return it but I'll give it a try and talk to the company and see if maybe I'm missing something.

outex-case.JPG
outex.JPG
 

Nick

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Aug 9, 2007
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I've been on two paddling trips with the Outex case now. I hate to say it, but I think I should have just bought a GoPro. I'm going to give it some more use before posting a full review, but as of now I do not have a lot of good things to say about it.

 

Yvonne

I lava it!!!
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Jan 19, 2012
Messages
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does anyone have a Canon POwershot S110 and is willing to sell it?

I dropped my beloved S110 in Hawai'i, when it fall out of my pocket and landed on some sharp edged lava rocks. It broke into hundred pieces. :(
For the moment I revived my old S95, but it is 0.25 inch too short and I cannot operate the buttons in the underwater housing that was made for the S110. (I had some hope that it might work)
Loved the UW housing with my S110, I took many awesome pictures using this combination.
Before I pull the trigger and finally buy a new S110, I will give it a try , eventually there is someone here who is not using the S110 anymore.
 
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