In the age of the smartphone digital camera, there’s one sort of dedicated digital camera that each one adventurers still want — a rugged waterproof digital camera. These pocketable underwater cameras take wonderful pictures and nice video and are fast and straightforward to make use of. You’ll be able to drop them into a mud puddle or take them skiing, snowboarding, or sledding. Higher yet, these all however one among these durable cameras have optical zoom lenses, which allow you to get far closer to the motion than your average smartphone — and that’s the level, actually, action in rough, wet, and sandy areas of the world.
Notice: Writer Chris Maxcer has revealed an updated greatest waterproof digital camera guide at Man Makes Hearth.
When you can take most of your pictures together with your iPhone digital camera, there’s only so much a smartphone can do. For starters, it’s not notably rugged, and while some smartphones might be “waterproofed” with a case, it’s not the sort of waterproofing that may handle snorkeling or that you could trust for white water rafting. In addition to, when you drop your iPhone to the backside of a lake, you’re out lots of of dollars — and also you simply misplaced your potential to speak, too.
Waterproof Smartphone Instances vs Rugged Cameras
Devoted waterproof cameras are fairly priced, letting you’re taking dangers that most people would draw back from with a smartphone — even an iPhone wrapped inside a sturdy waterproof case. In fact, I like to recommend rugged waterproof instances for taking your iPhone on adventures, but critical, long-term water play at depths under a few ft? No means. Get your self a true waterproof digital camera and an entire new world will confide in you. Working example: I simply took my iPhone whitewater rafting in a model new waterproof case, which promptly failed after my first dunking.
With a rugged waterproof digital camera, you possibly can take photographs of your youngsters enjoying in the sand on the seashore when you’re standing in the water together with your digital camera at an angle low to the water — or even half out and in of the water — and you simply don’t have to fret about it. I had a good friend who managed to snag a permit to raft the famous Center Fork of the Salmon River in Idaho last summer time, but she only took an enormous DSL digital camera. Positive, she has some superior photographs of the panorama and her family and friends, however what’s missing? Pictures from the raft. Photographs from enjoying in the crystal clear water. Pictures of joyful adrenaline. And video? No video. No first-person views dropping down the river and swirling round lovely bends.
An reasonably priced rugged waterproof digital camera would have changed all that. A number of years from now as reminiscences start to fade, these are the pictures that repaint particular moments in your mind.
So do you need a water-proof digital camera? Yes, sure you do. It’s time to stop enthusiastic about it and start using one. Even in case you simply need to take some photographs of your youngsters at the waterpark or seize the underwater splash of bubbles once they bounce in off the aspect of a lodge pool, these are the photographs of your life — and for this reason you need a rugged waterproof digital camera.
Core Rugged Digital camera Features
An awesome rugged waterproof digital camera ought to have wonderful battery life, supply a versatile 4x or 5x optical zoom lens, allow you to take it various ft underwater, and have easy-to-use tactile buttons for each snapping photographs and capturing video. A couple of different options may additionally pique your curiosity, similar to built-in WiFi or Bluetooth to let you wirelessly management the digital camera together with your smartphone — useful for group selfies if you’re in the nice outdoor. Built-in GPS permits you to tag your pictures with places, and some even supply maps that will help you discover your approach.
If you want to document respectable video, look for cameras that can report at the very least 1080p at 30 frames per second (fps) — however 1080p at 60 fps is even better for quicker action.
All of those cameras are great, providing photograph and video quality that may more than fulfill most people, and almost all include comparable varieties of CMOS sensors and sizes. In fact, it must be famous that their photograph high quality is relative . . . they don’t produce the high quality that you simply’ll get out of higher-end point-and-shoot digital cameras, nor will they come close to the latest DSLR or mirrorless cameras. The important thing to remember is toughness. Rugged cameras will get you photographs and video you would only think about otherwise.
7 Best Waterproof Cameras 2016
The 16 megapixel Olympus TG-4 with the new potential to shoot RAW photographs is a superb all-around performer that excels with a fast f2.0 (25-100 mm equivalent f2.0-Four.9) lens for capturing pictures. The TG-4 has a well-balanced look with a centered lens, and its declare to fame is two non-compulsory add-on lenses: a telephoto lens that extends the commonplace 4x zoom to just about 7x and a fisheye lens for super broad photographs to capture a broader subject of view. There’s one other cool accessory, although — a LED Mild Information that channels mild from the digital camera’s LED illuminator to redeploy it in a circle around the lens. Why? It offers even lighting for up-close-and-personal macro images — insects, flowers, and so forth. These three equipment make the TG-Four the most versatile rugged, waterproof digital camera out there in 2016.
Any downsides? The worth. The TG-4 costs about $379, which is one in every of the larger costs in this digital camera class. Plus, the additional lenses have a tendency to interrupt previous a further $100 each. As you may anticipate, the TG-4 consists of built-in WiFi for remote digital camera operation via a smartphone app, as well as GPS. One final word, while the Robust TG-Four boasts 1080p/30 fps, the video high quality isn’t quite nearly as good as its photograph high quality.
- Suggestion: Select the Olympus TG-Four if you would like one among the fastest cameras in its class, wonderful macro talents, need to shoot RAW photographs, and in the event you discover the equipment compelling.
- Rugged Specs: waterproof to 50′, shockproof to 7′, freezeproof to 14°F, crushproof to 220lbs
- Take a look at the TG-4 at Amazon . . . or . . . at B&H
Nikon COOLPIX AW130
The new (obtainable this spring for round $349) 16 megapixel Nikon COOLPIX AW130 is an all-around great performer, delivering good photographs and video in a strong and easy-to-use type issue that allows you to take photographs and video even when you’re sporting gloves. Nikon makes an non-compulsory Chest Harness for using the AW130 like an motion sports activities digital camera. The 24-120mm f2.8-Four.9 equal lens with 5x optical zoom provides you broad angle photographs that also allow you to zoom in a bit closer than most different waterproof cameras. The built-in GPS logs your actual location for photographs, and the built-in mapping and compass helps you navigate and find Factors of Interest for nearby photograph ops. The built-in WiFi additionally allows you to wirelessly send photographs to your smartphone, as well as use your smartphone as a remote control for the AW130. Video recording goes up to 1080p at 30 fps.
- Suggestion: Choose the AW130 for its GPS, WiFi, and strong all-around performance at a competitive worth.
- Rugged Specs: waterproof to a whopping 100′, shockproof to 6.6′, freezeproof to 14°F
- Take a look at the AW130 at Amazon . . . or at B&H
Olympus Stylus Robust TG-870
The brand new 16 megapixel Olympus Stylus Robust TG-870 is considered one of the most fascinating rugged digital camera choices — it boasts a flip up display, letting you frame photographs from all types of angles, in addition to making it easier to take selfies. Plus, it has certainly one of the widest lenses on a rugged digital camera, supplying you with an enormous area of view that makes it simpler to capture action photographs or embrace beautiful vistas. For example, the ultra-wide angle 21mm lens captures 25% more of your topic area than 28mm equivalent lenses. Surprisingly, it also shoots video up to 1080p at 60 fps (its Olympus sibling, the TG-4, maxes out at 30 fps).
Better yet, Olympus now gives a Sportcam Mode, which you need to use with the optionally available Sport Holder to connect to your belt, backpack, or body for action cam footage. New with the TG-870 is built-in WiFi for smartphone pairing — iOS or Android — as well as remote management. GPS now tags your location, too.
- Suggestion: Choose the TG-870 for the flip-up display, wide-angle lens, and 1080p at 60 fps.
- Rugged Specs: waterproof to 50′, shockproof 7′, freezeproof to 14°F
- Take a look at the TG-870 at Amazon . . . or . . . at B&H
Fujifilm FinePix XP90
The 16.4 megapixel Fujifilm FinePix XP90 — up to date from the previous era XP80 — has advanced into a strong waterproof digital camera contender. It has a 5x optical zoom lens (28-140mm equivalent) and may document 1080 video at 60 fps. The XP90 consists of WiFi connectivity for wi-fi image transfers in addition to permits you to remotely control the digital camera. On the draw back, the XP90 doesn’t embrace built-in GPS for those who need to tag the places of their pictures. To make the XP90 versatile, Fujifilm presents a nifty Action Digital camera Mode that turns off the rear LCD to conserve battery when you video report action sports.
- Suggestion: Select the XP90 for its strong versatility.
- Rugged Specs: waterproof to 50′, shockproof to five.Eight′, freezeproof to 14°F
- Take a look at the XP90 at Amazon . . . or . . . at B&H
GoPro HERO4 Black or Silver
The 12 megapixel GoPro HERO4 Black is the world’s greatest motion sports digital camera. How does this differ from rugged waterproof cameras? Whereas the GoPro is certainly rugged when inserted into its included waterproof case, it focuses its greatest options on videoing action-oriented activities. It has a hard and fast tremendous broad angle lens — no optical zoom — and its controls will not be as straightforward to make use of as these in most rugged cameras with more traditional type elements.
On the different hand, the GoPro has dozens of accent mounts and techniques for attaching a GoPro digital camera to your chest, surfboards, helmets, searching rifles or shotguns, bikes, skateboards, and pretty much anything. With the GoPro, you don’t hassle to “frame” photographs — you simply kind of level the lens in the path you want and snap some pictures. As a result of the lens is so broad, it should capture most something. This implies you’ll be able to’t zoom in — to get a closeup, it’s essential maintain the GoPro close to your subject. If your priority is video, although, the GoPro represents your greatest rugged answer — the Black version will document beautiful 4K video at 30 fps. As for the 1080p normal, the Black edition will document 1080p at 120 fps, which suggests you possibly can create some significantly cool slo-mo segments at 1080p.
The HERO4 Sliver version includes a useful built-in LCD display on the again, which helps you navigate settings and frame photographs. The lens continues to be fastened, although, and video recording features drop down a bit — 4k video at 15 fps and 1080p at 60 fps. The display, though, makes it attainable for leisure types of users to use it a bit extra like a point-and-shoot digital camera . . . just don’t overlook that it excels at easy-to-shoot video.
- Suggestion: Select a GoPro for action-oriented video excellence.
- Rugged Specs: waterproof to 131′ (and usually shockproof)
- Take a look at the GoPro HERO4 Black at Amazon . . . or . . . at B&H
- Take a look at the GoPro HERO4 Silver at Amazon . . . or . . . at B&H
Sony Cyber-shot TX30
The 18 megapixel Sony TX30 is a glossy and slim, urban-oriented rugged digital camera — although I did use one at the prime of Mount St. Helens to snap a photo of a mom and daughter in a rain and sleet storm. In the TX30, the type issue is its defining function. It’s barely over a half-inch thick, and with a sliding front cover, it’s super pocketable. Whereas it boasts strong rugged specs — waterproof to 33′ — the TX30 is more at residence for photographs at the pool or waterpark than it’s on rivers or ski slopes. Why? You need to use the touchscreen to vary the settings, which suggests you must dry the display as a result of the touchscreen gained’t work underwater.
Still, the TX30 is a strong unit, providing a 5x optical zoom and video recording at 1080/60i (again, interlaced is usually not nearly as good for video lovers, but most individuals will recognize the video output).
- Suggestion: Choose the TX30 for its attractive svelte profile.
- Rugged Specs: waterproof to 33′, shockproof 5′, freezeproof to 14°F
- Take a look at the TX30 at Amazon . . . or . . . at B&H
Panasonic LUMIX TS6
The 16.1 megapixel Panasonic Lumix DMC-TS6 is a full-featured rugged waterproof digital camera with a 4.6x optical zoom with a 28-128mm equal f3.Three-5.9 lens. It consists of built-in GPS and WiFi. In contrast to some different rugged cameras on this class, its 1080p HD video recording ups the frames per second to 60 fps (as an alternative of 30 fps). The quicker recording choice is great for movement recording — sports activities and actions or capturing elevated superb element. The one potential drawback with the TS6 is that Panasonic appears to have discontinued it, but it could possibly still be discovered on Amazon whereas provides final.
- Suggestion: Select the Panasonic Lumix DMC-TS6 if your priority is taking candy video that handles motion better than most different rugged cameras.
- Rugged Specs: waterproof to 43′, shockproof 6.6′, freezeproof to 14°F
- Take a look at the TS6 at Amazon