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12-21-2013, 03:50 PM   #1
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Waterproof cameras

I have a Pentax K-5 but I'm looking at rugged cameras for my son who does a lot of camping, canoeing, etc. I was looking at the Pentax WG-3 but it doesn't get the best reviews for image quality. The Olympus TG-2 gets better reviews for image quality but not as great for durability. Any thoughts about these two cameras or suggestions on others available?

12-21-2013, 04:15 PM   #2
dms
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Not to deter you but I gather the kind of camera you are looking for will be limiting as regards photography.

Except for white water canoeing I would think a K5 + WR lens would be more than enough.

I have done 4 season wilderness camping/canoeing (in the NE) for many decades and never had a problem with regular SLR (usually was Nikon FM2). Actually if the camera was to sit in water (bottom of my canoe) I generally took/ now take an underwater film camera (Nikonos III) along w/ my K20d--but that's also because a FF film camera w/ 35mm lens is IMO often better for the shots I take.
12-21-2013, 04:26 PM   #3
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k-30????
12-21-2013, 04:30 PM   #4
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Well the Pentax DSLRs are WR, which is weather resistant, not quite the same as water proof. Those WG are great because they are very rugged, they are even shock resistant, so those would be my number 1 choice, if I was worried about damage and water.
You might also look into buying an older WR camera, that way even if it gets too damaged, it wont cost much to be replaced. Something like a K200D. And then WR kit lenses along with it. But this won't survive if it falls into water, like a WG should.
But when it comes to modern Pentax DSLRs, you only have the K-50 (and K-500) and k-3 to choose from. The K-30, K-5 and K-5II are also WR, but seem to be.. "previous generation" and are or will soon be discontinued.

12-22-2013, 09:16 AM   #5
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I realize that the picture quality won't be like my K-5, but we just want something much cheaper, under $500. I think it's best to get a rugged camera for him since the type of activities he wants it for are very active and he's not very careful with handling things. Yet I would like to get him something with descent picture quality, so if anyone has a suggestion or can comment on the Pentax WG-3 or Olympus TG-2 I would appreciate it.
12-22-2013, 01:17 PM   #6
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Not from my usage--but happened to notice some discussion in The Online Photographer on the new Nikon.
theonlinephotographer.typepad.com/the_online_photographer/blog_index.html
12-23-2013, 07:13 PM   #7
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Jool, the WG-3 is a great deal right now, esp compare to the Olympus of similar specs. The best thing and what really sets it apart imho is the fast f/2.0 lens on the wide end! This lens in combination with the dual SR system really works to get you shots you'd otherwise not even attempt. Another nice thing is that the green button can be customized to give quick access to WB, ISO, Exposure Comp, AE metering in addition to the std 4-way settings dial. It also does bracketing. Image quality is OK but it is a fairly noisy sensor compared to let's say the Q (I wish it had the Q sensor). It's not a cam to look at - at 100%.

However real world usage results are actually pretty good, check out this story shot entirely with the WG-3 mostly at ISOs 800 & 1600 with shutterspeeds as low as 1/4, 1/8 from a moving kayak at night.




WG-3 @ iso 1600, 1/6 sec @ f/2, no flash

CLICK pic or link

WG-3 @ iso 1600, 1/50 sec @f/2.8 with flash (adjusted)

Kayaking the Boca Raton Holiday Boat Parade | kayakfari ( kayak .. far .. i )
(click on the fullscreen panoramics in the story if you want to see bigger versions)
12-25-2013, 02:15 PM   #8
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My wife bought me a WG III for Christmas. We have K-r, K5 and lots of MF and LF gear. Even if the picture qualtiy is less than the K series the WP compact will more likely be more accessible and more importantly more likely to be even there than a dslr. One of my favourite photos of one of my dogs was with a Sony 3.2 Meg camera and would not have had a dslr in place for that shot. A rugged camera just may be the best camera for him even if the image quality is not the best.

12-27-2013, 04:45 PM   #9
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decision made

I decided to go with the Pentax WG-3. Even if the image quality isn't spectacular it probably will be fine for my son. The rugged design is something that he wants at this time for what he will use it for. I ordered it from B&H and it's on the way.
01-06-2014, 01:30 PM   #10
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QuoteOriginally posted by Jool Quote
I decided to go with the Pentax WG-3. Even if the image quality isn't spectacular it probably will be fine for my son. The rugged design is something that he wants at this time for what he will use it for. I ordered it from B&H and it's on the way.
I have one and love it and he will too! I find the image quality not bad at all with decent lighting.
02-01-2014, 08:53 PM   #11
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Timely news item

I just happened to see a news item on Yahoo yesterday (01/31/14). A woman dropped her Pentax W20 (or WD20?) from a boat into Lake Tahoe 5 YEARS ago and it sank to the bottom. Recently a fisherman caught it on his line and reeled it in. The camera was still dry inside and the memory card (Sandisk) was fine. It still held about a thousand pictures and some of the subjects were school teams, recognizable buildings etc. so the fisherman posted some of them on Facebook. Long story short, the woman saw them on Facebook, contacted the fisherman, and got back her pictures!


I thought that was quite a testimonial and I should have written down the details, but I'm sure one could find the article again. I would certainly agree the Pentax was the right decision!
02-01-2014, 09:06 PM   #12
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I'm thinking about a life proof camera for my boys. They're both Scouts. Active. In the woods, camping, swimming, etc. How's the shock proofness on these?
02-02-2014, 09:01 AM   #13
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QuoteOriginally posted by dansamy Quote
I'm thinking about a life proof camera for my boys. They're both Scouts. Active. In the woods, camping, swimming, etc. How's the shock proofness on these?
It's one of the best.
02-02-2014, 09:01 AM   #14
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I think the WG-3 is great for active young people. It looks cool and its rugged:
Water proof to 14 m / 45 ft, shock proof (2 m / 6.6 ft drop), cold proof (-10 C / 14 F)
I don't think many other cameras allow this, without accessories (you can always buy waterproof cases and such, but that is an added expense and might be inconvenient)

You can get great kits of the camera, plus bag, tripod, and SD card for a very compelling price on Amazon btw
02-24-2014, 09:31 AM   #15
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I think the WG series gives a decent enough image
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