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07-16-2015, 04:24 PM   #1
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Suggestions for waterproof options following demise of WG-3

Hi Everyone,
I was lucky to be in Maui last week and had a fabulous time. One glitch that threw me off was the waterproof WG-3 suddenly decided to not be waterproof anymore. I was about to take a picture of an eel while snorkeling (close to the shore) and the camera died. on examining later, i could see that there was water vapor on the LCD display and lens. As luck would have it this is the only camera for which I did not buy the extended warranty. I bought this camera in march last year and the standard warranty has expired.

I do need a waterproof camera (upcoming trips to coastal) areas, but I am not sure if I should stick with Pentax. I am a Pentax fanatic (have everything from the Q to the 645Z - yes, I am fortunate to own such precious equipment). My question is this:
1. should I replace this WG with a recent model and buy the extended warranty (that way I can use the spare batteries and stay with the brand that has worked for me in other formats so far).
2. Do you think Pentax will consider my loyalty to the brand and offer some discount on a recent WG model?
3. Is fanboyism blinding me? Should I just say "I love DSLRs from Pentax, but for waterproof I should look to "GpPro" or some other brand and move on?

Any advice would be greatly appreciated. I do see many waterproof failure posts of Pentax WG cameras on our forum when I do a search. Looks like the seals do eventually give in even without any abuse. I have always treated my equipment with the utmost respect and never failed to follow basic guidelines on camera usage. Eg. The WG rated for 45 ft. was never taken under water for more than 10 feet of water and never immersed for more than half an hour and still the camera failed. Considering the clearance price I paid for this camera I do not know if it is worth it to send it in for repairs.

Thank you for any suggestions/insights you may provide.

07-16-2015, 04:49 PM   #2
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I suspect that salt water will deteriorate the seals over time from the outside in. I'm not sure if there is some sort of waterproof grease you can use to reduce the damage that will not cause more damage on its own. I come from a commercial fishing family, and salt water will erode virtually anything over time, a subject that is endlessly frustrating.
07-16-2015, 05:23 PM   #3
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QuoteOriginally posted by Canada_Rockies Quote
I suspect that salt water will deteriorate the seals over time from the outside in. I'm not sure if there is some sort of waterproof grease you can use to reduce the damage that will not cause more damage on its own. I come from a commercial fishing family, and salt water will erode virtually anything over time, a subject that is endlessly frustrating.
Hi Canada Rockies,
Thank you very much for your post. I see what you mean about salt water eroding virtually anything over time. I live in a city where they extensively apply salt on the road over winter. Yesterday my mechanic showed me the underside of my 13 year old car - there was rust everywhere! Thank you again!
07-16-2015, 05:41 PM   #4
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QuoteOriginally posted by mccarvindh Quote
Hi Everyone,
I was lucky to be in Maui last week and had a fabulous time. One glitch that threw me off was the waterproof WG-3 suddenly decided to not be waterproof anymore. I was about to take a picture of an eel while snorkeling (close to the shore) and the camera died. on examining later, i could see that there was water vapor on the LCD display and lens. As luck would have it this is the only camera for which I did not buy the extended warranty. I bought this camera in march last year and the standard warranty has expired.

I do need a waterproof camera (upcoming trips to coastal) areas, but I am not sure if I should stick with Pentax. I am a Pentax fanatic (have everything from the Q to the 645Z - yes, I am fortunate to own such precious equipment). My question is this:
1. should I replace this WG with a recent model and buy the extended warranty (that way I can use the spare batteries and stay with the brand that has worked for me in other formats so far).
2. Do you think Pentax will consider my loyalty to the brand and offer some discount on a recent WG model?
3. Is fanboyism blinding me? Should I just say "I love DSLRs from Pentax, but for waterproof I should look to "GpPro" or some other brand and move on?

Any advice would be greatly appreciated. I do see many waterproof failure posts of Pentax WG cameras on our forum when I do a search. Looks like the seals do eventually give in even without any abuse. I have always treated my equipment with the utmost respect and never failed to follow basic guidelines on camera usage. Eg. The WG rated for 45 ft. was never taken under water for more than 10 feet of water and never immersed for more than half an hour and still the camera failed. Considering the clearance price I paid for this camera I do not know if it is worth it to send it in for repairs.

Thank you for any suggestions/insights you may provide.
Pentax hasn't released a new waterproof model since 2013- everything since then has been a respin. I would look at other brands (Olympus, Nikon and Panasonic have some nice offerings), as they have way better imaging specs and some also claim higher depth ratings.


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07-16-2015, 06:21 PM   #5
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IMHO, GoPro is the best camera if you are looking for something small, portable and easy to use under water. I was surprised how good GoPro performs under water. I used it on my trip to Hawaii and was very happy with it. Plus, most of GoPro's underwater accessories are very affordable.

I have also seen people take some good under water pictures using Sony Xperia Z series phones.
07-16-2015, 06:59 PM   #6
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Have you considered the Nikon 1 AW1? It has a 1"-class sensor and 2 available waterproof lenses.

Nikon 1 AW1: Digital Photography Review
07-16-2015, 07:23 PM   #7
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I have had three "waterproof" cameras from Pentax, and they all eventually fail. Based on my research, the same holds true across the major brands. I don't know about GoPro though. I wouldn't get the Nikon 1 AW just because it is too much money to loose when it fails itself.

(I dried my cameras on rice and they all started working again. Just not underwater. :-)
07-16-2015, 08:15 PM   #8
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Fuji. $80 on eBay. I've been using a couple years now for water video. Xp-70.
Salt and pools and fresh.

YouTube is turtkecreekers.org half the videos are water.

07-16-2015, 08:24 PM   #9
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QuoteOriginally posted by Adam Quote
Pentax hasn't released a new waterproof model since 2013- everything since then has been a respin. I would look at other brands (Olympus, Nikon and Panasonic have some nice offerings), as they have way better imaging specs and some also claim higher depth ratings.
QuoteOriginally posted by luftfluss Quote
Have you considered the Nikon 1 AW1? It has a 1"-class sensor and 2 available waterproof lenses.

Nikon 1 AW1: Digital Photography Review
Adam and Luftfluss, thank you for your suggestions - I will explore those options.

---------- Post added 07-16-15 at 11:25 PM ----------

QuoteOriginally posted by uday029 Quote
IMHO, GoPro is the best camera if you are looking for something small, portable and easy to use under water. I was surprised how good GoPro performs under water. I used it on my trip to Hawaii and was very happy with it. Plus, most of GoPro's underwater accessories are very affordable.

I have also seen people take some good under water pictures using Sony Xperia Z series phones.
Uday,
GoPro does feature prominently whenever I look up underwater video. Also, saw many tourists using the system in Hawaii. Will definitely look into it. Thank you.

---------- Post added 07-16-15 at 11:27 PM ----------

QuoteOriginally posted by Nick Siebers Quote
I have had three "waterproof" cameras from Pentax, and they all eventually fail. Based on my research, the same holds true across the major brands. I don't know about GoPro though. I wouldn't get the Nikon 1 AW just because it is too much money to loose when it fails itself.

(I dried my cameras on rice and they all started working again. Just not underwater. :-)
Great suggestion to dry the camera on rice! Will see if I can resurrect it for outside water use. Thank you.

---------- Post added 07-16-15 at 11:29 PM ----------

QuoteOriginally posted by condor27596 Quote
Fuji. $80 on eBay. I've been using a couple years now for water video. Xp-70.
Salt and pools and fresh.

YouTube is turtkecreekers.org half the videos are water.
Condor, thank you for this cost effective suggestion. If all cameras meant for underwater use are going to fail eventually, it makes sense to spend as little as you can and get some mileage out of it (though I cringe at the waste generated from gadgets rendered useless so soon). Thank you again.
07-16-2015, 09:07 PM   #10
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If you can get a water housing then by all means get a water housing. It will be the ultimate underwater camera experience. It won't be cheap but it will be worth it if you plan to ever shoot in the water. A K3 with the water housing... oh yes. A 645Z? I would be scared to take that down...
07-16-2015, 09:21 PM   #11
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Outex DSLR Waterproof Camera Cover and Case | Outex

(No personal experience with these.)
07-17-2015, 04:54 AM   #12
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alamo and Calsan, the waterproof covers sound like a great idea! I may try this for a K01 and see if it works out. The 645Z is staying on dry land!
07-17-2015, 05:36 AM   #13
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Hi,

I myself am a Pentax/Ricoh loyalist, but have just replaced my WG-2 (gave it to my grandson) with an Olympus TG-4. I jumped ship on this one because the TG-4 has the ability to capture in RAW. The images are very good, handling is comfortable, and the camera is a bit shorter in length than the WG.

What I don't like about the Olympus :

- the RAW setting gives a RAW+JPEG only. RAW files are in .orf - used by Olympus and have to be changed to .dng to edit on my PSE9

- you can only charge the battery while in the camera. I plan on buying a cheap eBay charger.

- no paper camera manual included. You have to download a manual to your PC instead.

So far I'm happy with the TG-4 and the images it produces (even JPEG straight out of the camera). Costs a bit more than a new WG-5 w/GPS, but Olympus currently offers $50 instant rebate until 7-25-15. Lots of review comparisons online.
07-17-2015, 07:22 AM   #14
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How long have you had the WG-3? Did you soak it in a bowl of fresh water after each salt water use as recommended?
I ask this because I've been using mine in the ocean several times a month without any incident for a coupla years now. Previously I used the W10 for over six years also without incident, but eventually the seal on the door flap came off - but this is something I saw coming.
The WG-3 (and later variants) use the most robust door and hinge seal of any previous Pentax/Ricoh waterproof cam. One thing that really helps is to rub a bit of "nose grease" or ear grease (this is a very very fine grease that is free!) onto the rubber seal periodically. I find it helps to keep the rubber pliable, clean and soft for good sealing. Not maintaining o-rings and seals will ruin ANY cam eventually!
07-17-2015, 09:38 AM   #15
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QuoteOriginally posted by mccarvindh Quote
1. should I replace this WG with a recent model and buy the extended warranty (that way I can use the spare batteries and stay with the brand that has worked for me in other formats so far).
Not sure the extended warranty would have helped. Most companies have disclaimers essentially saying that they won't cover for water intrusion. Sounds odd, but then again, they can't account for dirt or grit on the seals, which would definitely cause leaks.

QuoteOriginally posted by mccarvindh Quote
2. Do you think Pentax will consider my loyalty to the brand and offer some discount on a recent WG model? ....
Considering the clearance price I paid for this camera I do not know if it is worth it to send it in for repairs.
It almost certainly isn't worth actually repairing if you have to pay for it out of pocket, but if you send it in to their repair facility, that might get their "customer retention" process to kick in. Not sure about Ricoh, but lots of companies would consider your situation, even if it isn't covered under warranty, and offer you a reasonable discount on a refurbished unit or towards a replacement. Don't know if their repair facility (Precision Camera?) charges an initial handling fee, but if it's less than $20, it might be worth giving it a try just to see what they say. Beyond $20, I would probably use that towards some new clearance/closeout deals that pop up once in a while, if I had time.

QuoteOriginally posted by mccarvindh Quote
3. Is fanboyism blinding me? Should I just say "I love DSLRs from Pentax, but for waterproof I should look to "GpPro" or some other brand and move on?
As others have mentioned, the ruggedized camera market is flooded (no pun intended) with plenty of options. However, I like the Pentax menu system, and you mentioned you already have batteries and a charger, so I would probably tend to stick with it for those practical reasons. Don't underestimate the value of having a familiar/consistent user interface. For example, I have a K5 and a K3, and the minor differences in button placement drives me nuts sometimes.

Sorry you had problems. I have had a WG-3 for about a year or two and haven't had any problems with water intrusion.
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