I bought a waterproof camera close to 10 years ago. It is aging, low pixel count, and I fear the waterproofness will stop one day on a vacation and the camera will be done for. Time to get a new one!
Many of the latest waterproof camera’s are also freezeproof and crushproof, along with taking good pictures and all of the latest bells and whistles. The problem is that there are A LOT of options out there and each of them have their pluses and minuses. I was just looking for a camera that was easy to use, waterproof, and took good pictures of course (I was not looking for a high end camera that took professional quality pictures). I did some searching and hunting for about a year and finally zeroed in on one right before a family beach trip. Luckily it was a brand new version and just came out in time. Lucky me!
I ended up buying the Olympus Stylus Tough G3 (See the camera on Amazon with good reviews here)
The Good, The Bad, and The Odd
There is a lot of good with this camera and below is a list of what I came up with after using the camera for several weeks
- Amazing low light capability. The flash almost never goes off but the pictures look great even though it looks way too dark to take a good picture. Great low light capability was a big desire of mine and I’m really impressed so far.
- You can take a picture after pressing the power button in .2 seconds. Yes that is VERY fast. Faster than I can react to actually take a picture. Wonderful feature and there is almost no delay between taking shots and the auto-focus is super quick.
- The iAuto mode works great. I used this most of the time with fantastic results in a lot of different conditions. Set it and forget it.
- The Macro mode is a lot of fun and works great. You can take close up pictures with the lens almost touching the object. It also does focus stacking which give the close ups a much great field of focus.
- Battery life seems to be great. Never ran out of battery and the camera always seemed close to fully charged at the end of the day.
- Charge it via usb. Way better than having to bring a dedicated charger. Of course it uses some custom cable for some reason.
- Wifi and GPS. I didn’t really care about these features when I bought the camera. The wifi is neat since you can access your camera from your smartphone and control taking pictures, export and share, and do other things. Pretty cool. Having the GPS data is a bonus since my Google Drive backups uses this information.
- Camera controls are easy to use. One simple control knob that is by your thumb
- This camera is a beast! It feels like you can abuse it and not have to worry at all. Very solid. Can be submerged underwater for 50 feet, drop it from 7 feet, and step on it with 220 pounds of weight and it will survive.
- The camera is a beast! Super solid but also on the heavy side. Also larger than my old waterproof camera and seems to be a bit larger than its competitors. Certainly not that big of a deal though. I carried it around in my pocket for days and never really noticed it.
- Zoom button is a bit awkward to use.
- The LCD screen seems sharp and bright enough. Never had a problem using it in full sunlight. The annoyance is that it is constantly dirty or smudged. Wipe it off and 2 seconds later it is a mess again. My smartphone is way cleaner for longer than this and it gets a lot more usage on the screen.
- Panorama mode is pretty bad. OK I used the bad word for this one. My smartphone from years ago does much better panorama pictures. It works but it is a crap shoot to get good stitching between shots.
- There is this great feature that will double the optical zoom digitally but maintain image quality. Seems to work great but I can only get it to work in one of the modes. How come not in the auto mode?
- The camera charges via usb so why the heck not use a standard micro usb cable instead of the custom one? Odd.
- The camera will give you a warning about checking the door seals after they have been opened. This is great as a reminder, but oddly this warning is constant every time you power on your phone if you are in one mode, but not there if you are in other modes like iAuto.