Travel Tech Series

Best Gadgets for Waterproof Photography

Posted by Scott Tharler on March 05, 2012 at 11:29:36 AM EST | Post a Comment
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Whether it's the soggy weather or a favorite aquatic activity, don't let the water-logged conditions of your next trip stop you from capturing your travel memories. These six waterproof photography gadgets will withstand the rigors of just about whatever you throw at them. Dive in and splash around, take that hike in the rain, or schuss the trails: you'll have plenty of videos and stills to show off when you return, thanks to these washout-proof gizmos.

1. Liquid Image XSC Impact Series HD Goggles

In wash-out and white-out conditions, get peace of mind about your camera's durability—and your own personal safety—with these action-ready goggles. A tiny camera is built-in to the frame, so you can capture images while you're on a dune buggy, bike, jet ski, or ATV—and keep your hands where they belong, on the handlebars! Wherever you look, that's what you'll shoot, whether it's 12-megapixel stills or two modes of high-definition video. The goggles feature swappable foam and lenses, optimized for specific activities and environments; a detachable nose-guard is great for protecting against rocks when off-roading; and removable memory makes your images easy to off-load. Or, if your adventures are taking you all the way underwater, look to the company's XSC Scuba Series goggles ($249.99), which take video and stills up to 130 feet below sea level.
How Much: $399.99
Buy It: Visit LiquidImageCo.com.

2. Panasonic Lumix DMC-TS3 Digital Camera

On its wide screen, this practically indestructible, do-it-all camera gives such detailed information as depth (waterproof up to 40-feet underwater), altitude, barometric pressure, compass heading, and longitude and latitude. It'll also indicate nearby landmarks while you're shooting and even give you pinpointed location data on a computer afterward, so you can share that amazing ski trail, campsite, or fishing spot you found with friends and family. The camera can also shoot high-def video, capture 3D images, optimize shots to avoid shaking and blurring, and be programmed to detect the faces of up to six different people.
How Much: $235
Buy It: Visit 42Photo.com.

3. Canon ELPH Sport Compact Film Camera

Compact yet sturdy, this curvy and amphibious film-based camera can auto-focus on land, but is especially optimized for snorkeling. It operates as far down as 16 feet below the surface, with adjustable underwater focus made easier with a large viewfinder and oversize controls. It also features drop-in film loading, three print sizes (including panoramic), and five flash modes.
How Much: $116.66
Buy It: Visit Amazon.com.

4. Samsung W200 Rugged Full HD Pocket Camcorder

This little high-def camcorder is perfect to tote around in your pocket, whether your adventures take you to white-capped waters, white-topped mountains, or white-sand beaches. It's designed to tolerate water, dust, and shocks, and turns off and on quickly, so you don't need to miss a beat of the action. A simple button switches the setting between video and stills, and you can easily pause when recording, so you don't need to chew up memory or create multiple files waiting to capture those perfect moments. Plus, the camcorder sports removable memory and easy charging and uploading, to boot.
How Much: $159.99
Buy It: Visit Samsung.com.

5. UwaterDX340 Dive Light with UwaterHD3X Camera

This powerful, virtually indestructible LED flashlight—due out this month—can cast an intense beam of light up to 800 feet through water. It has no external moving parts, so it won't accidentally turn on at the wrong time or start to rust over time. Plus, the flashlight can be mounted to an optional single-button, rechargeable video-and-still camera, which itself is waterproof to nearly 100 feet below the surface. Individually or together, they're great for underwater explorations, from cave dives to nighttime fishing.
How Much: $185 (flashlight); $200 (camera)
Buy It: Visit FitnessTechUSA.com.

6. SeaLife Mini II Wide Angle Lens

For some odd reason, all the little fishies don't seem to cooperate when you motion for them to scooch together. So it's better to have a handy wide-angle lens like this one. It snaps on and off underwater, is waterproof to 130 feet, and increases the field of what you can shoot by a third. It's compatible with SeaLife's well-regarded Mini II, Reefmaster Mini, and ECOshot underwater cameras, and comes with a neoprene cover, protective pouch, safety lanyard, and cleaning cloth.
How Much: $62.95
Buy It: Visit BHPhotoVideo.com.

Fodors.com Travel Technology Columnist Scott Tharler is an expert in gadgets, gambling, and travel. He’s written four books, plus hundreds of mobile and wireless tips for Sony and PC World. In addition to his daily Discovery News gadget blog, you can find links to other gadget articles, social feeds, and lists of his current favorite gadgets at about.me/gadgetfans.

Photo Credit: courtesy 1. Liquid Image Co.; 2. Panasonic Corporation; 3. Canon; 4. Samsung; 5. Fitness Tech USA; 6. Sealife Cameras

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Member Comments (2)  Post a Comment

  • TC on Mar 21, 12 at 05:30 PM

    Once you've taken those underwater photos, Doug, try the Snapseed App to restore the red and balance the white in your photos. For a $10 App, it was truly amazing.

  • Doug_Stallings Fodor's editor on Mar 12, 12 at 11:22 AM

    I can actually add a personal recommendation for the Lumix. On a trip I took to the Great Barrier Reef last fall, one of my party had the waterproof Lumix camera. It took absolutely amazing photos, and it's not even very expensive (plus it also works on land). And as the columnist points out it's also very rugged. She dropped it a couple of times. Nary a scratch.

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