Going on any trip or excursion that includes dipping yourself into a body of water can be a lot more interesting when you have gadgets that brave Mother Nature’s power. Now that waterproof digital cameras and pocket video cams are becoming more common and getting cheaper, they might be worth looking into as everyday cameras, too.
I was in Costa Rica for a one-week vacation and had the enviable task of testing out both the Fuji FinePix XP10 and Kodak’s PlaySport pocket video cam. For Fuji, this was the latest in a series of waterproof cameras, though this model was also shockproof up to 3.3 ft., freezeproof down to -10 Celsius and even dustproof. For Kodak, this was the first time they attempted a waterproof camera of any kind (well, aside from those waterproof disposable film ones).
Forget proving the durability to cold when dealing with humid and sticky 40-degree days, but when it came to dealing with water and the odd tumble, these bad boys impressed me. I used the Fuji XP10 to record HD video of myself boogie boarding with five-foot waves crashing all over me. I even had it partly submerged in a mud bath, where I then cleaned it in a natural hot springs bath. It took all that and kept on clicking without any problems. The bonus was that it takes some really good photos for a model with little optical zoom and a slightly smaller sensor.
I even used these to record my first experience zip-lining too. Pretty exhilarating to see yourself slide across a valley with trees and foliage a long way down. And how about trying to play pool volleyball with one hand while recording the action? That didn’t work out too well, but these cams became a hit with everyone else around me who wanted to try shooting anything with water up to their shoulders.
The irony was that I didn’t get to go snorkeling to shoot some underwater shots, though video of people diving under the pool came out really crisp. Plus, when I was on a boat in the jungle looking at crocodiles, the water was too muddy and I wasn’t about to stick my hand in there for the sake of a close up.
It was times like these that I thought to myself: wouldn’t it make sense to have a lanyard that could attach from the top of the camera for a chest view? Would’ve made playing pool volleyball a little more interesting, I would think. But I guess you would have to improvise in a scenario like that.
Either way, I found both cams did a great job whenever the elements dished out punishment to them. If you’re the adventurous type or you just want something that won’t make your heart stop if it drops to the ground, then you might want to consider these as options.
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