Waterproof camcorder from Samsung: HMX-W200 HD

Though it’s not the camera, but can be used in both ways. In April Samsung announced a new rugged HD camcorder called HMX-W200. It is one of the so-called pocket-camcorders, you can carry like a mobile phone in a pocket and are always ready for action. This new product from Samsung will be able to record Full HD 1080p movies with advanced 5MP back-illuminated sensor.

Samsung W200 will be available in Titanium Gray or Red color

Camcorder will be resistant for dives up to 3 meters / 10 feet underwater and shoockproof to drops from 2 meters / 6 feet, making it good camera for adventurous souls, but not for real divers. The retail price is $159, but pre-orders at Amazon are currently priced $149. We expect this camera to be the serious competitor to Kodak PlaySport Zx3, having pretty the same characteristics and in the same price range.

To conclude, in the paper this seems to be very nice camcorder for low price and good image quality. It should start selling in the May 2011, but there is still not available at Amazon. But they are already collecting pre-orders on gray and red version.

Technical details

  • 5 MP BSI CMOS Image Sensor
  • 3M Water Proof, 2M Shock Proof and Dust Proof
  • F2.2 Bright AF Lens
  • 2.3-Inch BSI (Back Side Illuminated) LCD
  • 1080P Full HD

How to start underwater photography

Today we will focus on the very basics of underwater photography and how to start taking your camera with you in the water and take some first shots. As you already know (or maybe not) underwater photography is one of the most difficult types of the photography. Human body is made for living on the ground. When you’re in water, it seems that the gravity does not work anymore for you because you are floating on the water. Water animals developed a hydrodynamic body, gills, special eyes and some other sense organs over the evolution which enable them to live, hunt, hide and move under the water. For example fish have fins or some kind of different extremities for easily moving though the water. On the other side, we need some special equipment like fins to put on feet and scuba mask to move more easily and look underwater.

Underwater picutres of coral reef are always maginficent

We cannot breathe underwater, because our lungs cannot absorb the oxygen from the water and out chest is not strong enough to pull and push the water in-and-out. Instead, we have two options: you can take a deep breath and dive for a short time some meters underwater or make a training for a scuba diver. With the latest option you go diving with SCUBA, which means Self Contained Underwater Breathing Apparatus. The name tells us all – you have a high-pressure bottle of the squeezed air and you can breath this air for an hour of two while visiting the beauties of the underwater world. If you are planning to become more serious underwater photographer a diving training is a must! Nowadays there are many organization and diving schools over the world, but we suggest SSI or PADI. These are very famous and very good diving school which have reputation all over the world. Making training at them you get the certification that is valid everywhere. This way you can go diving to Malaysia and you will get the complete diving equipment just showing your card in the diving center. They there will definitely know that you are serious diver and there’s no risk renting you equipment.

It is not trivial to move anywhere you would like to go when underwater. Everything seems to be slowing down, like watching a slow-motion movie. Water is much more viscose than air and we feel it like it’s hard to do the fast motions. You can take your camera underwater once you feel very comfortable down there. It doesn’t make sense trying to capture anything in the sea if you are not able to control your position and movements. And this refers to both, scuba diving and snorkeling. It’s dangerous that you loose your gear or hurt yourself hitting the rocks or the ground when trying to capture the coral reef, so take this advice seriously.

Further on it depends on what type of the camera you use. For the absolute beginners we suggest buying an underwater pouch if you already own the regular digital camera or one of the underwater digital cameras you can find on this site reviewed. Like in basic daylight photography, it is much easier take a photo with point-and-shoot camera than with professional DSLR. Underwater the difficulties are at least doubling, believe me. So don’t be a fool and don’t go with the new DSLR with undrwater housing, strobes etc-etc. first time into the water. Learn slowly, buy a book about underwater photography (I bought this one and it’s absolutely amazing, great pictures with a lot of descriptions, strongly recommended), look for underwater photographers on the Internet and their galleries. There are many good resources out there, for example Underwater Photography.

Colorful Jellyfish

Later on, if you realize that you love underwater photography, you may think about buying a Digital Single Lens Reflexive camera (DSLR). You can find many useful information on The DSLR Photographer. There are many reviews of the latest photo gear there and will help you choose the right one.

Last but not the least, remember that the most important is to go, dive and keep shooting. Absolutely the best way to capture interesting moments, discover new places and seeing rare spices of fish and other underwater animals.

Thank you very much for reading this beginner’s guide, the more are coming soon! Check out also the tutorial about the most common beginners mistakes. There are some tips that may help you improve your underwater photos. And of course don’t forget to subscribe to new tutorials and reviews of the equipment.

The hottest waterproof compact cameras of June 2011

The month May passed without making a list of the best cameras in the category Top of the month. There are two main reasons – lack of time and the list stayed pretty the same as for the April. But with the beginning of the summer and warmer weather in June, a lot of new shuffling in the bestseller cameras occurred. So here we are again with the new list of the best waterproof digital cameras in the market this moment:

1. Olympus Stylus Tough 6020

The winner of the April FujiFilm FinePix XP10, which was scored at amazing 11th place two months ago, was conquered by Olympus Stylus Though 6020. This month’s winner is currently placed as 12th most wanted digital camera on Amazon. We find this pretty interesting since there are many newer waterproof digital cameras available on the market and we’ve found some comments of the unsatisfied customers buying this camera, claiming that the camera is not waterproof and it is not waterproof as promised at Olympus. Even though, it may be just bad series and it seems now they solved the problem at Olympus and also there are many more happy users of this model recently.

Anyhow, let us list some of the camera’s features. For less than $300 you will get the waterproof camera up to 16 feet underwater that makes a superb quality pictures with resolution of 14 MP or recording 720p full HD videos. Like many other waterproof cameras this one is shoockproof, freezeproof and dustproof as well. You don’t need to worry about the memory cards anymore, Olympus Stylus Though 6020 uses 1GB internal memory for storing all images and video clips. The reviews of the users you can find on the Amazon.

If you are planning to buy a new camera and this one will be the one you choose we will be very happy if you buy it using the links on this page. This way you support our site and work.

2. Panasonic Lumix DMC-TS3

The new camera from Panasonic seems to be the success of this summer. The press release and announcement was published at the end of January this year and the blue version is already on the 17th place among all the digital cameras, following by the orange version on the 18th place. And the 2nd place in the list of the bestselling waterproof digital cameras. We predict this is the waterproof camera of the summer 2011.

The camera is designed very visually appealing and rugged at the same time. Currently available for a little more than $300, you get the last-generation point-and-shoot rugged digital camera with 4.6x optical zoom, wide angle lens with image stabilization and 2.7″ LCD screen. For additional $30 we suggest you to buy a set suggested by Amazon, in combination with waterproof camera float and 16 GB SDHC memory card. These are two basic accessories you need when taking pictures underwater. This camera is able to record Full HD videos in amazing resolution 1080p! And now the best features, the ones you came across this post: camera had build-in GPS function so now you now for every picture when and where it is captured. It also has a compass, altimeter for current height above the sea level and barometer for knowing how deep underwater you are.

At Panasonic they pushed the limits of this camera even one step higher, comparing to the previous version TS2 we have reviewed as well. Now the DMC-TS3 is waterproof up to 40 feet (12 m), shoockproof to drops up to 6.6 feet (2 m) and freezeproof to -14 °F (-10 °C). It has better sensor than it’s predecessor, faster processor and many other smaller attributes. Definitely consider buying this camera. Depending on the characteristics and first happy users the best buy this moment! For more pictures of this camera and user reviews follow this link.

3. Kodak EasyShare Sport C123

This entry-level digital waterproof camera has also climbed the bestselling digital cameras last few weeks to the 40th place overall. It is probably the strongest competition to FujiFilm FinePix XP10 which was the winner of April’s list and has now dropped a way down. At the time of writing this you can get Kodak EasyShare Sport C123 for a very inexpensive price $69. This is definitely the camera you can use just for one summer and don’t care much if you get mugged on the beach. Except you have some great pictures stored on it.

Anyway, despite the low price, this camera still has some great features that will satisfy your needs as easy photographer. Its resolution is 12 MP, which is pretty a lot for such a cheap waterproof camera. The lens can produce 5x optical zoom. Yes, you’ve heard right. It has an optical zoom, not like other cheap cameras in the same price range that only stretch your image with digital zoom and spoil the resolution this way. It is waterproof to the depths of 10 feet, and has 2.4″ LCD screen.

Last but not the least, the “123″ in the name is not 1, 2, 3 just by accident. It is a Kodak’s EasyShare special attribute, that the camera will share the pictures automatically to your favorite sites or send it to your friends or family via E-mail. It goes like this:

  1. Just press Share when in review mode
  2. Choose your favorite sharing destination, e-mail address, or Kodak PULSE Display
  3. Connect your camera to your computer or insert your memory card and your videos or pictures are automatically uploaded to the destination(s)

We are sure many users will find this feature very helpful (or they already did as you can read here). Consider buying it together with 4 GB SD card and camera case. Priced $75 together with the camera, these two are the best accessories you can buy for such a price with the camera.

Other popular waterproof digital cameras in June 2011

Of course there are many other waterproof digital cameras following the winning triplet. Here are some of them:

  • 43th place: Sony DSC-TX10 16 MP waterproof camera
  • 47th place: Olympus Stylus Tough 8010 14MP waterproof camera
  • 76th place: Sony DSC-TX9 12 MP waterproof camera

Hope you have enjoyed the reading and you found the information you have been looking for. Once again, we are very happy if you buy the reviewed cameras using the Amazon widgets used in this post. Thank you and subscribe to the following reviews, news and tutorials about waterproof digital camera.

Waterproof Digital Camera Cases DiCAPac

A very popular choice and also affordable for everyone who also has a regular Point-and-Shoot digital camera, is a waterproof digital camera case. There are some different variants from different manufacturers, but today we will focus on products from probably the most well-known company that makes underwater soft cases – DiCAPac.

DiCAPac waterproof cases for DSLRs, compact cameras and smart phones

Overview of the waterproof camera cases

If you are not a professional photographer but you would like to make some underwater shots with your regular compact digital camera anyway, soft waterproof digital camera cases are just the perfect gear for you and your camera. You just put the camera in the case, zip it up and you are ready. These cases are made of non-toxic plastic materials and are 100 % waterproof tested up to some meters (usually 5 to 10, depends on the model) underwater. Just simply put the camera in the case and close it with patented zipper and double roll velcro tape. For better contrast and allowing one to use the camera’s optical zoom underwater, the cases have a solid extender with lens opening with a 3-layer coating for UV protection, water repellent coating and scratch resistance coating. This lens opening allows the camera to freely move the lens while zooming and focusing. But be careful when buying the case, because there are about a dozen of different sizes and models of cases, you need to find the right one that will fit your digital camera!

First products of DiCAPac were sold in 2007 and since then the soft waterproof camera cases have very quickly became very popular all over the world. There are some very simple reasons for such a success:

Low price – one of the crucial factors

of course the price has a great role when buying accessories for your camera. The original and solid cases for your digital camera may be pretty expensive for one’s pocket. For example, you bought your Canon/Nikon/similar middle range compact camera for, let’s say, $300. And in the summer you are planning to go to to vacations to Florida Keys. Everybody knows that snorkeling there is fantastic because the water is warm, clean and the sea is full of animals and other interesting creatures. Of course you’d like to shot some pictures of this beautiful world under the water. You go to the shop and you ask for waterproof housing of your digital camera … and get shocked when you realize that is costs $170. That’s more than a half of the price of your camera. But now you know that there’s another option as well – soft waterproof digital camera cases. Even though they are usually a bit more difficult to handle in the water and adjust the settings while the camera is in the case, for as much as 10-times cheaper comparing the original solid housing, they still provide a great water shield and are absolutely a wining buy when looking for the best price/functionality ratio.

Fit all the standard sizes of digital cameras

No matter what brand is your digital camera, almost for sure there exist the soft camera case for your model. It’s because these cases are not made for a specific models or brands of cameras, but are made in several different sizes, so you just need to know the size of your camera and then find the right DiCAPac case model. On their web page you can find all their products and which model you need for your digital camera, depending on dimensions of the camera and the lens.

Not only waterproof

Even thought DiCAPac waterproof digital camera cases are meant to be used for underwater imaging, that’s absolutely not the only way they could be used. These pouches also protect your cameras from the sand on the beach, are as well snow-proof for winter activities, dirt-proof for dirties of any kind and so on. I am talking this from personal experiences, because I also have Canon PowerShot A560 and I bought DiCAPac camera case for it, and I realized that when I go to the seaside I have my camera in the pouch all the time. It’s great because it protects your camera from all sorts of scratches, rain and drops from smaller heights. I personally recommend this cases to anyone who exposes its photo gear to water or dirt. For $20-$30 it’s really worth.

I found the best prices of DiCAPac waterproof soft camera cases in Amazon. Below are some links to the most popular cases and you can also find many user reviews of these products:

Do you already know which case match your digital camera? I will be very happy if you buy it using the Amazon links above. This way you are supporting my work and reviews here.