The Action Loving Photographer

Not everyone wants the hassle of understanding ISO or aperture but do want to take amazing photographs. With any image if the content is incredible, as long as it is in focus and it is exposed who cares about fine-tuning. If you can attach your camera to your headgear as you skydive or bungee jump off a bridge, or take it underwater as you look for shells I am sure not all but certainly a few of you images will be pretty fab.  If the photographs are not great does it really matter it is great fun trying!

This week, I have been looking at some of the rugged, underwater, all-weather cameras that are on the market for those hiking, diving, skateboarding types that want to have fun with photography without being fussed with technology. I have also a couple of ideas for the kids, to get them excited about photography and the possibilities it offers.

Waterproof and Rugged Cameras

I get terrified every time I submerge my Canon camera…. even if it is in expensive Ikelite housing… Holly will tell you, I sweat it every time looking for those tell-tale stream of bubbles around the o-rings. So far I have only ever flooded a flash head! There are a great many rugged cameras on the market and they don’t need a complex housing.  They will let you dive as deep as 25 meters and are shock and freeze proof. Lots of these cameras also come with other great features like GPS location tagging, WIFI connectivity and some even have a compass or altimeter.  I am not going to review a load here but offer up the best I found.  I have linked my sources at the bottom of this blog so if you want to delve deeper you can.

Olympus Stylus TG-3

Sensor: 16.1MP, 1/2inch CMOS, Lens: 4x Optical Zoom, Screen: 3-inch, 460K-dot LCD, Continuous shooting: 5fps (25 frames, Video: 1080p HD.

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This camera retails at around £320. It has a great reputation and can survive drops of 1.2 meters, a -10 degree freeze, 100Kg of force and 15 meter deep underwater trips.  It has a high-speed f2.0 lens taking particularly good outdoor shots in good light, it has a 4x optical zoom range and can focus close up so can create great macro shots.  It has a great chunky design and is good to handle, its is also packed with loads of useful features.  It has Wi-Fi, which although is a standard on many digital cameras is not the case with most rugged models.  The reviews have said the video capability is not the best for sound quality but apart from that it ticks all the boxes.

The GoPro

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The latest model the Hero4 retails at around £300. This really is the best ‘go anywhere, shoot anything’ camera. If you are going to jump off a cliff this is the thing to recored it. The GoPro has been used in countless broadcasts of daredevil stunts on television and it really is king of sports photography. The GoPro website is worth a visit and even has it’s own YouTube Channel with footage being constantly uploaded by GoPro enthusiasts encouraged to share their footage to make GoPro ‘Video of the Day’.  You can view foootage of all sorts of video stunts from Ski Slaloms, Underwater Manta Rays, Windsurfing and Mountain Climbing.  It is well worth a view.

https://gopro.com/channel/video-of-the-day/wingsuit-air-balloon-jump

The cameras can be attached to almost anything and on the website you can purchase your camera as a bundle according to the sports or activity you are active in. I would love one but I would have to take up skydiving and I seriously don’t know when I would find the time!

Kids and Cameras

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I don’t know about you but I am A) not going to spend £300 on a single item this year for my 4 year old. B) would not trust him with an expensive piece of kit anyway… although he always has my Ipad. 🙂 With this in mind I do though want all my kids to start enjoying photography as I did as a child.  This year I am going to introduce them to the idea of underwater photography with a single use underwater film camera, it will fill up the bottom of their stocking nicely!  If they get their swimmers on I think they will spend a good couple of hours in the bath with these after Christmas giving me time to attack the Baileys.  Also, giving them a film camera will give them an education into the history of photography and the novelty of getting your film processed at a lab will be a great new year activity. You can pick up a Kodak version for around £9.95 or a Fujifilm version for around £11. Don’t forget to buy film to put in them though!

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If you have a little more money to spend and know it will get a lot of use you can buy this pretty cool Bubble Bob underwater kids camera for around £60, this records onto a micro SD card so the camera can be used every time you go on holiday.  I am not sure how great the photographs will turn out, it is not easy to get good pictures underwater (that is another blog I think!) but does it matter, the kids will have a great time experimenting! Don’t forget though you will not be able to take it to the local baths, there are very strict regulations about taking recording equipment into swimming pools and it is usually prohibited.

So that’s it for this week.  Next week I have a quick look at the DSLR and what to buy as a gift for someone who is keen to learn photography.

Have a good week.

Kyra x

Sources this week: which.co.uk: digital camera reviews. www.techradar.com: rugged camera reviews and www.gopro.com.