This is a guest post by Iskandar. If you want to guest post on this blog, check out the guest post guidelines.
Summer is here again. Some people pack their bags to the beach, others take a dip in their local pools, while those with deeper pockets fly to exotic locations like Bali. Whichever category you’re in, if you’re a gadget conscious person, such trip would be incomplete without a waterproof camera to record the excitement.
But before you dig your purse, here are 5 things you should know about waterproof digital cameras:
Picture Credit: VisualPanic
1. They Are Made For Outdoor Use.
Yeah, you say – no big deal.
Actually, it is a big deal if it is your only camera. Because most waterproof cameras are designed for outdoor use, they work great if light is plenty. But if you want to use the same camera for indoor shots of your son’s birthday party or taking the shots of golden sunset by the beach, you’ll find the results disappointing. Except for the Sony waterproof cameras, almost all rugged cameras have this low light weakness.
Cameras released in 2011 perform better indoor than cameras released in the previous years. But their low light performances are certainly not at par with your normal point and shoot cameras yet.
2. Heat Could Ruin It
If you happen to have a high end waterproof camera, you’ll notice that it could handle extreme cold (-10 degrees Celsius). But the label extreme temperature stated on the products’ brochures could be a little misleading. While your rugged waterproof camera could handle extreme cold, they will not be able to tolerate extreme heat.
Because of this, leaving your camera directly on the sand during a hot summer day is strictly a no, no affair. You could easily ruin the inner parts of your camera because sand temperature goes up quickly during the day.
3. Follow the Rated Depth
Most manufacturers test their waterproof camera’s tolerable water temperature in an ideal environment. This means the camera is not moving and water pressure is static.
But underwater, you are moving along the object you’re trying to shoot. Because of this, water pressure varies and it gets higher as you go deeper. As water push more and more into your camera, some will simply break.
So, remember your rated depth and don’t even think of going beyond it.
4. They Sink
Have you ever wondered why many waterproof cameras are housed in colorful and bright casings? One of the reasons is because the cameras will sink if dropped underwater. If the color is as bland as your normal cameras, there’s no way you’ll find them should you lose one underwater.
The fact that they sink is good because you do not need to get sinkers to shoot underwater. But it is bad if you dropped one in the ocean while kayaking.
To solve this problem, just get a floating strap.
5. Battery Life is Lower Than Expected
If you check the CIPA’s website (this is an independent body that tests cameras), you’ll notice that the test to determine the number of pictures you could shoot using your waterproof camera is done in a controlled environment where the temperature is 32 to 35 degrees.
When underwater, the temperature is normally lower than that. Because cold temperature reduces the effectiveness of your battery, you won’t get the maximum number of shots as stated by your manufacturer. Because of this, make sure you load a fully charged battery in your camera and carry a backup battery if you plan to shoot lots of pictures during your snorkeling trip.
There you are — the 5 things you should know about a waterproof camera. They are fun to use and will take you to more places and more shooting conditions than a normal camera. Like many people, you will probably spend more time with a rugged, waterproof camera than your powerful DSLR because it is so tough and versatile. But before you get used to its strength, it is handy to know its weaknesses.
Enjoy your camera and enjoy your summer!
Iskandar writes for the Waterproof-Camera.org website. He is a father of two, an avid outdoor guy and a toy shop owner.