July 9, 2010

CAMERABLOGGING: So I’ve liked the Panasonic Lumix LX3 that I’ve had for quite a while now very much — it takes terrific pictures in all sorts of settings. But one thing I’ve wanted is a camera that I can take to the beach or the pool or the lake without worrying about it; I’ve dealt with that mostly by taking old cameras that are expendable, but the problem with them, of course, is that the pictures they take aren’t as good.

Now I’ve decided to fix that by buying this waterproof Panasonic Lumix camera. It’s not a true underwater camera, as it’s only waterproof to 33 feet, but you can get it wet or sandy without fear, and it should be good for snorkelers, most of whom probably shouldn’t be venturing deeper than 33 feet anyway. I’ve tried it out above water and it does well even in dim light thanks to the optical image stabilization. I took it to the pool with Helen the other day and it did pretty well, too. It also shoots HD video, and that looked quite good as well. Here are a couple of pool pics.

instawife

instawife

UPDATE: Reader David Bowman writes:

I have had fantastic results with this inexpensive little waterproof camera that I bought last summer. I am an ophthalmologist, and have little tolerance for blurred or otherwise distorted photos. This camera continues to amaze me every time I take it underwater with my kids. It’s also great outside in the sun, just not particularly useful indoors or in the dark.

Here is the updated version which came out earlier this year for about $50 more. Last summer at the beach we also tied it to a kite (it is quite light), set it to video mode, and ran it up about 200-300 feet. The video is almost unwatchable due to all the motion, but the still frames pulled from the video are amazing. I stitched them together for an almost 180 panorama. We plan to do this again this year.

That’s very cool, and for half the price of the Lumix it’s easy to forgive the flaws. One advantage of cheap cameras that I can’t stress enough: You’ll do things with a cheap camera that you wouldn’t do with an expensive one, and that can be a major feature.

ANOTHER UPDATE: Reader Kevin Rose says take a look at this. A little more specialized, but cool.

MORE: This one was an accidental exposure, but it turned out kind of arty.

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