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peripatetic Jun 8, 2015 7:01 AM

What sports (swimming) camera?
Hi there, I'm looking for suggestions for a camera to record swimming from both above and below water.

Most of the "tough" cameras look like they will do a decent job. The most recent Olympus models look nice for sure.

But one thing I was hoping for and cannot seem to find is a camera that will record high-speed video for slow-motion playback for stroke analysis. Some of the tough cameras will do this, but mostly at only 640x480 resolution. Is there anything that will record 60+fps, ideally 120+ at HD resolution.

For this usage I am actually less concerned with the stills quality than the video quality, so if anyone has a suggestion for a video camera instead that would also be interesting.

Pricing modest please - $1,000 would be far too much. $500 or below seems about right.

Does not need to be waterproof to great depths, 5m would be fine.


Bob Nichol Jun 8, 2015 8:14 AM

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peripatetic Jun 8, 2015 11:49 PM

Thanks Bob,

It does look very good, but the big downside is that the lens is VERY wide angle with 3 settings of approx 14 (170degree fov!), 18, 24 in 35mm equiv. FOV. Reflecting that it's primary use case is as a wearable device to record what you are doing yourself rather than what others are doing.

The Olympus for example has 21-105 equiv zoom, which is much more versatile.

Everything is a trade-off I guess, but a go-pro feature set with a lens that was a bit more zoom-able would be perfect.

Old Boat Guy Jun 9, 2015 7:31 AM

There are modifications that can be made to the GoPro that allows for the use of different lenses.

Here are a few results from a quick search that might help. I have no idea what might happen regarding watertight integrity while using one of these modifications.

TCav Jun 9, 2015 7:51 AM

The angle of view in air is different from the angle of view in water. While the focal lengths available may seem short to you because of your experience when using them in air, they may be just what you need submerged. Also, when shooting underwater, you'll notice a significant loss of color and contrast which increases with distance, even in very clear water. As a result, long focal lengths are not generally very useful when shooting underwater, as the resulting images are generally colorless and indistinct.

peripatetic Aug 22, 2015 8:59 AM

These things happen...
Ended up at the electronics store at Heathrow airport, the store had a sale on the Olympus TG850. So I decided to go for that. But they only had the display model, then they couldn't find the box. They had the lovely new TG4, but I was not planning on spending that much, so left a little downhearted. My wonderful wife asked how much the camera was, and said "Oh just get it, and have fun on holiday! "

So I did, and it's great. The high speed video works very well for recording sports, the camera seems nice, and I'm saving everything in RAW format to process in Lightroom later, including some shots to stitch into panoramas. The macro works nicely, and it's fun to shoot video underwater in the pool and sea.

I'm still on holiday, but will post some shots when I get back next week.

So far though it's a great little holiday camera, and it's tough enough so I have no hesitation letting even the younger child take pictures and video.

pcake Aug 25, 2015 3:44 PM

glad you went for the camera that works for you rather than ending up with disappointment :)

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