Waterproof/shockproof/freezeproof cameras have gotten a bit more lovin\’ in the point and shoot market recently, and I\’ve been thinking about jumping on that bandwagon. Well, only half-seriously. Most of the price inevitably goes into making a tough camera tough, and so image quality suffers. But wouldn\’t it be liberating to have a piece of technology that you can really rough up without consequence? Not to mention the other creative applications of such cameras.
I try to have that mentality with my electronics, anyway. I believe gadgets are made to be used, not flaunted like accessories, compulsively buffed up or coddled in fancy cases a third of their price. But after my T1i had a brain fart a few months ago and I was left DSLR-less as the folks at Canon fixed it up, I\’ve been instinctively more careful with my gear. Sometimes that can mean missed opportunities, and where many of my photography goals are concerned, missing that perfect moment can be devastating.
A waterproof case for my point-and-shoot is prohibitively expensive for what you get. And it costs about the same as the Pentax Optio W90, which can shoot HD video and has pretty darn impressive macro capabilities. So maybe the W90 would make a (relatively) inexpensive and fun addition to my arsenal, especially when I go traveling later this year. Yes, the image quality wouldn\’t be as fine and I\’d only be able to shoot JPEG, but in a field where spontaneity can be golden, a camera built to be used without hesitation is a valuable tool.
Another suggestion I\’ve received is the GoPro line of HD sports cams, which produce stunning video, are adventure-proof, are versatile in their capability to capture the user\’s own POV, and are in a similar price range. But technology is a world of give and take, and with their not-so-great specs for still photography, I\’d have to shift my focus to video if I picked up one of those. Considering where camera technology is going, that might not be a bad thing.
This is all just speculation, anyway. My next lens is on the horizon, and after it finishes excavating my wallet and my soul, I might not feel like spending more money on this goddamn expensive obsession…for a while.