Art and Photography

GoPro vs Generic Waterproof Camera for Vacation P&S?

  • Last Updated:
  • Mar 9th, 2017 9:14 am
[OP]
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Jul 6, 2005
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GoPro vs Generic Waterproof Camera for Vacation P&S?

Hi guys,

I'm planning for a vacation in February to an All Inclusive resort in Mexico and want to purchase a waterproof camera that can be used in the pool, ocean and beach (sand).

Not sure whether I should buy an "action cam" such as a GoPro Hero5 OR a more traditional camera like a Fuji Finepix XP90/Nikon Coolpix AW130/Panasonic LUMIX DMC-TS30D

I foresee me having it attached to my wrist via a bracelet/tether. The only limitation I've noticed with most action cams is that they don't have an LCD screen to allow you to compose the shot (I guess they're better suited to fixing to an object an recording video), and they don't have a built-in flash (which would limit its use for daytime only)

I like the (small) size of the GoPro as I'd like to just use a wrist strap to carry it around. And I imagine would be much lighter than the larger Fuji or Nikon cameras noted above. However, is the LCD on the GoPro conducive for using as a P&S?

Appreciate any and all feedback!!
40 replies
Member
Apr 1, 2013
409 posts
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BC
When you shoot a video you want your camera to be steady as possible. Wearing it on your wrist might cause motion sickness to the viewers. Most people wear it using chest harness, on head gear, strap of a bag, mount it on selfie stick, clamp on to some object that you ride on.

LCD screen is good to have, but not a 'must have'. Most action cameras can pair with their Apps on smart phone, so you can have live view on your smart phone.

Action camera has a very wide angle.. You can probably aim at your object, the wide field of view would take it all in.

A traditional water resistance camera from Fuji/Nikon/Olympus has relative narrower field of view compare to action camera. So photo taken with traditional camera looks more normal. If you don't want to 'wear' your camera, get a traditional water resistance/proof camera. Or get both.
[OP]
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Jul 6, 2005
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Thanks for the quick reply

I don't think I articulated myself clearly regarding the wrist strap... it's not for recording videos (yes, that would be a horrible video to watch). The purpose would be strictly for transportation. For instance, chilling in my speedo in the pool/beach; I won't have any pockets. LOL.

Does the GoPro always have a 'fisheye' effect for the wide angle shots? Or is that a seperate lens attachment? I'd rather NOT have all my photos appear with the fish eye effect.

Also, can the GoPro be placed under water as is? Or does it require a case? I see a lot of cases for the GoPro
[OP]
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Jul 6, 2005
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stumbled across this great article (and others online) regarding the use of a GoPro as a P&S

https://havecamerawilltravel.com/photog ... era-travel

It seems like the shutter controls for P&S use, along with start-up time and battery life would be the biggest cons for me in using a GoPro.... I think I'll have to stick with a regular P&S type waterproof camera for my needs.

Also having to fix the fish eye effect on all my photos in post-processing would be the biggest pain in the ass
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Jun 15, 2012
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imho,
GoPro = action video... attach to helmets, your body, drones, gimbal, etc, wide angle view
Waterproof camera = ruggedness, beach use, scuba, river... mostly photography, some video; attach a buoyant strap

Keep in mind the seals may deteriorate in a couple of years give or take, even if you rigorously bathe/rinse the salt water off.
Newbie
Nov 24, 2014
50 posts
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Toronto, ON
Not sure of your needs (4k, blown up poster sized pics etc)
but could you just get a waterpoof case for your phone?
Something like the hitcase, will protect your phone from elements. allow you to put on lenses and fit onto available gopro type mounts

HITCASE

(I have no affiliation to this product, it was the first to come up on a google search)
turns out it's designed in Vancouver!
Member
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Mar 10, 2011
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Edmonton
I just went on a cruise and took both my gopro hero 4 silver and my rx100 m1.

I ended up using my gopro most of the time and only used the rx100 for dinner.

The hero 4 silver has a screen so it is easy to compose shots. Even the gopro without a screen are easy to compose since the wide angle lens captures a lot.

I bought my gopro hero from Costco for 300 +tax and actually sold it for a little bit more when I returned from my trip. I bought a hero 5 from best buy during the price error and got it for a great deal. There the hero 5 had an option to turn off the fish eye affect and shoot in linear mode.

I also ended up selling my rx100 because I originally bought it as a travel camera but hardly used it for that purpose. My Galaxy s7 shoots decent enough picture so I use that instead.


Because the gopro is so light weight and rugged it is the perfect travel camera if you want to me thing quick and easy to use.
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Mar 6, 2003
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Hero 5 is basically waterproof but to go diving you need to use the underwater case

yes, basically you will always have some fish eye effect, you can remove it in software but it will always look flat due to the non-zoomable wide angle lens.

Personally I'd rather use a P&S or even a phone for normal pictures, and use the Gopro mostly for video
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Sep 21, 2004
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I just got off a cruise that stopped off in several Caribbean ports. I took 4 cameras with me. Mirrorless, cellphone, Chinese action cam, waterproof p&s. I used all 4. Here's my take on your situation.

Action cam - best for when you're on the go. I used both floaty and wrist strap attachments. I could use this easily when I needed both hands at various points like jet ski, water slides, etc. It was easy to set it and forget it for various videos. Good for a quick photo here and there. Quality was acceptable as long as the conditions aren't extreme (dark, sun directly pointed, etc). Fisheye is a given. Distortion is a given.

P&s. Photo quality was clearly better. Way better. But we tended not to use the camera as much as it requires hands to hold. Even if we had the strap on, we didn't want to bash it around. Also very difficult to do things like swim with it. We basically only used this in pool and beachside situations with the kids.
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I just got off a cruise too, 6 ports, did you do the RFD Anthem deal? $3200US minus $425 OBC for 12 nights, family of 4 was a great price!

Anyway, other than a few photos, this 4K compilation was 99% iPhone 7 Plus including the editing done on the phone as my wife drove part of the way home.

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AncasterRFD wrote:
Feb 1st, 2017 7:03 pm
I just got off a cruise too, 6 ports, did you do the RFD Anthem deal? $3200US minus $425 OBC for 12 nights, family of 4 was a great price!

Anyway, other than a few photos, this 4K compilation was 99% iPhone 7 Plus including the editing done on the phone as my wife drove part of the way home.

Cool vid! What gimbal did you use?
Newbie
Nov 24, 2014
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Toronto, ON
AncasterRFD wrote:
Feb 1st, 2017 7:03 pm
Anyway, other than a few photos, this 4K compilation was 99% iPhone 7 Plus including the editing done on the phone as my wife drove part of the way home.
Looks like a fun trip.
And your vid looks good enough for my memory purposes. (I never view or print 99% of the stuff i shoot after transferring it to storage, so something like you shared would be perfect!)
What app did you use for editing? Did it include the transition fades and text overlays included in your vid?
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Zhiyun Smooth; a Feiyu or Lanparte will work too. I think I had about 150 clips, deleting and trimming the keepers to key parts as I went, and during down time. I then put them together in the iMovie app when we drove home, includes different transitions, turning off audio, inserting music overlay and text etc. It's not as robust as Final Cut Pro on a computer when I need to colour grade something commercial, but good enough to capture vacay memories. Like you said, a series of photos are not revisited much (great for print), whereas my family has a copy of the vid on their mobile devices and they love rewatching it, the smiles are priceless, puts them back in the moment.

My friend brought a Hero5, no stabiliser. The only thing it would have been good for for me is underwater or on a Seadoo. Editing a bunch of GoPro vids at home would also take a long time instead of chipping away like I did as I went, or I would have to bring a laptop. Next time, I'll bring a dji Mavic, RCI allows it onboard now.

The same companies make gimbals and adapters for the Hero5, and GoPro has their own gimbal. The AOV would be wider, not a bad, thing, so it is an option. Shooting, editing, carrying a portable battery for the iPhone is just convenient, seeing that it does decent 4K too.

Off topic, if you want to get fancier, I have iPhone LUTS installed in Adobe Clip to simulate minor grading, I think it was $4, Daniel Peters.
Newbie
Nov 24, 2014
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AncasterRFD wrote:
Feb 3rd, 2017 11:08 am
Zhiyun Smooth; a Feiyu or Lanparte will work too. I think I had about 150 clips, deleting and trimming the keepers to key parts as I went, and during down time. I then put them together in the iMovie app when we drove home, includes different transitions, turning off audio, inserting music overlay and text etc. It's not as robust as Final Cut Pro on a computer when I need to colour grade something commercial, but good enough to capture vacay memories. Like you said, a series of photos are not revisited much (great for print), whereas my family has a copy of the vid on their mobile devices and they love rewatching it, the smiles are priceless, puts them back in the moment.

The same companies make gimbals and adapters for the Hero5, and GoPro has their own gimbal. The AOV would be wider, not a bad, thing, so it is an option. Shooting, editing, carrying a portable battery for the iPhone is just convenient, seeing that it does decent 4K too.
Off topic, if you want to get fancier, I have iPhone LUTS installed in Adobe Clip to simulate minor grading, I think it was $4, Daniel Peters.
Thanks for the informative replies,
crap! I was 'happy' with what I had now I NEED a gimbal (and to look into LUTS) LOL
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May 14, 2009
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Of the P&S listed in the OP, which would you guys recommend? OP, did you decide what to go with yet? Interested to hear what you chose as I'm currently deciding between them too.

Leaning towards a P&S since our primary interest is taking video. But as we are going to be doing lots of active things (canyoning, trekking, snorkeling in the Galapagos), it needs to be pretty robust. Don't wanna risk taking our iPhones on excursions in case they break or get stolen (we have 5s and 6 only).

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