The Equipment

As with most people on this planet, I'm not flushed with cash, as such i what i get, i treasure. Even before i get it i would research thoroughly and read-up and try if possible.

For me and the things i like to do (i.e. hiking, climbing, swimming, free-diving, scuba-diving) i knew i needed something rather robust and water resistant.

My first camera was (and still is) the Cannon Powershot D10.


- One tough camera, it was accidentally dropped in Mexico from about 1.5m high straight onto a solid stone floor. The most it suffered was a slight ding near the lens.

- Water proof up to 10m. I thoroughly tested this on Christmas Island and it is well and truly water-proof, i know because i frequently free-dived up to 10m. In fact at times i would go beyond 10m (not too much maybe to about 11m-12m), and it is STILL going strong after 2 years. I wouldn't suggest for you to go beyond 10 meters as that's what the camera is rated to but I'm saying is that I was very pleasantly surprised that it had that buffer just in case you DID go beyond its rated limit.

- Underwater setting which very accurately and realistically compensates for color loss under water. Underwater is tricky to start with, especially seeing you have no control over the visibility of the water, but when it IS clear then you want to be able to have photo that is not leaning on the green side.

- Being a functional underwater camera, chances are you might want to wear gloves when diving / free-diving. In doing so having small buttons would be difficult to press. Thankfully the D10 has big and nicely spaced buttons that you can press and feel even when wearing gloves.

- Having the ability to change and manually control exposure is important...especially if you want to take long exposure (dark environment) shots. For a long time i thought this function was in all cannons or basic "point and shoots"..but apparently it is not in every camera. So having this function is definitely a plus.


- Physical design is terrible. Specifically it has the very distinctive Bulbous Shape!! Which, makes it rather awkward putting it in your pocket when you are hiking or climbing or walking around. Awkward also especially if you are male and have a bulge in your pocket?!?!?!? Having said that, the pros (functionality, processor, ruggedness) of this camera was well and truly more than enough to outweigh the bulbous shape....i dont really care what people think of me even if i do have a bulge in my pocket :)

-Video function is not does not have the capability to capture video in 720p or 1080p mode. But this is purely because this model is a couple of years old. But i've heard that the son of the D10 (i.e. the D20) which has just come out has all the above features AND also has the ability to film in 720p mode however only in 30 frames per second (fps)...i would have preferred it to have a 60fps cuz its easier to make super-slow-mo videos with clips that are filmed at a higher frame rate (i.e. 60fps). BUT having said that i have never handled the Cannon Powershot D20 and would like to get my hands on one to try it see if this little "con" will be outweighed by its "pros" just like its big brother the D10. It definitely has a better size/shape design so lets hope all its internals are as good (or better) as the D10.


I have also recently bought a GoPro HDHERO2.

The primary reason why i bought this camera was because i wanted a camera i could take diving and the GoPro is rated waterproof to 60m!!!  As a whole i would say its "alright". I wouldn't say i love it (yet) but its getting there.....


- For its cost ($380.00) it did not come with an LCD screen on its back like most digital cameras have. For the LCD add-on thats another $80. Then its manual does not say so, but if you take the generic GoPro housing underwater, everything will be blur...thats because of the fish-eye lens and the rate/angle of refraction need to buy ANOTHER HOUSING specifically for taking the GoPro underwater.....thats another $80. So just like that you're already over $500, inevitably you will realise that the battery does not last that long which means.....yes you guessed'd have to buy another battery which is....about another $ you get the picture, the price is really starting to add up!

- The GoPro does not take good pictures in low light, it turns out very "noisy". So if you take a timelapse shot of a sunset, everything will look really good until the light fades and you'll get a bit of a noisy picture.

- Rather bulky....but it wasn't designed to be sleek and slim so this is not a real fault/con.

- Battery only lasts for about 2 hours. You can connect external power to it but that would require an open port on the case or you just keep your GoPro out of the housing...either way it increases the chance of damage. Yes i understand you can just buy a cheap battery off ebay that will work, but that would entale taking the camera out of the housing, opening it up, replacing the battery and placing the camera back into the housing AND ALL THE WHILE NOT MOVING your shot even 1mm (impossible).

- Fish eye lens: its a both a pro and con. In this case it is a con because if you want to take a nice shot of  a person or street (or anything that has straight lines) you'll have a warping effect on the edges of your shot.

- Interface in changing modes. Though it has improved since GoPro HDHERO1, it still is rather cumbersome to cycle through all the modes just to get to what you want. It makes it difficult if you need to get to your specific requirement quickly


- Rated to 30m depth. For its basic price ($380) it is able to go to a depth of 30m. I am not aware of any other camera for this price that goes that deep. This is very useful if you want to take it diving.

- Takes good photos in strong lighting conditions

- Takes good timelapse shots with different time interval settings.

- HD video recording settings are EXCELLENT. The HDHERO2 takes both in 720p and 1080p...and on top of this in the 720p setting it can go up to 60 frames per second! This is handy for people like me that likes to take SUPER SLOW MO action clips!!!

- Fish eye lens, is a pro in this case because when taking a timelapse shot of natural scenery (e.g. mountains/canyons or an underwater sea-scape, it can really capture a lot in one shot.

- On the go charging!! On the side of the camera there is a USB port that allows you to charge the camera. I found this most useful as i was able to charge AND take a loooOOOooOOoong time lapse at the same time (up to 4 hours!!).

- Various mounting options. The GoPro can be mounted on your head, chest, bike, car, tripod, monopod, wrist...almost anywhere! Very handy !!!

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