A couple years ago I started my quest for a rugged waterproof camera that I could take hunting, fishing, kayaking, camping, hiking and biking. I wanted a camera that would hold up to the abuse and extreme conditions I would subject it to but I also wanted a camera with a great processor, the ability to control exposure, ISO, and other settings as well as built in GPS so I can geo-tag my photos and add them to my iPhoto and Garmin GPS unit and Garmin Basecamp mapping program.
I also wanted a good easy auto setting for the times I just want to snap photos, decent video capability, a sharp OLED screen and a bright f2.0 lens….yes that narrowed the field down significantly.
Before we get too far let me be clear, yes you need a rugged waterproof camera….and yes I now the newer android and iPhones can take good quality photos and video. I simply think your phone should be kept safe. I don’t think it’s wise to subject a phone to the elements, no mater how good your weather resistant case is and then there is the issue of battery life. Your phone could be your lifeline in an emergency so you should protect it.
First impressions and use: The camera has a good feel and weight to it. It is heavier than you might expect and it feels high quality in your hands. The controls are well thought out and easy to access. Set up was easy and I was off and running quickly. There are an abundance of custom settings but for me it’s either auto mode, macro mode or full manual mode. I haven’t given any time to working with the more custom effects modes. I have found that both still and video modes are easy to understand and use and I’ve been very pleased with the quality of both.
So far I have taken the camera on many kayak fishing trips in the Gulf of Mexico where the camera has been fully submerged. On one kayak fishing trip I had a mishap and the camera fell out of my kayak and into the Gulf where it took me about 30 minutes to locate and retrieve it in about 8 feet of water and covered in mud. After a quick rinse from my water bottle the camera was back in service.
On land I have taken the camera hunting, biking and camping and I’ve been very pleased. I highly recommend this camera.
Below are a few photos taken in Auto mode with the TG-1