Chris Maxcer

Do You Need a Waterproof Camera in the Age of the Smartphone?

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Not a bad shot, but it would have been better from the water.

AS THE CAMERA on my iPhone gets better and better, I suddenly find myself taking more pictures with it than with my big Canon DSLR. At the same time, I find myself getting cool photos I might not otherwise have gotten at all because I almost always have my iPhone. But it’s a catch-22: I also take lousy photos, trusting important moments to my iPhone’s tiny little lens rather than to a camera more suited to the task at hand. Many people, it seems, are willing to accept blurry action and poorly lit photos in favor of convenience.

This begs a closer look: Why buy a dedicated camera at all when you always carry a smartphone camera? What are you really missing?

I’ve been thinking a lot about this, and personally, what I’m finding is that my behavior with my iPhone has also had an adverse affect on my photo taking. Instead of snapping some shots, I don’t bother taking out my iPhone because I know the results will be lackluster. In addition, I don’t bring out my iPhone in fear that I’ll drop it, break it, get it wet, or lose it down into some deep dark ravine.

Not only could I lose the value of the phone and still be shackled to a cellular service contract, I might also be stuck back in the woods without a means of communication.

Enter the Waterproof Camera

I realized that I’ll capture more adventurous moments if I simply invest in a handy little waterproof camera. While this class of camera isn’t nearly as good as a full-sized DSLR with a big lens, they are multipurpose wonders that you can use in the rain or swim with underwater.

Instead of going rafting or kayaking and fishing and coming back with just a handful of quick snapshots taken from the safety of shore, I’m more likely to return with photos that will lock-in memories and let me share them.

And this is why you need a waterproof camera, too.

Can a Waterproof Camera Be a Catalyst?

lake launching
A DSLR or smartphone can take photos from afar, but get down in the lake? Nope. Not having a waterproof camera means missed opportunities, plain and simple.

Besides taking a camera on rough-and-tumble adventures, I’m already thinking ahead: What kind of footage can I get if I go snorkeling in the local rivers and lakes this summer if I use a waterproof camera? And more importantly, will I get off my ass and do more because I might snap a once-in-a-lifetime photo?

I can only imagine.

I do know this: If I had a good waterproof camera like the Nikon AW130 last summer or even a GoPro, I would have been treading water in a mountain lake shooting video and photos of kids launching into the water. Instead, I was stuck on the dock, behind the action, trying to get an angle and not drop my DSLR.

Next time I’ll be ready. That’s the promise of a waterproof camera.

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