New Kayaker Cameras Released by Sony and Panasonic

Panasonic and Sony both recently released two new waterproof digital compact cameras.

Panasonic released the Lumix TS1. And Sony released the Cybershot TX5.

In the beginning there were far fewer choices for paddling with a compact digital point and shoot camera. Pentax and Olympus were the two choices. Recently the market has opened up to offer major competition for the waterproof compact digital point and shoot camera.

I have personally gone through two Pentax Optio’s. In short their durability isn’t terrific. Water droplets and fog appear under the LCD and the lens after limited paddling use. I had my new Pentax Optio w60 for less than a month before it started happening. It hasn’t killed the camera, but it obviously renders the camera quite useless.

Digital Photography review has given the Panasonic Lumix TS1 high marks.

Digital Photography review also has a waterproof camera group test. I highly recommend checking it out.

DP review has not downgraded the Optio for waterproofness or any of the other defects, so take the review with a grain of salt. It is highly technical in that if you want to find out which camera to buy based on the sensor size, mega-pixel rating, or video quality, you will most likely find the review very thorough. But for kayakers shooting in white water, the surf zone, or in colder climates, they haven’t exactly done their field testing so to speak.

So DP review if you want to send Go Kayak Now, a crate of cameras to test for durability. I promise to give them each a thorough Great Lakes Surf Kayaking once over. We will return all paperweighted cameras. $10.00 says they are all Pentax Optio Wx’s.


  1. Thank you for every other informative blog. The place else could I get that kind of information written in such an ideal means? I’ve a mission that I am just now running on, and I’ve been on the look out for such info.

  2. Now, Panasonic had released new waterproof camera, Lumix DMC-TS2. It’s improved many features from TS1 such as waterproof ability, higher resolution and especially AVCHD Lite Video recorder function.

  3. I’ve been using a Canon D10 for about a eight or nine months now, since it first came out. Lots of rolling practice, some snorkling (6ft. max depth), cold weather (skiing, 10F) – no problems. An acquaintance of mine bought one for a trip to the Caribbean, lost it in the surf, found it half an hour later about 30 yards from where she lost it, still underwater, and…. it worked fine. Picture quality very good, but the sensor noise gets very noticeable at higher ISO settings – so I keep it at ISO 80. The 3x zoom is a little wimpy, but then again, when you’re bouncing around on the water you probably won’t be using the zoom at max anyways. The coating on the lens cover is pretty good at shedding water, but I usually keep a microfiber cloth handy to wipe the lens clean. All in all – good image quality, good ability to resist water damage, and pretty good battery life.

  4. For what it’s worth, I’m still using the grand daddy of wet Optios: the 33WR. I bought it 7 years ago when it was all there was unless you wanted to pay through the nose for something encased in lexan the size of your head. It’s taken a few unexpected dunks including the Sturgeon River, but never encountered rocks or anything more than a waist-high drop. Even though it’s only rated water resistant, I did take a photo underwater and no seals leaked. I think Pentax just needs to go back to basics and re-perfect functionality before moving onto making it look like a rock star.