Six years ago I bought a little waterproof Olympus 850SW.
The first photo I took on it had amazing detail, with every hair on this windflower in focus all the way across to the edges of the image. I’m particularly fond of macros and this camera was exceptional. It was love at first photo!
Here is some more amazing detail on this macro shot of wild pit viper in Khao Yai National Park in Thailand. The reason I selected this particular photo was to compare it to another viper photo, taken with a different camera, at the bottom of this post…
My last silly camera-destroying shot in San Juanillo, Costa Rica. My Olympus was three years old at the time. They later told me that ALL waterproof cameras need to have their seals checked after about a year and a half.
I have had bad luck with cameras in the past so I had brought along my not-so-favourite Nikon Coolpix just in case.
A week later we were hiking through a Costa Rican jungle when I spotted an eyelash pit viper only 3 feet away from me. I took fifteen or more shots of it with the bloody Nikon but couldn’t get a single image in focus. Below is the best I could do with my Coolpix next to a photo of Al’s that was only fractionally better.
At some point during this ‘shoot’ an official came over and told me to back off as the snake was getting agitated. Apparently you really don’t want an agitated pit viper. Although at the time, I don’t know who was more agitated, the pit viper or me! All I could think was ‘my Olympus would have taken the shot, no problem.’
I have to say that the Olympus was the most fun I’ve ever had with a camera! The videos it took were tiny size-wise, about 1/4 the size of standard TV videos, which I think is about 1/10 the size of the current HD videos that most cameras take. Here are two underwater videos shot with it when the waterproofing was in better shape: www.flickr.com/photos/albatz/5618033864/in/photostream and www.flickr.com/photos/albatz/5615608640/in/photostream.
Somehow I ended up buying another Nikon Coolpix to replace this camera, and I have hated this camera for the last 35,000 photos. Now the batteries are losing their charge and the waterproofing is probably gone, so I’m in the market for a new camera. And one of the first cameras I’m going to look at is the latest Olympus waterproof!
Anyone have great experiences with a little point ‘n shoot for travelling the world?