April 21, 2010

I got a fever! And the only prescription...

...is more cowbell!

I recently got a scrip from the Doc saying I need to curb the gear purchases. Not good. The failing of any gear junky, I went out and picked up a "dirt cheap" waterproof camera, an Olympus Stylus 550WP. At $112, it was a tough deal to pass up, even if I wasn't an addict. 10 megapixels and submersible to 10 feet, sounds like a good investment to me. As far as models go, this was an older model, hence the blowout price. It's not the best camera on the market by far, but it's one I won't cry over if it happens to die out on the water. It still carries most of the desired features of a point and shoot, except the newer models all are capable of taking HD video. This camera still takes standard resolution video, but that's not why I bought it. I wanted a cheap, throwaway, waterproof camera I could take along on river trips and not have to worry about bricking my Canon.

This camera comes with a macro and supermacro function, which is handy for capturing images of macrophytes and other streamside macroinvertebrates. While the features are not as crisp as my Canon in low indoor light, it should be inconsequential, as the majority of the photos will be taken outside, with ample sunlight. The case is kind of a ghey teal color, but again, I didn't buy this for a fashion statement. Function over fashion. I know a few of you guys out there rock the Pentax and Panasonic waterproof cameras, and have definitely captured some nuggets on film. I preferred the operation of the Olympus, as it seems to more closely resemble the operating functions of my Canon.

Olympus Stylus 550WP
I debated long and hard on opting for a camera with an HD video function; I've seen Creekaddict's video footage and it is crispy. I even looked at a few waterproof dual HD cameras like the Sanyo Xacti. In the end I decided that if I wanted to shoot HD video, I'd be better off buying a standalone HD camcorder like a GoPro or Kodak Playsport instead of a camera that can shoot HD vid or a dual camera. But it looks like I'll need to wait at least another 1 to 2 months before I can even think of acquiring more gear. Doctor's orders.....


  1. 112 bucks. Can't beat that. The Oly takes some decent pics too. I think you'll be happy with it.

  2. The one thing I've found which is corroborated with other users, is that this camera's CCD does doe not excel under low light conditions, mainly indoor lighting. That being said, I bought the camera for outdoor shooting. My Canon can handle the task of macro shooting indoors just fine.

  3. Being able to toss it in the water far out weighs any other ability or lack there of when you are on the water!

  4. I got to cam up soon. I might have to check the oly out

  5. The 550WP was $119.95 NIB at Target, in-store clearance. You won't find it online.