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GoPro versus Olympus TG-6 or similar

I'm wondering if anyone has an opinion on the virtues of buying a GoPro versus a more rugged point and shoot camera like the Olympus TG-6. Has anyone used either of these options? What did you like/not like about them?

I'm a very amateur photographer and not good at using all the settings and adjustments that cameras come with. I mostly use my phone for day to day pics and only use my current camera if I need some serious zoom or other feature that my phone just doesn't do very well. My current camera is several years old and I feel like most of the time my phone takes better pictures. However, my travel plans for next year involve a more "adventurous" trip with water activities like rafting, kayaking and snorkeling where my phone camera isn't going to cut it. I don't want to risk losing or damaging my phone during these activities.

A lot of people seem to recommend a GoPro for these types of activities, but I'm not so much interested in video recording as I am in still photos. Is it worth getting a GoPro if I don't plan to take many videos? I didn't realize until recently that there are other options for a waterproof camera that isn't a lousy disposable one like I've used in the old days. I wondered if maybe something like that would give me the ability to take decent photos without worrying about damaging the camera during several weeks of outdoor activities.

Hoping to take advantage of some Black Friday or pre-Christmas sales so I'm starting my research early this year. Thanks in advance for any advice anyone has on the topic.

Posted by
3137 posts

I’ve gone from a Canon SLR with a slew of lenses, to a point and shoot to my iPhone. Trip to Europe in ‘89 I mailed rolls of Kodachrome back to the US for processing.

Determine what your primary use of the camera will be. It seems that since videos aren’t too important to you, that you can eliminate the GoPro since most digital cameras take very nice quality videos. Talk to folks in camera departments who know what they are talking about (not just clerks). Examine various cameras, see how the controls work and if they're user friendly. Check the specs on cameras in which you are interested. The Olympus that you’re looking at has very good reviews. But check it out physically at a store to see if you think you’ll enjoy using it. If it feels uncomfortable, you’ll take fewer pictures and miss a lot. I also feel the same way about camera bags - if you have to take it out of its bag to take a quick shot, there’s a good chance you won’t do it.

Posted by
131 posts

That's a great idea to go into the store and try out the camera to see if I am comfortable using it. I've gotten so used to researching and purchasing online these days that I forget there are still places where you can go in and check it out in person first. I'll definitely be doing that.

Posted by
279 posts

I own an Olympus TG5 and quite enjoy it. I am a fly fisher so this is the camera that I use when wading and otherwise in the out of doors. It has a two “point and shoot” modes and a number of other useful modes, such as a macro mode for taking closeups of flowers and such. The camera can shoots still photos at ten frames / second, good for getting nice action shots. The TG5 / TG6 basically have the same processor as the higher end Olympus cameras which allow it do a lot of useful processing inside the camera. I like the built in GPS for geotagging photos.

As with many newer point and shoots it has built in WiFi. The allows for transfer of photos to a smart phone or table. You can also operate the camera remotely with the smartphone app; good for group photos and longer exposures.

The video is quite good and provides for several variations of slow motion video.

The TG6 is only slight upgrade on the TG5, so if you can get a good deal on a TG5, I would go for it.

It is a camera with a lot of features. One should carefully read the manual and play with it before going on a trip. But I highly recommend the camera. A number of my friend have it and like it.