Fly Fishing Cameras on the Market

| March 23, 2009

OK, so maybe they aren’t “Fly Fishing Cameras”, [ppw id=”133617097″ description=”Photography Outdoor Cameras” price=”.10″]

but if you fly fish and want a camera that can take what fly fishing dishes out, perhaps one of these will fit into your vest pocket. For our purposes, they’re fly fishing cameras. Keep in mind, this camera will spend more time with you on the water than your significant other ever will. Typically, fly fishers take pictures, not fish. So, why not take good pictures? Without a doubt, my camera is one of the things I check to see that I have before I load up to go to the next destination.

My camera of choice is the Sanyo Xacti, as I have documented in past posts, and with video and stills from that camera adorning the pages of texasflycaster. It has its pros and cons, but once you sink money into one of these cameras, the days of buying and trying others just to see how they work, or if they feel better – are over. These cameras are priced at a premium due to their watertight design enhancements, and in the fast paced technological world we now occupy, buying and selling cameras is like catching a falling knife. Their depreciation rivals a computer’s in that something better will come out tomorrow and you can subtract about 66-percent from that new camera’s value in a couple of months.

The usual rules apply; 1) forget about magapixel count when comparing cameras 2) determine which is your priority – still or video 3) FOCUS ON FEATURES. Odds are, you are going to get more use from a camera that fits your hands, has buttons where you want them, a screen big enough to see and has manageable menus. Brand? At this level, it doesn’t matter. It’s about the features you want in your camera. It’s also about your past camera or cameras. If you do like brand X then give the edge to brand X on an even playing field. Keep in mind these cameras are meant to appeal to consumer, not pro or pro-sumer, so they are going to push color (as in camera color), and ease of use. If it is an option for the camera you choose, I recommend white for practical reasons; it reflects heat, and it is easy to find in the bottom of a bag or vest.

I also have a pocket size Panasonic Lumix camera, one I have recommended and basically sold to a hand full of my friends. The Lumix is what I call a “sleeper” camera, with a Zeiss lens, and Zeiss attributes – it is a fantastic camera at spectacular price. It is impossible to tell by looking but, the DMC-TS1D does carry the Lumix nameplate, and ZEISS optics, so it takes an early lead for non-partisan purposes.

The Sanyo Xacti is primarily a video camera that shoots stills. All waterborne video and stills in the upcoming Rockport entry come straight from my trusty white Xacti.

It is hard to deny Canon’s PowerShot D10 prowess in the digital world. However, an argument could be made that Canon can take the easy way and just stick their name on something and it will sell. The design is certainly for the life aquatic.


Pentax is a company that has all the history, and is still firmly entrenched at the lower end of most people’s concept of quality and features. That still has a place in my world though. The Pentax Optio W60 should be on your list of cameras to consider, but make sure you get your hands around this one.

Olympus Stylus Tough-8000 rounds out the current lineup. Olympus isn’t the first name that comes to mind when I think rugged, weatherproof or durable, but everyone seems to want to get a horse in this race, and Olympus has not been a sleeper in the revolution – remember the OM-1?

There is still a noticeable absence of one big player – NIKON! Nikon is my brand, and has been since my career started, so where are they? There really is no excuse or explanation for their absence, so it would be nice if they would at least get in the game.


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Category: Photography

About the Author () is where to find my other day job. I write and photograph fish stories professionally, and for free here! Journalist by training. This site is for telling true fishing news stories, unless otherwise noted.

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