Fly Fishing Cameras Proliferate as Waterproof Camera Market Grows

| January 17, 2013

Fly Fishing Cameras PART 1

IT SEEMS like only yesterday I was on the bleeding edge of waterproof camera discussions, with the Sanyo Xacti camera being my first real waterproof camera, one that was actually geared toward video more than still photography. Then, I couldn’t resist the Kodak Play Sport as a take-along-shirt-pocket-camera. Those cameras seem ancient now! The market is filled with new camera models boasting “waterproof,” “shock resistant,” “freeze resistant,” all to let you know they are in the last game standing in the affordable consumer compact camera. Name a manufacturer and they have something that can be run over by a barge and survive.

These new cameras are loaded, and I mean loaded, with megapixels, video capability and more. The idea of putting away your phone, and keeping it dry and safe while you use a camera that probably costs less, is obviously attractive and logical. The fact they boast durability that phones don’t or can’t have is a major consideration too. Until now anyway.

The leader of the pack is a camera that has stunned the market, the outdoor photography world, and even hollywood (lower case “h”). As this baby of a new year gets some teeth, it’s amazing to think about the short time that GoPro Cameras have been around. GoPro footage is everywhere – reality TV shows have “GoPro Technicians” now that just handle the “GoPro footage,” and the cameras are showing up taped, glued, velcro-ed, boomed, cast and bolted to situations limited only by the shooters imagination. Remember the “Deadliest Catch” shot with the camera attached to the hook they use to catch the trap ropes? GoPro.

From out of nowhere, GoPro is the de-facto KING of the waterproof, all weather camera market. We used four of them to shoot the Kayak Fishing Journal’s only episode a couple of years ago – two per Diablo Kayak, and they provided usable footage throughout. I wasn’t involved with the technical aspects of the cameras, and there seemed to be A LOT OF TECHNICAL ASPECTS. And this leads to the one thing that seems to stick in the craw of folks like you and me, folks with a bit of a budget; most of the bells and whistles for GoPro Cameras are proprietary. Their mounts, fittings and general rigging necessities are designed to work with their camera, and there’s no way around a lot of it. They don’t come with a screen on back. You CAN purchase a new spiffy remote control, and the list (invoice) goes on.

Right now, if you want to take stunning video, have a camera that can take our punishment, but has some learning curve to it, and some proprietary mumbo-jumbo … GoPro will get you going right away, and with reliability.


Last year, the GoPro’s on retailer’s shelves took an ominous dip in pricing that I read as saying, “We have something new coming out, and we’re clearing inventory.” Enter the GoPro HERO 3. It’s the latest version of a camera that is the staple of the hip-cool skaters, surfers, skiers and just about anyone else who wants you to see how good they are at what it is they do. And why not? North Americans seem to be staying in, hunkering down an prepping more now than the last four years. It only follows that the “need for speed” – that includes better video of bigger things being done – that need increases at the rate of technology.

One of the biggest problems we had when using GoPros during our shoot was simple; turning the thing off and on, and knowing for certain that the battery hadn’t run down and turned the camera off automatically. The kind of shooting we were doing, the cameras are left to run all the time – recording everything, making for a lot of excess footage and running batteries down constantly. Besides the $1500-dollar wireless microphone I had on

The Hero 3 is Wi-Fi enabled and can be controlled (stopped-started) via the remote (included in Black), or using a smart phone (iPhone or the like) App. How cool is that? And the camera boasts significant improvements in resolution – 12 megapixel stills, and 1440 48fps, 1080p 60 fps and 720p 120 fps video. Let’s just say this is overkill for current video usage in podcasts and youtube videos, and leave it at that.

While I will be trying the GoPro Hero 3 in the first part of this year – into the spring runs – there are also some other options we will look at that are more economical and just as powerful, more controllable, and potentially more creative than the GoPro Hero 3. However, I can’t blame you if you run out and get one, or click on the ad below and get one, after reading this article.


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Category: Culture on the Skids, Equipment, Photography, Reviews, TECHNICAL

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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