These electronic marvels are not critical to your paddling success , but they sure make a day on the water more fun. And the best part is.. all of these electronic marvels are waterproof and perfect for enhancing your paddling adventures. All the quoted prices are approximate and usually you can find bargain prices on the web.
1.Olympus Stylus 1030SW – digital camera
PT-043 Underwater Housing – around $200.00 on-line
Sticking with the theme of indestructible is better, the 10 megapixel Stylus 1030SW (as in shock and waterproof) is a great addition to your paddling arsenal. Stick it in the pocket of your PFD (it is small and lightweight – about the size of a pack of smokes, and almost as habit forming) with not a worry. It is shockproof to 6.6 feet – I tested it and dropped it on the sidewalk and yes, it kept on clicking, even with the little dent in the all-metal housing. It is waterproof to 33 feet but you can get the optional PT-043 housing and join the Cousteau clan on a deep sea underwater adventure up to 40 meters deep. The point and shoot camera takes a nice photo with good color and sharpness and utilizes a couple of features that work – most of the time. There is a face detection feature which makes for sharply focused portraits – most of the time. The lens is a 28-102 zoom which is great for taking shots in your boat – the wide angle is rare for a point-and-shoot camera. The camera shoots video at 640×480, 30 frames per second limited only by the size of the xD memory card.
2-3. Sony SR220D 120GB – camcorder
SPK-HCD Housing – $250.00
The Sony SR220D camcorder records TV-quality video and 4-megapixel still images on its built-in 120-gig hard drive—which means no tapes, cards, or discs to mess with while hands are wet. It has a 15x optical zoom designed by Zeiss Opticsto bring in those distant paddlers. Stick it inside the optional SPK-HCD water housing to record up to 14 hassle-free hours of paddling action as far as 17 feet below the water's surface. This puppy has some powerful and somewhat confusing features like ClearVid CMOS Sensor (with Exmor technology….whoa!)and BIONZ image processor. In plain English that means you can take killer vids that rival professional caliber movies….and the waterproof housing is dirt-cheap and fully functional compared to the pro models. You can afford this setup and still get that new paddle.
4-5.IV6 – waterproof case for Ipod
iV6 – $99.95 (on line price as of june 1 – fits Ipod)
H3 Waterproof Headphones – $49.99
Add one of these cases to your Ipod and continue with our theme of waterproof and indestructible. H2oaudio makes a line of waterproof cases and ear phones to fit the full line of Apple music players, even your venerable Ipod Classic. You can jack your paddling tempo while listening to the latest Hip-Hop Workout, and not worry about drowning your music player. It couldn't be simpler – unlatch the case, insert your music player, close it and attach the ear phones then go paddling. The case is hard plastic and will absorb any bumps or grinds you give it. The only complaint that I have it the latch takes a bit of practice to open.
6.Vio POV.1 – helmet cam
$699.95 List price
This camera is simple to use, bomb-proof and now comes with a wide-angle lens standard. My only real complaint of this unit was that on a short kayak you could not get enough of the boat in the image. Not so with the new, standard wide lens that gives you 100 degree coverage. The unit comes packed with everything you need to start taping your action. Charge up the batteries, load the included SD card and mount the camera on your boat, helmet or tripod and turn it on. That's how easy it is. The POV.1 (as in Point-of-view) is a state of the art in a small lightweight, shock-resistant, and affordable video recorder. It comes with a separate camera head, video recorder, wireless remote and software for inputting your Oscar worthy footage into your computer afterwards. It records in MPEG-4 so getting it into your computer and editing it is easy on a Mac or PC.
Atlantic Ego – waterproof sound case with speakers
You can take the party to the river.. or the ocean with the Ego waterproof sound case. The case is an indestructible (notice the theme here?) shatter-proof plastic with rubber guards to protect against shock. The speakers are battery operated and last about 25 – 30 hours and the sound , while lacking in head thumping bass is decent. The case even floats so it's perfect for a rapid filled river that could upend you at any time. That way you can have your friends recover your tunes while collecting your paddle.
GoPro Helmet Hero – helmet camera
$169.99 on their internet site
This camera is waterproof, small, simple, inexpensive and just plain fun to use. This is the digital equivalent of the little train that could. You think, no way such a little tiny camera can shoot decent video and stand up to class V thumps. Well, this little guy can. It can shoot an hour of 512 x 384 rez video on a 2 gb SD memory card. You can also set it to shoot a photo every 5 minutes, about 1400 max photos. It's great for time lapse photography of your adventure. The camera is housed in a thump proof housing and comes with an extremely versatile quick-release mounting system so you can mount it on almost any helmet, or the bow of your boat. The camera is so inexpensive you will be tempted to try the camera out on risky endevours that a full price camera wouldn't … like the bow of your kayak as you practice surfing rolls. The camera is not perfect – what is? – there is no review screen on the back of the camera so you won't be able to review your footage until you're back home and the quality is not HD. But for You-Tubers and family videographers this is a great camera to take on every trip and try some fun stuff that you would not try with an expensive camera.