Earlier this year, Laura and I traveled to Spain when I spoke at TBEX.
The Visit Costa Brava tourism board showed us a great time after the conference was done with a series of expeditions around the Costa Brava area. You can see lots of photos from the trips, but today I want to focus on kayaking to the Gulf of Roses we took part in.
I chose this specific outing because I love spending time on the water, but also because I had been sent a Olympus TG-1iHS 12 MP Waterproof Digital Camera (affiliate link) to do a review of. Talk about a perfect combo!
I was worried about how the camera would perform since I'm use to shooting with more powerful cameras, but it worked like a champ.
Olympus has done a great job of building a camera that is solid enough to stand up the bumps and scrapes of travel photography while taking good photos. I dunked it in salt water and kept on shooting without any problems. You do have to make sure to clean the lens after putting it in the water though or else you are going to get spots on your photos like I did.
All of these photos are taken directly off the camera and while I'm happy with the results, the colors are bit too vibrant for me. Yes, it really was a beautiful day and the water was gorgeous, but the colors could be toned down a bit.
While it does shoot video, don't depend on it for great audio. As with most small cameras, the microphones are not in the optimal location and there is no external microphone. It would work perfectly for b-roll footage or other shooting where audio is not as important.
One other possible negative is that for a point and shoot camera it is rather heavy. I didn't find it to be a problem at all, but I know plenty of people are crazy light travelers.
My favorite feature of the camera is the built in GPS. I didn't notice any significant battery drain while it was on and you can see here how Flickr pulled the map data in and the location is correct. I'd love to see this feature added to all cameras so that when shooting travel photography I could make sure to always have the most exact location as possible.
Being able to kayak up a river, jump onto a sand bar and then dunk my feet in the Gulf of Roses without having to worry about my camera being ruined by the water was a refreshing new experience.
In the past, I've always had to worry about my camera while kayaking. I loved being able to lash it down in front of me and keep on paddling.
If you are looking for a beautiful vacation spot, I highly recommend the Gulf of Roses area of Costa Brava (we stayed at Hostal Empúries) and the Olympus Tough TG-1 iHS is a great camera option to capture your vacation memories.
Disclosure - We were hosted and shown a great time by the Visit Costa Brava tourism board and Olympus provided me with the camera to review. All thoughts, opinions and photos are mine.