When we were preparing for our year long trip, we looked long and hard for the perfect camera. Something that would take great night and day shots, had good color, and shot in RAW for the best possible effect. We chose the Canon G10 and have been super happy with it, except for a scratch it got on the lens in the first month or so. I think the photos we’ve taken with it are pretty damn good, don’t you?
The only thing it wasn’t was waterproof, which we also had a fix for. We’d bought dicapac’s before when we had our old Sony camera, and they worked pretty good. It’s basically a glorified ziplock bag that you put your camera in and it’s supposed to be waterproof for up to 5 meters.
We were in Koh Tao for Christmas which has some of the best snorkelling and scuba diving in Thailand. We had planned to take a PADI scuba diving certification while we were on Koh Tao, but with Dee’s 2nd degree burn on her leg it was out of the question. Something about pouring salt onto an open wound didn’t appeal to her. I thought that maybe sharks would smell the blood in the water and that would be the end of us, so I agreed.
We had fantastic snorkelling just off the beach where we were staying. So one morning I decided to get out there and see what’s up and took the camera and dicapac. It was amazing, there were huge schools of red snapper, hundreds of smaller fish and beautiful coral. It was a mixture of big black spikey coral, huge brain coral that was 3 meters across and all sorts of amazing other coral. This, only 10 meters off of our beach! I was snapping pictures like a paparazzi on MIchael Jackson’s nose, but looking at all of this fish made me pretty hungry so I went in to get some food and drink.
After a quick bite, drink and smoke I headed back out like an excited 5 year old going to the fair. This time I went to the other side of some big rocks and had to swim over coral that was just barely under my chest in 3 feet of water. Suddenly I saw the most beautiful green coral and grabbed the camera to take a picture that could have been submitted to National Geographic. I turned it on and placed the camera in front of me to capture this moment. It was then that I noticed some water inside the dicapac. Face down with my snorkel and mask on I was slightly confused. Wasn’t the dicapac supposed to keep water out? Why was there water inside the fucking bag with the camera? My heart dropped enough to scare the fish away and turn the green coral into a red blur.
Out here in the middle of the ocean I couldn’t stand up as there was sharp coral all around me. I held the camera out of the water and half paddled my way to shore avoiding the sharp edges of coral that threatened to cut me to pieces if I stepped on it – and kill the coral in the process. As I cleared the coral I stood up – only barely swearing, I’m sure people 200M away couldn’t hear me – and assessed the situation. The dicapac was half filled with salt water, the camera had a blurry photo on the screen and it wasn’t looking good. I pretty much knew it was toast as I had seen many a water damaged cell phone in my day at work. If it was clean water there’s a chance it’ll be ok, but salt water corrodes instantly.
I quickly turned it off, pulled out the battery and watched the salt water come out from inside the camera. Pulling out the memory card it was wet as well. It was a good thing we had just downloaded all the pictures. Quickly I went up to the room and put it in the sun to dry out as best as I could, but the damage was clearly done. A day later I tried to turn it on but it was done, our awesome Canon G10 camera was toast.
I’m not sure why the dicapac failed, when I went out snorkelling earlier it was working fine and I captures some awesome pictures. The only thing that I can think happened is that when I took my break, the seal on the ziplock portion came apart a bit as it dried out. You roll it over and lock it down, but there’s no other reason I could see. There weren’t any holes in the plastic or anything. Overall I’m severely disappointed with the Dicapac. Before this I would’ve recommended the dicapac to anyone, but at this time I would never recommend it to anyone again, and if you own one, be bloody careful. That was $600 we literally poured down the drain, which is a big blow when your traveling around the world. And of course there wouldn’t be any warranty for this from Canon or Dicapac.
It’s too bad, because the Canon G10 was a great camera and took wicked photos. Cest le vie G10.