Waterproof cameras for hot African (Congo River) survey

A chap called Mark Trigg has been in touch with me about using KAP to survey parts of the Congo River as part of a Leeds University project in collaboration with a local university. I should be meeting him on Sunday 8 January 2017
I'm wondering what waterproof camera would be good enough quality, easy to use etc.
I saw an Olympus TG-Tracker recently and wonder how it compares to the latest Pentax waterproof or other cameras.
Have you tested any lately John Wells?

Fly High



  • I had a further thought which is that GPS would be a very useful if not an essential component of the camera.
    I am meeting him on this Sunday afternoon 8 January 2017 at the Northern Kite Group's fly in at Roundhay Park, Leeds, UK.
    Alan Poxon, kite maker, is planning to go as well as other members. There's supposed to be wind and sun so it should be a good day.
    Fly High

  • I've used an Olympus TG-3 for the past couple years, not for KAP but around the pool and at the beach. I love it. The more recent TG-4 added RAW image format, which I wish I had. The TG-4 has GPS and WiFi as well.

    The TG-Tracker seems a different sort of beast with its camcorder format, wide angle lens and rich data recording capabilities (altitude, depth, orientation). It only has half the resolution as the TG-4, though. (8MP vs 16MP).

    I'd probably opt for the TG-4 over the TG-Tracker for KAP.

  • edited January 2017
    I am not up to date with the Pentax (now Ricoh) compacts and still have some of the old 14MP ones in SNAPS.
    I would have thought that one of the Sony sensor, true 12-16MP ActionCams was a must for auxiliary wide-angle work, especially while DxO is there for free download for correcting images.

    Both Jim Knowles and I have a connection with Leeds, so it was nice to go back and give a talk in the Physics Department at Leeds University a couple of years back as part of the DART (thermal imaging) Project.
    I was born across the road from the physics department.....the only one to reject my application for an undergraduate place back in 1967 ;o)
    I worked as a vac student, while at Warwick University, in the MRC Environmental Radiation Research Unit just along the road in the infirmary.
    Up to going to university, I lived a short walk from Roundhay Park.
    Memories! I wish I was joining you, but I fly to Scotland on Friday. If only I had my car this time ;o(

    There is a specialist river studies group at Worcester University that use both drones (mainly) and KAP. They are part of SNAPS.

    A small add-on GPS module can be used rather than limit the choice of camera. My daughter Heidi used one of ours to see the extent of her cat's territory.
  • edited September 2017
    I am back after a successful research trip to the DRC. Thanks for all your help getting started with KAP (esp. Sue). We used KAP successfully while we were on the Congo River. We used a PowerSLED 24 and GoPro. Wind was good for the first week when we were close to the prevailing winds from the Atlantic, but very little wind in the Central Rain-forest region - Cuvette Central (unless there was a storm!)

    Some photos on Flickr here:


    Congo River KAP

  • I'm pleased that you were able to successfully KAP while out there. I have been wondering how you'd been getting on.
    Was it possible to KAP with the boat towing the kite even with no wind?

    Fly High

  • No, unfortunately the speed of the boat was just a little too low (7-8.5 km/hr), so I could fly the kite but not the camera as well. Should we get a bigger kite for next year?

  • I'll have to leave the answer to others as all my kites so far are about the same size or smaller.
    Fly High

  • 7 to 8 kph would be fine for a delta R 11 with enough lift for a small rig. Of course it all depends where the wind is coming from and if you are going downstream or upstream....
    A few years ago I was kaping from a river boat on the Nile in Egypt, going upstream with a tail wind which was strong enough to allow me to position the kite in front of the boat....
  • edited September 2017
    Agree, get bigger kite and lighter rig.

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