THE BEST CAMERA FOR SONGKRAN – FUJI XP 50 / PATTAYA GUIDE

 

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WE ROAD TEST THE FUJI XP 50 WATERPROOF CAMERA DURING SONGKAN IN PATTAYA AND SHOW YOU IT’S PERFORMANCE.

 

FUJI XP 50 CAMERA

 

IN A NUTSHELL
  • BRAND – FUJI XP 50
  • WATER / SHOCK / DUST / FREEZE PROOF
  • PRICED AROUND $100 IN THAILAND

 

WHAT’S ON OFFER
WATERPROOF:3 Stars (3 / 5)
SHOCK PROOF:3 Stars (3 / 5)
IMAGE QUALITY:5 Stars (5 / 5)
HD VIDEO QUALITY :4 Stars (4 / 5)
SOUND QUALITY:2.5 Stars (2.5 / 5)
BATTERY LIFE :2 Stars (2 / 5)
BATTERY CHANGE EASE:3 Stars (3 / 5)
RECHARGE TIME:3.5 Stars (3.5 / 5)
MEMORY STORAGE:4 Stars (4 / 5)
PRICES:5 Stars (5 / 5)
Average:3.5 Stars (3.5 / 5)

 

 

 A CAMERA FOR SONGKRAN

After many enjoyable Songkran festivals in Pattaya, by the end of 2012 I still did not have the photo’s I wanted to record the event, so decided that I would buy a waterproof camera for the upcoming 2013 Songkran event.

After doing some homework and researching the net for a camera that would fit the bill, I found the Fuji XP 50 and it was one of the few cameras available in Pattaya at the time that I could actually go to a shop and try out before I bought it.

After a few trips to the shop, staff assured me that it could handle the rigors of Songkran and if there was a problem they would replace it, I bought the camera, and started using it at once to get use to all the settings and options.

I tested image quality in different situations and at times of the day and night, I tried different camera settings for different effects and on the whole, I like the camera a lot and was looking forward to using it for Songkran.

I had had the camera for about a week and on the 9th of April, the day before Songkran starts in Pattaya, it was a hot day and decided to go to the local pool for a swim and take some underwater photos with the camera to see what kind of quality I could expect.

The first photos were good, I was impressed with what I was seeing, I started to take more underwater pixs and decided to use the zoom function and that’s when it all went bad.

 

Above the water

FUJIFILM FINEPIX XP 50

Below the water

FUJIFILM FINEPIX XP 50

A photo of my foot, lol.

FUJIFILM FINEPIX XP 50

 

Some kids near by

FUJIFILM FINEPIX XP 50

 

First image zoomed in.

FUJIFILM FINEPIX XP 50

 

A bit more detail.

FUJIFILM FINEPIX XP 50

 

The last photo before the camera died.

FUJIFILM FINEPIX XP 50

 

LINK – THE TOP 10 CAMERA’S FOR SONGKRAN

 

 OOOPS – WHAT HAPPENED?

I was sliding the zoom button in and out while underwater, and water entered the camera and shorted everything out, I took the camera out of the pool and opened it up, there was a fair bit of water inside, the zoom seal failed on its first real test, it was a catastrophic fail for the camera, it was dead!

 

BACK TO THE SHOP

I took the camera back to the shop to replace it as they had told me they would do if this happened, and surprise surprise, they refused, and telling me it was my fault, blaming a small scratch I had made on the body of the camera as the cause. This was not the cause.



I presented the camera expecting a exchange.

FUJIFILM FINEPIX XP 50

 

Even the LCD screen was wet.

FUJIFILM FINEPIX XP 50

 

The lens was a mess.

FUJIFILM FINEPIX XP 50

 

The lady said I had damaged the inside seal with this scratch on the paint work.

FUJIFILM FINEPIX XP 50

 

It had nothing to do with how water entered the camera.

FUJIFILM FINEPIX XP 50

 

 

I WANT TO SEE THE BOSS

I demanded to talk to the manager and after a While they decided not to replace it, but to send it to Bangkok for repairs. I was very frustrated by this time and with Songkran starting the next day, I had no camera!

 

The boss told the lady to send the camera to Bangkok to be repaired.

FUJIFILM FINEPIX XP 50

 

 

I BOUGHT A 2ND FUJI XP 50

I weighed up my options and decided to buy a 2nd  XP 50, for 2.990 Baht which at the time (2013), was the going price. There was no way I was going to miss the Songkran Photo ops again this year.

 

LINK – THE TOP 10 CAMERA’S FOR SONGKRAN

 

INTO THE SONGKRAN INSANITY

With fear and trepidation, I was using the 2nd camera in the extreme conditions of Songkran, and got right into the thick of the action everyday, the XP 50 it was performing well and was showing no serious faults, and I was using the zoom function occasionally with no ill effects for the camera. I was very happy at the end of each day when reviewing the images and video’s that I had captured on my computer.

But on the third day, a small amount of water had entered the camera and the lens had a small amount of condensation on the lens, but not enough to effect photo quality and I was able to continue taking photos. This was not the fault of the camera, it was because I had not taken enough care while hastily changing out the battery with wet fingers during a particularly intense part of the day that I did not want to miss.

 

BATTERY LIFE

It became apparent very early that just having the camera turned on was draining the battery very fast and when recording drained the battery in about 15-20 minutes!

I went back to the shop and bought a back up battery for 700 Baht that I could recharge while I was using the other filming and photographing Songkran.

So… I was limited to taking relatively short movies and used the camera for mainly taking photos, I had to leave the camera off most of the time and only turning it on when I needed a shot of something that was interesting that i wanted to record, I was able to get about an 1 – 2 hours out of the battery like this.

 

SONGKRAN IN SPORTS MODE

I took all photos in sports mode, with a shutter speed of 2000th / sec and I was happy with the results and was able to get lots of good action shots that ended up on the website.

At the end of each day, I left the camera open overnight which allowed any water inside the camera to evaporate, and was able to get through Songkran without the camera failing completely as I had feared.

In the end I took 1,000’s of photos and many hours of video’s with this camera, and the Fuji XP has been a great back up camera to use during rainy days and whenever water is involved, just don’t us the zoom function when underwater.

The original camera that was sent away for repairs came back after 2 months and the repairs have been successful as i have used this camera now for three years without a problem.

 

THE TEST OF TIME

Today I still use both cameras, one as a back up camera that I keep on my belt, ready if conditions are not right for my main camera, the other is used as a harness mounted action cam, that I use to stay – hands free – while filming and riding a motor bike at the same time, as in this video –

 

 

 

 

CONCLUSION

These cameras have survived 3 years of Songkran abuse! Apart from the first underwater test, the XP 50 has been a good all-round camera, it goes everywhere with me as a back up camera and has taken maybe 60% of the photos on this website and 99.9% of the Songkran photos on this website.

For $100 the Fuji XP seemed like good value, but failed the first underwater test. The camera is advertised as waterproof but it is only water resistant, still, it performed well as long as care is taken, the Fuji XP 50 is responsible for 99% of the photo’s of Songkran on this website which should be proof enough that it can handle the job, after 3 years and taking 10,000 + images, both these cameras are still going well.

 

LINK – SONGKRAN ARCHIVE

 

There are newer versions of this camera with additional functions and maybe all the issues have been sorted out like the underwater zoom problem, I can’t tell you, you will have to do some research for yourself to find out.

FUJI XP 50 CAMERA    3.5 Stars (3.5 / 5)

 

 

 

 

LINK – CANON D 10 SONGKRAN ROAD TEST     4.1 Stars (4.1 / 5)

CANON D 10 CAMERA

 

LINK – THE TOP 10 CAMERA’S FOR SONGKRAN

 

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