Why my Galaxy S5 is my go to camera when I'm near water

I get asked all the time "Thomas what camera would you recommend for filming your tank?" or "What camera is best for filming on the water?".

During the 2014 Memorial Day weekend my family and I decided to do some rafting in the Chattahoochee river. We had a few objectives. The first was to take some great pictures.

And, to get some great footage for a video contest for Kurgo.com. Here is the video my family and I made for the contest.


I am always a nervous reck when I am using my camcorders or Canon 70D near large volumes of water. I had a lot of equipment for this trip. My Samsung Galaxy S5, Canon 70D (w/2 lenes), DJI Phantom (quadcopter/drone), shotgun mic, and my Go Pro Hero 3. When doing this type of filming around water you should always protect your equipment in a dry bag like the one pictured below.

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Unfortunately I decided to use a "water resistant" book bag. About 5 minutes into the boat trip water got into the book bag and soaked my Canon 70D. I would have cried by my daughter was watching. What I should have done was taken the battery and SD card out of the camera and tucked it away until I could let it dry for a few days before cutting it on again. But we just kept going on our merry way.

For the rest of our trip I used my Samsung Galaxy S5 for filming and video.  The S5 has an IP67 certification, which means it is resistant to, sand, dust, and dust. Which means it was perfect for this situation! Water resistant does not mean water proof. But you may forget that this phone is not waterproof after watching the video below.

Ok, the camera hold it's own if it gets wet but what about image quality? The S5 can hold its own with almost any camera phone on the market. It can film in 4K! No, you didn't mishear me the S5 can film in 4K. It has a 16 megapixel camera and can focus in just 0.3 seconds. This phone takes some great pics?

Don't believe me? Check out this pic I took with the Galaxy S5 while filming a wedding in California.

Blackhawk Museum in California.

Blackhawk Museum in California.

Golden Gate Bridge

Golden Gate Bridge

For now on when I am on another boating trip or trying to get some close ups above an aquarium I will be using my Galaxy S5. I have tried taken pictures with it underwater however, I would not recommend this. After I soaked my phone in water I find that I have to dry it off completely before the screen will function properly again.  So while this may not be a complete water proof solution for your aquatic photography. Its a pretty good one.

So how do pics of aquariums turn out?

In my experience with the S5 low light is not your friend and when snapping pics of your tank the pictures look best under white lights as you can tell from the picture below.

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One of these days I plan to make an entire video with the S5. But you can still check out the video quality of the S5's camera via the video of our family rafting adventure below. About 80% of all the footage was taken with the phone (After my Canon 70D got wet).