Cameras and Swimming Lessons

"I just want to take a photo of my baby" is often the surprised response of the proud parent who I've just informed that unfortunately they can't use their camera in the pool area.

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I always feel a bit sorry the bewildered parent as I try to explain that it is the privacy laws that make it difficult. But it is for both the protection of their child and others.

Cameras on at a swimming pool can be very tricky. Every pool has a different policy with regard to their use as they try to interpret the law.

Some pools don't allow any camera use at all; others allow it with some restrictions; others still, only allow camera use if you sign some sort of agreement and maybe even sometimes an indemnity form. So if you are going to a camera in the swimming pool environment, make sure you are not breaking any privacy of other legalities.

Within that context an underwater is not only a great swimming tool but great fun.

I've only used one waterproof camera; with permission of course; and that is the Agfaphoto compact 109uw.

Why did I choose that particular camera?

Well I'd like to say that it was because it was some particularly special technical reason or that it was because of it's superior photo quality or it's feel and striking looks: but the reality is I chose it because it was genuinely cheap for a genuinely waterproof camera.

The camera is completely sealed in that to retrieve your images you need to remove the memory card. This is a little inconvenient but does make the sealing much more secure. Unlike a water proof camera my son bought that leaked and blew up on it's first use.

The next question is of course, why did I want a waterproof camera?

In my case all I wanted was to be able to take photos of some of my favorite students underwater.

The problem has always been getting permission to use the photos or videos. So you won't see many of the ones I've taken on line. However it is great for that purpose. You won't get very good photos form any kind of distance shots either above the water and defiantly not below however it is ideal for low res mid to close photos and videos.

If you are going to take photos of your own children in a private pool or if you own a commercial pool and are happy to contend with the privacy laws of your state and if you only want an inexpensive basic camera this one works.

But the purpose of this post was not make a case for any particular camera buy rather a heads up that to say that cameras are fun in the pool both as a source of some wonderful memories and a great coaching and teaching tool. But using them in the pool environment is not always straight coward and you should ask before you click.

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