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Watershed Council overlooking a dam

Case Study: The Tip of the Mitt Watershed Council 

Finding a digital camera rugged enough to handle complex shoreline surveys. 

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Watershed Council worker at dam
To document shorelines before 2005, The Tip of the Mitt Watershed Council used a point-and-shoot digital camera, separate GPS device and written log to manually index each image with the correct coordinates. On top of the cumbersome process, the camera wasn’t waterproof, which wasn’t ideal for being so close to lakes, rivers and streams.

Their first solution was a Ricoh Pro G3. With GPS and memo fields associated with each photo, and software to help automate photo downloading and management, it allowed the staff to process data two to three times faster. When they outgrew that camera’s capabilities, they switched to a competitor’s model. It was obvious early on that the camera didn’t deliver the same efficiencies as their old Ricoh one.

“We really needed a durable camera that could stand up to extreme outdoor conditions while, at the same time, ensuring the accurate collection of data. The G700SE is the perfect fit.”

Kevin Cronk
Monitoring Research Coordinator
Watershed Council






When it came time to replace their device, the Watershed Council quickly looked at what we had to offer, and selected the Ricoh G700SE Dynamic Capture.

Their new camera’s features immediately enhanced the way they worked:
Icon that represents GPS.

The attachable GP-1 GPS module and multiple memo fields allowed them to add location data and other information (like erosion presence) to photos.
Icon that represents a Barcode.

A built-in barcode reader helped them associate paper logs with data stored on the camera.
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The rugged shock-, dust- and water-resistant construction was ideal for the extreme conditions they had to work in.
However, the feature that helped the most was the streamlined workflow provided by the included software. They could easily rename computer files based on camera memo information, move them into specific folders and output data in multiple file formats.

About The Tip of the Mitt Watershed Council

The Tip of the Mitt Watershed Council is a non-profit organization in Northern Michigan dedicated to protecting the rivers streams, lakes and wetlands across a four-country region. With a staff of approximately 10 people and a host of volunteers, the organization provides innovative education, sound water quality monitoring, thorough research and restoration actions. 

Watershed Council lighthouse


The switch to the G700SE helped the Watershed Council reduce an estimated 50 hours per year in staff time devoted to surveys.

Plus, they anticipate saving more than $2,200 in labor costs associated with processing data for each project.