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Archive 2011 · Underwater camera point and shoot advice/suggestions
  
 
redsoxdesign
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p.1 #1 · Underwater camera point and shoot advice/suggestions


We are visiting Florida and the Carribean next March/April, and I'm keen to get some sort of camera that will allow me to shoot underwater - not into diving, but just so I can get under the surface. I have a 5D Mk2 for all my other work, but don't want to spend too much, so I figure a Lumix DMC-TS3 or similar would be fine, but I'd really appreciate any recommendations. I do have a Canon G9 but the housing for that just seems too expensive for what will be a limited use item
thanx Andrew



Nov 30, 2011 at 05:07 AM
Ian.Dobinson
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p.1 #2 · Underwater camera point and shoot advice/suggestions


shop around for the housing on the G9 . you will find one quite a bit cheaper than the standard retail price. WP-DC21 . ( there are a couple on ebay for abou $150)

the canon cases are pretty good . and go alot deeper than the normal unerwater P&S's
for any of the underwater cams you will pay alot more than $150 (for anything of any quality)

you can also get underwater bags which work well for surface/just under the surface surface stuff. but the difference in cost between the bag and the canon case I would go for the case.



Nov 30, 2011 at 09:23 AM
redsoxdesign
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p.1 #3 · Underwater camera point and shoot advice/suggestions


Thanx Ian....I'll have a look and see whats around
cheers Andrew



Nov 30, 2011 at 09:47 AM
rick_reno
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p.1 #4 · Underwater camera point and shoot advice/suggestions


that Lumix DMC-TS3 is a fantastic solution, I've used one in Hawaii quite a bit. Only downside to it is it won't let me shoot RAW.


Nov 30, 2011 at 04:42 PM
lou f
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p.1 #5 · Underwater camera point and shoot advice/suggestions


i've found the new nikon aw100 to be better than the panasonics, it's very responsive for a p&s.


Nov 30, 2011 at 06:42 PM
Roland W
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p.1 #6 · Underwater camera point and shoot advice/suggestions


Since you have the G9, a used housing made by Canon for the G9 seems like a good idea. You have enough time so that you should be able to find one at a semi reasonable price. It looks like the WP-DC21 housing has sold reciently in the $120 to $180 range at the well know on line auction site.

If you have any reason to want a new point and shoot for other reasons, then a newer Canon that also offers an underwater housing might be worth a look. The new Canon S100 is a very nice camera with a fast lens, and Canon lists a housing for that. You then get a nice camera for years to come, but still are able to use it for the wet shooting you will have on your trip. The Canon underwater housings have been good values over the years, with a good custom fit, and fairly reasonable prices.

The Canon S100 makes RAW files that are compatable with Canon's DPP software, which was another reason I got one. I use several Canon DSLR models, and also use DPP for much of what I do, so the compatabily with the RAW is nice.



Nov 30, 2011 at 07:39 PM
Cicopo
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p.1 #7 · Underwater camera point and shoot advice/suggestions


I shoot a G9 underwater & if you shoot in RAW (recommended) being able to correct the white balance can make a big difference in end results, Buy a housing new or used & then sell it once you're home. You'll get much better results that way than by buying one of the P&S cameras designed for shallow use unless you can find one without a fixed length lens. The underwater albums at the beginning of these were shot with the G9 using RAW.

http://picasaweb.google.com/CozumelTimeCapsules

Note that albums shot at Colombia Shallows & any snorkeling albums use natural light, but only last trips photos were RAW conversions. For deep water I use strobes.



Nov 30, 2011 at 07:47 PM
redsoxdesign
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p.1 #8 · Underwater camera point and shoot advice/suggestions


Thanx everyone for the suggestions, it is greatly appreciated. Its always much better getting real life actual advice!
cheers Andrew



Nov 30, 2011 at 08:35 PM
Justin Huffman
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p.1 #9 · Underwater camera point and shoot advice/suggestions


I was in the same boat this past september, i ended up renting a sea and sea from lensrentals.com worked out well.


Nov 30, 2011 at 09:44 PM
 

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SidewinderX
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p.1 #10 · Underwater camera point and shoot advice/suggestions


Justin Huffman wrote:
I was in the same boat this past september, i ended up renting a sea and sea from lensrentals.com worked out well.


How's the image quality? I'm looking at a trip to Belize this spring that will include a lot of snorkling. I'm bring my SLR for most of my photography needs, but I'm not gonna spend the money on a housing for that.

I don't really have a need for a little P&S, so buying one of those underwater p&s would be a little silly because I wouldn't really use it. If I can rent a decent underwater camera for the trip, that would probably be the best way to do it, assuming the quality is decent.



Dec 01, 2011 at 03:53 AM
Justin Huffman
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p.1 #11 · Underwater camera point and shoot advice/suggestions


the IQ was descent for a point n shoot. Its does shoot raw... The housing and button interface was really cool. It gives the ability of image review, WB, Manual exposure, selectable ISO even engage flash. Id rent it again If i needed to but i enjoyed the snorkel so much ive considered getting my open water scuba rating and really getting into it as yet another hobby.


Dec 02, 2011 at 10:24 PM
Cicopo
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p.1 #12 · Underwater camera point and shoot advice/suggestions


When snorkeling try to dive down & shoot fish from the side. Staying on the surface to take the photo makes for rather poor results.

Justin, if you do decide to get certified keep in mind that you will be discouraged from bring a camera along until you've got a few dives logged where you had good buoyancy skills. It's really important to master your buoyancy before getting into serious underwater photography for a number of reasons and rookies really need to pay attention to their depth & not their camera. You'll understand what I'm saying once you start diving.



Dec 03, 2011 at 03:44 PM
millsart
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p.1 #13 · Underwater camera point and shoot advice/suggestions


Cicopo wrote:
When snorkeling try to dive down & shoot fish from the side. Staying on the surface to take the photo makes for rather poor results.

Justin, if you do decide to get certified keep in mind that you will be discouraged from bring a camera along until you've got a few dives logged where you had good buoyancy skills. It's really important to master your buoyancy before getting into serious underwater photography for a number of reasons and rookies really need to pay attention to their depth & not their camera. You'll understand what I'm saying once you start diving.
...Show more

Thats sure the truth! Its so easy to forget your surrounds soon as you start looking through that viewfinder (or at the LCD screen) and composing a shot and next thing you know your much, much deeper before you even realize it.



Dec 03, 2011 at 05:08 PM
SidewinderX
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p.1 #14 · Underwater camera point and shoot advice/suggestions


Justin Huffman wrote:
the IQ was descent for a point n shoot. Its does shoot raw... The housing and button interface was really cool. It gives the ability of image review, WB, Manual exposure, selectable ISO even engage flash. Id rent it again If i needed to but i enjoyed the snorkel so much ive considered getting my open water scuba rating and really getting into it as yet another hobby.


Thanks for the feedback. When you say "decent for a point-n-shoot" -- were you satisified with the image quality of the results? For snorkeling was the light/exposure pretty good, or do you think getting the strobe with it would be beneficial?

It looks like I'd be spending about $150 for the rental, and I'm not sure if it makes sense to do that vs. spening $250-$300 on an underwater camera that I can keep.



Dec 07, 2011 at 06:17 PM
mspencer1
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p.1 #15 · Underwater camera point and shoot advice/suggestions


I'm currently scuba diving in Rangiroa, French Polynesia and am using the little s100 with the canon underwater housing and its working out great. Yesterday I used the video feature for the first time shooting 6 dolphins at approximately 65-70 feet and was surprised at the quality. While I usually shoot with a 5D II, I prefer not to use a dslr/strobes underwater primarily for safety. In Rangiroa the current is so strong in Tiputu pass that I would not be personally comfortable bringing/managing such a big rig while diving.

Previously I used a G7 with the canon housing and was able to get a great photo of a lion fish inside a wreck in Fiji. So for most purposes the canon G series or S series cameras will work great.

Also http://www.backscatter.com/ is great for anything related to underwater photography- I am not in any way connected with them nor did I get my equipment from them but I met some of their people while diving in Little Caymen a couple of years ago.

Margaret



Dec 08, 2011 at 03:08 AM
jeraldcook
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p.1 #16 · Underwater camera point and shoot advice/suggestions


I have a G9 as well with the WP-DC21 and it's excellent; especially for macros. Internal flashes are useless at distances of more than 3-4' once you're below 30' or so. And I'll strongly second that underwater photography is not something for the beginner diver. Buoyancy control is hard enough for new divers when they're 100% focused on diving let alone when they're maintaining position in a current and trying to focus on a nudibranch thats 6 inches away.

I'd watch eBay, and the buy/sell forums on scubaboard.com or wetpixel.com for a used one. You might be able to pick up a whole used setup from somebody who is upgrading.



Dec 08, 2011 at 04:45 AM
Andrew_T
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p.1 #17 · Underwater camera point and shoot advice/suggestions


I use a G12 with its associated Canon underwater housing and it works great. I live in Hawaii and it gets used a lot, sometimes diving, although mainly snorkeling/freediving. I think that it is a great option, and much better than other stand alone "waterproof" cameras that I have used.


Dec 08, 2011 at 05:42 PM





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