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Archive 2012 · Cheap Underwater Camera?
  
 
tonyhart
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p.1 #1 · p.1 #1 · Cheap Underwater Camera?


Hi all,

I spend most of my time on the wedding forum and have a bag full of nice gear. I'm off to the Maldives on holiday in a few weeks time and while some of it will be going, I thought an underwater/waterproof camera might be fun. I've shelled out some fairly major money on some other accessories for the trip so not looking to break the bank but was wondering if anyone had any good suggestions for waterproof/underwater point and shoots. I thought I might scour eBay and see if anything pops up.

I can search Google as well as the next fella, so I was hoping for input and feedback from people with actual experience of waterproof P&S cameras.

Cheers!



Oct 14, 2012 at 11:39 PM
JohnBrose
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p.1 #2 · p.1 #2 · Cheap Underwater Camera?


I like the Panasonic models. I have the ts2 and now they are on ts4 generation which has gps and a few other added features. The imaging resource just did a shootout so you could look at their recommendations. Don't really know what "cheap" is to you, but the Panasonics run in the $300+ range. I've shot snorkling shots with mine and video underwater and it did a nice job. Color balance underwater was a bit cyan, but I think the newer ones are better. I believe they have cheaper versions also that don't go as deep etc.


Oct 15, 2012 at 12:21 AM
rchb
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p.1 #3 · p.1 #3 · Cheap Underwater Camera?


Tony,

Will it just be for snorkeling / shallow water use or were you planning on taking a class while youíre there and diving with it? If diving would this just be the one time or something you might like to continue doing?

Rick



Oct 15, 2012 at 04:45 AM
tonyhart
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p.1 #4 · p.1 #4 · Cheap Underwater Camera?


Hi Rick.

No diving, just snorkelling and the odd plunge beneath the waves under body power alone.

Appreciate the IR pointer John, was useful to see a recent roundup.



Oct 15, 2012 at 08:26 AM
rchb
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p.1 #5 · p.1 #5 · Cheap Underwater Camera?


Hi Tony,

I was just noticing you were heading towards some very exotic waters and if per chance you were going to don a tank, I would have suggested some alternate equipment directions. At this point Iím not sure I would advocate one manufacturer over another other than for you to select a model that at least covers you to a depth of 10 meters / 33 feet which are made by all of the major manufacturers. I listed the models below that go to a depth of 12 meters / 40 feet more so for a safety factor but you never know where life will take you when youíre visiting beautiful areas and although limiting, they will get you to the diving sweet spot. Light and color filtration are marginal in the first 35 feet of depth so you can shoot with ambient light. Avoid flash if possible, particles in suspension on the sensor / flash plane give a snow effect. Have a great trip!

Rick

Pentax WG-2 15.9Mp
Pentax WG-2 GPS 15.9Mp GPS
Panasonic DMC-TS4 /FT4 12.0Mp
Panasonic DMC-TS3 /FT3 12.0Mp
Olympus TG-1 iHS 12.0Mp GPS



Oct 15, 2012 at 05:17 PM
qwyjibo
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p.1 #6 · p.1 #6 · Cheap Underwater Camera?


Tony,
If you're just thinking of using it for a few photos, I'd probably just grab a waterproof bag from Dicapac (assuming you have a P&S currently) or someone like that.
Have a great trip.
Dave



Oct 15, 2012 at 06:14 PM
jeraldcook
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p.1 #7 · p.1 #7 · Cheap Underwater Camera?


Image quality wise, I've never been to happy with what the waterproof cameras without a telescoping lens produce (i.e., the offerings from Pentax, Panasonic, Olympus). I've always used Canon G-series with great success scuba diving although that's probably overkill and cost-prohibited.

Canon does however make cheap $60 underwater housing for many of its p&s models. I just bought on of these for my wife's Canon 100HS last night for our trip to Disney World next week.

http://www.bhphotovideo.com/bnh/controller/home?O=&sku=762546&Q=&is=REG&A=details

For a $100 p&s I've been quite happy with the photo quality of the 100HS so for a total of $160 you could have a decent snorkeling setup.



Oct 15, 2012 at 06:25 PM
Hammy
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p.1 #8 · p.1 #8 · Cheap Underwater Camera?


Have you considered GoPro ?

HD video, or 11Mpix of intervalometer at 2,5,10 or 30 seconds. Just strap on and enjoy your dive.



Oct 15, 2012 at 08:45 PM
 

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CPWarner
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p.1 #9 · p.1 #9 · Cheap Underwater Camera?


Cheap underwater camera?! Now there is an oxymoron if I have ever heard one! Very slippery slope you are on. The word underwater seems to miraculously add zeros to the cost of items in a record rate.

My experience was: Went on a trip and did some snorkeling, liked it. Tried diving($), loved it. Then got certified for diving ($$), then better camera (G9 + Canon housing $$), then more diving ($$), then advanced certification ($$), then diving gear ($$$), then more trips ($$$), then better dive computer($$$), then nitrox certification ($), then better camera ($$$) + better housing ($$$) + strobes($$$) + macro adapters ($$$). You get the idea.

If you have a point and shoot camera, look to see if the manufacturer makes an underwater housing for it. Canon makes housings for a lot of their point and shoot cameras. So does Olympus. For $150 to $200 you can outfit a P&S with a good underwater housing more than sufficient for snorkeling. I used a Canon housing with a G9 for many years before recently moving to a Sony RX100 and Nauticam housing. GoPro has a specific underwater housing for it's cameras.

Good luck and enjoy.



Nov 06, 2012 at 02:20 AM
Ian.Dobinson
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p.1 #10 · p.1 #10 · Cheap Underwater Camera?


CPWarner wrote:
If you have a point and shoot camera, look to see if the manufacturer makes an underwater housing for it. Canon makes housings for a lot of their point and shoot cameras. So does Olympus. For $150 to $200 you can outfit a P&S with a good underwater housing more than sufficient for snorkeling. I used a Canon housing with a G9 for many years before recently moving to a Sony RX100 and Nauticam housing. GoPro has a specific underwater housing for it's cameras.

Good luck and enjoy.


I notice that the large sensor G1x has a canon underwater housing .



Nov 06, 2012 at 10:53 PM
Cicopo
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p.1 #11 · p.1 #11 · Cheap Underwater Camera?


You're best option is to buy something used (Ebay or the Buy & Sell here etc) & sell it when the trip is over. You'll do better if it can shoot RAW which pretty much means a P & S plus a housing (as a package). More importantly don't shoot down at the fish, dive down & shoot from beside them or your photos will be rather boring. The underwater world is a very different environment for taking photos & everything will look closer & bigger (about 25%) than it is BUT try to limit distance to subject to 10 feet or less. Also keep in mind that you're in motion most of the time (moving with the waves) so higher shutter speeds may require using a high (relative to lighting) choice. ISO 100 on land might be OK but not in water on a bright day.


Nov 07, 2012 at 03:33 AM
CPWarner
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p.1 #12 · p.1 #12 · Cheap Underwater Camera?


Ian.Dobinson wrote:
I notice that the large sensor G1x has a canon underwater housing .


I looked at that, but there appeared to be issues with using wet lenses for wide angle and macro. Maybe they have come up with solutions, but I stopped looking. So I went with the RX100, which I do not regret. Great little camera.



Nov 08, 2012 at 01:46 AM
Cicopo
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p.1 #13 · p.1 #13 · Cheap Underwater Camera?


I've considered adding a GoPro to my underwater kit but from everything I've read their housing has lens issues underwater. Seems it gives slightly blurred images. Their are aftermarket solutions in the form of replacement lenses or housings with better lenses, & some which include a red filter FOR DIVING: the filter is not required for snorkeling.


Nov 08, 2012 at 02:32 AM
megancanada
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p.1 #14 · p.1 #14 · Cheap Underwater Camera?


+1 for the Panasonic DMC-TS3 or DMC-TS4 for snorkelling.

For scuba diving, I use a Canon S100, with full enclosure and stobes but its a lot of money and you really need to do a lot of diving to justify the cost.



Edited on Nov 08, 2012 at 11:07 AM · View previous versions



Nov 08, 2012 at 02:41 AM
Cicopo
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p.1 #15 · p.1 #15 · Cheap Underwater Camera?


Strobes won't be necessary for snorkeling. (Unless you plan on some night snorkeling) but even then the built in flash should do the job in this case.


Nov 08, 2012 at 02:58 AM
SteveF
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p.1 #16 · p.1 #16 · Cheap Underwater Camera?


Hi,

Another possibility...

http://www.fredmiranda.com/forum/topic/1122282

I've got one of these and think it works pretty darn well. Not as nice as a $2K dive housing, of course, but it has kept my camera/flash perfectly dry.

I think if you are used to nice gear you're likely to find the output of a "cheap underwater cam" lacking.

As well this housing makes for lots of other fun uses. Go shoot in the rain, heavy snow, etc without worrying about it.



Nov 15, 2012 at 03:10 PM





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