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Author Topic: Underwater  (Read 773 times)
armand
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« on: February 24, 2013, 05:55:01 PM »
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I plan to go kayaking soon and also do some snorkeling. I want to be able to take some shots in both situations. I don't need the best quality possible. The underwater should have good light, I don't plan to use it at dawn.
I have several options:

1. use one of my compact cameras (Sony RX100 and Canon S100) with a waterproof bag
- adv: much much cheaper ~ $20-40, good quality (I don't expect masterpieces in the water, and on the kayak if the shot looks that good I can take the camera out)
- disadv: clumsy to operate, probably some reduction in quality, but the most important thing I can't reliably figure it out which camera bag would fit. I've been looking mainly over the dicapac ones.

2. use a special case designed for each camera
- adv: possible better quality, easier to operate, more water resistance (in theory, I don't plan to go underwater more than 2-3 meters anyway), can use filters (for Sony)
-disadv: much more expensive (~ $220 for Canon, ~ $390 for Sony), much bigger and cumbersome out of water

3. buy a waterproof/shockproof, etc camera, such as the Olympus TG-1 or TG-2
- adv: versatile, don't have to keep moving the camera in and out, compact, can give it to my kids later  Grin
- disadv: as expensive as the Sony case, likely worse quality, not sure about the long term use underwater resistance (it seems all of them fail after several weeks of continuous use, with the bag I can just change it on a regular basis, and the dedicated case should be easier to see if it's still holding)


It's worth mentioning that I have a case for my older Canon S95 and it was getting decent quality; problem is the S95 is not working anymore and now I have a case sitting for nothing as in their wisdom Canon changed the dimensions between S95 to S100.

Which one do you advise? Do you know a camera bag that fits one of those cameras?

PS. looking back to the shots I took with a Canon S95 and the case, out of water, I don't think they are any better than a waterproof compact as Olympus, just more room to correct the flaws.
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Brian Hirschfeld
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« Reply #1 on: February 24, 2013, 06:02:47 PM »
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Just like any niche of photography, underwater photography can get very expensive very fast. You have to manage your expectations because from some research I have done over the past few years you have to spend big to get big results. I have a Nikon AW100 for fooling around near pools on vacation and so on and I think it works perfectly fine underwater...but its not the same as an Acquatech housing (or whatever brand) with strobes and everything....
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arlon
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« Reply #2 on: February 26, 2013, 09:31:15 AM »
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Get another used S95 from ebay or some such place. Have you tried to have your old S95 repaired?
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armand
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« Reply #3 on: February 26, 2013, 10:58:30 AM »
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Get another used S95 from ebay or some such place. Have you tried to have your old S95 repaired?

I was just approached from this forum about this option but while I didn't exclude it yet I don't think it will work that well because it would be used only with the enclosure in which case it would be quite big and clumsy. For a quality that I just realized it's not that much better than a good waterproof camera. Cheaper though ...

I thought about repairing and even tried it myself  Cheesy After 20+ screws with minimal progress I gave up and despite my doubts I was able to get it to the initial working condition. It was a big spec of dust (or something) in the lens.
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snoleoprd
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« Reply #4 on: February 26, 2013, 10:59:24 AM »
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Or look into getting one of the new GoPros the latest version with the bigger sensor. and then get a dry bag for the RX100 for when you want a more serious shot.

Alan
« Last Edit: February 26, 2013, 11:01:40 AM by snoleoprd » Logged

Alan Smallbone
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armand
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« Reply #5 on: February 26, 2013, 04:13:14 PM »
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Or look into getting one of the new GoPros the latest version with the bigger sensor. and then get a dry bag for the RX100 for when you want a more serious shot.

Alan

I strongly considered this option also but it seems the new GoPros are plagued with issues.

Right now I'm tempted by one of the Olympus cameras, even if it's an extra camera and more expensive than other options it is the most versatile and I doubt underwater I'll get more than snapshots without a much more serious investment.
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PeterCatchpole
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« Reply #6 on: February 26, 2013, 05:48:29 PM »
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underwater does become very expensive very quickly.  I didn't see strobes on your shopping list, you'll need these, even at midday, strobes are needed.  Colour falls of quickly with depth.  The other difficulty is making sure that all your kit is watertight.  Never, ever rush to go into the water without doublechecking everything first.  So practice the kit assembly and if you can, get into a local pool and experiment.

On a recent underwater trip nine of the fourteen divers had leaks some terminal, so that's goodbye to expensive DSLR/Lens/Housing etc.
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gbdz
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« Reply #7 on: March 22, 2013, 08:31:09 AM »
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I was positively surprised by the Olympus TG-1.
The older models were almost watertight but not quite, so I was hesitating to risk another case of steamy window.
The TG-1 is very handy to use. You just point and shoot whether in the water or in the snow.
Picture quality is excellent though saturation a bit too sweet to my taste. Looks great on TV screen, though.
About the ease of use: My wife with near-zero photographic experience took the camera out to the reef.
In two weeks she started turning pro quality shots of shy fish.
Now she won't give the camera back to me any more.
Eye-Fi is an excellent accessory.
They have the TG-2 where you can manually adjust the aperture.

http://reviews.cnet.com/digital-cameras/olympus-tough-tg-1/4505-6501_7-35283842.html#postComments
the comment about the bad underwater video sound quality is true on TG-1.
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fike
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« Reply #8 on: March 22, 2013, 08:47:16 AM »
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I agree that a dedicated waterproof point and shoot is desirable. The waterproof bags are finicky and do nothing for water spots on the lens.  The dedicated waterproof enclosures are pricey and, heaven forbid, when you upgrade your camera, you need to buy a new one.  The enclosures generally cost about as much as a body. 

Another approach is to use an older generation camera with a used enclosure. I had a Canon G9 that I liked but rarely used. I found a new waterproof enclosure on ebay for $100--a bargain.  Now the G9 is reserved for water use and doesn't go out for any other activity. 
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Fike, Trailpixie, or Marc Shaffer
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I carry an M43 ILC, a couple of good lenses, and a tripod.
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