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Good setup for science shots?


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#1 Kristen79

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Posted 17 June 2006 - 01:13 PM

Hi everyone,

I'm looking to purchase my first underwater camera to allow me to photograph specimens for my dissertation research and need advice.
I'll be working in two main locations...
One is in shallow open marine waters with some semi-heavy surf...I probably will only need it to a max depth of 4m and the waters are extremely clear.
The other is a lake where I'll be bringing it down to ~25m where the waters are pretty murky.
My subjects (microbialites) are stationary so I don't need to worry about a camera that shoots fast.
I do need a camera that has high resolution so that any photographs are suitable for publication.
I'm a poor grad student so I can't afford too much money.
I was looking at a SeaLife DC300 or DC310 used on Ebay but I'm not sure.
Does anyone have any suggestions for me?

Thanks for any help!
Kristen

#2 ce4jesus

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Posted 17 June 2006 - 05:14 PM

Kristen,
Both Canon and Olympus offer good cameras with cheap housings (I own the SP-350 with the PT-030 housing both for under $400 total on Ebay). I believe Canon also has some cheaper housings but they're cameras are a little more expensive. You should find both cameras suitable for your needs however I would mention that at 25M in a lake you are going to be in very dark conditions. While the internal strobe will be sufficient on either camera for your slow moving subjects, you will probably need some kind of focus assist light in those conditions. Also, if you're going to publish, you might want to make sure any camera you buy has the capability to take pictures in RAW mode.

Just my 2 cents.

BTW, drop down to the scientific thread and repost...I'm sure there are some already who've walked down that path.

Later,
Gary
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Olympus E-520, TLC arms, Inon Z-240s, 50mm, 14-42mm woody's diopter

#3 Kristen79

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Posted 17 June 2006 - 07:49 PM

Reposting this from the beginners forum...

Hi everyone,

I'm looking to purchase my first underwater camera to allow me to photograph specimens for my dissertation research and need advice.
I'll be working in two main locations...
One is in shallow open marine waters with some semi-heavy surf...I probably will only need it to a max depth of 4m and the waters are extremely clear.
The other is a lake where I'll be bringing it down to ~25m where the waters are pretty murky.
My subjects (microbialites) are stationary so I don't need to worry about a camera that shoots fast.
I do need a camera that has high resolution so that any photographs are suitable for publication.
I'm a poor grad student so I can't afford too much money!
I was looking at a SeaLife DC300 or DC310 used on Ebay but I'm not sure.
Does anyone have any suggestions for me?

Thanks for any help!
Kristen

#4 Kristen79

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Posted 18 June 2006 - 07:36 AM

Thanks Gary for the suggestions, I've reposted this in the science thread.
Now I'm trying to decide between the Oly SP-350/Pt-030 and the Canon S50/WP-DC300.
Is one better then the other or is it a personal choice?

-Kristen

#5 echeng

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Posted 18 June 2006 - 08:30 AM

Merging threads with the other one. Please do not cross-post!
eric cheng
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#6 ce4jesus

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Posted 18 June 2006 - 08:58 AM

Hello Kristen,
You realize you're asking a guy who loves his SP350 ;)
I just got back from Cozumel after using my camera for the first time in the Ocean. http://www.cupsonlin...88/Default.aspx I was thrilled with it. The manual mode gives me full control of the camera...which I like. The RAW setting allows me to post, white-balance my photos inside of a program like Rawshooter (Essentials 2006 is Free through www.pixmantec.com ). The 8 megapix allows me to crop a photo with good results. The housing is small enough to attach to a BC yet you still have complete control over the camera. The LCD is 2.5 inches and is easy enough to see underwater. Battery life is good with 2 AA, 2500mah rechargeables. I also like the accessories available for the camera online. You'll have to figure in an XD card to your overall cost. Anyway, I don't know a whole lot about the S50...I've read reviews on the S70 and S80 and both sound like good cameras.

Good luck in your decision!
Gary
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Olympus E-520, TLC arms, Inon Z-240s, 50mm, 14-42mm woody's diopter

#7 Kristen79

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Posted 22 June 2006 - 03:15 PM

Thanks Gary for the help. I just bought a SP350 and PT030 housing. Now to play with it and figure out all the settings for the next month before I leave to do research!!

#8 Yucca Patrol

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Posted 03 July 2007 - 07:15 PM

I know you already purchased that very nice camera, but I'll post my setup for others who need a very cheap solution.

FWIW, I also am a poor graduate student with similar requirements (I'm photographing marine and freshwater sponges). For my upcoming trip to Panama, I bought an Olympus 580 and the PT-021 case for it on ebay.

Both of these are discontinued items but it seems that someone out there has a warehouse full of these housing and they sell for about $40-50 dollars on ebay. There are at least 3 cameras that fit this case (D-580, D-575, and C-460), and there are always several cameras for sale at any time for about $40-50 if you are patient.

The 580 camera has a decent macro mode and I expect it will do fine for my purposes.

One essential requirement for me was that my camera must use rechargeable AA batteries so that all of my field electronics (camera, GPS, radio, 2-way radio, flashlights) share the same universal and easily acquired batteries. There is no way I could make this kind of trip with half a dozen special chargers for odd batteries.

Although I cannot give you advice from experience (yet), I expect to be pleased with this simple low cost solution. I plan on buying an extra camera or two in case I flood my case. I've learned the hard way not to ever take anything into the field that I do not expect to destroy, so cheap is good for me.

Edited by Yucca Patrol, 03 July 2007 - 07:20 PM.


#9 Daughtry

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Posted 24 January 2012 - 03:49 AM

Thanks you very much for your advice, I'm newbie in this question and I'll think over your variants.