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I want to buy my first camera.. :] Fuji F30?


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#1 Ellie

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Posted 17 July 2008 - 09:09 AM

Hi there!

I have been diving for about a year, and I have decided I want to finally buy a camera. :] I have been talking to someone, and they suggested the Fuji F30. I have researched it, and the camera seems decent in itself, but I want to get another opinion on it. I don't want to spend too much money (I mean like 2,000 or over)... unless am I just being too cheap? Is it impossible to find a decent camera and housing below that amount?

Here is what I am thinking of getting, because you can get the camera and housing combined for $950.
http://www.amazon.co...pd_bxgy_p_img_a

Any opinions would be great! Or other fairly cheap set up suggestions would be really appreciated. :]

Thanks!

#2 chris_l

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Posted 17 July 2008 - 09:36 AM

I have the F30 in the Fuji housing and I like it, but it's out of production now and way over priced.
If I were buying today I'd probably get the Canon A570is, you can get camera and housing for under 350:
http://www.amazon.co...p...5179&sr=1-7

You could add an Inon D2000 & the mountbase, tray, arm if you like. After all that you're only slightly more than the $950 you quoted for the F30.
Don't pay 950 for an F30, it's not worth it.
Just for reference, I paid $200 for mine(refurbished model) and $150 for the housing.

if you don't feel like piecing things together yourself you can buy this already packaged up:
http://www.backscatt...s...=cn&sop=AND
that's a nice system.

If you want to stay small and fuji, you could get the f40 or f50.


As a shamless plug, I still have this available:
http://wetpixel.com/...topic=20099&hl=
I'm willing to sell for $250. That's the whole shooting match for that, Including a strobe.
You can get good pics from this setup.
Now, the one listed above is better, but you can see the price difference.

Edited by chris_l, 17 July 2008 - 09:40 AM.


#3 james

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Posted 17 July 2008 - 10:20 AM

Hi Ellie and welcome to Wetpixel.

I have a Fuji F30 and the Fuji underwater housing. It's great - however the camera is no longer produced. I could not find it at ANY of the online stores and ended up buying one on Ebay.

There is a surplus of underwater housings - so they are still for sale - but you'll have a hard time finding the camera.

Cheers
James
Canon 1DsMkIII - Seacam Housing
Dual Ikelite Strobes
Photo site - www.reefpix.org

#4 SFLDiver

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Posted 17 July 2008 - 11:28 AM

Hi there!

I have been diving for about a year, and I have decided I want to finally buy a camera. :] I have been talking to someone, and they suggested the Fuji F30. I have researched it, and the camera seems decent in itself, but I want to get another opinion on it. I don't want to spend too much money (I mean like 2,000 or over)... unless am I just being too cheap? Is it impossible to find a decent camera and housing below that amount?

Here is what I am thinking of getting, because you can get the camera and housing combined for $950.
http://www.amazon.co...pd_bxgy_p_img_a

Any opinions would be great! Or other fairly cheap set up suggestions would be really appreciated. :]

Thanks!


If you're looking for a high quality point & shoot camera, you may want to consider the Canon G9. The G9 shoots at 12.1 megapixel, has a 3" 230K LCD and has many convenient features you'll find in an slr. That camera runs somewhere between $450 to $500. If you wanted a housing for it, you can get a great Ikelite housing for around $600, which comes with ttl circuitry built in to it, which will work great when combined with Ikelite strobes. You can also pick up an Ikelite strobe package, which includes a DS-125 Strobe, the arms, the charger and the sync cord for close to $1K. This entire setup will give you a top of the line point & shoot setup, that will give you the capability to take some very nice pictures. Plus, this setup will give you the option to add future lenses or even a second strobe at some time in the future, which will really take your photography to the next level. Here's a few links to Reef Photo, which specializes in underwater photography. They can give you some great advice and they stock everything and anything you are looking for. They can also suggest other systems that will meet your needs. I wouldn't hesitate to give them a call and chat with them. They will be happy to put together an estimate and email it to you, so you can give it further consideration.

http://reefphoto.com...products_id=244

http://reefphoto.com...roducts_id=2180

http://reefphoto.com...roducts_id=2525

This is just one example of a setup that is in the high range of the budget you proposed, but there are many other camera/housing/lighting combinations, both lower and higher priced, that will work great.

Adrian
Adrian Soler
Canon 60D, Nauticam NA-60D Housing, Tokina 10-17 Lens, Dual Z-240 Strobes
www.adriansolerphotography.com

#5 jimbo1946

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Posted 17 July 2008 - 11:56 AM

Hello, Ellie. I agree with Adrian about the Canon G9. I have two friends who are using them, and they're getting great results. One of them even shoots underwater with only the built-in flash, and it's amazing how well he does.
Jim Chambers
Tucker, Georgia

Nikon D300 in Aquatica housing with housed SB800 flash.

#6 sgietler

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Posted 17 July 2008 - 12:18 PM

a fuji f30 costs about $200, the housing is $100, $300 total, I'm not sure how you are getting a price of $950

fuji f30 + fuji housing is a great setup though, I have one.

scott

#7 james

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Posted 17 July 2008 - 12:18 PM

Scott: where can you get an F30 for $200? I'd like to get another one :-)

Cheers
James
Canon 1DsMkIII - Seacam Housing
Dual Ikelite Strobes
Photo site - www.reefpix.org

#8 sgietler

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Posted 17 July 2008 - 12:26 PM

hey James,

try looking here:

http://photography.s...1QQ_sacatZ31388

ok, I got mine new last year for $200, it looks like they are "in demand", and you might need to pay $220-$230?

good luck!

Scott

#9 Ellie

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Posted 20 July 2008 - 08:00 PM

hey James,

try looking here:

http://photography.s...1QQ_sacatZ31388

ok, I got mine new last year for $200, it looks like they are "in demand", and you might need to pay $220-$230?

good luck!

Scott



Thanks a lot for all of your great responses! I'm going to have to do some more research. :]

Also, for your suggestions; am I going to have to spend a lot of money on a strobe? (I'm sorry if you included this in your answer, I haven't had a chance to thoroughly read them over.) Will just the flash do until I can save up more money for it??

Also, what is the lowest megapixel you would suggest for underwater photography?
Thanks!

#10 pakman

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Posted 20 July 2008 - 09:21 PM

Ellie, I own a F30 and while my initial impressions on this camera were positive, I am starting to dislike it. It's low light/ high ISO capabilities are fab, making it great for ambient light reef shots or med size fishies, but if you plan on doing any macro, you'll be cursing it's slow AF (autofocus) in macro mode. Not sure if the F40 or F50 AF in macro mode has been improved.

Canon 40D, S&S MDX-40D housing, Inon Z-240's
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#11 DesertEagle

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Posted 21 July 2008 - 10:43 AM

I sold my F31fd. Low light capabilities were great, but photos taken in daylight had a strange pinkish tint.

Think about a camera as part of a system. Get something that will work with all the Inon AD-mount or the 67mm threaded lenses. Then as the cameras progress, you change the camera/housing but keep using th rest.
Canon 30D. Olympus SP-310, PT-030 housing with Sea & Sea 16mm lens. Sea&Sea YS-50 and YS-60 stobes. Heinrichs-Weikamp DA2 adapter. ULCS base & arms. A little Magic (original & auto).

#12 Ellie

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Posted 22 July 2008 - 06:15 PM

Alright, thanks again to everyone for their replies!

I have been looking at the Canon 520.. although I found this 720. Instead of 7.1 MP, it has 8 MP, and instead of 4x zoom, it has 6x zoom. Although it is cheaper then the other?

Here are the 2 different links.

http://www.amazon.co...p...5179&sr=1-7

http://www.amazon.co.../ref=pd_sbs_p_4

The price difference definitely comes from the actual camera, but I am not sure why, and I have researched it and it doesn't show anything of why it would be that way.

Any ideas??

#13 DesertEagle

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Posted 23 July 2008 - 04:44 PM

The A570 has been discontinued. The new models are the A580 and A590.

If you get the A720is, don't get the Canon housing. It has a rectangular port, which means that you probably won't be able to use a wide angle lens. If you want the A720is, get an Ikelite housing.

Take a look at the Panasonic cameras. The FX35 is a great camera in a small package. It's one of the few that can also shoot HD movies. The Panasonic housing will work with accessory lenses.
Canon 30D. Olympus SP-310, PT-030 housing with Sea & Sea 16mm lens. Sea&Sea YS-50 and YS-60 stobes. Heinrichs-Weikamp DA2 adapter. ULCS base & arms. A little Magic (original & auto).

#14 Ellie

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Posted 23 July 2008 - 07:35 PM

Alright, so the camera noob has another question.. :] Haha.

I have been asking around on a few other forums and I think I came up with the choices between the Canon 650, or 720.
I'm just curious if there are strobes that I could at some point buy for them? I tried searching on google, but couldn't find any results.

I think I'm leaning towards getting a 650 more, but I would like a few more opinions on it first. :] So any opinions on that?
Also, this is the deal I would be most likely getting:
http://www.amazon.co.../ref=pd_sbs_p_3

(If you go down you will see it with the camera for $472.97). Would this be a good case, or would the Ikelite housings be better? Would I be able to put on a... (I completely forget what they're called.)... the things that are like zoom lenses things.

Thanks!

Edit: Please see my new post in this section. :]

Edited by Ellie, 24 July 2008 - 01:51 PM.


#15 randini

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Posted 30 July 2008 - 06:10 PM

I'd stay away from anything with more than 4x zoom if you think you'll want to add a wide angle to your setup someday. The reason is that longer zoom lenses tend to be longer in size when at the telephoto end. If you're using a wide angle lens, then you're going to want as little zoom as possible (since zooming in wil cancel out the effect of the wide anlge lens) and with the higher zoom cameras, that puts the end of the camera's lens too far away from the lens port of the housing and you end up getting vignetting (dark corners in the pictures).

No matter what camera you decide on, there're probably a few strobes that will work for it. If the camera does not have a hotshoe, there are several optically triggered strobes that work very well wide range of cameras.

I'd suggest you look for a Canon Powershot A570. I've never used one, but I've seen it get very good comments from UW photographers and seen some great pictures taken with it. I know it's discontinued, but it has just about everything you're going to need for UW photo, and canon doesn't offer a housing for its replacements. It's a great learing camera to get you though the basics and pretty into some more advanced control of the camera. Not too long ago they were available on amazon for just over $300 with the canon housing. But the price seems to be going up on these and they're now about $250 + $160 for the housing. I'm sure if you looked around you could still find a new one for about $150

Second to that, I like the Nikon Coolpix P5100. I have a P5000 (don't have a housing for it though) and love it. These cameras have have all the same controls as the Canon A series, plus hotshoes so they can use an even wider range of strobes. They also have threaded lens rings on them so when you're using them topside you can add on lenses for more zoom or wider angles. You should be able to find one for about $250 + a housing from Fantasea for about $200 (IIRC it was $209 last I looked - but doesn't let you use the hotshoe) or Ikelight for $450-$500. But be warned, it looks like Nikon is replacing the P5100 with the P6000 in the next month or so and, if the rumors are true, this replacement has better specs for UW (mainly a wider lens but it will also have raw for more advanced post processing in photoshop). Once released, it will at least drive the price of the P5100 down.
Nikon Coolpix P5000 in a Fantasea housing with a S&S YS60 (triggered via H-W DA2) & a S&S WAL
Nikon Coolpix S3 in a Nikon housing - mostly for tidepooling, BC pocket & on the boat stuff

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#16 mark12

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Posted 04 September 2008 - 03:07 AM

Well Amazon.co.uk or ebuyers .com are the best place to go for.. Why donít u check out Canon or Nikon they have always been great.. I own D50 itís an excellent entry DSLR. I bought it from

http://www.checkcost...cameras/c/4368/.

D50 is extremely easy to learn and use, very straight forward but can be used by the best and get extremely good results. A smaller camera and this can be positive and negative depending on the use. The price of this camera is also appealing, again i would recommend anyone to this camera for entry.. Read the reviews for better understanding

#17 diver dave1

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Posted 04 September 2008 - 04:38 AM

Ellie,
You asked about adding strobes to your potential camera purchase.
There are several choices. An easy to use type are the optically triggered ones. Sea and Sea have some, the YS-17 currently offered is similar to the YS-25 I have been using in the past. THe YS-27DX is more powerful and likely a bit more money. Inon sells some good strobes as well, the D-2000 and Z-240. I bought the Z-240 recently and have yet to get it in the ocean. There are others as well. There are no Canon strobes for underwater use.

The optically triggered type are easy to use. They are triggered by the strobe on the camera. Connecting the fiber optics to the OEM Canon or Ikelite housings is fairly easy as well.

So, as you can see, there are several options for later add on strobes. As with most things, the more money you spend, the better strobe you will get. It seems in the underwater photo world, the curve is rather steep. It seems to take quite a bit of cash to move up in equipment.
Hope that answers most of your questions.

Regarding housings, there is considerable debate as to which housing is better. First off, the best one for you is the one you can afford and can use. Canon OEM housings are less money and smaller. Ikelite are larger and cost more but have the ability to change pieces to allow wide angle add-on lenses to be used better. Pantima has really nice housings that cost $1000, more or less and I wish I could justify the cost of one for myself. I have used the Canon OEM housings for several yrs and like them. Some on this site take great photos with them. Others really like the Ike housings and take great pics with them.

The Canon OEM housing is less than $200 so its fairly cheap and easy to use for starting. I like the small size for taking on boating and canoe trips.

I am looking into selling my sea and sea YS-25 so if you are interested, you can send me a PM regarding it but I would encourage you to select your camera and housing first.

Hope that is some help.
Dave

Nauticam D7000, Inon Z-240's, 60 micro, 105 micro, Tokina 10-17

www.shiningseastudio.com


#18 james

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Posted 04 September 2008 - 05:32 AM

Inon makes accessories that let you use their add-on lenses on the Canon housings too - so it's not just Ikelite if you want add-on lenses. I have the Inon lens mount for my Fuji F30 and it works great. I use the 105AD wideangle lens almost all the time.

Cheers
James
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Dual Ikelite Strobes
Photo site - www.reefpix.org

#19 tubino

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Posted 04 September 2008 - 07:38 PM

A formula that worked well for me years ago was to buy a modest camera with OEM housing (Canon), but then put a proportionally large amount into a strobe (Sea & Sea YS-90DX, now discontinued and recently available NIB for $300, but twice that then) with fiber optic triggering. The idea was that -- if you're in it for the long haul -- digital cameras improve rapidly, but strobe technology advances much more slowly.

With that combination I got some nice photos, but when I bought a much better camera and housing, the strobe was still fine to use. (okay, there was another stage I'd like to forget, where I bought an Olympus 350, which turned out to be a lateral move, but at least the strobe and fiber optics got more use!).

I think that if I were trying to put together a good combination for under $1K, I'd still make sure I got something at least as good as the YS-90DX.

But get a camera that you enjoy using on land, too!
Nikon D300s, Ikelite housing + 2 Ike DS-160. Tokina 10-17 fisheye, 11-16mm, Sigma 50 macro, Nikon 105 VR, SubSee Magnifier.

#20 Robert Zuch

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Posted 15 September 2008 - 02:25 AM

Inon makes accessories that let you use their add-on lenses on the Canon housings too - so it's not just Ikelite if you want add-on lenses. I have the Inon lens mount for my Fuji F30 and it works great. I use the 105AD wideangle lens almost all the time.

Cheers
James

Now that I have finally bought the Inon Z-240 strobe (thanks to many opinions from this site), I am turning again to the issue of the Inon 105AD lens for the Fuji F30. James, is the angle of coverage of this add-on lens (105 degrees) truly wider than the Nikonos 15 lens (96 degrees if I recall)? Or, is the smaller sensor of the F30 somehow involved in this matter (apologies for not passing the optical physics test here)? And secondly, since water is allowed to flow freely between the lens and the housing (as it is a wet-contact lens), is there also the added benefit of the lens being optimised for water, as the Nikonos lenses were, or is the air space between the camera lens and the housing port negating this effect?

I am als overy happy with the F30 (in the Fuji housing), and use it with the macro add-on lens.

Robert Z
Christchurch
New Zealand