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good beginner brands/models?


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#1 pikey

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Posted 31 January 2011 - 12:23 AM

I am brand new to underwater photography and I am looking for some advice/opinions on Intova cameras, specifically the intova sports 8, as well as any other brands people have found to have good beginner cameras.
I want something that I can use above water as well as underwater, and that has some adjustable settings (shutter speed etc) but not something that you have to be continuously changing settings to get a good picture. And something that is not extremely expensive (am willing to spend up to $500ish on a camera + housing)

At the moment I am using a 12MP Fujifilm and it takes wonderful pictures, but I find that if the light isnt quite right, some of the colours become really bright (sorry, not very technical description I know) or the picture becomes "grainy" when taking photos with the sun in the background/corner, or taking pictures where there is a bright light in one corner. Does this happen with some cameras, or is it just what happens when the light isnt very good? I havent printed any of the photos I've taken with it, so maybe its purely a computer monitor issue?

Any suggestions as to what brand people have had good/bad experiences with, and websites to check out to find out more information and tips on underwater photography will be greatly greatly appreciated!

Christine

#2 Karl

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Posted 31 January 2011 - 01:11 AM

I am brand new to underwater photography and I am looking for some advice/opinions on Intova cameras, specifically the intova sports 8, as well as any other brands people have found to have good beginner cameras.
I want something that I can use above water as well as underwater, and that has some adjustable settings (shutter speed etc) but not something that you have to be continuously changing settings to get a good picture. And something that is not extremely expensive (am willing to spend up to $500ish on a camera + housing)


I know a couple of people that had the camera you describe and they have now got rid of them. If $500 is your budget then I would suggest you look at 2nd hand compact set ups as you wont get any decent set up for that price. On top of the camera & housing, you need a strobe/s, arm/s, tray and cables etc so for a good set up you will be looking at between $2500 - $3000 AUD.

It sounds like you just want a camera that stays on auto otherwise you will need to change settings because it depends on your subject as to whether you will be continously changing setting - you need to expose for every shot and this means making adjustment to shutter and aperture etc if you want a good quality well exposed image. To get the best out of a camera you really need one with manual / aperture / shutter control.

I started off with a Sea & sea DX-1G and it is a very good set up for a beginner, also look for a Canon G9 or Olympus C5050 all of which are available on the second hand market.

Karl

Edited by Karl, 31 January 2011 - 01:12 AM.

Everyone is entitled to my opinion!!

#3 derway

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Posted 31 January 2011 - 09:25 AM

One good option is the panasonic ts3. It is waterproof with no housing, to 12 meters, so 40 feet. Great for snorkeling. Not good for deep diving.

These are nice cameras. I've got the ts2, and the ts3 is even better. Lots of fun. Very responsive. Good video. Nice wide angle zoom.
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#4 Ron Kruger

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Posted 31 January 2011 - 04:23 PM

One good option is the panasonic ts3. It is waterproof with no housing, to 12 meters, so 40 feet. Great for snorkeling. Not good for deep diving.

These are nice cameras. I've got the ts2, and the ts3 is even better. Lots of fun. Very responsive. Good video. Nice wide angle zoom.


Anyone know about the Sealife 1200?

#5 pikey

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Posted 31 January 2011 - 07:52 PM

Thanks for the advice, I will definately check them out

#6 TomR1

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Posted 07 February 2011 - 06:43 PM

Serious about $500??
Then my vote is a USED Olympus 5050/5060/7070/8080 in an Olympus housing. With these cameras the internal strobe is strong enough that you can take decent close shots without an external strobe. This is a good way to start learning how to shoot underwater and the compactness of the setup will make learning easier. One problem with these housings is that the o-rings are hard to come by. You should not purchase a housing unless it comes, or you could get, a spare set of o-rings.

The later, smaller camera/housing setups either have weak strobes, don't shoot in RAW, or both.

The problem with a used G-9 in a Canon housing is that the internal strobe does NOT provide enough coverage. The strobe is strong enough BUT the design of the Canon housing somehow blocks the strobe from some of the image. If, however, you were willing to spring fro a used INON D-180 strobe plus a tray arm and clamps this would be a better choice than the Olympus line. Another possibility is finding a G-9 with an Ikelite housing, tray, arm and Ikelite strobe. I think, however, that either solution would be more than $500.

My next purchase would be Photoshop or Photoshop Elements and learn to shoot and edit in RAW.

#7 hlsess

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Posted 08 December 2013 - 05:08 AM

what do you recommend in the $200- $300 range for a snorkeler ... Looking at the Nikon AW 110 and Olympus TG2- from Tripadvisor



#8 Stoobert

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Posted 12 January 2014 - 11:09 AM

One good option is the panasonic ts3. It is waterproof with no housing, to 12 meters, so 40 feet. Great for snorkeling. Not good for deep diving.

These are nice cameras. I've got the ts2, and the ts3 is even better. Lots of fun. Very responsive. Good video. Nice wide angle zoom.

 

Thanks for the recommendation on the TS3, this is a great option for my amateur efforts!



#9 dpaustex

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Posted 10 February 2014 - 08:49 PM

Sony is now making some "snorkel" cameras, good to about 15 feet, with no housing required. Stuff is changing all the time.