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Quality Camera, but no Case: A Fantasy?

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#1 Lobalobo

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Posted 09 August 2012 - 09:33 AM

Just came home from returning, unused, the underwater case for my Panasonic ZS7. I have no doubt that on my upcoming trip to Hawaii, I could have, in theory, taken nice snorkeling photos with that setup. But I'm not only a beginner underwater photographer, I'm also a beginner snorkeler, and will usually have two kids with me while snorkeling; the case was just too big and cumbersome for my purposes. So my current plan is to purchase an Olympus TG-1, a 45mm to 46mm step-up ring, and a 46mm threaded Auto Magic Filter. I'll use this setup only for snorkeling, no diving, and not on dry land, for which I have other cameras. Is this a reasonable setup? Should I worry about leaks? Is the filter a good choice, or should I worry about too-red images when I get closeup? (I have checked some of the many threads here on what equipment beginners should buy, but the conversation quickly turns to higher-end cameras and cases.) Thanks in advance.

#2 derway

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Posted 09 August 2012 - 08:26 PM

I can't speak for the oly.

I've had adequate pix for snorkelling, with a panasonic ts2 and the ts4 is out now...

The seal has been no problem for me. After each use in salt water, I just put it in a sink of fresh water, for a half hour, and operate all the controls, and it is still good to go, 1-2 years later.

In hawaii, in clear water, at shallow snorkeling depth, you will not even need a filter. Though you might like it below 10 feet, and especially on video, which is more difficult to correct the colors.
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#3 r4e

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Posted 10 August 2012 - 12:30 AM

I do not know the current models, but, in selecting the right camera for snorkeling with kids my main selection criterias would be:
1) wrist strap to attach your camera on your wrist
2) sufficient depth rating. Some cameras go up to 15m without separate case, and many small point-and-shoots have inexpensive cases up to 40m. I would avoid cameras that are just "water proof" or rated to 3m or 5m.
3) wide angle lense
4) for shallow snorkeling (less than 3-5m?) you might not need any filters at all
5) a bright LCD screen and preferably a hood as well
6) short trigger delay preferred or you'll miss a lot of opportunities

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#4 Lobalobo

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Posted 10 August 2012 - 01:35 PM

I can't speak for the oly.

I've had adequate pix for snorkelling, with a panasonic ts2 and the ts4 is out now...

The seal has been no problem for me. After each use in salt water, I just put it in a sink of fresh water, for a half hour, and operate all the controls, and it is still good to go, 1-2 years later.

In hawaii, in clear water, at shallow snorkeling depth, you will not even need a filter. Though you might like it below 10 feet, and especially on video, which is more difficult to correct the colors.


Thanks for the response. My TS2 didn't leak either for about two years, but just started to, and seemingly not through the sealed doors: the lens and lcd become covered with internal condensation but the sealed compartments remained dry. I would have updated with the TS4, but the online reviews report significant number of cases with leaking, less so the Oly TG-1. I'll almost never go below 10 feet, as I doubt I can get that low and still compose a shot as I'm an inexperienced snorkeler. So maybe the Oly is fine without a filter. At least one site suggested a filter even for taking photos at the surface, though, on the theory that the water absorbs light horizontally as well as vertically (though less, of course because horizontally the absorption is in one direction only). What do you think?

#5 Lobalobo

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Posted 10 August 2012 - 01:40 PM

I do not know the current models, but, in selecting the right camera for snorkeling with kids my main selection criterias would be:
1) wrist strap to attach your camera on your wrist
2) sufficient depth rating. Some cameras go up to 15m without separate case, and many small point-and-shoots have inexpensive cases up to 40m. I would avoid cameras that are just "water proof" or rated to 3m or 5m.
3) wide angle lense
4) for shallow snorkeling (less than 3-5m?) you might not need any filters at all
5) a bright LCD screen and preferably a hood as well
6) short trigger delay preferred or you'll miss a lot of opportunities


This is great, thanks. Hope you don't mind some followup questions. Regarding your (1), do you recommend any particular wrist strap for attaching the camera at the wrist (which I assume does not include dangling as from a conventional strap)? Regarding (3), how wide do you recommend (in 35mm equivalents), as the Oly has an optional wide-angle attachment lens rated for underwater (more than just 3m, I believe) and I wonder whether to purchase it? Regarding your (5), you mention not needing a filter, but would the filter hurt in many situations, and might it help on some shots? Thanks.

#6 r4e

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Posted 10 August 2012 - 04:50 PM

This is great, thanks. Hope you don't mind some followup questions. Regarding your (1), do you recommend any particular wrist strap for attaching the camera at the wrist (which I assume does not include dangling as from a conventional strap)? Regarding (3), how wide do you recommend (in 35mm equivalents), as the Oly has an optional wide-angle attachment lens rated for underwater (more than just 3m, I believe) and I wonder whether to purchase it? Regarding your (5), you mention not needing a filter, but would the filter hurt in many situations, and might it help on some shots? Thanks.

(1) Any adjustable wrist strap is ok. Just make sure that there are no sharp edges. If you have less experience and you are diving with kids, you have to be able to let the camera off your hands, if and when needed. In your case, I would not use a longer cord than a wrist strap because then there would be a risk of entanglement.
(3) If the Oly, or any other manufacturer, have a separate u/w wide-angle option, just go for it. If I would specify focal length equivalents, we would soon be talking about DSLRs etc.
(5) As long as you can switch or turn the filter off, go ahead and experiment with it. The real benefits of a filter begin a bit deeper than shallow snorkelling.

For further information about specific point-and-shoot cameras, it might be worthwhile checking the camera sections of http://www.scubaboard.com

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#7 Guest_patrickwilson86_*

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Posted 12 August 2012 - 04:37 AM

Dont just read on them, go into a store and handle them, see which one fits you, see which one has controls that make the most sense to you....consider the lens line up..consider what type of photography you want to do....everyone has their opinions on the best camera(s)...but YOU will be the one using whatever it is you wind up with.