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Needing Camera Advice


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#1 aeweems12

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Posted 23 September 2012 - 09:04 AM

Hi everyone!

I am a relatively new scuba diver (certified two years ago in Belize), but I have been snorkeling for much longer. I started out with an Olympus Stylus SW1030 and then moved to the Stylus Tough 8010. I have enjoyed my Olympus cameras, but I am ready to move to a much better system. I am hoping that you have some advice to share with me!

I am looking for something that will be relatively easy to use. I do have a SeaLife DC???? that I bought off eBay eons ago and while it worked well when I was diving, I want something better and more professional. Don't get me wrong, I am no Cathy Church, but I want to be able to take better quality underwater photos and really bring out all the colors. I am looking for something where I can attach different lenses, add a strobe, etc. in order to be able to really make my photos "pop." I am perfectly fine with buying a good quality camera and then adding a housing.

What would you recommend? I don't want to go all the way to professional grade cameras and equipment, but I do want something that you can't just walk into BestBuy and get off the shelf.

I appreciate your help in advance!

Ashley

#2 ChrigelKarrer

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Posted 23 September 2012 - 09:17 PM

Welcome Ashley,
my personal opinion is that the Canon G 11/12 or the ultrasmall S95/100 is the best camera for underwater use and i still use it frequently when i
a) dont have time/space to hal my big DSLR rig around
b) i go to a unknown dive site and don't know what to expect, WA or Macro

Newer cameras are the Canon G1X or the recently announced G15, but i have no personal experience with them.
Some people complain about a slow autofocus but i personally find the autofocus enough quick for underwater use.

All of the cameras mentioned above allow manual exposure control, offer cheap Canon housing or expensive aluminium housings,
and are reasonable small to not disturb you while not in use.
One of those with one or 2 INON S2000 strobes gives you a swwet, light and small rig, especially the S95 in a FIX Fisheye housing.

Going one step up a Micro 4/3 system will give you more flexibility to change the lenses at the price of a higher price, bulkier housing
and the hassle to realize underwater that you choose the wrong lens for the things you encounter.

Chris

P.S. I am not a fan of Sealife or similar cameras, not at all ..

Nikon D800 - Sigma 15mm - Nikon 105mm Micro VR - Hugyfot Housing - 3 Inon Z-240 strobes - 2x2 8'' ULCS arms

Canon G12 with Patima aluminium housing - Fuji E900 with Ikelite housing
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#3 troporobo

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Posted 24 September 2012 - 01:14 AM

Excellent advice, with one caveat.

I have seen the Canon S95 produce very good results, and the Inon S2000 strobes are a great match plus are incredibly small and light

The M4/3 systems can also be an all-in-one solution with the important advantage of an upgrade path. The Olympus 14-42 lens and the new 12-50 lens cover nearly the same range as the Canon pocket cameras, and can take decent near-wide and near-macro especially with wet diopters. The ability to upgrade over time with other lenses and ports might be a factor to consider depending on level of ambition

#4 derway

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Posted 25 September 2012 - 12:27 AM

The high end canon p&s cams, including the g1x and g11/12 and s series all have one fatal flaw. They have really bad auto focus shutter lag. Underwater, this is really important. It is impossible to use manual focus on an lcd screen. So, when your subject is right, you push the shutter, the bad contract detect auto focus system starts working. Then the subject goes out of frame, and the shot is taken.

If you want a non frustrating p&s camera, the panasonic lx3 or lx5, is very very good - fast AF, good IQ, RAW, M mode.

Sony's p&s AF is also very very good, and very fast. But most of their compact cameras do not have RAW. The lastest rx100 does, and it looks killer in many ways!

Olympus also lagged in AF speed, until the last year or 2. The oly xz1 and newer xz2 are not bad AF speed. The m43 cameras are killer, compared to any of the canon's mentioned so far.
Don Erway
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#5 aeweems12

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Posted 25 September 2012 - 11:25 AM

What are your thoughts on a Nikon D7000? I know I am going to spend probably 3 times what I do on the camera for the housing, lens ports, strobes, etc. But I am impressed by that camera.

Anyone have any experience with the D7000? Recommend or avoid?

#6 Lwang

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Posted 28 September 2012 - 07:43 PM

better off with a full frame DSLR if you are going to go DSLR.