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Housing for Nikon Coolpix 995 Digital Camera


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#1 ReefDiver

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Posted 13 July 2005 - 02:08 PM

Hi Folks:

I am a newbie to this forum and have a question? Does anyone know where I can purchase an underwater housing for my Nikon 995 digi camera? I have done extensive searches online and have found out that both "Ikelite" & "Aquatica" have discontinued this particular housing unit and are no longer making it. I will be diving in the Caribbean from Aug 7th through the 14th and was hoping to find a housing ASAP! Thanks in advance for any help.

Steve

#2 james

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Posted 13 July 2005 - 03:03 PM

Buying a new expensive housing for an obsolete digital camera is like buying a DVD burner for your IBM 286 - it just doesn't make financial or practical sense. When I bought my Ikelite housing the the Coolpix 990 back in 2000 it cost over $600.

For that price you can buy a NEW Fuji 810 camera and Ikelite housing. You could easily get both before your trip in August.

How's that sound? :-)

Alternatively, call Ikelite and see if they have any inventory of the old 995 housings - it's a pretty nice housing, just very big.

Cheers
James
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Photo site - www.reefpix.org

#3 ReefDiver

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Posted 13 July 2005 - 04:21 PM

I get your drift James and thanks for the reply. Although I would look into buying a Cannon, Olympus, or another brand rather than a Fuji, just my preference. BTW, I did call Ikelite and they indeed do not have any Nikon 995 housings left.

Other than the megapixel diference, what makes the Nikon "obsolete" as you put it??? Finally, where would you suggest buying that camera outfit that you mentioned? Thanks

Steve

#4 anthp

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Posted 13 July 2005 - 05:22 PM

Other than the megapixel diference, what makes the Nikon "obsolete" as you put it??? Finally, where would you suggest buying that camera outfit that you mentioned? Thanks

<{POST_SNAPBACK}>

Hi Steve,

Sorry to hear you couldn't find any old 995 housings around.

In answer to your questions, a couple of things come to mind. I'll use the Fuji F810 as a comparison, but similar difference would be found with most of today's crop of cameras.

You have noted the megapixel difference and while that is important, it certainly isn't the only significant difference. A number of the differences will potentially allow you to get better photographs.

A big difference in terms of getting shots of fast moving subjects (eg fish) is the autofocus shutter lag associated with older cameras. When compared to a camera like the Fuji F810, then 995 takes at keast twice as long to focus and get the shot. That is going to mean you'll either have to get really good at anticipating action, or just be prepared to miss a lot of shots (or get great photos of fish butts).

Secondly, although the 995 has a TIF mode, it doesn't have a RAW mode. Such a mode can be really useful underwater because you can edit the whitebalance (and many other parameters) of the image at home on the computer and not be forced to edit an already compressed (and therefore lossy) jpg image or a "processed" TIF image. This way, you'll end up with better quality results and more control of the process. A RAW mode is particularly important if you aren't going to be using external flash.

Finally, the file write times of the 995 are nearly 4 times as slow as the F810 (despite the fact that the F810 is store a 12MP (interpolated) image. Even when shooting the much bigger RAW files, the Fuji camera is still quicker at writing than the 995, so you'll be ready to take the next shot more quickly.

A couple of other differences include the wider native lens (32 vs 38) - good for getting closer to subject and therefore shooting through less water. Also better movie mode, better high ISO performance, half the size and half the weight (easier to handle UW too).

In terms of buying the camera. I think a lot of places in the US don't have it in stock, but a review on digitaldiver indicates you can get it for around $320 without a US warranty. I would recommend buying the housing from Reef Photo and Video (click the link on the RHS) or another wetpixel sponser.

HTH.
Anthony Plummer
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#5 ReefDiver

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Posted 13 July 2005 - 06:42 PM

Thanks Anthony for a very informative response indeed. Can you give me the link for Reef Photo and also what does the RHS refer to and where's the link to get to it?

I am going to look on the B & H photo site as well as the Helixphoto site and see if they have the Fuji 810 in stock. Thanks again,

Steve

#6 anthp

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Posted 13 July 2005 - 08:52 PM

No worries Steve,

Sorry about the abbreviation. RHS = Right Hand Side. Last time I checked, neither B&H, nor Adorama had the camera in stock, so you may need to look outside the US, or go to your LCS (Local Camera Store). Helix have it in stock, but for the crazy price of $600. Now, even if you ordered the camera from Australia and paid shipping and any import duties, you'd still probably be better off - and we normally pay heaps more for the same model down here. My suggestion is to get on the phone to a local shop and see what you can come up with.

As far as Reef Photo - you can click the link in this sentence - or use the button half way down on the RHS of this page - Ryan is very helpful. Cheers...
Anthony Plummer
anthonyplummer.com
"It's much better down there... It's a better place..." Enzo, Le Grand Bleu.

#7 ReefDiver

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Posted 15 July 2005 - 10:02 AM

Once again thanks Anthony.

I just got off of the phone with Helix and could purchase the Fuji F-810 camera for around $450.00 and they also have the Ikelite housing available as well. However, I understand that this camera is discontinued. So, I was also looking at the Canon Power Shot S-70 as an alternative with Canon's underwater housing. I would also have to purcase a strobe as well and was thinking about the Ikelite YS-125 unit to go with it. What I like about the Canon is that the wide angle lens is already built into the camera.

So, is there any concensus from you camera buffs as to which way I should go. Or, should I be looking at other models as well??? It's obvious that I don't know much about underwater photography, to say the least.

Any suggestions will be very much appreciated. Thanks!

Steve