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WetA70

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About WetA70

  • Rank
    Triggerfish

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  • Website URL
    http://pages.globetrotter.net/cdrolet/
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Profile Information

  • Location
    Quebec City, Canada

Additional Info

  • Camera Model & Brand
    Canon Powershot A70
  • Camera Housing
    WPDC-700
  • Strobe/Lighting Model & Brand
    Sea&Sea YS90DX + YS60S
  • Accessories
    TLC Arm
  1. Hi I recently decided it was time for myself to upgrade from my Powershot A70 to something else. I ruled out DSLR because I, like yourself, like to take once in a while short video clip. Right now, to my knowledge, the only compact with a 28mm lens available on the market that has an available U/W case is the Olympus SP-550-UZ. I disregarded this camera due to it's small chip that was not really an improvement over my A70. The A640 would have been my choice if it had a 28mm lens. But I miss so much the field of view of my old MMII Ex with a 20mm lens. I finally choose to go on the used market and got a Powershot S80. I chosse it over the Olympus C-7070 and C8080 mostly because I'm used to the Canon menus and because while visiting the Inon America website I saw that there is an adapter for the WP-DC1 U/W case allowing to use the UWL-100AD lens. If you want to see pictures taken with this lens and the Powershot S80 visit the Artist galley on this site and look for Edvin Eng...it's fabulous. I don't know if you really need a 28 mm for snorkeling? What kind of photography are you planning..do you intend to freedive a bit? If not you will shoot from top to bottom and you will get results that you may find disappointing considering the quality of your land equipement. I have the feeling you should really consider the A640 or the Powershot G7 considering you're already using a 30D from the Canon familly. Don't expect too much from ISO performance though the chip is a 1/2.8". Hope this helps. Clément
  2. Thanks for the info, I was about to ask. Could this bandwith issue be related to the problems I had downloading the last issues on my slow connection (44 kbits/s) :_( ? It may took me one hour to download a 4 to 6 MB issue and three times out of four it's incomplete, so I had to restart again because the PDF file corrupt! It's quite frustrating but I'm so much eager to read each issue that's it's just an inconvinience. Keep up your good work Clement
  3. Hi Trevor, The AWB assumes that you have neutral colors in your picture and tries to balance the image accordingly. I don't know the exact startegy for AWB used by Canon but my guess would be they look for the maximum intensity and set this white and look at the darkest and set this black. This is probably why your first picture is not color corrected correctly though the modeling light of the subject is oK. By manually white balancing you set what a neutral color is. Most of the time (not true in shallow waters) there is a lack of red in the lightning so the camera bring some back while interpolating the pixels color from the adjescent ones (remeber that you have two green for one red and one blue pixel on the RGB chips). So on your second picture red has been added to balance the colors, unfortunately the light beam was already white so it became red. This also explain why there is less differences between AWB and custom WB in the shallows.
  4. Hello ScubaJ, I'm sure you will get good results with this system. I've been using the A70 with the WP-DC700 case for a bit more than two years and like it very much. Since you don't have any external strobe I would suggest you to start taking pictures in the shallow with ambient light. The internal flash works fine in close-up mode with a busy background, otherwise you may end up with a lot of backscatter in your pictures. The flash in macro mode is often too powerfull with the A70 but you could give it a try with the A85. Proceed next to taking pictures in ambient light with custom white balancing.
  5. Hi, Shooing that close to the surface is not a problem, it's a bonus. So try to use the lowest ISO that makes sense. Try to get close instead of zooming. A depth of 10 to 15 feet may induce a blue cast that you can remove with Photoshop but if you want to get results out of the bat you could use the AWB setting or make a manual balance at 15 feet once in a while. Be sure you're using the macro setting when you are in the proper range. Also be sure to select a shutter speed that's fast enough ( 1/125th or 1/250th). Taking pictures while snorkeling is a good challenge, remember to shoot up.
  6. Kim, In fact no, I haven't visited this site for months. I bought the magazine and read your article without noticing that Kim's Picks were your's. It's only when I had a look at the contributors section and saw your picture that the gears in my brain started working...Hey I know that face...New Brunswick...Kim. Hey that's Kim! I too feel that Wetpixel is more DSLR oriented than before but it's a trend that doesn't bother me. I'll end up with a DSLR someday because I really miss the field of view of my film system. Moreover the quality of the pictures is better with a DSLR than an A70. Anyway hardware is not everything. Once again, congratulations for both the article and the photos. I'll pay a visit to the Powershot Forum.
  7. Congratulations to KimInNB for her nice article and pictures published in the winter issue of Scuba Press. Kim, are your pictures taken with your Powershot A80?
  8. On Big Island, go for Jack's Diving Locker, the surface interval is spent looking for interesting stuff out in the blue. On one trip with them I had the chance to be in the water with pilot whales... a memorable sight. It was not in the "whale" season but I don't think any operator can get close the humpbacks.
  9. Hi Brett, I'm using a similar system a Canon A70 with the Canon case. Here are some pointers. You should use ISO 50 when shooting with flash, you will get less noise. It's true it's best to use the diffuser when shooting with the internal flash but you can take good pictures when you're in shallow water without the flash. When you're are deeper you can do interesting thing without the flash but you have to think that your camera is loaded with B&W film. When you are within two feet remember to use the macro mode This Canon site is very good for people who are beginning http://www.canon.co.jp/Imaging/uwphoto/index-e.html You can also pay a visit to my site where you will a few tips for a Powershot setup. When using Tv with the flash the A80 will default aperture to f/2.8 if it reacts like my A70. It's OK if it works with the ambient light. If you have too much ambient light the best approach would be to go manual with 1/250th (1/500th is supposed to work too) and reduce the aperture. Tv is preferable to Av when shooting with flash because the A80 will default to 1/60th in Av with flash and you will (or may) get some movement blurring depending on water movement and your bouyancy expertise. When you shoot macro try to find a busy background so that the diffusion specks will blend with the background. The internal flash is really close from the lens! Use the sunlight settting when shooting flash and the custom white balance when shooting ambient light. If you're too lazy to use the custom white balance, at least use the AWB so that reds won't be eliminated from the JPEG. Set the "Effects" to OFF, use the largest resolution with least compression. You were asking about "Natural light vs Flash", my advice would be "try both!" If you're shooting macro try to use the flash but sometimes it doesn't work properly and dumps too much light. 1/125th may work if you're not using the zoom. BTW try not using it and get closer instead. By all means shut out the numerical zoom. 1/250th is almost always OK. If you want to avoid the shake and get a shorter shutter delay try depressing the shutter halfway to force the camera to find it's focus and fine tune the framing afterwards. It's tougher on moving subject but if you anticipate the distance at which you will shoot the subject and prefocus on a static object at a similar distance it works. This helps me to reduce the shake because I have a tendancy to press harder on the shutter when I sense the camera is not taking the picture. Of course but be sure to custom white balance. Look at the POTW Winners #31 for an example taken at some distance of the subject with a Canon A70. I'm not 100% sure about what you mean but if you're talking about the optical viewfinder, you will soon find that you're framing with the LCD. Oh! and one final word of advice...get closer! So where are you going diving?
  10. I'm glad to read that nobody used the heart stroke ! Have fun, truly enjoy your first OW course, you can do this only once.
  11. Joe When you rinse the case have it soak in water that is not much colder than the room temperature when you closed the case. Otherwise you may induce condensation in the case if the relative humidity was high. This can damage the camera. Also avoid rinsing the camera under the tap with pressure. When you open the case be sure it's dry and that the back section will open downward.
  12. Hello Timo, I don't have personnal experience about using a polycarbonate case in cold environnement but a friend of mine used his small WPDC-800 case for the A80 at our artic diving spot without problems (water temp is between 36F-38F during summer and 30F-32F during winter). I've seen other people using these cases at our training site two weeks ago while the water was still warm in the upper 40's. I would be more concerned by the thermal stress from bringing the camera from air temperature (-15C) to water to near 0C water. I don't know how's the average indoor temperature and relative humidity in Finland during winter but here in Quebec the RH is very low when the heating is up. So dew probably won't be a problem during the winter if you load the camera into the case inside the house. In summer it could be a very different story.
  13. I've been there last winter. Diving is very good, not the best in the Caribbean but a lot of fish easy to approach. Algae seems to be a problem. All the diving is done on the west coast of this tiny island. Sites begins to look similar at the end of a two week stay but they are still interesting. Most of the time there is no or very little current. Once we had a very strong current at one site due to the tide making it impossible to take pictures. We stayed at Decameron San Luis, a nice place for those who like to party. So it's a bit noisy and crowdy with small rooms but the beach is beautifull. If you make reservation you can eat at other hotels of the Decameron group. So we visited the other ones. The Decameron Marazul is more classy but there is no real beach. The Decameron Aquarium is built over the water and the view can't be better but humidity can be a problem. This hotel is also downtown but there is free shuttle (read a very old shool bus) that goes from one Decameron hotel to the other. Food is very good to excellent in all the hotels of this group. All the diving operators are based downtown, so if you stay at the Marazul or the San Luis you will have to be pick up either by a truck or a cab to go downtown. Having a cab ride there is quite an experience it's amazing to see that those car are still running. We asked a cab driver where did they get their cars. The answer was "Mostly used cars from Haiti". People are very friendly. If you decide to go there I would recommend diving with Karibik Diver. Werner is also renting apartments so he can do a nice package. Diving San Andres is not expensive and it's interesting. If you're not having great expectations you may like it a lot.
  14. Congratulations for your purchase. The A60 is easy to use and produces good results, you should have a look at the article of the UPMag Giles pointed out. You will see that you can achieve excellent results with a 2 MPix. The A60 has even more creativity control than the camera that was used in the article. Ok now about the card. The A60 use only CF card of type I, as for the speed I personnally use a 256Mb Lexar 12x. It gives me around 120-130 pictures in full resolution. A 256Mb should give you around 200! The speed of the card may not be useful for the camera but it helps to speed the transfer if you use a USB2.0 card reader or dump the card on a portable disk. Be sure to invest in a good set of AA NiMH. At first I bougth a set of 4 1850mAh Optex with a slow charger. Afterwards I had to bought a new charger working on both 110V and 220V. I selected a fast charging (1 h) Energizer one with a set of 4 1850 mAh. I got a better results from my Optex charging them with that charger and the Energizer batteries seem to last longer (there is no bunny on them though ). If you intend to use your internal flash as the main strobe select at least 2100 mAh batteries.
  15. I agree with Ryan and the others, the Canon A75 is a nice set-up. I've been using an A70 for a bit more than a year (something around 80 to 90 dives with it) and I still like it. The Canon WP-DC700 case gives access to all the controls. I wouldn't recommend buying an A60, 3,2 MPix should be considered the minimum number of pixels for the actual market. But that doesn't mean that you can't get very good pictures with an A60.
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