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About marbiol

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    Sea Nettle

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  1. Yup - These are the main cons for the S100 - I have my D90 for photo-specific trips, so this will be a backup or compact setup for when I can't carry anything bigger. It's an insurance replacement so I don't want to pay too much extra
  2. Pretty much what I've decided - I almost got an S90 when they came out, but ended up with the F200... My main reason for asking was wondering how the XZ-1 or similar compare to the S100. As far as I know I can get that for the same price so it's a potential option. I have a soft spot for Olympus compacts - my C5050z is still in working order and I had it out last week to see how it compared to more recent cameras.
  3. My Fuji F30 has been my compact pocket underwater camera for the last few years, but due to an unexpected meeting with some rocks (unfortunate loss of footing on a trail), it has been retired. My insurance company have offered a Canon SX230 HS + housing as a replacement, or for $100 NZD (~£50) extra I could go to a Canon S100 + Canon housing. Does anyone have any opinion on these options or any alternatives that would come in the same price range? My current main compact is an F200EXR, so I'd like to ensure quality is at least equal or better than that. Cheers, Dan.
  4. I used to have a few masks that I used that were variably comfortable, but a few years ago a friend gave me a Mares X-Vision and that has been by far the most comfortable mask I've ever used apart from a full face one... It's an older one so I'm not sure which current variant it matches up against but the nose pocket is big enough so I don't get that painful under the nose pressure point... D.
  5. The review was useful and I have to say that I do like the quality of the fuji housings - they seem a little less fragile than some other own brand housings available. The F200 does seem to be the best choice at the moment for what I'm after, but I don't want to go for it without at least considering some other cameras... I'm willing to consider any brand (my first UW digital was an Olympus c5050z) so any potential alternates in the same price range would be cool. I've got a little while before I order (since I'm in New Zealand and someone will be collecting it from North America for me) so the floor is still open... I may go back to a Nikonos for freediving until I find a replacement. (I just wish film processing wasn't so expensive here ;->) D.
  6. I am leaning towards the F200exr at the moment, largely because of the price differential. One thing that gives me pause is the reputed drop in quality of the F200 and F70 video. From most reports it's significantly worse than the F30, especially in lower light levels, and I do like the ability to take short clips if I run across something. I'm also a little wary about the F200's handing of aperture via an ND filter. If I could find a replacement F30 or F31 at a reasonable price I would probably get it, but all of the remaining new old stock are prohibitively expensive (even if I take into account I wouldn't have to get a new housing). I really hope that someone can get the S90 underwater soon and get some test shots. D.
  7. I've been using a Fuji F30 (in a fuji housing) as my compact travel and free diving camera. It's been perfect for both of these roles but recently it has started to occasionally save some corrupted images (to multiple cards) and has finally acquired a couple of dust spots deep inside the lens. These two issues mean that while I would like to get it repaired, it'll probably end up costing more than it's worth. Has anyone made a move from an F30 to a new similarly sized camera recently? I've gone through the usual reading of specs and looking at sample images for replacements but I've reached the point where I would really appreciate some comments from actual experience of the current offerings. The current shortlist includes the Fuji F200EXR and Canon S90 although the cost for the S90 + (unavailable) housing is significantly higher than that of the F200... Any info would be helpful. Cheers, D.
  8. I would second the F30 or F31 if you can find one in old stock... I've used an F30 with the Fuji housing for SCUBA and freediving survey work where I needed something to document sample locations - it's small enough that it just gets out of the way and can be jammed in a pocket or clipped off out of the way with ease. The underwater picture mode is actually surprisingly useful for very quick sample snaps. The macro performance isn't brilliant (macro focus is a bit slow) but it works well if you are patient. The built in flash with the fuji diffuser works much more effectively than I would have expected. All in all it's been a very useful small travel and survey camera/housing when weight size limits have precluded anything bigger. The F50 sounds like a good current version although the high ISO performance and battery life apparently aren't as good as the F30/31. Dan.
  9. Just a few comments now that I've used the F30 underwater for a while. It's a brilliant snorkelling/freediving camera. The housing is small enough that it does cause any streamlining problems and the underwater mode automatic settings make it possible to get some pretty good photos quickly. (It sounds cheesy, but the underwater mode is actually pretty good, especially in the shallow clear water in which most snorkelling takes place). The macro button is your friend. It's a one button macro and so is easy to turn on and off - however, if the camera auto powers off (I've set mine to 5 mins inactivity) then macro will be off when you turn it back one - one to remember. Also I occasionally forget that I have it on the aperture settings controls and try to turn macro on/off and just end up changing the aperture. The macro is pretty good - not as good as some but it's a 6MP camera so you can just step back a little and crop later. (No loss of artistic integrity if it's intentional ;->) It's a really good fish compact. While the macro focus is a little slow, the normal focus is very fast and captures moving targets effectively. With a aid of the zoom (not ideal but it works) some very nice shots of the larger beasties can be had. Size - wow. It's tiny. I've been work diving with it (as a sample recording camera mostly) and it's great - I can just flick it over my wrist or clip it away and it's gone. Then when I need it... I really like this. Movie mode is pretty fair quality although I just played with it to see what it would be like. I shot with a 1GB H card and never had any issues with getting near the end. Even on occasions where I couldn't change the card over two days I didn't have any issues (and the battery kept going perfectly). Battery wise it goes for ages but personally I'd recommend getting the external charger and a spare battery. I had the camera in the water a few times a day for 2 weeks solid and being able to just grab the spare from the charger, swap them over and be ready to go was invaluable. High ISO shooting. Very useful - I tried a few approaches at night - the flash is well dispersed with the diffuser and actually works quite well (especially for a compact). However I used it at ISO 800 and 1600 with my dive light and came away with some actually quite useable shots. If I'd had a wider beam light with me, I'm sure there would have been even more keepers. In general I'd say that it is a really great compact and satisfies that reasons that I bought it (namely size and convenience). While the lack of raw and manual focus have occasional been a hassle, it has definitely performed above what I would have expected from a compact of this size. I'll throw some sample pics up in the next week or so once I get home. Dan.
  10. The F30 only produces 3MB or so jpegs at the maximum resolution/quality so a 1GB card should be sufficient for most of the time, but Fuji seems to say that the 2GB M card should work although they haven't updated their compatibility chart to include the 2GB H card. I've just bought an F30 as a BCD pocket/light weight travel camera so I should have some images in the next month or so... I miss the additional flexibility of RAW and the lack of a full manual mode but as has been said above, aperture priority with exposure compensation and custom white balance should do the job nicely. The control system seems pretty smooth especially for a compact so I'm looking forward to getting it wet. (I wonder if FUJI would do a firmware update to add RAW support ;->) Dan.
  11. I've been shooting with film SLRs and prosumer digitals for a fair time now but I'm looking to make the jump over to a DSLR as the prices are now getting down to what I can actually afford. However, I have been offered a Fuji S2 Pro (used but in good condition - only indoor use and retired because the owner bought a D200) for about 6-700 NZD (400-470 USD) and I was wondering what people thought about that as an option instead of a current entry level Nikon body. I can't replace my lenses right now so Canon isn't really an option. I'd really appreciate some feedback on this and how the S2 compares to current DSLRs picture quality wise. Thanks, Dan.
  12. Sounds about right - got some lovely pics of these at night - they look really cool if you can get the reflections off the surface right.
  13. I have to agree about puffers being quite scary at times. About 6 months ago I was co-leading a night dive (I had my camera so I wasn't in charge) and we came across this massive star puffer (80cm or so). We stayed back about 3m but the lights got to him and he started to charge us down. I happened to be right in front of him and managed to get a couple of frames off while swimming backwards at a fairly high speed. What really got me was the size of his teeth - he was one of the most intimidating fish I've ever seen... Dan
  14. I'm planning on replacing the Ikelite strobe bulkhead connector on my housing (Olympus c5050) for a Nikonos bulkhead connector. I was wondering if anyone had done this before or knew of a source for a connector which could be fitted with minimal difficulty. Since this is to allow me to use other makes of strobe, Ikelite don't seem to be interested in helping out. I do have experience in working with these materials so it's not a stretch to accomplish it, but I need the parts first... Hope someone can help, Dan.
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