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Everything posted by ChristianG

  1. If I can do it, anybody can 1) Go to the head of this page and click on ... Hmmmmmm, I haven't done it in so long that I can't remember. It's bound to be blindingly simple, can someone else help please? When you get there, remember to change your subject matter to something more pertinent, such as "Remote video camera for observing spawning alewives". That "remote" bit is important, people around here may otherwise assume you are a diver.
  2. I would advise you to again ask the questions on this forum but, this time, do so in an entirely separate thread. I say this because it will otherwise get drowned by the responses to the still camera questions, video and still cameras are still poles apart in their capabilities. Your major question is intriguing but I would advise that you re-check your figures. Why would you want/need a camera with a depth of 10' when the maximum depth of the channel is apparently 6-8' or am I missing something, yet again, here?
  3. That first one is pure and simple rubbish. (1) You'll outgrow it pretty soon and (2) it's, frankly, much too simple anyway for anything other than "Happy Snaps". If that's all you want it for (I'm willing to bet that you're not). why, go for it, otherwise save your money (you'd be lucky to get some of it back anyway). As for the G15, do you know that the G16 has recently been released? Mind, I'm not necessarily saying that it's significantly better than the G15 but I happen to know that B&H New York currently have it at $US100 less than the projected price of the G16. It's not a bad camera, of its genre, but it's not the one I would buy in that circumstance. That would be the Canon S110 which has also just been superseded by the S120.
  4. "As far as i am concerned about your question, you should consult some expert for it" Really? There I was under the, obviously incorrect, impression that lots of people on Wetpixel were able provide answers to questions. Obviously I was wrong and we should all "consult some expert for it". Would you now like to, please, provide such an "expert"?
  5. The Sony RX100 II (good camera BTW) is currently available from B&H New York for $US748 which, yes, is rather pricey although you gets what you pays for. Against that the Canon S110 (including Canon-badged housing) would set you back $US647 from the same store, Both cameras shoot raw (very desirable, particularly unnawata) but, but of course, the Sony sports a Carl Zeiss lens, no bad thing that. There are lots of other housings also available for that Canon, housing manufacturers are not stupid, but less so for the Sony. My apologies for any typos, I desperately need new glasses. Oh well, it's off to the optometrist I go tomorrow (Monday hereabouts),
  6. And your point is? Sorry but I quite simply don't see any connection between swimming with whales (obviously in sea water) and "fresh" water swimming pools. To the OP: I'd go with something like the Canon S110 (or 100, the differences for underwater purposes are miniscule) and a housIng, whether that is Canon's self badged one or another is up to you and largely depends on whether you want to get into diving proper. If you do, learn to dive (properly) and, only then, drag out that camera. Cameras and diving don't mix well at all until you have some expertise at the diving lark. That applies equally to your own well-being in the water as that of the local inhabitants. To be, or try to be, a little more positive, if you buy that Canon S100/110 you have a plethora of housings available to you, camera housing manufacturers are not stupid you know, they know a good thing when they see it. Ikelite, for example, have been doing this sort of stuff since the early sixties meaning they have some reasonable knowledge of what gives. Their housings are rated to 60 metres, no bad thing if you decide to get into this diving lark.
  7. You will probably find that hardly anyone on this Forum would entertain a Digipac, or a Ewa Marine or other, similar, housings. The "soft housings" are mostly confined to canoeing/rafting, skiing, raining and similar because it's conceived, FWIW I agree, that these options are not entirely satisfactory for underwater work. Of course their manufacturers would entirely disagree with this perception. Remember, though, that drownings can, and do, happen with monotonous regularity. Again, the perception is that these types of housings drown more often than their "hard" counterparts. Against that I would suggest that the average user of a "soft" housing has nowhere near the same level of expertise in keeping a housing secure than a photographer with a "hard" housing.
  8. I live in Oz. Unless you go to Ningaloo Reef on the West Coast at the appropriate time, or see a Minke whale (never done it in-water) on the East Coast again at the appropriate time, the closest "big animal" action you are likely to see is Reef Sharks, other sharks will undoubtedly see you but you are most unlikely to see them. The closest I've come to a Great White is finding a couple of their teeth once at a Reef near Forster (NSW and a top diving destination). I was there visiting with the Grey Nurses which, again, are a seasonal experience. I shoot a DSLR for which I have 2 x Macro lenses, 2 x Wide Angles, 2 x conventional Zoom lenses and a Fisheye. Although I always take all of these away with me on diving trips it's the Fisheye and the Macro lenses that get the most use in fact the least-used lenses are probably the wide angle ones. I do point out that here I am talking about Oz only, things might be very different if overseas or if I am going to a Great White expedition in South Australia when my widest lens might (just) do. But you're not going to do any of that on your first trip so I highly recommend to you the KISS (Keep It Simple and Straightforward more commonly seen as Keep It Simple, Stupid) principle. But, yes, the more you can practise with your new camera in Canada, the better off you will be here in Oz. That applies equally to your diving, don't put it off, do it now and the sooner the better. Then practise, practise, practise, then practise some more. Trust me when I say that, in SCUBA, practise doesn't make you perfect, nothing does that. It merely makes you that little bit more competent.
  9. From Wikipedia: "Monsoon is traditionally defined as a seasonal reversing wind accompanied by corresponding changes in precipitation, but is now used to describe seasonal changes in atmospheric circulation and precipitation associated with the asymmetric heating of land and sea." I'm not, in the least, claiming that Wikipedia is the final arbiter of these things, it is merely a convenient arbiter. Where I grew up (called "Ceylon" in those days and, no, I'm neither Ceylonese nor Sri Lankan) monsoon meant rain, lots of rain and that was all I (then) understood by the term. My comments were just a tad more general than where, for example, North Sulawesi, is located. I fully accept that your more detailed knowledge of the area is greater, probably by far, than mine but, in general, I feel that my comments still stand.
  10. It is indeed a weather problem at that time, otherwise I would probably have recommended Walindi resort and the FeBrina liveaboard that operates from there. I've been to PNG five times so I think I have a reasonable idea, I don't think that the weather (you might be lucky, you're more likely to be unlucky) is something to be toyed with on a trip like this. My recommendation in this instance would be the Orion liveaboard out of the Maldives but, sadly, no "huts above the lagoon". Having said that they do go to several resort type places and, I'm sure, would be able to accommodate this request if asked, particularly beforehand. The problem, but of course, is that the Orion operates to a schedule which is not particularly conducive to a set schedule such as this one. The good news is that you could probably combine Orion with a "land" (over water?) based stay for the extra time.
  11. So when are you planning to go there, since no-one seems to have mentioned this? Indonesia (and northern Australia) has "The Big Wet" (Oz) and the monsoon season (Indonesia) during the northern winter, our summer. I suggest that you don't want to be in either location between, say, December and April/May for fear of suffering from this. In addition, during that time you could well shake hands with a Cyclone or two (called a Hurricane in northern climes) and you definitely don't want to know about one of those puppies at all. The best time to visit these parts is in our winter, the northern summer.
  12. Let me put an Oz (well, sort of) perspective on this. The late, much lamented Ike of Ikelite really worked very hard at after sales service and his widow has carried on in the same vein. Sure, people like Aquatica probably have the same level of service but then Aquatica housings also, as a generality, cost about twice as much as Ikelite equivalents. Equally there are others whose service is legendary, as in not existing. Having said that, if you need service something has gone wrong and what experience I might have tells me that 99% of the time the problem is user error. I include my own (of course). I have only personally experienced one problem where the blame could be fairly laid at the feet of the manufacturer. And so to other things. It's been said already, I simply want to emphasise it, that you need experience in this photography lark, particularly in buoyancy skills. In my experience most people don't (today) get those overnight. I learned how to dive a lot of years ago but I was already a keen spearo (spearfisher) and so I already knew the sea well so buoyancy was, for me, of little issue. That is, more often than not, not the case today. Having said that, I believe that novice divers will learn the rest of what they need to know, such as breath control (the list goes on), as they learn about buoyancy, which is why I think that buoyancy is the big one. I venture to say that no-one, and I mean no-one, can take (even) adequate photos underwater without proper buoyancy control. I've seen too many camera toting cowvboya floundering about to think otherwise, Please don't become one of those, it's not a good look and, more importantly, bad for the ecology.
  13. Alexandria Reefs are not considered to be part of the GBR. Beware, incidentally, of the Irukandji Box Jellyfish (amongst other little nasties) if you go swimming there (by whatever means) at the wrong time.
  14. I suspect you might find that those packages do not incorporate a guarantee that you will in fact do that. Have you read the small print on the contract? As for your final question, the short answer is no. There are easier and cheaper ways of dealing with excessive moisture, such as a girlie tampon stuffed into the housing (if space permits) or, indeed, silica gel sachets (which are reusable after being zapped in the microwave), Even cheaper is a very small bag of rice or even of salt, although salt and cameras are not good bedfellows. There are other solutions but, for my part, I don't use any of them and, touch wood, never have had to. But then, I like to think that I more or less know how to handle a camera/housing (and, yes, it's pretty much an art form). Trust me when I say that care of a housing is not all beer and skittles. Edit/: Incidentally I went to Meike's website because I'd never heard of them. Are you sure that they have a housing for the GF3 (I assume you mean the Panasonic Lumix DMC-GF3)? Hmmm, on Panasonic's website they say "Intuitive Touch-screen Operation with a large 460,000 dot LCD" and DP Review says "the GF3 can get away with relatively few direct control points because it relies on its touch-sensitive screen for a lot of the more 'in-depth' operation". Touch-screen operation underwater, even in-water? I don't think so.
  15. The Galaxy NS was an observation only, it was also an observation that cameras like it (with touch screens only) are useless for u/w purposes, whether snorkelling only or otherwise. I think you'll find that there are not many on here who would be able to give you a definitive opinion n the relative merits of "soft shell" housings - if only because the vast majority on here would prefer "hard shell" housings for their rather precious cameras. I would suggest to you though that in today's day and age you get what you pay for more often than not and Ewa Marine, generally, is more expensive than Digipac, probably also more so than any other manufacturer of such housings that you care to name. Allow me now to disabuse you of another notion that you seem to have. Are you quite sure that you will be able to snorkel with dolphins? In well over 40 years of diving I have only twice ever encountered dolphins underwater and one of those times (in Papua New Guinea) our boat was under way when they appeared and "allowed" us to enter the water with them, without SCUBA gear mind you. The only other time was locally when they approached us on deco and (but of course) I was out of film. Yes, film, it was that long ago.
  16. In that case I'd say that a Dicapac or Ewa Marine, or similar, "box in bag" style housing might be best suited. You'll need to take care though, most housings are not exactly keen on rapid and constant pressure changes. That's exactly what one does when snorkelling so very careful attention to seals etc (one errant hair is all it takes to cause a potentially disastrous leak) is the order of the day. Edit/: I'd be very wary of purchasing any Olympus Point & Shoot camera, such as the "Tough" series, given that Olympus recently withdrew from that segment of the market. They have "form" for non-support of camera segments they no longer care for even though, having said that, I believe they make some very good camera gear and are arguably the leader in the mirrorless camera market. Even then, things can change so quickly. The very new, so new that it is not yet available, Samsung Galaxy NX Mirrorless Digital Camera with the Android 4.2 (Jelly Bean) Operating System might have some considerable merit when it actually sees the light of day (depending on price of course). The bad news? It is only operable via its (huge) touch screen making it useless for underwater purposes. If you didn't know it, touch screens and underwater make impossible bed fellows.
  17. Yes, I totally agree with this. It might be a good lens topside but I, too, am doubtful about its use underwater. My own rule of thumb is a maximum of 3x underwater and that's pushing it. The first dedicated underwater zoom ever made, the 20-35mm Nikonos for the RS AF was "only" 1.75x and I think that the Nikon engineers got that one very right - even though they got many other things on that system very, even seriously, wrong. As ever, getting closer (rather than zooming) is, pretty well always, better.
  18. Amen, Tokina 10-17mm anyone? Great lens underwater, lousy above water.
  19. I'd be rather wary of Olympus ATM. They've just announced discontinuance of all of their P&S Line of cameras and they "have form" otherwise of abandoning their customers - their DSLR line (also discontinued when they virtually invented the mirrorless camera) is one of two examples I could name. Having said that, I think they make some great camera gear and I really hope they don't go away entirely to concentrate on their profitable medical division.
  20. Ouch, where do I start? 1) What, exactly, are you trying to achieve? (a) Are you after an underwater camera housing? If so, you've come to the right place. (b) Are you after a camera that works "everywhere" (there's no such thing)? Dicapac, and similar housings such as Ewa Marine, are generally considered to be reasonable for things such as rafting, canoeing, mountaineering etc but we generally don't think much of them for underwater purposes. Yes, they're cheap, no they don't work terribly well underwater, the risk of a flood is fairly common when compared to what you refer to as "hard shell" housings. I suspect that you're not a diver (forgive me, but your use of terminology makes me think that way) in which case things such as a Digipac (personally I'd prefer Ewa Marine) are a reasonable solution but your other problems would really be best suited to an above water camera forum. Of course I could be entirely wrong, you might be a diver, you might want a real underwater housing, in which case we would first have to have a look at the suitability, or otherwise, of the two cameras you currently have. Sorry but not all cameras, in fact relatively few of them, are suitable for the u/w environment.
  21. It will be good combination: Chuuk Lagoon + Palau. Chuuk (it's nice that you spell it properly) is a destination worth dieing for. I was there for a scheduled 7 days and extended it to 14 (aboard Thorfinn), no trouble at all in those days at least. I reckon I might have scratched the surface of the lagoon, as it were, during that 14 day period. Given that most trips there, from wherever, are real treks not to be undertaken lightly, I believe that 7 (diving) days on Chuuk is an absolute minimum. Bonus, it's a lagoon (albeit a pretty big one) which means that the soft corals, in particular, are also "to die for". I took me (I'd already run out of film) another 30 minutes one time, admiring those soft corals, to ascend the Fujikawa Maru's mast.
  22. I haven't bothered to read all the responses so what I am about to say may already have been covered. Sorry if that's the case and I say this from the PoV of another life, having once been heavily involved in the insurance industry. Insurance is a can of worms, well and truly: • Homeowners Insurance: Statistically Insurance Actuaries (glorified mathematicians and one is more "odd" than the next) can tell you, almost to the nearest single monetary unit of your choice, what the payout figure is going to be for the "homeowners" bit of the insurance risk on their house in a particular area, The risk does go up exponentially if the house is rented but it's still statistically viable. Adding strange stuff such as, in our case, SCUBA gear adds to the risk and is not statistically viable. IOW, they're guessing. Informed guessing, yes, but nevertheless guessing, They also know that every proposal they issue has wording on it along the lines of "have you ever had a policy refused or cancelled?" They base their risk assessment on the fact that your homeowners policy is much more valuable to you, as it should be, than the odd 10K claim, that your claim is therefore likely to be much more "legitimate" than that of the person holding an individual policy. You think that Insurance Companies don't talk to each other? Think again, I am living proof that they do so, so if you answered "no" to that question above when the correct answer would be "yes", good luck to you. Odds are that you'll be caught out and, if you are, then your policy all-of-a-sudden becomes null and void. • Specialist SCUBA Insurance (of the sort provided by the likes of DEPP). The statistics are simply not there, yes, they can make educated guesses, but statistically the actuaries are groping in the dark. As mentioned abve, people making claims under this type of policy have an unfortunate habit of "embellishing" the claim. How often have you heard "I'll just claim it back on insurance"? I'm essentially on the Insurance Companies' side on this one, if only because they have a "duty of care" towards their other customers because claims have the unfortunate habit of increasing premiums. That's very bad PR for any Insurance Company. Consider that the premium you pay on your insurance is a loss and you're the "right" kind of Policyholder/Customer. One who only claims when something extraordinary happens which, I suppose, includes a flood. I haven't insured my camera gear (for underwater purposes) in any number of years and, premium wise, I'm well in front. I recognise, though, that sh1t happens and that one of these (not so) fine days I'll get well and truly caught out. It's, however, the path I've chosen, yours may vary.
  23. Providing "favourite" regs as a recommendation is fraught with difficulty, My own "preferred" regs are Oceanic Omega IIs because as a photographer I often find myself "upside down" where these are entirely unaffected whereas down draught regs might be. As well, being side draught, they tend to expel their bubbles to the side of my mask which I find useful. There are other, more minor, advantages (and disadvantages) that I won't go into here. Of course Oceanic, silly them, neither make nor support them any more and, sooner rather than later, I'm going to run out of servicing spares. What I buy then is still in the lap of the gods I don't believe in but I consider the Poseidon variety way too big, heavy and clunky. To my knowledge Poseidon are the only other people making side draught regs ATM? I believe that Hollis, Oceanic's "technical division" may be coming out with a new version of the Omega. Anyone with more news of that? Which is not to say that I recommend that regulator - horses for courses say I. Besides, it's not even available yet, if it ever gets to be available at all.
  24. I'm in Oz (Australia), allow me t wise you up to things here, • The GBR (Great Barrier Reef( is nowhere near Oz, The closest it gets is near Post Douglas, even then it;s a good couple of hours steaming away by fast boat. • Come here at the wrong time to go to the GBR and you will shake hands with our "Big Wet" as well as, perhaps, the odd Cyclone or two. That's what Hurricanes are called in this part of the world. Don't, therefore, come in our summer, your winter, • The GBR is well and truly overrated anyway. Yes, there are spots I would cheerfully kill for to go to again, but they're few and far berween, the operative word being "far", it's a bloddy big place. Having said that, as a mewbie your perceptions will be very different but there are better places in Oz to dive nevertheless. As for getting a camera, forget it for the immediate future, learn to shuffle along before you start jogging and, then, you have to learn how to run.Dn't endanger yourself by acting prematurely.
  25. As an alternative to buying multiple lenses in the hope of getting one good one, would a (very new) Sigma USB Dock for Nikon lenses have helped? Dunno, I'm simply asking the question. At this point ii's also available (or rather will shortly be available) for Canon and Sigma lens mounts. It seems like a pretty good, certainly a much cheaper alternative Update Lens Firmware and Adjust Settings For Use with Sigma Global Vision Lenses Compatible with Nikon F Mount Lenses and will cost some $US59. Availability is said to be July 11 (according to my favourite US supplier, B&H New York).
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