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DigiSnap Mark

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Everything posted by DigiSnap Mark

  1. Thought you folks might be interested... I've decided to offer as a standard product, an underwater time-lapse camera system. Just announced it today! https://www.harbortronics.com/Products/Hydrolapse/
  2. It is possible to add a wired remote control to the D70... http://dp-now.com/archives/000689.html This would allow use of a simple electrical cable release, which might be easier to implement than a mechanical system. Mark
  3. Right.. the bottom of the camera does have a lot more pins / functionality than the 10 pin connector. As I remember, the 10 pin on the MB-D100 only has the shutter release and power.
  4. I'm about to buy the D70, and of course will consider a housing for it someday. I currently use a Coolpix 950 in an Ikelite housing, and am concerned about using a viewfinder. With the non-SLR digicams, the LCD provides a 'live' view from the camera's lens, making it IMHO quite a bit easy to frame a shot. I can poke the camera into a crevice and still be able to see whether the octopus is still in the scene, while hanging out upside down and swimming against the current (standard practice in the Puget Sound). Putting my mask up against the back of a housing, looking into a tiny passive optical viewfinder through several air spaces, three glass plates, some water, as well as a mirror / prism seems to me like a real disadvantage. I've been a huge fan of the Coolpix swivel lens, and really wanted to develop an U/W housing that made use of that feature, so I could look down, or angled into the camera, rather than having to place my face directly at the back of the camera. Aquatica had a great idea with the Coolpix 995 housing, with the 45 degree LCD angle. I honestly don't know how U/W photographers frame their pictures when the camera is sitting on the bottom. Any comments on the use of DSLR viewfinders???
  5. It may happen more often than you might think. I've worked on a lot of Coolpix 990s... IR mods, major re-configuration for deep ocean cameras, etc., and have noticed that there are at least two different case designs... very subtle differences though.
  6. We do... The DigiSnap 2000 controllers can be used with the 10pin connector. This allow for shutter release, and time-lapse operations. That's all that's available via the 10 pin on the D100.
  7. I can imagine the warm water divers wondering why the heck we would bother diving up here in the cold, given the need for dry suits, thick gloves, hood, etc, plus all the extra weight (30 lbs is pretty light... I use 40, and my buddy uses 50) to sink it all. Fun climbing back up the hill at Sunrise Beach after a dive... I still laugh when I think back to my first dive in Hawaii... I picked up the weight belt (only 12 lbs!) and about threw it over the car! The kicker is all the life up here. Very nice diving! I haven't been up as far as Port Hardy, but I'd sure like to! I think ol' Jacques Cousteau has been quoted as saying that one of his favorite areas to dive in the world was the Puget Sound. My wife is a non diver... pity me....
  8. There don't seem to be many articles that deal with dome vs flat ports. I'll admit there are some, but the ones I've read tend to deal with generalities, and when I dive deeper to try to find some fundamentals with which to buoy my understanding, I flounder and sink into despair (ok... lousy puns, but you get the point!). One general basic about dome ports is that the dome creates a virtual image that is closer to the lens than a distant subject, whose distance is dependent on the dome radius. Does anyone know of a good reference that goes through the optics/math? I've always wondered if this gives any particular advantage to lenes that can focus up close. Another point I've read, and experienced, is that a dome does not focus an image properly for use with an uncorrected lens. For instance, if you put a wide angle lens in a dome, the center of the image might look fine, but the edges are out of focus. Apparently a correction lens is required for use with a dome, whose diopter is dependent again on the dome radius. It is optimally located at the center of the dome... In developing a deep water (i.e. 20,000 ft deep) system, with a small dome, this was clearly (there's those puns again) apparent. Working with the Nikon 24mm lens on a coolpix 990, the difference in edge to edge sharpness is quite obvious when a corrector lens is used. This begs a question... how well does the 19mm lens work with scuba housing domes??? Anyone seeing this issue? I've never noticed it with a 950/24mm on a Ikelite housing. Again... anyone know of good technical references on the subject? Mark
  9. Optical quality aside, unless the lens is purposly designed for U/W use, the seals between the lens elements (if there are any) are not likely to hold up to much pressure.
  10. Many moons ago I wrapped up a portable mineral light (black light), and took it for a dive. Flooded it fairly quickly, but I didn't see anything fluoresce while it worked. (Puget Sound) T'would be cool if it worked!
  11. That's a lot of metal carved off of that billet!
  12. I've got it! We need to place a small 18% gray card in every scene, and then PS it out after using it to balance the image. Wow, I see a new market opening up... a trained photographer's assistant fish, to swim into each scene wearing a gray plackard! One sold with each camera rig, possibly with a maintainance plan? [Edited on 5-24-2002 by DigiSnap Mark]
  13. Actually the WB works, in that it assigns white to 'something' in the image, but there are time when the lighting is poor enough (generally my fault), or there is nothing in the scene that is actualy white, so that it shifts the color of the entire image way off of center, and in those cases, there usually isn't enough dynamic range in the pixel color depth to pull it back. I don't think there's any problem with the WB on my 950, nor any particular shot to shot variation, but the scenery and lighting vary so strongly from shot to shot that it's sometimes pushed beyond it's capabiities.
  14. I've only used auto-WB, and have seen a huge variation in the results, depending on location and lighting (duh). In most shots, there's enough dynamic range to drag it back into balance using post editing, but it would be nice to not have to rely on it, particulalr as it doesn't always work. Time is so limited though that I don't much like the idea of doing manual WB on each shot... hmmm.
  15. I do some photography in the Puget Sound... likewise fairly dark waters, where only on shallow dives can I rely on ambient light. Thus far I've used only video lighting, and it's worked for me, but I do mostly macro. If you autofocus, then you need a source of constant light... Strobe would be great for wider angle / more distant scenes, but those are not all that common here. I did a dive with a buddy using a strobe, while I had a video light. We both did some shots of a giant octopus in a den, and his strobe scared the $#%! out of her, while the video light just made her squint.
  16. OK, since we're taking about housing comparisons, let's talk about some other features... I've got an Ike housing for my 950. I've also got several 990s, a 995, a 5000, but have not housed them... yet. Harbortronics can justify the cameras, but I have a hard time convincing myself that I need a housing to develop future DigiSnap products...... OR DO I???? Going from film to digital made a huge positive impact in my U/W photography. My current frustration is in the interface designs. I dive up here in the cold cold waters of the Puget Sound, where the giant octopi and wolf eels like to eat novice divers... well, maybe I stretched that too far ANyway, I use very thick 3 fingered gloves which make any interface difficult. To add to that, my favorite spots are in rocky holes where the critters live. Trying to manipulate the housing at arms length, laying sideways on a rock in the current, and then activating the shutter release is a real challenge. What I'd prefer is to use a shrink fit housing, that has a sandbag attachment for the bottom (magnetically attached?) to make is strongly negative, and make for a good steady rest, and use a remote control to trigger the camera. Geez, with the small size of the 5000, just think how small a housing could be made, if all of these mechanical gizmos weren't required? Then I could poke the camera deep into holes, and see who's home. I've got some nice small homemade HID lights, so getting light in there is not as bad as it seems. Seeing how we're already the world leader in digital camera remote controls (plug), I feel pretty confident in pulling off the remote control aspect. What I'd like to see is someone come up with the housing... Frankly, who really needs access to all of the camera buttons underwater? Our time is too limited down there to dink around... the camera needs to be set up on the surface. All I need to do is zoom, and trigger the shutter. If there's not enough light to autofocus, then I need stonger video lights. How about it guys???
  17. Ooops, just noticed your Wolfie post... guess you've been to Sunrise! Here's one of mine...
  18. Hey Dave, It really is more difficult to get a good exposure underwater, particularly with semi-macro shots like you have... I'm finding that the old adage "Expose for the Highlights" is particulary important. If you get the whites right, you can generally compress the dynamic range in software enough to pull out the rest of the image. BTW, you ought to come down to Sunrise Beach for Octopi...
  19. Thanks for the link... I haven't used them, but have played around with LED lighting. White LED light is nice and white, with a bluish tint. The LEDs are power efficient, but those particular lamps don't give enough info to tell how bright they are. The actual intensity isn't given, nor are the battery sizes mentioned. I've also used the 10 watt HID lamps... nice stuff also, having the same sort of color. The HIDs are focused firly sharply, generally 6 to 13 degrees, which is great for a dive light but frustrating for anything other than macro photography. The wide angle beams from an LED array will be better for photography, but the overall intensity may seem dimmer given the wider angle.
  20. OK, Let's hear your thoughts and stories about that much hated item, your arms. Obviously, not YOUR arms, but you know of what I speak. I used to use a MMII flim camera... worked fine, may it rest in peace in my garage. I used the simple cheap extendable arm (Sea Arm IV), which was a good start. Then I switched to the Sea Arm V, which seemed like a good idea, but I ended up hating the darned things. Yes, I could position them a lot more places, but needed one hand to loosen and tighten the nuts (one at a time), while holding the camera with another hand, and using my other other hand to position the strobe. Oops, I don't have three hands... maybe that was the problem! As you can see below, when I switched to digital (still using a 950), I finally built a set of arms using loc-line. Loc-line is the brand name for the flexible connectors... they were designed to handle maching tool coolant, with nozzles that can be pointed where you need the fluid. Good stuff... light, cheap, flexible, only need two hands, and hold the smaller lights very nicely! Yeah, in a strong current with monster stobes, they wouldn't work, but hey, that when I'm on shore. Some scuba photo vendors use the stuff in their own products... What do you use? What would you rather use? Why are standard arms so ??#$# expensive? We want to know! (really) http://www.engagerf.com/markr/scuba/scuba.htm
  21. I use a Nikon 950 in an Ikelite housing, with 10 watt HID lamps in my own custom housings, and customized loc-line arms. Check out my puget sound pictures at: http://www.engagerf.com/markr/scuba/scuba.htm [Edited on 2-9-2002 by DigiSnap Mark] [Edited on 2-9-2002 by DigiSnap Mark]
  22. I use the Ikelite housing with Coolpix 950 camera... I always keep the WC-24 wide angle lens attached (inside the housing), as it works great even for macro shots... perhaps not as well as without the wide angle lens, but I'm pretty happy. I used to use the MMII, and was very happy to have the ability to swap lenses on any given dive underwater. As people have mentioned from time to time, there are situations where I've lost time switching lenses, or mixed up the camera distance settings per the particular lens, but frankly I think that's just people grousing that don't have that capability! Being able to switch lenses underwater was a true advantage in some situations, and with the immediate feedback and automatic capability of digital cameras, I think most of the drawbacks are even more petty! I truly wish my housing had a flat port, and a bayonet attachment to use my old MMII lenses! I really liked the 16mm Sea and Sea lens...
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