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Everything posted by ce4jesus

  1. thanks all. Everyone have a great new year.
  2. Larry...just got back from my Christmas get together with the family. The fl-20 Oly flash has a housing (pfl-01) that requires a bracket and arm. It will not sit on top of the other housing. I suspect with some adaptation you could use it with about any arm. You're going to spring about $300 for the oly flash setup ... might as well get something a little stronger. If I had it to do over again I'd probably grab the YS90 auto, SB 105 or the Ikelite....depending upon my "allowance" from the missus....haha.
  3. Larry, Actually I've only seen one brutal review by trusted reviews online. The other 2 are favorable however all of them contain some errors (errors I call errors because of the lack of ability after several attempts to duplicate the deficiency with camera in hand). I think part of the problem is due to the complexity of the camera and the plethora of options. This was evident when I read the trusted reviews site and they mentioned that the hot shoe port is probably just for looks because there's no way it can realistically support an external flash. Since I have the FL-20 flash, I can attest that it actually looks like it was made specifically with this camera in mind. It fits the camera perfect and even hangs from the neck without flopping forward due to the weight of the flash. It is very well thought out and a simple test with the flash would have revealed that. I've had it for almost 3 months and I'm just now getting real comfortable with its many configurations. At 8 Megapixel, I've found no reason, including those listed on a couple of reviews, to complain since my former camera was a 5 megapixel Kodak. This camera totally outperforms the Kodak and the flexibility of it is down right amazing for the price. When I'm not working like a slave at work, I'll sit down and just shoot photos and try and simulate low-light situations. I found out the other day the fL-20 flash has a manual mode with 10 different settings you can set inside the camera. I can't swear to it...but I think that is going to be useful down under. The ttl is nice as well but having the ability to crank up the power is nice as well. All in all, I've yet to find something that really, truly disappoints me on land. Not being experience with anything other than a film P&S underwater, I'm sure the first few dives will be "interesting" to say the least. Merry Christmas...if I can help with any questions let me know. Gary
  4. I did find out that on high speed with no flash the sp-350 will take two RAW photos in about a second....but then the next series of two would need to wait until the first two loaded from the 25M internal memory to the XD Card. The only drawback here is you can't use the flash. In HQ jpeg mode it fires and writes rather quickly and will take a flurry of shots rather quickly. In RAW mode the sp-350 holds 48 photos. A 1 gig card would hold 96 which would probably be a good days diving. If you did some on board editing in the camera between dives you could probably even up that number some. On land, the camera has not disappointed. I should have a chance to use it on a dive in January and will report back with results.
  5. Gordium7, Does that sunpak accept a fiber optic cable? I thought it was fired through sensors wirelessly. I've heard that wireless firing of flashes is highly unreliable. What has been your experience?
  6. I'm guessing its added in photoshop. Can it be added to a jpeg or does it have to be RAW? I'm sure the answer is going to overwhelm me..haha.
  7. Can I ask how much you paid for the E300 housing and dome port? I was considering that earlier but just couldn't justify the cost for as little diving as I do. PS..not to enter the fray but if I were to sit through the Boston Symphany's worst performance of the year, I would never know it. However, I have worked with those people who take their hobby seriously and can distinguish the slightest deviation from perfection. These types make great musicians and I'm sure that holds true for photography as well. So while the professionals might argue quality of the photo, I'll lend my common vote to the artistic impression left on the reader who is left in awe by its magnificence. Gary
  8. Michael, You go into menu, mode menu, then select the setup menu. Then arrow down until you run across what appears to be a digital representation of a histogram (its the 4th screen down and the 4th option on that screen). Select this histogram and turn it off. I think Olympus tried to make the screen an active histogram for the novice. Unfortunately when there is low light, the screen is completely black...even with the flash enabled. When you turn the histogram function off, manual mode reverts back to normal. Gary
  9. ce4jesus

    DC 500

    The sea and sea DX5000G and the DX8000G...both are 5MP and 8MP respectively and are part of the same market although their price is a little higher. As James said, a Canon, Nikon or Olympus with its manufacturers housing shouldn't be too bulky to use above water.
  10. Peter, From what I've read on this subject there are two other candidates worth looking at. The Fuji F810 and the Olympus SP-350. The Canon S70 and S80 also have been mentioned in well regard. I would narrow it down to about 2-3 and go to the store and play around with them. Gary
  11. I'm sorry but my "confusion" seems to be the order of the day when it comes to strobes...haha. Do you know when Ikelite is going to release a housing for the sp-350? That alone might "solve" my problem.
  12. Hello Trevor, Yes, so far the oly sp-350 has been a nice camera...topside. I'm going diving in January and should have my first go at taking a few pictures underwater. The YS-90DX or Auto have both intrigued me. Its a step up in price but I can buy a new one for right at about $500. I too have heard bad things about "cordless" operation. Can you explain how you attach the fiber optic to the canon housing and a little more about these detachable sync cords and how those work? Without TTL do you just set an F-stop on the camera, match the setting on the strobe and then do a little experimenting based on lighting underwater? Thanks, Gary
  13. All of them truly spectacular. The close up of that tiger shark gave me the willies just looking at it! I'm not sure how you get a shot like that....I'd be making a mess of the water
  14. Julian, I currently use the small, external Olympus flash (fl-20) with a housing. It is rated to 20M above water but I think that is generous. Its more like 15M. I've not yet gone diving with it but have been told it may be too weak and narrowly focused to use as a good underwater flash so I've been looking for a good alternative to use as a primary underwater strobe. With the price range of about $300 the pickings are slim. The Sealife SL960D or the low end YS-15, Sunpak, or even a low end Epoque. My problem is that many of these are fired in different ways and its confusing to know how, if, they will work well. Some use fiber optic, others use the pre-flash, some are manual. I've even considered a used SB-105. The more I research, the more difficult it seems to make this process without just jumping into an ikelite or inon.
  15. ce4jesus

    DC 500

    I had the DC500 on my list until I found out about the underwater "shark" mode. From what I've read about it, its extremely clumsy to initiate which makes it somewhat useless. I've seen the Sea and Sea 5000 sell for a little more and it looks to be much more viable. Olympus and Fuji both make good cameras that can be housed in that price range.
  16. I just did some Christmas Portraits of my kids and thought I'd share the results. We sent the digitals into snapfish and had them developed. The packages were extremely cheap and the quality was great. How cheap? The ink and paper might have cost me almost as much. I don't know how they do it. Take care and Merry Christmas.
  17. Freediver - I was in the same boat. I wanted a half-way decent setup but didn't want to fork out $2500 for Camera, housing, dome port, and strobe...and yes...the $2500 is a conservative estimate. I was able to price a complete package with a lesser camera (in my case the Olympus SP-350) for just under $1000. Camera with 512 card $375 Underwater Housing $195 Strobe with Arm $350-$700 depending upon choice.
  18. http://wetpixel.com/forums/index.php?showtopic=10412 This horse got flogged pretty good on this thread..haha. Enjoy.
  19. Having yet to submerse my new digital camera, I'm now petrified :?O haha. Anyway, I'm new to the underwater world and my only experience even taking underwater pictures is with our old Sealife film camera. While I can't say I "flooded" it, there was occasional moisture droplets (humidity?) which affected the operation during the dive. Usually the 2nd or 3rd dive because we had to open it to replace the film. The camera always seemed fine once I got it top side. When you're in a tropical environment what are some good rules to live by if you have to open your camera on the boat? If you're in a hotel, the air conditioning tends to keep equipment a lot cooler than outside so there seems to be a natural condensation which appears inside the case when exposed to hotter, more humid conditions. Any thoughts?
  20. When Canon remove raw from the S80, it just starts looking like a big conspiracy to make us all buy DSLRs!! Bingo!...we have a Bingo! Actually manufacturers face this problem everyday in many different areas not just cameras. The technology is available to make a good, cheap item that acts just like its professional cousin. The problem is they will eat into the sales of the higher end product if they make the mid-range product too good. I've seen this at the company I work for where the little brother product is kicking butt and taking market share from the more expensve larger item. The problem? Not enough bang for the buck between the two.
  21. I've owned the SP-350 for over a month and have shot no less than about 400 topside photos with it. I've yet to take it down under but that will occur the moment I can find a housing which Olympus maintains is released but out of stock. The good: RAW mode 25 scene modes with 3 specific underwater modes Full Manual, auto, Program, Shutter, apeture, custom and scene modes 4 programmable modes which allow you to choose settings which means I'll have 4 additional quick to access, pre-programmed underwater modes cheap Olympus underwater housing decent low-light focus speed (topside in a darkened room about 1-2 seconds) A boatload of features including things like auto bracketing, full time focus, spot or area focusing, and a pretty cool panoramic feature when using an Olympus XD card. Easy to see 2.5 inch LCD Good single hand control (everything seems to be laid out well) Turn on time is less than a second accepts AA batteries lots of accessories Up in the air (just okay?): Manual digital focus - yes you can manually focus but its push button style. 48 RAW photos per 512MB card Write times to a 512 Card are slightly faster than 1G 2.8 to 8 f stops. Got roughly 250 RAW photos out of a lithium CRV3 battery (this included downloading to the PC on battery and formatting) 4 second cycle time on SHQ Jpeg 10 Second cycle time on RAW (this can be an eternity if Jpeg shooting isn't your thing) The bad: None of the scene modes, including underwater let you choose RAW quality. SHQ is the best they do. There are so many features, you can get lost in them. You'd need to play with this camera for 2 months before even considering taking it on a nice dive. Ie..shutter lag and focus time. The lag can be improved by several settings inside the camera but it takes awhile to figure that out. Regular alkaline AA's get chewed up pretty quick 1 card of RAW. I'm in the process of trying 2500mA hour rechargeables. overall, I'm pretty happy. I'll reserve final judgement when I lay hands on that underwater housing and get some pics posted. If you have any questions, ask....It took 31 posts about a darkened display in manual mode to figure out it was a loose nut behind the viewfinder..haha.
  22. Sounds awesome...an amateur like me can only dream of that kind of action. I've seen the Red Devil's program on NGC and seen them up close in Mexico. While in Cabo on a fishing expedition our guide ran into a group of Humbolts on the surface feeding on crabs. I guess just as amazing as finding these creatures this close to the surface was finding small crabs floating on the surface in deeper water. I was amazed to find that the Humbolts would attack even a bare hook cast in their direction. On a fishing pole the landing rate was about 3 out of 5. I suspect a lot of those "scars" you witnessed were not acts of cannibalism but may have been attributed to close encounters with rigs like this. The captain seemed a bit confused and irritated when we asked him to head out to deeper water for Tuna and Marlin. He seemed content to stop there about 4 miles from shore and catch squid all day. I'm sure the Humbolts make for a fine dinner but our group was in the mood for something which made your biceps cramp. Anyway, I'm a NGC groupie and look forward to Air Jaws II
  23. I am currently in the process of looking for a cheap manual strobe. I have a small, TTL strobe that is too weak so I was look for a cheap 2nd strobe (manual?) to go with it. I'm confused as to the differences between pre-flash remote (cable less) fired strobes and those with a slave optical cable. I have a fairly inexpensive setup. Oly with oly housing and an oly flash with housing. Any thoughts on the 2nd strobe? Hopefully under $400.
  24. Why would you want too? The diffuser is relatively inexpensive new and sometimes shows up on Ebay for less than $10.
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