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Everything posted by ce4jesus

  1. The olympus SP-350 has a large 2.5 inch screen, and a manual mode. It also has 3 preset dive modes. If you go to justdiscounted.com they have coupon codes to purchase the camera off of Dell for around $305. I'd like to say I've used it underwater but Olympus and Ike have been a little slow in getting a housing out for it. I've seen the housing priced for $189. Like you, I am new to this and also with a limited budget so I purchased the Olympus flash (fl-20) and housing (PFL-01) for the flash new off of Ebay for $210. I discovered this forum shortly after making the purchase. I've been told that although the Olympus flash supports Olympus TTL that it isn't all that strong and has a narrow focus beam. So since that, I've experimented above water and discovered that at high shutter speeds and small aperture settings it struggles to provide enough light. The only saving grace is that the camera is capable of RAW format which allows you to brighten the picture through software. I've got a trip planned in January. Hopefully the housing will be out and I'll get to test it out. Later,
  2. Thanks Doc but I just sprung for the new Olympus SP-350. I like the camera. I think a second strobe might just do the trick.
  3. I don't know about AA's but the CR-V3 lithium battery has already burned and downloaded 3, 512MB cards ... each card was about half RAW format and the other half Jpeg. Those are expensive batteries but if you're going on a nice dive I'd certainly equip the camera with them.
  4. I've noticed some strobes listed as just strobes while others are called substrobes. Can anyone break this down for me?
  5. Thanks Allen, Yes...I was trying to kill two birds with one stone with a top side flash that you could take down under. If anything the Olympus Flash housing will provide excellent protection from the weather and elements. This bulkhead replacement intrigues me. I'll visit the site above and check it out. Thanks, Gary
  6. Julian - Thank you. I got one silly question that will reveal my inexperience. In the photo where you have the reg out it appears you've made a bubble ring...how the heck did you accomplish that?
  7. "Have I had an ill-informed rant on wetpixel about this LCD blackout problem?" I wouldn't worry too much about that. I read through the entire manual and the advanced manual...again trying to find a reference to the LCD going dark. I even went back to several review sites to no avail. It shouldn't have been that hard to find. If not for this site, I'm not sure I would have ever stumbled on it.
  8. The Ikelite site still doesn't have it listed.
  9. "If you go into mode menu, select camera, scroll down to histogram (last item) and select "+-On" the LCD will display at low ligh (no histogram) and you should see at all light levels." This solves the issue. Its amazing you can't find that anywhere in the literature but it completely solved the issue of a darkening screen. The original poster on the "I can't see my screen" thread which is related to this issue. Anyway, big thanks to Alseem for providing a solution.
  10. Alex, I just bought the oly sp-350...got a great deal from justdiscounted.com ($305) including shipping. Its a small camera...much smaller than its bulkier cousins the 7070 and 8080. For a little camera its pretty powerful, 8MP RAW, RAW+JPEG, Fast turn on (1 second), large LCD, full control over SS, A in manual mode. Pretty slick...I can't wait to get it unda da sea!
  11. Dang Alseem...they ought to promote you to Whale Shark by tomorrow. Good call. I have the camera and by turning off the histogram the screen brightened dramatically. Changing the F stop or shutterspeed had no darkening effect at all. Way cool.
  12. Can I ask how you got the filter inside the camera casing?
  13. Did this in my house and the exposure compensation only goes to -2. Also, the shutter speed doesn't change off of 1/30.
  14. Canon S70 may also be prone to darkening in Manual Mode Maybe this is a disturbing trend in the P&S market.
  15. Mucho thanks Mike, Had I found this site before I ordered, I might have saved some money!
  16. check the title of the thread just below this one on this same dubious feature with the C8080. Out of all the literature I read, neither camera mentions this "feature". This is simply a case of over engineering. Since this is my first adventure, I'll probably live with this condition instead of trying to send it back. Most all of my dives are in the Carribean so it shouldn't be too much of a hinderance there. BTW...born in High Wycombe, Buckinghamshire! Cheers.
  17. Heads up! It appears this dubious engineering feat has been passed on to the SP line of Olympus Cameras as well. The only work around I've found with the SP-350 is to press the shutter release button halfway. For about 1 second the display brightens and you can actually see what your taking. You can repeat this as often as you need to in order to get the right picture but what a pain!
  18. Well scanning the literature was not helpful on this issue. It appears Olympus didn't even address it. The closest thing they had was to turn on the AF illuminator. While this would work well for subjects past 2ft it won't help your macro at all. Since I'm new to the UW world I'm not sure how this will translate into success or failure but here's some of the things my wife and I discovered toying around with settings and light. The following is all done with the camera at F8 with a shutterspeed of 1/500, RAW format, Manual Mode 1. Depressing the shutter button halfway "woke" the display up briefly in low light conditions (indoors, no lights on, window blinds closed) good enough to see the subject and take a picture. This gives you about a 1.5 seconds snapshot of what you're seeing. The action can be repeated as often as you like but the subsequent windows are shorter (1 second) because the camera doesn't have to focus. BTW...the darkened display condition is present even at F2.8 and a shutter speed of 1/100 in low light conditions. As you increase either the aperture or shutter speed it slowly dims to blackout. 2. darker conditions - subject visible by ambient light to the eye but the camera LCD is black. We simulated this with some "black out" window blinds we purchased several years ago. Since I don't have a light meter, my description will have to do. By turning on the AF illuminator (above water) the camera does an adequate job of lighting up the subject beyond 2ft and taking a picture. Personally, I'm not sure how well this illuminator will work below the surface. In summary, its hard to quantify this exactly without a light meter; however, I would think that this will work fine for the type of recreational diving I do. Long live 40 for 40! Night dives, and/or dives with vis under 40ft would probably require some sort of permanent light (light cannon?) to be used in place of one, or both of your strobes. I'm not sure how practical that is. In most low-light conditions the camera should be able to give enough of a look (1 second snapshot) at your subject to capture the moment even in macro mode. Is it enough? I'm not experienced enough to say one way or the other but toying with this problem at your local dealer should help you decide. Had I known this before I purchased this camera I probably would have went with another choice. My plans are to call Olympus on Monday to see what my options are. I'm wondering if the SP-500 suffers the same fate. Just a wierd item of note...the LCD only lightens and darkens dramatically in the manual mode. Every other mode S, A, Auto etc the LDC has mild fluctuations based on available light but nothing as dramatic as manual mode. Furthermore, the duplicate settings in auto and manual reveal drastically different LCD pictures. One other item of note, when you depress the shutter button halfway in any other mode the LCD holds the brightness until you either snap a picture or let go of the button. The manual mode is the only mode where the LCD only brightens momentarily and then darkens again. The only way to momentarily brighten the display (ie see what you're actually taking a picture of) is to let go of the button and press it again. Something leads me to believe its just a setting in manual mode but nothing I can find in playing with it or reading the manual is helping me.
  19. I'm new to the underwater world so my first rig had one thing in mind...cheap. I'm sure that's a mistake a lot of newbies make and then later have to pay for something more rugged and just better. I was curious if anyone has used their olympus 5050 or 7070 with an olympus flash and housing instead of a strobe. Just curious what your thoughts are on such a setup. Thanks!
  20. Trevor - I just tried out what you said and you are correct. The only saving grace is that when you depress the shutter button halfway to focus the LCD does brighten for about 1 second to give you an idea of what you're taking a picture of. I agree this is a problem...especially under the water. My question to you, because I'm new to this is, how often do you use that f stop and shutter speed combination under the water? PS..I'll keep looking through the advanced manual to see if there's a quick fix and let you know. Thanks for the information!
  21. The oly SP-350 just came out. If you go to www.justdiscounted.com or do a search under the model and click on their link they should have coupons good for like $70 bucks off. I got mine for $305 and that included shipping. The little camera is very flexible with S A and M modes.
  22. No, you can't take a picture while its writing; however, there are some faster modes which do auto bracketing and take multiple pictures rapidly. Underwater these modes may not be useful because you need time for your strobe to recharge. These rapid shots are in HQ Jpeg mode. Above water, the low-light focusing appears very quick and the shutter lag (time to focus and take picture) is about 2-3 seconds. There are 3 different autofocus metering modes which I've yet to explore. There is also a feature called full-time autofocus which, if I read it correctly, means the camera remains focused while its powered on. That should speed up the picture taking in low light conditions. Obviously this mode consumes more power. Since it is powered by 2 AA batteries or a small two battery pack, battery life will be a concern. I've yet to burn through the first one and I've filled 1, 512mb card. Since I've played a lot with this camera the first camera battery may not be a good gauge of how long they last but I'll post back in about a month...I should have a good idea by then. My biggest disappointment with the camera right now is there are 3 underwater modes that are preprogrammed. There are 2 wide angle modes and 1 macro. None of them allow you to bump the picture quality up to RAW. I'm not sure why. SHQ is the best it will do in those preprogrammed modes. The work around, I hope, is the 4 user programmable modes which I can set to my own preferences. Later,
  23. SeaLife dc500 digital UW camera comes with a housing for just under $500 on Ebay. You might also find a used DX3000G (3.2 version) from Sea and SEa in your price range. The power of digital for learning is unmatched and after spending $100 developing film from a couple of days of diving the price is also unmatched.
  24. I just purchased one as my first rig. I'm almost certain to move up the food chain once I'm worth my salt But for the time being I decided to go cheap with an SP-350 and an FL-20 both with oly housings. Since the only underwater camera I've owned previously was purchased at local grocery outlet I'm not even sure what would be a good question to ask...any, and all, hints appreciated! BTW, I'm not a newbie to photography...just the underwater part of that equation!
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