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Larry C

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Everything posted by Larry C

  1. Thanks Gary. Let us know how the strobe works out. BTW, Oly says poolchlorine is death for the housing. I'm really interested in how the Magic filter does too. Should be great for your free dives, as Alex says ambient light only. I think the UR Pro CYA is a similar filter (for tropical water). I have my doubts either will work in our California split pea soup, but hopefully the green algae job will do. I plan to give both a try though.
  2. I finally got to dive with the new camera/housing combo. I haven't got UR Pro green algae filter yet, as you'll see by the pictures. These were taken at 70 feet at Hopkins Deep (also called Aquarium reef) in Monterey. Vis was about 15 feet with lots of green and lots of particulate matter. Pictures were taken on HQ and SHQ jpeg, with standard camera settings on UW Macro or UW wide 2. I used the built in flash and haven't edited the pictures. These are my first UW pics with anything other than a throw away cam, so don't expect anything too fabulous, but they should give an idea of what the camera does on standard settings with autofocus and auto white balance. I'm sure with a filter and manual settings, plus lots of practice, they'll be much better. I'm pretty pleased with the results and currently very happy with my choice of camera. The Oly case was very small and easy to handle under water. It needs a better lanyard. The buttons are kind of close together, but I was able to access all of them with my 5mil gloves. The screen was very easy to read (notwithstanding my 52 year old eyes) and the viewfinder was very clear (although I thought I was having a problem when I saw nothing but magenta for my first five shots--then I took off the lens cap!). I haven't figured out how to upload to wetpixel yet, so you can look at them at http://photos.yahoo.com/lmcgmc. Hope you like them. By the way, I had the camera/viewfinder on and the lens out for the full 40 minutes I was under, plus some shots before and after in the boat. I also downloaded my pictures on the same battery, and it still reads full green.
  3. That's pretty impressive. It makes sense that the NimH AA's would last quite a while. They're rated at 1.2v (2.4 total) 2500milliamp/hr, my Radioshack CRV-3 is rated at 3.7v, 1440milliamp/hr so while the voltage is higher which may keep the recharge light off, the AA's should have triple the capacity. I'm diving tomorrow, so if the case doesn't flood on the empty UW test at depth, I should have a good 45 minute dive to see how it holds up. These will be my first photos with anything other than a cheapie UW disposable so hopefully they won't be too embarassing to post a few.
  4. I can't vouch for all of them, because I've only used one, but here's what I've found out. I got my RCRV-3 and charger kit at Radioshack. I'm not thrilled with the charger, as the battery seems to fit a little loose and gives it false readings, but once fully charged it seems to run on for a long time. I've read posts elsewhere that swore by Moby's (http://www.thomasdistributing.com/mpc-c301.htm). Someone claimed to have 500 shots on one. I've also had really good luck with my other cameras with SterlingTek. I didn't get theirs because I was in a hurry, and because the nominal capacity in their description seemed comparatively low. Their quality is really good, though. I've had a couple for my Sony for about 3 years and they're going strong and way better than the Sony originals. Also they're really cheap at $19.95 for the charger and $9.95 for the batteries. Maybe someone else can give you more accurate numbers.
  5. Wow. I thought I was the only one having this problem. I just went through the whole DP review hash over the SP battery issue, and apparently it's pretty endemic. With my rechargeable radioshack CRV-3, I got a battery empty message and the lens retracted after about 10 seconds. It did this a couple of times, so I thought maybe the battery hadn't charged fully. (It still might be true, as the RS charger is a piece of @$#%, it doesn't hold the battery tight enough or something, and the little red and green lights flash on and off at will.) What's weird is that once it actually came back on, it worked for like 45 minutes with no problem. I've had it happen a couple of times, so I'm extra careful to wiggle the battery in the charger a little and leave it on longer. BTW, radioshack calls their RCRV-3 3 volt, while the sterlingtek website called theirs 3.4. Maybe the higher voltage would help, as that seems to be an issue with NimH batteries according to all the comments on DP review.
  6. I just returned from our aborted SD/Mexico trip. With 15 foot waves even at La Jolla cove and just getting worse, there was no diving available except for an iffy dive at La Jolla shores (although a guy who took that dive brought back pictures of mating squid). My son brought down the SP-350 mid trip, and I got to play with it a little. CE4Jesus isn't kidding when he says there are lots of settings. If you just park the thing on automatic, you get whatever the camera gives you, sometimes great sometimes crap. Using the scene settings gets you really close to whatever white balance, etc you want without manual formatting. You can get some really nice pictures. My UW case isn't here yet, but as soon as I get to Monterey with it, I'll try out the preformatted UW wide 1, wide 2 (fixed focus at 15 feet for fast shots) and UW macro. I can tell you that on Super-Macro setting, you can get half an inch away and have perfect focus and light above water. I plan to compare this with the manual settings, which are pretty unlimited and can be preset with the MY mode. This is probably a different thread, but I haven't used a raw translator. The camera comes with one and can also be adusted in raw mode on camera. I have PS7, and downloaded the Raw "negative" program. I don't have CS. I have also seen a free raw conversion program called "raw essentials", which also has a $99. photoshopable advanced program available. Any suggestions out there. (I'm a bozo on photoshop, so the simpler the better, probably.)
  7. Thanks for the input, Gary. Mine is on its way (hopefully before we head for San Diego). I was wondering about the flash. I know there are a couple of different wires available for it. Can it be removed from the mount and held remote to avoid backscatter? I've been considering whether to get the factory set up or pop for another hundred bucks and get something like an Ikelite 40. The length of the arm was one consideration. It looked like the factory unit just mounts to the top of the camera. Thanks again for all the help. Larry
  8. Thanks CE4Jesus. My wife is planning to get me a camera and housing for Xmas, and I've been about 95% sold on the SP-350. The other 5% has been that there are some truly hideous reviews on this camera online, including a few from previously enthusiastic Olympus owners. I think a lot of what you get out of a camera has to do with the expectations you have going in. Have a good trip. Will look forward to seeing your pics posted. If all goes well, I hope to have some from San Diego and Monterey/Carmel by then. B)
  9. Magic filter says trim the 77 and put it between the lens and housing. Do you tape it to the inner housing or on the lens ring? Do you necessarily need the tape?
  10. No Don, the A620 and S80 don't. The S70 does, as does the SP-350. As noted in the other thread on the SP, the raw takes about 10 seconds to load, so rapid shooting isn't going to happen. Also, it takes huge room. At the store, 2 raw shots took the entire 25mb of camera memory. The A620 has no camera mem., you need the medium in it to get any response.
  11. You're right, Desert Eagle. They don't list a housing for the SP-500, at least yet. That's one I won't have to worry about. I think the 350 is going to be better in about every other way anyway, and they'll probably have a 2X add on lens for it anyway if I need more distance.
  12. I went back and reread all the posts on the SP-350 thread, went to Best Buy and played with about 50 cameras, including the A620, the SP-350 and a bunch else. Unfortunately, they didn't have an S-80 for me to fiddle with. To me, it was no contest. The A620 was slower focusing and wouldn't focus at all closer than a foot. I tried various settings, fiddled with the zoom, etc. I tried to shoot a sign from about six inches away and all I got was blur. If I zoomed it in and out, it would focus for a moment, then blur out for the shot. The SP-350 would focus right down to about 3-4 inches, and when I shot, the picture was always even clearer than the viewfinder was. At full zoom, I tried to shoot a box about 50 feet away. A man walked into my picture and started walking toward me. (Turned out to be a co-worker and her husband walking up to say Hi.) The camera caught the moving target in fairly low light, with changing focus, at full zoom, and the picture was clear and perfect from edge to edge. Right now, I'm about 90% sold on this camera, although after looking at it, I haven't ruled out the SP-500. Although it only has 6mp for very close to the same price, it has 10X optical zoom for topside pictures. It doesn't seem to have many of the 350's nicer features though, so for now I'm still leaning strongly that way.
  13. Thanks for the input, guys. Desert Eagle, why the A620 over the S80. Better features or better speed? Canon makes an add on lens set for two lenses on the S70. One is a WA and one is a 2x for increasing the distance. Are these not available on the S80, or don't they fit on the UW housing, or what? I'm really thinking OEM housing, simply because they're 1/3 of the price and I'm more of a diver than a serious photographer. I just want to take quality pictures above and below. I don't plan to compete or sell them.
  14. Hi, I've been following posts on both the S-70 and SP-350, and am thoroughly stumped. I'm looking for a compact, budget camera for my first UW photos and these are the two that best seem to fit the bill. I've seen a bunch of very nice pics posted by beginners with the S-70, both with the onboard flash and with a strobe, including some excellent macros. Then I read posts that say the macro doesn't work inside 18 inches and the focus time is too slow for that harbor seal moment, etc. The SP350 is so new nobody seems to have posted pictures yet, and I've seen everything from Wow! Awesome! to Omygawd!Don't do it!. Any further updates on either of these two or particularly someone who has used both would be awesome.
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