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  1. If I were chosing a new compact, I'd probably get a Canon A540, as suggested by many others here. Just for u/w -- unfortunately, there doesn't seem to be a compact that's good u/w and topside and also pocketable (S80 was it, but it's discontinued).
  2. Actually, a difference between 28mm and 35mm is 0.8x, whether in air or underwater behind a flat port. An Inon UWL-105 wide-angle converter has an underwater magnification of 0.68x I think (0.51x in air). So a difference between 28mm and 35mm would get you 2/3 of the way this wide-angle lens would get you. If any compact had f=24mm, in terms of the field of view it would be equivalent to having this $400 lens attached to a f=35mm camera. (Too bad they don't make compact cameras with such lenses.)
  3. I have an experience of going from a Canon S50 to a point-and-shoot Fuji F30 -- don't go there, get a full-manual camera.
  4. 1. Fuji F31fd is identical to F30 for all practical purposes (fd is "face detection", and since fish faces are different from humans, it's unlikely to make a difference u/w). Try doing a search for opinions on F30 (I for one posted a non-recommendation of it if you plan on using an external strobe). 2. "Picture stabilization" in F30/F31 is just a misleading marketing name for a high-ISO mode (which, to be fair, is very good in F30). However, I'm not sure how useful a true optical image stabilization (as in Canons) would be u/w, since you'd want short shutter speeds for fast-moving fish anyway. Hope this helps.
  5. No, no, just some weird thing with the middle ear (inherited from dad), which I realized one fine day would make me drown - decided not to wait for that day. Thinking of trying skydiving instead
  6. This is from my experience with a Canon S50 (full-manual) and Fuji F30 (only A or S modes, but not M) - if you plan on using an external strobe, take a camera with full manual controls (A640 in this case), otherwise it's very difficult to get a correct exposure, the camera outsmarts your external strobe and as a result you spend a lot of time in PS.
  7. Hi, if you still need opinions on F30, here is mine (based on a trip to Australia - see pictures at THIS LINK). I've come to F30 from a Canon S50, which was full-manual, with manual focus, and would switch back to S50. If you are planning on using an external strobe, you'd be much better off with a full-manual camera. The lack of shutter and aperture control at the same time makes things very hit-and-miss in terms of correct exposure, especially when there is ambient light. Also, it seems as though the camera sometimes fires 3 flashes (or 1) instead of the usual 2, and my strobe was set to be triggered by the 2nd, so sometimes it just missed - the strobe fired, but you don't see it in the picture. The autofocus speed is fine (including in the dark), but there were a few instances where I wanted manual focus (which it doesn't have). Also, if possible, upload pictures on the computer after the first dive and check them - my pictures looked fine on camera screen, but turned out to be mostly underexposed in PS after the trip (I actually dialed in a negative exposure compensation myself, based on how they looked on the camera screen). Can't comment on the macro issue, I had a wide-angle converter always attached, so rarely needed even to switch to macro (I'm not very interested in small things anyway). Topside, F30 is great though, and I suppose u/w it would be fine in auto mode without an external strobe. BTW, the Fuji's own housing is great too, convenient and amazingly compact, almost fits in a pocket itself
  8. No, actually, I wouldn't recommend it as an u/w camera - those pictures took hours in PS, the exposure was all over the place. The lack of full manual mode (you can set either aperture or shutter speed but not both) makes it difficult to use an external strobe, especially with any ambient lighting. Also, it seems as though the camera sometimes fires 2 flashes and sometimes 1 or 3 (?), and my external strobe is triggered by the 2nd flash, so often it just misses. (I can't reproduce this topside, so wouldn't insist on it.) I suppose the automatic mode with just the internal strobe should work fine, but didn't try. I would switch to my old full-manual Canon S50 for u/w, if only I hadn't decided to give up diving altogether after this trip.
  9. Oh yes, they're great, and an interesting group of divers onboard as well. Will have to go back sometime to see the rest of Australia (topside), such a nice place you guys have there. It's pretty dead. It's the standard place where this is done every week or so by this boat and presumably others - forms a perfect stage with a big rock in the middle surrounded by amphitheater.
  10. Hi, I'd like to share a few pics from my recent trip to Australia (middle of Great Barrier reef and Osprey reef further into the sea). The highlight of the trip was a shark attract (no feeding, just teasing with the dead fish smell). The pics are taken with a Fuji F30 with a wide-angle lens and an occasional strobe. (Unfortunately, I got a bit too excited with sharks at arm's length and forgot to put my zoom to wide, so no interesting shark close-ups, they just swam by too fast.) A few thumbnails are attached, and the whole thing is at the link below. Any comments welcome! Great Barrier Reef 2006
  11. I have Canon housing (WP-DC whatever), Epoque tray and Epoque 30cm flexible arm (made of ball-shaped segments, I've seen others like it and even instructions on how to make it yourself, but didn't bother). The arm attaches to the strobe through an L-corner and a bolt. The optical connection is through a fiber (an accessory to the strobe). I got it all from marinecamera.com (asking them first on the phone about all the connections; they threw in the L-corner). I'm very happy with the setup, it's compact and convenient, and certainly, with it the pictures are limited by my eye and not the setup. The strobe flared whenever I wanted, never even bothered to check the ready light. The field of view of the strobe is not infinite though, you can see its boundaries in some of the wide-angle pictures (which is fine with me). I did not take any macro pictures (just like the wide views more - they don't require that much of the buoyancy skills
  12. Hi, I've put some pictures from last May at Bonaire on the web, comments are welcome (don't be too tough though, this was my first try at taking pictures with scuba): Bonaire 2004 I guess a lot of people will recognize familiar places I personally like the first three pictures the most (and the "Teamwork" poster is on my office door, our secretaries love it). The pictures are taken with Canon S50, Inon D-180s strobe and Inon UWL-105 wide-angle lens (attached all the time). Maxim
  13. To Benoit: > But when you said "the camera cannot determine > the external strobe intensity" ... I meant to say that the external strobe's sensor cannot determine the intensity of the internal strobe (should have worded it more clearly). To ReyeR and Mickey: Yes, I now think you're right. I just re-read the source where I got this idea that the flash power is adjusted along with the pulse duration (http://photonotes.org/articles/eos-flash) and figured I've been misled by its sometimes loose use of the term "power". So those manual GN switches on the external strobes actually change the pulse duration, too? mmm
  14. See http://ikelite.com/web_pages/5can_g3.html It only relates to G3, their G2 page doesn't mention such a problem. mmm
  15. I wonder how the Ikelite strobes with a TTL slave sensor (DS-50,125) can possibly work correctly with pre-flash cameras (that is, use the camera's TTL metering)? The camera fires a pre-flash (triggering the external strobe's pre-flash), meters the result and calculates the illumination needed for the real exposure, under the assumption that the pre-flash it just saw was the result of its own strobe with the intensity it knows. It then sets not only the duration of the main flash, but also its intensity (amount of light = duration x intensity). What happens then -- the external strobe's sensor can sense the duration of the main internal flash, but surely it cannot determine its intensity, right? Or is it known that IN MOST CASES, the camera changes only the duration of the internal flash not the intensity, that is, the pre-flash and the main flash have the same intensity (and it's only in those cases that this TTL sensor setup works)? I've read here that, for example, Canon G2 plus DS50/125 in TTL mode seem to work, just wonder how it can possibly be so. Thanks mmm
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