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Jharrisbanc

I am a newbie and I have a $1,000 to spend

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Hello everyone,

 

I have been scuba diving for a couple of years, and am just now able to start going to places with sealife worth taking pictures of. I have taken pictures topside for years with a 35mm SLR as an amateur.

 

Well, I just got back from the Bahamas and found out I wasted a lot of money developing my pictures taken with a cheap 35mm underwater camera. So, I've decided to go ahead and bite the bullet and buy a decent digital camera...so I only have to develop the pictures that turned out great.

 

I have seen some people on the board recommend a couple of different cameras...and I have no preference so far. I know that I do want the ability to shoot in RAW...and I had rather have something that will focus fast. I will never blow anything up bigger than a 8x10. I know I also want at least a 5MP. It would be great if the camera had a lot of expanability.

 

Along with the camera...I would appreciate any recommendations as to a housing. Also, any recommendations for future accessories I should buy in the near future would be a great help.

 

I mainly want to take great pictures to show my family and friends what they are missing underwater.

Jonathan

 

Thanks in advance...I

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Welcome to Wetpixel. I am not all that up with all the new Point and Shoot stuff but there have been some recent threads about what you are looking for here:

 

Thread 1

Thread 2

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Thanks for all the responses! I've read them all, and followed all of the threads...and the threads within the threads. Here is the list of possibilities that has surfaced so far:

Fuji E900

Fuji F11

Olympus SP350

Canon ISUX (seems like a really bad name)

Canon A620

Canon S60 or S70

Nikon S3

Coolpix 7900

 

Is there any camera within this list that you all feel should be ruled out or just a bad feature (i.e. I've read that the Fuji E900 has a really slow RAW)? Is there a camera missing from the list?

 

Thank you all again for taking the time to respond!!

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Hi,

 

One thing I think you can use to really winnow the list down quickly is this: Unless you plan on just taking snapshots (and for some people, that is exactly want to do so it's not a big deal) and never shooting with an underwater strobe, get a camera that allows you to set shutter speed *and* aperture manually. In other words, get one with a true manual mode, not just Program, Shutter Priority, and Aperture Priority. I think that would rule out the Fuji F11, The Canon IXUS (freudian slip on your part (kidding! :huh:)), and the Nikon S3. Of the others, the A620 and the E900 are pretty new so not many people have actually used them underwater yet. Also consider what housing you want. The E900 has an Ikelite housing available (or will very soon), for example. The others all have manufacturer's housings, which tend to be slightly cheaper, but not necessarily as robust as the Ikes. If you plan on using the camera topside (many people actually use the camera on land much more than on water) make sure it is one that is good for that as well. Other things to think about -- what memory cards does tha camera use. For example, the Olympus and the Fujis will use xD, which tops out at 1GB. The S70 uses CompactFlash, which goes up to 4GB or more. The A620 will use SD cards, which are fast, cheap, and high-capacity now as well. Also check on the look and feel. For example, the S70 is from a slightly more "upscale" line of Canon cameras so the zoom will operate a bit more smoothly and it might feel a bit more "substantial" than the A620. Can't help on the Nikon 7900 as I don't recall ever seeing one.

 

Mike

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Well if you can wait about 11 days I can give you my impressions of the A610 as i'll have it in my hands then.

Won't be able to give you an impression of the manufacturer's (Canon) housing for a while until about early January. I'll test it out in a pool.

 

Ikelite is coming out with a housing for it in January I believe.

 

BTW MikeO, the A610 weighs quite a bit and based on reviews the finish and fit are all top notch!

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Welcome to the Road to Ruin. If you want a tip, don't start! Housed film disposable camera yesterday, point and shoot in housing today, DSLR and twin strobes tomorrow......

 

Good luck with it. Tons of fun lie ahead. Of course complete bankruptcy too. :D

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My feeling exaactly, Tim. I look at my gear now, and go: My god, what have I done!?

 

But to go back to this thread, I believe the A620 will do just great for a first UW camera...

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FWIW - I have been very pleased with my new Sony W5 and MarinePak. With an external slave strobe (Sunpak G-Flash), I have been getting very good pictures. In addition to many point and shoot options, one can use it true manual mode.

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