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fuji e900 or oly sp350

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My search for 1st camera has led me to choose between these two ,with ike housings.lots of comments on e900 re strobe,either camera will do what i want .which is easiest to use for newbie and which strobe arrangement is most functional for each. thanks bill

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With Ike housings it makes sense to go with the Ike strobes. I own the SP350 with an Oly housing and use the FL20 with TTL for a strobe. I also have a sunpak to give it a little more coverage. I like the camera especially its versatility. Do a search on Wetpixel for both cameras...this has been hashed and re-hashed.

Later,

Gary

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I would endorse SP350 direction...over E900

 

And Ike housing would also be the go for the depths you need.

 

Would suggest contacting Ryan at Reef Photo for a package. Advantage is that he is a site sponsor and a great guy! :D

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Thanks to you both,I shall contact Ryan.I am now carrying this discussion on in both this forum and the dedicated underwater forum where I started and researching as best i can ,perhaps best to let the other one die and continue here.ce4jesus,your sure right about the ,mash of hash on the e900 and sp350.I have read most of them and am still confused.Regards Bill

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Hey everyone,

 

I'm currently shopping for a new compact camera and underwater case. I've settled (i think) on a Canon A540. I was looking at the Oly SP-350 and more seriously at the SP-320 (which has image stabilisation), but what I've read suggests they just aren't coping with NiMH rechargable power sources.

 

I need whatever solution I come up with to share the AA power solution I have for my Flash and portable storage device. The Olys seem in many reports to have only a 20 shot battery life! This has scared me off a LOT.

 

Can anyone share their experiences please?

 

 

Owners Reviews of the SP-350

 

Owners reviews and comments of the SP-320

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20 pics :rolleyes: Actually I've owned one for about a year. I can fill an entire card full of RAW images (86) twice (172 images) on one set of 2500mah batteries using the internal flash. However, as a practice, I usually change the batteries after every 2 dives. This is usually after filling 1 Gig card. The reason is that with fresh batteries the camera's performance is better. IE...write times and flash recharge times are faster. For what its worth, I'm happy with the camera.

 

Later,

Gary

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20 pics  :rolleyes:  Actually I've owned one for about a year. I can fill an entire card full of RAW images (86) twice (172 images) on one set of 2500mah batteries using the internal flash. However, as a practice, I usually change the batteries after every 2 dives. This is usually after filling 1 Gig card. The reason is that with fresh batteries the camera's performance is better. IE...write times and flash recharge times are faster. For what its worth, I'm happy with the camera.

 

Later,

Gary

 

Hey Gary,

The people posting about battery life are referring specifically to high capacity NiMH rechargables. If you use single use Lithiums there's no issue.

 

Were your's rechargables?

 

Ta,

NY

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Yes. I am using the Nickle-metal Hydride rechargeables. In specific, the only problem I was aware of was the problem with the battery meter which was solved by the update that Olympus Released for the camera. This problem would report a low battery even if the batteries were fresh. This led some to believe that the camera was eating up batteries. I've now taken the camera along on about 30 dives and haven't had a problem...however, I'll preface that by saying I've never done more than 3 dives in 1 day with it. Normally, my batteries will fill up a 1G card twice before the low battery shuts off the camera. Performance of the camera with write times and internal flash recharge degrade with the batteries but that hasn't been a problem either. I do a 2-tank dive on a set of batteries and then replace them before they really need to be. I hope this helps.

 

Gary

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ce4jesus: Thanks for your feedback. I've done some further reading and although there are some conflicting reports, for the most part it does indeed seem to be a "battery indicator" issue rather than a problem with the camera working or chewing through NiMH batteries. That's a relief.

 

I thought the Canon A540 sounded like a premium option. Canon sound like they have the advantage when it comes to their low-distorion lens and their general speed and performance. But I realise now that you folks are discussing them so much because it has the ability to take an external flash and the A540 doesn't!

 

I see the A620 can also support a "Canon High Powered Flash" which is no doubt why it also rates in the forums.

 

I have a Sony HVL-F32X flash and wondered;

 

A) Would it work with the SP-350?

 

B) Is there an underwater case available for it?

 

C) I'm a duck-diving, daylight snokeller, would the in-build A540 flash serve me well enough in 99% of cases?

 

 

Thanks everyone!

 

NC

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Yoda,

Canon's are well respected and take decent pics. The SP-350 attracted me because of its ability to use TTL and full manual control...even focus when needed. Its RAW ability is a function I can't be without. I'm able to bring a photo back from the abyss with PS. The Canon's get the edge on focus speed. With the type of diving you do, I'm not sure you'll need an external strobe. I would probably invest in a WA lens and a magic filter.

Later,

Gary

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Eagle Ray and Anthony,After reading and rereading review on the sp350 it seems to me like the shutter lag and battery life are issues with this digicam.c4jesus appears to have solved battery issues. Why exactly do you think the sp350 is a better camera than the e900?? Is it the sp350's ttl ? Please explain? The e900 appears to have much less shutter lag and the same battery pros and cons,is the e900 more difficult to handle underwater,ie button placement on Ike housing?Non ttl strobe use of Inond2000s?I have confined my camera seach to these two cameras because they both seem to have lots of underwater users ,I can only afford a point and shoot right now and will have to live with my choice for 3-5 years (Thus the endless questions and hrs spent reading and rereading reviews and forums,yes ce4jesus i have read most everything youve written on the sp350 and have appreciated all of it.)I would like to hear from more e900 users ,make an educated guess and purchase and use a camera. I have certainly progressed from the concept of purchasing the sealife 500 or sea and sea 8000 with in house gear although the sheer volume of cameras/housings /strobes /uwlens's and accessories has taken its toll on me.James( the Engineer ) started me on this Quest after my initial posting in dedicated underwater digicams.Hope the next few posts will help me clarify issues ,pick and purchase a camera and get back out there diving ,Bill

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Bill, TTL is a small advantage, but like you have discovered, there isn't really a lot to separate the cameras. I place significant creedence in Gary's (ce4jesus') opinions - he has a lot of knowledge in this arena. I don't know of too many e900 users on this forum...

 

Good luck with your decision.

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Heres a link to a similar question I posed. My criterion is a little different but if I was looking for a point and shoot for UW the Fuji finepix F30 would be the hands down winner. Shortest shutter lag ever measured is the key stat. The other is that it's high ISO performance is almost in the category of a dSLR. Far better than any other digicam.

 

You would need an optional wide angle lens. No Ike housing announced yet but it's a good bet one will be. There is a manufacture housing available cheap. I think of TTL as a non issue. With LCD review I have never considered it an advantage.

 

http://wetpixel.com/forums/index.php?showtopic=14550

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I believe that Jack Connick has used the E900 with very successful results using the Inon strobes which cancel the cameras internal flash. This is important from what I understood some users to say that it only throws out a full dump of the flash and takes awhile 6-10 seconds to recharge the flash even on regular Jpeg shots. Before I ran off and purchased the F30 I'd also check its ability to write to memory and flash recharge times. What good is no shutter lag if it takes 10 seconds between shots in Jpeg mode? One other item of note, I think shutter lag for all practical purposes can be divided into 2 catagories. 1. Actual time measured to take a picture with the camera focused in and white balance pre-measured by halfway depressing the shutter. 2. Autofocus time. In my opinion there's very little difference in number 1 between most point and shoots. Number 2 is where the difference lies in most of them, therefore testing that camera in low light (to the point where the autofocus light turns on) is essential on underwater point and shoots.

I've personally gone to the store and found that some just seem to lock focus very quickly in bright conditions but struggle when you bend down and take a picture of a carpet with very little contrast and the light is blocked by my body. Some do not have a built in focus assist light meaning they really slow down in low light. What this means to you is you would have to consider a focus light as part of your budget.

I've used the SP-350 for almost a year and shutter lag hasn't been my biggest issue. I've found lighting and composition in conjunction with not-so-perfect visibility to be bigger challenges. I've gotten to know my camera so I know to preset the white balance and I've grown acustomed to anticipating my subjects a litte better. Has the camera cause me to miss a few pics...sure. In all honesty though, the camera isn't as big a problem as the photographer at the moment. I'm sure I'll out grow it one day but being that I only dive about 30 times a year I don't see that happening anytime soom.

 

cheers,

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I believe that Jack Connick has used the E900 with very successful results using the Inon strobes which cancel the cameras internal flash. This is important from what I understood some users to say that it only throws out a full dump of the flash and takes awhile 6-10 seconds to recharge the flash even on regular Jpeg shots.

 

My ears were burning. :lol:

 

Yes, I confess, I'm an E900aholic. At least until I can put together a DSLR system RSN. But even, then I'll keep most of the rig for backup and shore diving. It takes amazing macro and fish portraits - easily rivaling DSLRs. A little weak on W/A; where purple fringing gets enhanced with the W/A external lens. Lots of stuff on my Flickr galleries to view.

 

Yes, the Inons are key, per the above. Otherwise the camera does a full dump, and with RAW it takes about 11 secs to be ready again. Otherwise, unless you are shooting W/A, it's about 4-5 secs, which is amazingly fast as the RAW files are 18MB!

 

The F30 has the new Fuji sensor, but no RAW, no manual modes, 36mm vs 32mm wide lens, maybe no flash ev, makes it pretty useless for UW use.

 

Now what was the question? :blush:

 

Jack

Edited by JackConnick

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Heres a link to a similar question I posed. My criterion is a little different but if I was looking for a point and shoot for UW the Fuji finepix F30 would be the hands down winner. Shortest shutter lag ever measured is the key stat. The other is that it's high ISO performance is almost in the category of a dSLR. Far better than any other digicam. http://wetpixel.com/forums/index.php?showtopic=14550

Dave - The Fuji F30 is also my compact of choice, but I wouldn't rate the high-ISO performance to be anywhere near that of modern digital SLRs.

 

Having said that, it's pretty much the only compact camera that shoots usable ISO 400 images. It certainly comes the closest to those images shot by SLRs. ISO 800 is fair, and ISO 1600 is usable at web resolutions. Pretty impressive, considering most compacts produce unusable ISO 400 images!

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I had a chance to play with the F30 yesterday. It's a fast little camera. The LCD is great, probably the same found on the new DSLR cameras. The menu remained very challenging. And many simple changes like white balance require a scroll through countless options. If you want a camera for available light, it's the one.

 

For the last few months I've used an Olympus SP-310. It's the sister camera to the SP-350. The manual controls are great, and they're very intuitive. I like shooting RAW (takes 5 seconds). The SP-310 and 350 have in-camera editing, so you can make minor changes such as fine-tuning the white balance and save the result as a JPEG. Focusing is okay, but not as fast as the new Canons or Fuji cameras. The achilles heal is battery life. Even with the firmware upgrade, NiMH batteries don't last long. With a Lithium, it's fine.

 

The new Canon A630 was quite nice. Very fast. Real easy.

Edited by DesertEagle

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Desert,

out of curiousity, what are you getting out of a set of AA rechargeables?

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Interesting, I can get over 150 shots with one set of 2500mah batteries. I'll do the test again to verify but I'm pretty sure I was using the flash as well. Later,

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