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Nakedwithoutcamera

Went looking for cameras last night

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The reason being, I like to shoot topside too and the zoom capability impressed me for not being an SLR. I know the zoom is basically useless underwater, but it does have macro settings too, and the wide angle is impressive. Of course I hate the dreaded shutter lag and I couldn't stand the Oly 7070 I had when it came to focusing in low light. Reviews of the camera are pretty good and I saw in online for $279. Haven't prices the Oly housing yet.

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Hi again,

I think the only problem you're going to have is adding wet lenses to it. The housing's port is square. I also believe the port on the housing is so large it will block your internal strobe.

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The reason being, I like to shoot topside too and the zoom capability impressed me for not being an SLR. I know the zoom is basically useless underwater, but it does have macro settings too, and the wide angle is impressive. Of course I hate the dreaded shutter lag and I couldn't stand the Oly 7070 I had when it came to focusing in low light. Reviews of the camera are pretty good and I saw in online for $279. Haven't prices the Oly housing yet.

 

FWIW the shutter lag seems to be higher than the 7070 according to the tests run. In Continuous AF the 560 is 0.78 second while the 7070 was 0.68. Did not see how the camera did in low light.

 

Of course sometimes the tests may be off, I could swear one of my older P&S which tested slower than a newer one I have seems to work alot quicker, so always take everything with a grain of salt.

 

I have a couple of the Olympus P&S and overall I do like them.

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Well, I tried it in the store and took photos of my finger moving. It seemed faster than the 7070 but who knows. I know it will never be an SLR and I don't really think any P&S will compare. I was told an ultra fast memory card will help.

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Well, I tried it in the store and took photos of my finger moving. It seemed faster than the 7070 but who knows. I know it will never be an SLR and I don't really think any P&S will compare. I was told an ultra fast memory card will help.

 

 

Sorry did not mean to say do not do get it, just wanted to let you know what I had read on the speed :) Some of the P&S are faster though than that and just wanted to throw that out there.

 

The card speed really is not going to make a difference in how fast the card will focus and click, in general it will only help when clearing the image from the camera to the card and shot to shot times (depending on the camera, most will take advantage of the faster card for that, others may not).

Edited by TheRealDrew

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These superzooms are nice on land, but they complicate things underwater. I think you would be better off with "normal" camera such as the Canon A570is or Olympus SP-350.

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These superzooms are nice on land, but they complicate things underwater. I think you would be better off with "normal" camera such as the Canon A570is or Olympus SP-350.

 

Sorry to hijack the thread, but I have a question for deserteagle.

I see in your profile you have an SP310 and a fuji f31.

I'm somewhat similar in my equipment, just a little older. I have an oly C4000 and a fuji F30.

Can you tell me how you like your F31, how you mainly use it, settings, etc.

Thanks for the help.

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I was in Sipadan and met some guys using this camera....It was something I was considering but I got the DX-1G instead. I heard that the main issue was battery life. He had to constantly change the battery after just 1 dive or risk not having enough power for the second. The zoom is pretty much useless underwater too

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I agree, the zoom is useless UW but I like to shoot on land too and not being independently wealthy, 1 camera is all I can afford right now. I got a super fast battery charger. I hope the battery pack lasts more than 1 dive though.

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Hi,

I actually added lenses to my old SP350 for topside shooting. I'm not sure how many cameras can do this but it was great to add a teleconverter and a WA lens for shooting out of the water. If I were buying a camera today and it was a P&S I'd have to buy the Canon G9.

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Hi,

I actually added lenses to my old SP350 for topside shooting. I'm not sure how many cameras can do this but it was great to add a teleconverter and a WA lens for shooting out of the water. If I were buying a camera today and it was a P&S I'd have to buy the Canon G9.

Why would you chose the G9? Does it have a teleconverter zoom lens?

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Several reasons -

 

1. Hotshoe - enables you to use hardwired TTL to fire a strobe. This will save on internal batteries and decrease the recycle time on the camera (time it takes to be ready to take another Photo)

2. RAW - the ability to adjust RAW files after the fact is a life saver underwater for those of us who don't dive frequently.

3. Results - I've seen great photos taken by the camera from underwater.

4. Patima just came out with a housing which means that lines are being developed around the camera

 

topside lenses http://search.ebay.com/search/search.dll?f...&category0=

 

If that link doesn't work just type in Canon G9 lens on Ebay. You'll find topside lenses...both WA and Telephoto.

Edited by ce4jesus

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Sea & Sea has developed a housing for the G9 as well. Looks really nice, although $$$$$$$$$. ( I had the Oly SP-510UZ and dumped it after one trip) The write time even with the "fast" card was absurd with RAW. I use the SP-350 with students (land only) and it's write time wasn't great, but faster than the Oly SP510UZ.

Cheers,

Marli

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I remember looking at the Oly U/Z camera (at the time I think it was the 550, not the newer 560), and the RAW write was the dealbreaker for me, too. Like ce4, I'm kind of relying on RAW to help me maybe recover from the occasional (hah!) bad shot as I learn. There's just so much color you can get back from an image that's already in JPEG form and thus compressed.

 

Do like ce4 did and write down the features important to you, prioritize them, and then check out cameras based on those. (And availability of a housing, of course!) www.dpreview.com has a pretty good search database of almost every camera out there by feature, and it seems to be pretty accurate too.

 

My list when I first started looking at upgrading (note signature for current camera) was:

 

1. RAW support that's not too slow to write (anything under 4-5 seconds or so I thought would be okay, considering external flash recharge time).

2. Ability to supplement the standard lens range (e.g. add a wide angle or whatnot)

2.5 Less shutter delay (but I was kind of 'resigned' to just having to learn to anticipate. Aim for the fish snout!)

3. Ability to use screen as viewfinder (hence I was looking at Point-n-Shoot, until I came across the E330)...I'd never used a DSLR and my first introduction to photography with my dad's tank-like old film SLR at age 12 still left mental scars.

4. I didn't care much about a hotshoe - figured I'd start with internal flash and then go to external with an optical trigger as I got better and could afford it (fiberoptic or the Ike EV controller, didn't matter to me)

5. Good for topside use too (lower priority for me at the time, since I wasn't into "photography" in general, just wanted to take underwater shots). By which I defined as relatively small and luggable.

 

In the end, I decided I needed to learn more and split the difference on adding a used strobe (DS50) to my existing Canon to practice (more megapixels won't help me if I can't take the shot and handle a strobe) and got the E330 as my 'training wheel' DSLR. I've gotten more interested in general photography as a result of a) not being able to dive since last fall and b ) not being able to afford the E330 housing yet. So I definitely feel your pain in terms of not being able to afford multiple items. (That kid better get her grades up and keep her scholarship, or the college tuition will REALLY ruin my plans for finally getting a housing this spring!)

 

I've also seen a lot of people recommend the Canon G9. The Oly 5050 still has a huge following, but is harder to come by nowadays. I remember I was interested in the 8080 as well but didn't really research it to death before switching streams entirely. With RAW as my #1 criteria, a LOT of the point and shoot range automatically was disqualified.

 

So...what's important to you in a camera? Can you prioritize topside and underside use? Do you plan to use an external strobe (and think one is in your budget - note that a used EV controller and DS50 with arm and tray probably adds up to about $350 or so, e.g. equal to the price of a lot of the higher end point and shoot cameras)? Even though my decision is made (and not really regretted, even though I haven't 'finished' the upgrade yet) I do enjoy "browser shopping" and wouldn't mind helping you look and bouncing ideas off the board.

Edited by rtrski

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thanks for that thoughtful and thorough reply rtrski. I did just what you said and ordered my priorities (and budget) and the SP560UZ won. I don't shoot raw, so that was not the biggest priority for me. Besides, the new PS can convert jpgs into raw if I want to do that. I already have a strobe and I didn't use TTL with my old 7070 so that is not the biggest priority for me either. Besides I remember reading an article somewhere saying that TTL was not that great. Every side has its supporters and detractors, so you take what you want and leave the rest.

 

My biggest concern was fish butt shots but like you say, with a P&S that is always going to be a factor. Also, inability to autofocus in low light, (the 7070 was notorious for that, even on land) but I now have a focus light for underwater. I'll see how it does on land.

 

I love taking photos out in the woods or where ever I go, so I'm not just concerned with UW. I wanted to get a camera that would fit all of my needs. So, I'll let you all know how I like it.

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Yeah, TTL usage varies: better for macro, probably next to useless for a lot of wider angle stuff. I'm with you in that a hotshoe wasn't important to me, but since I did get a low-end DSLR I got it anyway.

 

I just read thru the review at dpreview.com of the 560. A couple things did jump out at me:

 

a ) it does do RAW, but appalingly slow (10 seconds between shots). Still, at least the option is there. (BTW, PS might convert a JPG into a RAW format file, but you never get back the sensor data that was already thrown out in the first JPEG save operation! RAW from your camera still has everything the sensor recorded and lets you kind of 'retry' the 'developing' settings in a way. For the 560 specifically the file size is a bit under 12 MB vs. around 3.1 MB for the highest quality JPG, so you can imagine, even if that compression was totally lossless (it's not) how much more chance for recovery from iffy shots that is...and how much extra card space it takes! No free lunches. :) )

 

b ) It only takes an xD card, which isn't as fast even if you buy the "H" type as CF cards - and is more expensive for less memory to boot. Just something to consider. My E330 takes both and I stupidly thought it would 'roll over' storage from one to the other if the primary filled up. It doesn't - you can pick which you're storing to thru the menu, that's it. And since I got an 8 GB CF for the same price as the 2 GB xD, I'm kicking myself for not just getting 2 of the former and saying heck with the latter.

 

c) The review was kind of snide about how far you have to go thru the menus to get to a custom white balance. I don't know if that means you couldn't go thru the hoops before a dive so it's "ready" for white balance settings during the dive, or not. Just something to think about, especially if you wont be shooting RAW, as the ability to set the WB for different conditions (depths, in shadow or sunny side of reef, clouds moving in front of sun, etc) can help you get the most out of your JPEG stores.

 

I am NOT trying to talk you out of this purchase - ultimately you're the only one who has to be happy with it, so go with your gut - just giving you this beginner's eye from what jumped out at me. I've never handled one myself, and frankly I think dpreview was pretty mean to the E330 too, as compared to how I like it, so I'm not even saying because it was in the review it's even right. Just food for thought.

Edited by rtrski

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the SP560UZ won. I don't shoot raw, so that was not the biggest priority for me. Besides, the new PS can convert jpgs into raw if I want to do that. .

 

I wanted to get a camera that would fit all of my needs.

 

I am concerned that you may end up being unhappy with this camera in the long run. I think it all boils down to to whether you want to grow in uw photography. The camera may be perfectly fine for your topside needs, but will it give you the tools and advantages you need to succeed in getting the uw photos you want? That is the question and only you can decide.

 

You may not see raw as important now, but after our trip this fall, you may wish you had a usable raw function that didn't take forever and a day to use. Ten seconds, if a true estimate of the time to shoot each raw image, is a long time to wait. Your shots ~may~ not be perfect out of the camera and you ~may~ wish you had the capability to improve them more than you can when shooting jpg images. And I'm not sure how Photoshop converting a jpg image into a raw image is going to help. Maybe I'm wrong here, but if you lose important data by doing this, you will have given up a lot of flexibility that shooting raw offers.

 

All this is food for thought. Who ever said making uw and topside photography decisions was easy when it comes time to purchase new equipment? :)

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You may not see raw as important now, but after our trip this fall, you may wish you had a usable raw function that didn't take forever and a day to use. Ten seconds, if a true estimate of the time to shoot each raw image, is a long time to wait. Your shots ~may~ not be perfect out of the camera and you ~may~ wish you had the capability to improve them more than you can when shooting jpg images. And I'm not sure how Photoshop converting a jpg image into a raw image is going to help. Maybe I'm wrong here, but if you lose important data by doing this, you will have given up a lot of flexibility that shooting raw offers.

 

 

Agreed. Converting JPG to RAW is not what you want if you *want* to shoot RAW (it is not the same as shooting RAW. you are not going to regain data lost by shooting JPG and converting to RAW, sort of like trying to convert a VHS to as if you shot in HD) and 10 seconds can be REALLY long underwater (and above water). Mind you, if the other factors override the rest the balance may play out for this Olympus (and I did love my P&S Olys even with RAW) but the reason I jumped was to have faster cycling RAW more than even shutter lag. Shutter lag could be a pain, but once you get to the know the camera you can work around it (somewhat). The others were the the main factors for me to jump..

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I finally got around to putting this camera together last night and I have to tell you one thing that TOTALLY ticked me off about this camera so much that I called Olympus last night. You know those metal rings on cameras that you put the strap through? Well, instead of the metal rings being attached to the camera body like my 7070 was, you have to put the metal rings on and then slide a plastic piece over the ring and then put the strap through. This plastic piece does not STAY on the metal piece; it falls right off. So when you take the strap off to put the camera in the housing, that's 4 little pieces you have to worry about losing!!! I can't believe that Olympus is so damned cheap that they cut costs on something like this. It is no big deal if you keep the strap on permanently, but if they make a housing for this camera, they have to think about the divers using it. It just seemed ludicrous to me. A Dilbert engineer must have thought this up. Anyway, I escalated my call to a supervisor and he took the camera that he had there and took the strap off and he says "oops, I just lost that black plastic piece." He said he was going to call and see if there was a fix for this. You know, I can screw up royally when diving and traveling with myriad other things. I don't need the hassle of losing my camera strap connector too. I told him I was so disappointed in this that I would probably never buy another Olympus product again.

 

Anyway, this camera seems to definitely have less shutter lag than the 7070 (I used my cat as a subject) and focuses better in low light. As for the WB menu, it basically the same as the 7070. I don't see how the menu is much different. The only thing it doesn't have is the quick buttons. You have to go through the menu. That's a drag.

Edited by Nakedwithoutcamera

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heh, just goes to show hands-on is the best final arbiter, regardless of what spec searches or research one does....

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Not to late for a return if that's a dealbreaker issue, is it?

 

(by the way, I think the neck strap had the same multiple pieces for the E330, but don't recall for sure....I bought one of those egg-shaped padded 'grip straps' that mounts to the top right ring and then screws into the tripod fitting on the base...that's how I planned on keeping it topside. The one I bought does have a plastic piece but it's more like a strap buckle thingy on a backpack strap, e.g. the strap remains threaded through it at least once even if you're unthreading the place it doubles-over to get it off the metal ring.)

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