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Knifer

First UW Camera

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So I'm looking into getting an UW camera for macro shots and wide angle shots as well as use as a land camera. I've been looking into the sealife DC800 since it's relatively cheap. I can get it in a couple days for $800 with the camera, housing, and strobe attachment. I looked at its specs and noticed it only offers JPEG pictures. I am going to play around with them in photoshop so I want a high quality picture to start out with. Is there any other camera that is within my budget (~1000 total) that fits my specs or is the DC800 good for its price? I looked at the sea & sea DX860G, but was told it's discontinued.

 

I'm going to use it for:

macro shots

share with friends/family

maybe video just for fun

editing in photoshop

going to purchase a wide angle lens later on

 

I live in Hawaii so although the strobe isn't too much of an issue, I still want to have one for better shots. Most of the time I will be snorkeling, but will scuba every once and a while.

 

Thanks

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Hey Knifer

 

Sorry, I can't give you any advice on the Sealife. But on the JPG issue, you really only lose quality as you keep saving the JPG file - after edits for example. The compressions resulting from the Save command lead to a loss of quality. But you can probably get around this by saving the file as a TIFF before you begin your editing - then you are not losing quality as you edit.

 

Gotta be honest, you might be struggling to get equipment that can give you the quality you might be looking for with a $1000 budget. Have you had a look in the Wetpixel Classifieds for gear that is on sale? Second hand UW photo equipment can be quite a bargain.......

 

But, like I said, I've never used the Sealife and someone else may be able to give you a view on whether it is a good buy.

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HI Knifer!

It sounds like your looking for a good allround P&S with a UW-Housing. here are two good options IMHO:

Option nr.1:

I have the Fuji F31fd(6 mil.pixels) & Fuji UW-Housing+INON Wide¯o linces..that is a nice little kit..I too freedive so I'm not willing to drag a massive kamera around UW.

+I find taking photo's of pepole while traveling..they don't mind the little cameras as much as my great big old SLR..on top of that this little beauty takes great shoots indoor(where most fameily get-together occure) and it's now a "old" model so both the camera and UW-Housing shuld be up for grabs cheap!!

Option nr.2:

The Olympus C5060(5 mil.pixel) ore C7070(7 mil.pixel)..are really great UW cameras..old and slow but have RAW, 27mm wide angel, super macro in camera..

Some of the best P&S UW's I have seen come from those little baby's(sligtly bigger than new P&S's) they are app. 2-3 years old.

Tip: there seems to be an issue reg. the "mode-dial" in some cases..They too shuld be cheaper than most brand new models..the UW-Housing for theise models were on the expensive side..but most UW and Photo geeks will shurly be looking to upgrade..it's a bug we all have on this Forum(IMHO)..he he!

Have a good look at:www.dpreview.com (You can tjeck under Preview's there is a feature where you can view after rating alone regartless of timeline)

Try to think of what you will be using the camera for most(indoor/landscape/pepole/portrait/UW/macro....)

Happy Gear hunting...

I know just how it feels(always on the look out for the ultimate cam...)..he he!

:)

-No bubbels NO trouble's-

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Hi Again!

It's been a while reg. the Olympus cam.'s so I took a look around and I remembered wrong.

The C5060 and C7070 dosent fit the same Housing...

Sorry for the miss leading spec.

:)

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Hey Knifer

 

Sorry, I can't give you any advice on the Sealife. But on the JPG issue, you really only lose quality as you keep saving the JPG file - after edits for example. The compressions resulting from the Save command lead to a loss of quality. But you can probably get around this by saving the file as a TIFF before you begin your editing - then you are not losing quality as you edit.

 

Gotta be honest, you might be struggling to get equipment that can give you the quality you might be looking for with a $1000 budget. Have you had a look in the Wetpixel Classifieds for gear that is on sale? Second hand UW photo equipment can be quite a bargain.......

 

But, like I said, I've never used the Sealife and someone else may be able to give you a view on whether it is a good buy.

 

Seems like an excellent choice with the caveat that if you really begin getting into photography you may out grow it very quickly. I'm now on my 4th and hopefully last camera. Started with an Olympus 4MP, then went to Sea&Sea 5- 8- and now 10 with their 1G which is a great camera. Jim www.jcscuba.com

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Hi

 

Your requirements are very similar to mine, and the advice from Neopreneninja is sound. I ended up with a very similar set up to the Fuji F31fd, using Canon instead.

 

Canon Ixus 950is (or SD850 depending on where you live) - 8Mp

Canon WPDC-15 housing

Inon D2000s strobe

Inon UWL105 and UCL165 lenses.

 

For snorkeling the Ixus in the OEM housing is great.

The Inon setup for wet lenses is so easy to snap alternate lenses on and off.

 

HOWEVER

 

It is entirely possible that you will rapidly outgrow this setup as it does not allow manual control of aperture or shutter speed, if this worries you then I would go for the Sea&Sea DX-1G see why here

 

Hope this helps

 

Cheers

 

Hal

Edited by Halabriel

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I've been seeing lots of people getting spectacular results with the Canon Powershot A570, and it's got to be the most recomended camera on SB right now. Best of all, you can pick one up with the Canon housing for under $350 on Amazon, leaving plenty in the piggy bank for a strobe (and maybe even a WA lens since Inon does make an AD mount base for this housing).

 

BTW I've seen posts claimimg that this camera will work with the chkdsk 'hack' (IIRC it's actually a Canon diagnostic program and not a true 'hack') that will let you shoot raw.

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Hi Knifer,

 

I have the Canon A570IS with Canon Housing and can say that it is a easy camera to use while getting good shots underwater. I have had this current setup for about 8 months and haven't had any problems at all. I currently have no strobes, so just using the internal flash, and have been very happy with my pictures so far. Plus the good thing is that when I'm taking pictures on dry land, the camera fits easily into my pocket. So isn't bulky like a lot of other cameras.

 

The A570IS is something that could last you a while, as it allows you to use manual control of aperture and shutter speeds. Plus the addition of strobe(s) and the range of Inon wetmount lenses that are available means that this camera can easily grow with you as progress your techniques. This setup would definitely fall within your budget.

 

If your interested I could post some pics on here to show you the quality of pictures the A570IS produces with just natural light and/or the internal flash.

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Thanks everyone for the feedback.

 

The chkdsk hack really opens up more options for me since I wanted to have RAW capability. The 570 IS looks like a solid camera, it's pretty inexpensive which will give me more room on my strobes and possible lenses later on. One drawback I have, though, is that it uses AA batteries. I know you can get rechargeable ones, but I like having a rechargeable camera. I looked at the 720 IS as well and some others from the A series, but I don't think it has enough extra features to warrant the extra 100 or so dollars I'd spend on the whole thing. Other than that, I will probably the 570IS with an ikelite housing unless anyone has any other recommendations that will be better with macro.

 

I'm debating between the canon housing and ikelite housing now. People have said that the canon housing supports more lenses, but the ikelite is higher quality. Not sure on strobe capabilities on both, but I'm sure there are some pros and cons to each.

Edited by Knifer

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Thanks everyone for the feedback.

 

The chkdsk hack really opens up more options for me since I wanted to have RAW capability. The 570 IS looks like a solid camera, it's pretty inexpensive which will give me more room on my strobes and possible lenses later on. One drawback I have, though, is that it uses AA batteries. I know you can get rechargeable ones, but I like having a rechargeable camera. I looked at the 720 IS as well and some others from the A series, but I don't think it has enough extra features to warrant the extra 100 or so dollars I'd spend on the whole thing. Other than that, I will probably the 570IS with an ikelite housing unless anyone has any other recommendations that will be better with macro.

 

I'm debating between the canon housing and ikelite housing now. People have said that the canon housing supports more lenses, but the ikelite is higher quality. Not sure on strobe capabilities on both, but I'm sure there are some pros and cons to each.

Since the camera does not have a hotshoe you're going to be limited to optically trigered strobes with either housing. The canon housing itself does not support additional lenses, but Inon does make an adapter that will allow you to use Inon's AD mount lenses (and there are plenty of them -- macro, wide angle, fisheye). The Ike housing comes with a 67mm threaded lens port and I know I saw an AD adapter someplace for it, so it seems to me that the Ike will actually give you more lens options than the Canon. As I see it the biggest advantages of the Canon housing are that it is significantly smaller and costs less than the Ike. Ike is suppoosed to have great customer support, but I haven't seen any complaints about Canon.

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Hi there,

 

This old raw-vs-jpg topic will go on for ever...

 

One thing I always think about whe this comes up is the late and great Jim Watt. It was really funny to watch and the amateur shooters spoke abotu this topic and then asked Jim for his views. He put them down in one shot. Jim only ever shot jpg and probably sold more digital images than any other UW shooter out there!

 

I've seen plenty of people trying to use Sealife and I'd say steer clear of them, I've yet to see anyoen get really good results quickly from this set up.

I use Sony, but it's no good for wide angle. From what keep hearing from friends, it seems the new G9 is the go for point and shoot!

 

Also check out Maria Munn's website: http://www.oceanvisions.co.uk/, she's a great P&S photographer!

Edited by Graham Abbott

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