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Newbie point and shoot/DSLR package

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Hello all, i am new to underwater photography, i need advice, i am looking for a point and shoot or a DSLR set up that can be a good starter that i can grow into. i would like camera, strobe and housing to come in under 700.00?..? i would also like to be able to shoot in RAW....please help i need to get this soon.

thanks in advance to all.

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You won't find a dSLR system for under $700 and will be hard pressed to get the package with a P&S for that price. That said, here are a couple suggestions:

 

- Canon SD750 + Canon Housing + Inon D-2000: No raw, very compact!, less than $1k, TTL (sort of)

The SD750 does shoot RAW if you use a camera firmware hack called CHDK. Camera + housing sells new for $340 and the strobe should be in the $500 range. It is not the newest model, but 7MP is plenty for good shots.

 

- Canon G9 + Canon Housing + Inon D-2000 : Raw + TTL (sort of), still quite compact

- Canon G9 + Ikelite Housing + DS-51 + W/A lens : Raw + eTTL

- Canon G9 + Ikelite Housing + DS-125/160 + W/A lens : Raw + eTTL, better strobes

The G9 does shoot RAW and is used by quite a few people around here. You might be able to pick up a used one with a Canon housing for a good price. With the Ikelite housing you will get real TTL and will be able to add a wide angle lens underwater. It will be more expensive as well, though.

 

The most expandable option imho is to start with a G9 + Ikelite housing and then add Ikelite strobes and W/A lens on later on. The strobes will then carry over to a dSLR if you go that route later on.

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Yes I agree with Sergio. You won't come close to $700 with all you've requested. You might squeak a G9 with the Canon Housing in for that.

 

G9 - Probably still around $350 to $400

Housing

OEM $250 ish

Ikelite $500 ish

Strobe

Inon D2000 $500 ish

DS-51 $400 ish

DS160 $800ish

Arms and tray to hold both $200 ish

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There is an Ikelite G9 housing on Ebay at the moment, and a short port too. You can buy both, plus the G9 for under $700, but just barely. Go to Ebay -> cameras and photo and do a search for Ikelite

 

Cheers

James

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Amazon have the best internet price for a new G9. Don't hesitate. Get a G9!! (then buy another as a spare...)

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I have been diving for years and have been considering getting into UW photography. At this point I would like to just start entry level and see what happens. I have a Canon SD750 sitting in a drawer that I could easily dedicate to UW photography. Would it be worth my while to use the camera and purchase a housing and start with that? Would it be ok to start without a strobe and add it at a later time? How about the housing, does the ikelite one offer any better options for $100 or so more?

 

Am I wasting my time with this camera and should focus on getting something a bit better as a start?

 

Thanks for listening and helping out a rookie!

 

Dan

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I have been diving for years and have been considering getting into UW photography. At this point I would like to just start entry level and see what happens. I have a Canon SD750 sitting in a drawer that I could easily dedicate to UW photography. Would it be worth my while to use the camera and purchase a housing and start with that? Would it be ok to start without a strobe and add it at a later time? How about the housing, does the ikelite one offer any better options for $100 or so more?

 

Am I wasting my time with this camera and should focus on getting something a bit better as a start?

 

Thanks for listening and helping out a rookie!

 

Dan

 

Dan,

You can buy a Canon housing for your camera for about $200. Google sd750 housing.

You could start without a strobe and use a Magic Filter. It gets you started for little cash and see if you like it.

All that would set you back about $250, more or less. White balance can be corrected to a great degree using software. Its not the perfect choice but you can get started for little money.

 

The on-camera flash will generate enough backscatter that it is of little help most of the time. You might consider starting without a strobe and converting the pics to black and white.

You may quickly find you want an external strobe (as I did), then you will want a better one, then you will want 2, etc. Its addictive but so much fun!

 

As for concerns with wasting your time, its hard to beat getting started for $200 and let your interest and check book lead you from there. If you are already diving and having fun, carrying your camera and an OEM housing is easy and cheap.

 

If you are lucky enough that cash is no issue, go for a G10, housing, a few Z-240's and arms. You will love the pics and it will only set you back $2000-3000. And oh yea.. if you fit that 'cash is no object' part, do you want to adopt? I am open!

 

just a thought.

Dave

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Dan,

You can buy a Canon housing for your camera for about $200. Google sd750 housing.

You could start without a strobe and use a Magic Filter. It gets you started for little cash and see if you like it.

All that would set you back about $250, more or less. White balance can be corrected to a great degree using software. Its not the perfect choice but you can get started for little money.

 

The on-camera flash will generate enough backscatter that it is of little help most of the time. You might consider starting without a strobe and converting the pics to black and white.

You may quickly find you want an external strobe (as I did), then you will want a better one, then you will want 2, etc. Its addictive but so much fun!

 

As for concerns with wasting your time, its hard to beat getting started for $200 and let your interest and check book lead you from there. If you are already diving and having fun, carrying your camera and an OEM housing is easy and cheap.

 

If you are lucky enough that cash is no issue, go for a G10, housing, a few Z-240's and arms. You will love the pics and it will only set you back $2000-3000. And oh yea.. if you fit that 'cash is no object' part, do you want to adopt? I am open!

 

just a thought.

Dave

 

Thanks for the information. You will have to excuse my ignorance but could you explain more on the Magic filter? Are there specific ones for the type of camera and conditions of water? How much do they cost, etc.?

 

Thanks,

Dan

 

P.S. I don't fit the "cash is no object" category.. :P I wish!

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From a former newbie to a few others, I suggest starting out with a G9 or something similar (high-end P&S with RAW and manual options), instead going straight to a DSLR. I started 5 years ago with a little Canon A80, had a lot of fun with it but wanted more, and so moved on to a 20D and Ikelite housing and strobes a few years later. After two trips with the larger, snazzier more-difficult setup, I'm now looking to downgrade my underwater kit to the new Canon SX1 or maybe a G10, while maybe upgrading to a 5DMkII on land... if don't lose my day job.

 

Why? The DSLR set-up was heavier, more complicated, and more expensive than what I really needed as a novice photographer who doesn't dive often for big-ticket set-ups to be sensible for me. I spent way too much time on my honeymoon in Bali fiddling with the multiple o-rings, settings, ports, battery chargers, and on. And when I went to Tonga, there was similar imbalance between taking care of the u/w set-up and revisiting this weird, beautiful place where I'd spent two years of my early twenties. Unless you're willing and able to take the time to really make the most of a DSLR set-up, it's probably better—and certainly less expensive—to start with something smaller and a little bit less powerful.

 

Just getting a DSLR body and a few good u/w lenses will set you back $1200, at least. Add in the housing, strobes, ports, etc., and you can easily drop another two grand. (And that's before true "gear lust" kicks in, which will make you buy neat things even if you don't really need them.) Also, the chance of flooding a housing means, to many of us, that it's good to have a second camera as a backup… so that's another $500-$1500, easily. If you don't dive that much, that's a lot of money to be spending.

 

Just my two cents.

 

-Dan

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Thanks for the information. You will have to excuse my ignorance but could you explain more on the Magic filter? Are there specific ones for the type of camera and conditions of water? How much do they cost, etc.?

 

Thanks,

Dan

 

P.S. I don't fit the "cash is no object" category.. :P I wish!

 

Goggle 'Magic Filter' and go to their website.

 

You can also do a search on wetpixel for it as there are many entries here.

The cost is quite low for the filter - under $50 I believe.

I think you can probably get them from Reef Photo or Backscatter. There are links on the right of this page.

You can get started without them, add them and see what you like.

Dave

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danielandrewclem, thank you so much for your post. This is really the advice I've needed, if not been looking for. I am a novice UW photographer -- definitely point and shoot caliber. My wife and I were just in Dominica where I flooded by Sea and Sea DX-8000G. As a replacement, I've been torn between the Canon G10 (at this stage, still more camera than I am photographer) and some type of entry level DSLR. Your post reminds me of the reality that, at least from a $$$ standpoint, there is no such thing as an entry level DSLR. I'm still learning the basics of the hobby, so the G10 will most likely be obsolete (or flooded, knowing my track record) before my skills surpass its capabilities.

 

Again, thanks for the dose of "gear lust" anti-venom.

Edited by High Plains Drifter

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Hi,

 

I'm new to this forum, great to read everyone's ideas and advice.

 

I'm looking at buying a whole new set of gear, possibly Nikon D90, Ikelite Housing, Nikon 10.5mm and Nikon 105mm and strobes... all before a planned holiday in Easter!

 

I don't really know what to ask, but has anyone tried the combination of camera, lenses and housing above?

 

Thanks, Hannah :bye:

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I'm looking at buying a whole new set of gear, possibly Nikon D90, Ikelite Housing, Nikon 10.5mm and Nikon 105mm and strobes... all before a planned holiday in Easter! I don't really know what to ask, but has anyone tried the combination of camera, lenses and housing above?

 

Hi Hannah,

 

I shoot with the Nikon D70S in a Subal housing but have used the lenses you are asking about. You've obviously done your homework, as the lenses you are looking to buy cover both macro and wide angle. But that being said, if it were me, I would look at buying the 60mm lens before I bought the 105mm lens. You don't say whether the 105 you are planning to buy is the VR version or not, but, in any event, the 60 is a much easier lens to use. It's also a very sharp lens as well and is in almost every uw photographer's bag of lenses. I would purchase the 105 as a second macro lens.

 

The 10.5 is a great wide angle lens but it can be tricky to use. You have to make sure the strobes are well back of the camera or else they end up getting photographed as the 10.5 is so wide. If you want to go for a prime lens, you might consider either the Nikkor 16mm FE lens or the Sigma 15. They are both excellent Wide Angle lenses, but not quite as wide as the 10.5. If you want to go for a wide angle zoom lens, the Tokina 10-17 is highly recommended. You will need a zoom gear for the Tokina lens to be able to make use of both the 10mm end and the 17mm end and everything in between.

 

Have fun on your holiday and be sure to let us know how it all went.

 

Ellen

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