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Dave H

Canon Ixus 980is in Ikelite housing

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About 5 months ago, my point and shoot digital camera (Sony P100) that I carried in my BC pocket died. I needed a camera that was small enough to carry in my BC pocket whilst doing seahorse surveys as lugging around a slr and searching for seahorses was impossible! Following advice from a wetpixel post, I ended up buying the Canon Ixus 980is as it was the only P&S that offered full manual control (can change shutter speed and aperture) and was above 10mp (it’s 14mb). This was actually a Christmas present for my partner... little did she know that a housing was going to be her second present! Kind of like the Homer Simpson bowling ball present... :)

 

I ended up getting the new Ikelite compact housing for the camera and it arrived last week. The camera housing fits perfectly in my Zeagle tech pocket which I have attached to my KISS. This pocket is probably slightly larger than a normal BC pocket but is very versatile as it can actually be fitted to almost any BC!

 

So today I took the camera and housing out for a test dive and had a heap of fun! Below are couple of shots from the Pipeline in Nelson Bay. All images were taken just using the internal flash.

 

Two of my all time favourite seahorses, named 'Grandpa' and 'Goldilocks'. Grandpa is actually my oldest seahorse, he was tagged over 3.5 years ago.

canon01.jpg

 

Ornate Ghostpipefish

canon02.jpg

 

Nelson Bay Anglerfish

canon03.jpg

 

Blue-lined Octopus

canon04.jpg

 

Mating nembrotha's

canon05.jpg

 

Cerastoma nudibranch

canon08.jpg

 

A couple more images from the dive can be seen here:

 

Overall I have to say that I am very impressed with this camera underwater. The colours are excellent and the focus is fast enough to capture animals that are actually moving. Manual control is easy to change and there are two aperture values to select from (f2.8 and f8). I just left it on f8 the whole dive and varied exposure by changing the shutter speed. I found that it’s essential that the Ikelite external diffuser is attached to the front of the housing because without it there is a huge black shadow in the right of the image where the flash is blocked by the port. The diffuser eliminates this problem. Also, make sure you attach the diffuser to the housing with some fishing line otherwise you will lose the diffuser!

 

Whilst I don’t think this camera is going to be replacing my dslr, being able to take a small P&S camera and capture decent enough images for research and ID purposes is very handy. And did I mention it fits in my BC pocket!!! :P

 

cheers,

Dave

Edited by Dave H

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Thanks for the post (and great images as well). Have you tried it with external strobe? Or has anyone else experience of this camera with (e.g.) Inon Z-240?

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Dave,

 

Your pics turned out great!

 

I'm strongly considering purchasing the Canon SD990IS, which I believe is the same as your camera. What buttons/controls do you use to manually change the shutter speed on your camera? Based on the instructions in the user manual, it looks like in manual mode you use the "control wheel" to change the shutter speed. However, the Ikelite housing (and the Canon housing) doesn't give access to the "control wheel". So, how did you do change shutter speed?

 

Thanks.

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Dave,

 

Your pics turned out great!

 

I'm strongly considering purchasing the Canon SD990IS, which I believe is the same as your camera. What buttons/controls do you use to manually change the shutter speed on your camera? Based on the instructions in the user manual, it looks like in manual mode you use the "control wheel" to change the shutter speed. However, the Ikelite housing (and the Canon housing) doesn't give access to the "control wheel". So, how did you do change shutter speed?

 

Thanks.

 

I was also scratching my head about this one when I first got the housing! :D To change the shutter speed you enter 'manual' mode and then you must hold down the Canon 'print' button (this is the button on the top left above the control pad). When the print button is held down you can move the left and right control buttons to adjust the shutter speed. Works really well.

 

I haven't used this system with a strobe just yet but all I can say is that using a strobe is only going to improve image quality. I've got a small Ikelite DS51 that I might test out with it.

 

cheers,

Dave

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I was also scratching my head about this one when I first got the housing! :D To change the shutter speed you enter 'manual' mode and then you must hold down the Canon 'print' button (this is the button on the top left above the control pad). When the print button is held down you can move the left and right control buttons to adjust the shutter speed. Works really well.

 

I haven't used this system with a strobe just yet but all I can say is that using a strobe is only going to improve image quality. I've got a small Ikelite DS51 that I might test out with it.

 

cheers,

Dave

 

Thank you for your reply, Dave! Oh that's such great news about the workaround! How on earth did you figure that out?

 

Now regarding the aperture choices, I was very surprised to hear you were only getting two choices?!?! The manual (page 90) suggests that the F-stops go from F2.8 up to F16, but they also write, depending on zoom position, "some aperture values may not be available". What zoom setting were you using with your photos shown in this post (with the nudibranchs, for example [very nice nudi photos for P&S !!])?

 

Thanks,

 

Dana

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Any further updates on this camera? It looks pretty darned sweet as a pocketable travel system.

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great photos Dave

 

this looks like a nice camera, with the same sensor as the G10

 

just an FYI, this camera does not have an adjustable aperture, the aperture is fixed all the time. F2.8 and F8 are same lens opening, the difference is F8 has a 3-stop ND (neutral-density) filter moved behind the lens. So your depth of field will be the same whether you are shooting at F2.8 or F8. This is why there are only 2 "simulated" aperture choices at any given focal length.

 

Shooting at F8 will be beneficial in blocking out some ambient light when shooting macro to help get better colors from the strobe.

 

So you are sort of stuck with the depth of field that you get.

 

Scott

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