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Marjo

Help me put together a kit for the hubby

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I need some help. I quite clueless as to the consumer digicam market. However, now that the hubby is taking interest in UW photography, but doesn't want to go the SLR route (I guess he thinks its enough having to help me schlepp a ton of heavy gear) I am on the lookout for a good P&S kit.

 

What I'm looking for is:

 

- Optical viewfinder with adjustable diopter - the hubby has a really hard time seeing digital screens and stange as it might seem, does much better with optiocal viewfinders.

- Ability to set Apeture, shutterspeed and ISO manually on external controls without having to go flip through and read a bunch a menus on screen.

- Wide, close focusing lens.

- HD video.

 

We are considering the upcoming Canon G12, mainly because of the viewfinder and nice external controls which he likes. But I am a little hesitant about that 28mm lens. I was really hoping for something a little wider. Also, I thought these things came with 1080p video these days, I was a little surprised top see 720p - however that is of secondary importance.

 

Any suggestions for the "dream kit" would be greatly appreciated!

 

Marjo

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Alas, I don't think there are any non SLR cameras that provide an optical viewfinder. Haven't seen any G12 underwater housings yet but doubt they will implement the viewfinder - the G11 housings don't.

 

Apart from that, you won't go far wrong with the G11 / 12 or the S90. Fix housings are rather nice if a tad costly.

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What I meant is that the camera should have a viewfinder rather than just an LCD screen, not that the viewfinder should viewable TTL. I believe the Canon G series all have this (but they have the drawback of the not-so-wide lens).

 

I am not so concerned about if the housing is yet on the market as long as there will be a housing, nor am I concerned about price.

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Hi Marjo,

 

Great news RE Hubby!

 

I don't know of ANY point and shoot digicams w/ a decent optical finder. They are all TINY and impossible to use in a housing.

 

Instead you should look at getting a rubber "hood" that goes onto the outside of the digicam housing and basically acts like a "tunnel" around the digital viewfinder - they he can see it.

 

I highly recommend the Canon S90 which I own, or the larger Canon G series cameras. They are close to being the "ultimate" pocket camera and are well supported for UW use.

 

Cheers

James

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Any suggestions for the "dream kit" would be greatly appreciated!

 

Hey! ;-)

 

My current dream kit would be:

 

- Canon s90 (or s95)

- Fisheye Fix Housing

- 2 X Inon S2000s

- Fisheye Fix Super Wide Fisheye Port

- Stacked Macro Adapters like the UCL 165s

 

BTW ... I have been underwater since I saw you in St. Croix ...

 

:-(

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Thank you so much for the replies! It seems the Canon's then are the contenders. Maybe I will be able to sell the hubby on the idea of not shooting thorugh viewfinder, that would certainly make the selection a lot easier. Jeremy and James, the pool is always open around St. Croix, you are welcome back at any time! May we dive together again some day!

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I sometimes use my wife's compact underwater and I don't find the lack of a viewfinder to be much of a problem but I do on land in bright sunshine. The G11/12 fits the bill in this respect but is, of course, more bulky than the S90.

 

Certainly a rubber tunnel is a bonus, you can get one for the Fix housings.

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You could also consider the Sea & Sea DX-2G and attach one of those hoods as well. I had a S&S DX-1G and loved it but just upgraded to the 2G and love it even more :D

 

Karl

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I just got a Sony WX5 for scuba because it is currently the ONLY P&S with 24mm wide angle, 1080 30p & 60i HD, and an underwater housing (Ikelite). Since WX5 has very low CA at the wide end, RAW is not absolutely needed as I normally set custom white balance, either aiming at buddies' gray/white tanks, or using a translucent WB diffuser. Also, RAW can't help video. Comparing to G12 and S95, WX5 has noticeably wider lens (24 vs. 28mm), far superior HD video (1080 30p & 60i vs. 720 24p), but does have slightly more noise @ ISO800 and no RAW.

Edited by A.Y.

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I just got a Sony WX5 for scuba because it is currently the ONLY P&S with 24mm wide angle, 1080 30p & 60i HD, and an underwater housing (Ikelite).

 

Very interesting! Will check this one out too. I never really thought of considering a Sony, but this might change my mind.

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You might also want to look at the Olympus E-PL1 and the olympus housing.

It's a micro 4/3 system, so not a P&S and not a DSLR. It does have an optical viewfinder that can be added. Not sure how good it is underwater, I think most people will be using the LCD screen, but since you added that requirement it fits.

It should probably be in your consideration anyway.

The Canon G12 would probably be your best P&S option, but as mentioned there really is no way to do optical viewfinder underwater with a P&S

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Thanks you so much for the help!

 

OK, now we narrowed it down to this:

 

I'll probably get one of these Sony's for myself just for fun.

 

The hubby has decided that he wants either a Canon G12 or the Nikon P7000. We have compared features of those. Pretty similar in most respects, Nikon gets some points for longer zoom range, and more focus points/tracking, Canon has a nifty flip out screen. Nikon is already on the shelf, but Canon will probably be any day now. We dont care about HDR and face recognition. So now I am wondering, is there anything pertaining to UW that would give one of the the edge over the other?

 

Marjo

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See if you can find photos from either camera taken underwater .. I am sure they are both fine, but one may be naturally better.

 

 

I used to use Digideep.com for this as it was easy using their database, I don't know how up to date they are now. Google may be better.

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So now I am wondering, is there anything pertaining to UW that would give one of the the edge over the other?

Marjo

Are you planning to shoot raw?

"the big issue with the P7000 is lack of responsiveness when shooting raw. It takes almost three seconds to write a single NRW to my Class 6 card, and the camera isn't available to take another shot during that time (if you shoot bursts, you can get five images before the camera hangs, but then it'll be ~15 seconds before it comes back and allows you another shot). "

You would likely not be shooting in bursts, but nonetheless, that would get pretty frustrating.

 

Having had high hopes on the P7000 since it debuted, if you need a camera now, I'd personally wait to see what more comes out of the G12. Although, overall, I like the S95 over both for the moment, but alas the lens range is not the greatest.

 

Panasonic and Sony are both really pushing the bar more than the others at the moment, so if patience is within your realm, you may have a more detailed look into those lines.

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So now I am wondering, is there anything pertaining to UW that would give one of the the edge over the other?

 

If your hubby shoots UW video, Nikon P7000 has optical zooming and auto focus, G12 uses digital zooming, but don't know if it also has continuous auto focus or not. You should review P7000 videos online to see if the camera has noisy or silent optical zoom since the mike can pickup the zooming sound. Nikon P7000, Canon G12, and S95 all have identical specs: 3648 X 2736 resolution and 1280 X 720 24p video because all three cameras use the same Sony 1/1.7" CCD 10MP sensor.

 

This should still be true: all Nikon P&S and dSLR cameras use Sony sensors while Canon only use Sony sensors in the P&S lines of cameras since Canon designs and fabricates its own dSLR CMOS sensors. One of the reasons why many Nikon, Canon, and Sony P&S cameras have similar, but not identical image quality.

Edited by A.Y.

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i think RAW is essential for UW is you plan to shoot any available light -- and highly desirable with flash

 

IQ of the s90 is good on land (with decent light), but compared to a DSLR the focus speed and shutter lag are not great

 

for more serious shooting i'd seriously consider 4/3, probably Panasonic

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Thanks again for all the input! The point about RAW is a good one. He probably don't care at this point, but I know how these things go, once he "gets it" ... Anyway G12 is on the shelf at B&H today and I have added it to my shopping cart but apparently they won't let me push the "checkout" button until tomorrow at 7:30 PM EST, due to some holiday. Now... in case anyone wants to buy ME a present I'd like to make it publicly known that the upcoming Canon EF 8-15mm f/4 L USM fisheye would be a much appreciated gift... :)

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