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bobh

Canon S400 w/ WP DC800 user report

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Well, after many years of yearning for a digital camera/ underwater housing combo, I choose the cheap / small way, I selected the s400 compact camera and its propietary housing. Very small combo, very light weight, here are my impressions.

 

First a little background, I have had experience in Film with cameras like a nikonos and a Nikon n70 w/ housing. My digital experience includes nikon dslr cameras, but it sickens me how manufacturers are taken advantage of us. The prices for DSLR housings are just a robbery even when compared with SLR housings, I agree there is more buttons but it should not be double the price. Well thats that ! back with my review.

 

The canon s400 is a 4 megapixel camera, very compact and takes my regular CF cards, I put in a 1 gb chip, and to be honest, I was very happy with the camera topside, I felt I will not have any problems with it underwater. The combo price was about the cheapest available in the shop I purchased from.

 

Once underwater, I REALLY enjoyed the fact that I had 1GB chip in it. and Wow, what a pleasure to use a AF digital camera underwater !! I custom light balanced with a white plastic card as often as I could. The built in flash helped a little but the water had to be perfect , no particles floating otherwise the backscatter was horrible. But an and all I am glad I was able to use the built in flash, I had the choice.

 

Before going underwater, I put an antifog liquid on the inside of the lens part of the housing, and once I put the camera inside I put 2 very small silica bags to help out humidity.

 

I found my self having to turn off the camera quite often because of the heat generated by the camera was causing even with all precautions some fogging on the lens. This solved the problem. So between swimming from one coral "section" to another, I would turn off the camera. That simple.

 

Shutter lag : initially as I mentioned, I thought that it was not going to be an issue, because topside it did not bother me... but underwater... oh my !

I got a lots of fish tails !!!

 

NOW I understand the comments of members of this forum, Wow.

 

I would now love a faster response, cheap setup (oh oh the story continues !!!) but really, I am pretty much happy. Geez, how often do I go underwater? not very often, just a few times a year.

 

I ended up using the camera on ISO 400 almost all the time, looking back this was a bad mistake, grain at that speed , with this camera, is pretty bad. But this speed was necessary, specially taken pictures with available light. I am still very pleased with my results, considering that I only was in Roatan for 2 days.

 

here is my site, go to page 3, I have posted some photos. Thanks so much for everyones help and sorry for my long post, it is my first one !!

 

http://www.hondurasart.com/gallery/rhandal

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You clearly have a great photographic eye. It doesn't look like the equipment has kept you from producing great pictures.

 

Nice to see how much talent matters in this business!

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