Jump to content
Arnie

What kind of camera for a beginner.

Recommended Posts

Hi.

I just start diving ( have had my 4th dive) and I would like to take my camera underwater but housing for a 7D is just to expensive.

What kind of camera I should buy to start with?

 

Thanx all

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Arnie,

 

IMHO, you need to become an experienced diver, with good buoyancy control, before taking a camera in the water. Yes, it's fun to have u/w pics to show your friends, but task overload can be a real problem for newly certified divers.

 

First, tell us what you want to do, take some low quality pictures, take better quality pictures, compete in contests, ...? The answer to your question will then be obvious.

 

Underwater photography is a hole in the ocean into which we throw money. Equipment is expensive. I have a garage full of crap that I went cheap on and later replaced with more expensive, better stuff. You can start with a little point/shoot, but you won't like the pics very much. You can move up the food chain by adding an underpowered, cheap strobe. Eventually, if you are serious about taking pictures underwater, you will buy a housing for your 7D, dual strobes, focus lights, lens ports, arms, etc.

 

After you get a few dives under your belt, consider buying an older, used dslr, housing, etc. There are many nice rigs out there, on sale for less than the 7D housing alone. [i know someone with an Olympus E-330,Ikelite housing, lenses, ports, dual strobes, etc. gathering dust because people are chasing the latest and greatest.]

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

jlyle.

 

Thank you for answer.

 

Seem like to me if I start saving now I began enough experience diver when I can afford to buy that housing.

You was right about that buoyancy control, is not the best

 

. I thing I will keep diving and keep saving money. (may better idea is to rob the bank :-) )

I can actually borrow the compact camera in that dive center.

 

I also try to search if somebody hiring housings and I can not find anybody in UK. What a shame.

 

Thank you for your time.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

As a beginner diver, I would suggest spend your money on dive trip instead of camera equipment. I know a guy that only have about 20 dives in a real sea environment, and he wants to do all the certification up to the dive master level and the dive shop would let him do it since all the certification is done at the lake.The way I see it is, those money could be well spend on some nice dive trip and help affirm if it's a true hobby that you want to get into before spending more unnecessary money, whether it's equipment or certification.

  • Like 1

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

I have a similar problem. While I understand that the focus must be on safety and enjoying the diving component, I would really like to have some decent photos of my trip next month. I don't think buying housing for my DSLR is feasible, but maybe it is? Would I be better off getting an inexpensive, easy-to-use underwater camera? If so, what kind? Maybe answers to these questions would help Arnie as well?

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

kc_moses.

 

I did my course in the sea coz i living on Jersey Chanel Island. That diving trip is great idea, I also do have a job opportunity in Maldives what i really thinking of.

I am going to do my advance diver course in next couple weeks. Start on Friday 13th, wish me luck guys.

 

I already decide to not to buy housing for DSLR but something cheaper.

 

 

NOW

 

How Mcsleepy99 said. What kind of camera?

Do you thing something like that

http://www.onebigdot.com/department/pc/viewPrd.asp?idcountry=218&idproduct=3616638&idcategory=0

gonna be enough or spend more ( for example Canon G15)

http://www.camerasunderwater.co.uk/compact/canon/powershot/g/wp-dc48

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Price wise it is hard to beat the deals on the olympus epm1 with housing and zoom gear for 500 as a starter to a system

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Listen to Jim - he is spot on. Taking decent pictures underwater requires a learning curve that is hard to master at the same time as the learning curve required to stay safe underwater.

 

Once (and only once) you can handle the basics of a dive on auto pilot without needing to think constantly about your gear, air, depth, and buoyancy, then you can add the additional tasks required for photography.

 

Then depending on your ambitions, you can think about what type of setup suits. I have seen many good photos taken with a point and shoot like the Canon S110 and a single strobe, and once you learn about white balance you can also get some fun video. Moving up to a dSLR and all the stuff required to make that work is a huge step.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

I see what you trying to say and it make sense.

 

If I buy something now (before I leave Jersey) it is gonna be cheeper for me coz low VAT. just 5% instead of 20.

That is all.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

I tried a cheaper camera around Sark many years ago. My photographs were very poor. For the Channel Islands, where diving can be tricky, you really need a mid-range camera with strobes (flashguns) and a fair amount of diving experience. Trying to concentrate on your air, swim in a current and take pictures is pretty stressful at first.

 

All that's still true in the Maldives but, as there is more light, a simpler camera and a colour filter for wide-angle shots makes photography a bit easier.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

For a beginning diver or a a beginning underwater photographer, the best way to get decent photos of your trip is to make friends with a more experienced photographer. :-) The next best way will be to pay someone from the dive center to take photos of/for you.

 

Yes, with dedication and picking he right subjects you can get half-way decent photographs even with a P&S without an external strobe. But it takes work. Lots of people seem to have the thought that just by buying the right camera they can "buy" better underwater photos, but it doesn't work that way. A better camera system allows you to develop your skills more, but it won't instantly make a difference.

 

So concentrate on your skills and buy beers for someone else and ask for copies of their photos. Most people will oblige.

  • Like 2

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Lots of people seem to have the thought that just by buying the right camera they can "buy" better underwater photos, but it doesn't work that way. A better camera system allows you to develop your skills more, but it won't instantly make a difference.

 

Too right. Even with 27 years of diving experience and 10+ taking photos, the limiting factor for me is not my equipment!

  • Like 2

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

That first one is pure and simple rubbish. (1) You'll outgrow it pretty soon and (2) it's, frankly, much too simple anyway for anything other than "Happy Snaps". If that's all you want it for (I'm willing to bet that you're not). why, go for it, otherwise save your money (you'd be lucky to get some of it back anyway).

 

As for the G15, do you know that the G16 has recently been released? Mind, I'm not necessarily saying that it's significantly better than the G15 but I happen to know that B&H New York currently have it at $US100 less than the projected price of the G16. It's not a bad camera, of its genre, but it's not the one I would buy in that circumstance. That would be the Canon S110 which has also just been superseded by the S120.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

I am a volunteer monitor of a fishway utilized by spawning alewives. I want to lower a video camera near the entrance to the fishway to observe what is going on. The camera would need to be lowered about 10' into 6-8' of somewhat turbid saltwater.

Any suggestions on equipment I would need and cost?

Thanks

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

 

I am a volunteer monitor of a fishway utilized by spawning alewives. I want to lower a video camera near the entrance to the fishway to observe what is going on. The camera would need to be lowered about 10' into 6-8' of somewhat turbid saltwater.

Any suggestions on equipment I would need and cost?

Thanks

I would advise you to again ask the questions on this forum but, this time, do so in an entirely separate thread. I say this because it will otherwise get drowned by the responses to the still camera questions, video and still cameras are still poles apart in their capabilities. :)

 

Your major question is intriguing but I would advise that you re-check your figures. Why would you want/need a camera with a depth of 10' when the maximum depth of the channel is apparently 6-8' or am I missing something, yet again, here?

Edited by ChristianG

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Thanks, how do I initiate a separate thread?

The fishway is constructed such that I can stand about 10' above the high tide water level of the fishway entrance. The water depth at high tide is about 6-8'.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Thanks, how do I initiate a separate thread

 

If I can do it, anybody can

1) Go to the head of this page and click on ...

Hmmmmmm, I haven't done it in so long that I can't remember.

It's bound to be blindingly simple, can someone else help please?

When you get there, remember to change your subject matter to something more pertinent, such as "Remote video camera for observing spawning alewives". That "remote" bit is important, people around here may otherwise assume you are a diver.

Edited by ChristianG

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Ok, just find some deals in DIVER MAGs.

That is the links, can you tell me witch camera and why?

http://www.cameraworld.co.uk/canon-powershot-g1x-underwater-kit.html

http://www.cameraworld.co.uk/canon--spowershot110-underwater-kit.html

 

I am also trying to find out if I can add strobe but cant find it.

 

Thanx for your time.

Your second link doesn't work, but....

 

The Canon G1X is not a great underwater camera for a beginner. You would think it would be great with a nice sized sensor, but it cannot focus very close -> poor macro capabilities.

 

The S110 is great from all reports. The S120 is out now (or soon) so you might get a good deal. Another alternative is the G15/16, which looks and handles more like the G1X but has the sensor of the S series (and similar optics).

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Hi.

I just start diving ( have had my 4th dive) and I would like to take my camera underwater but housing for a 7D is just to expensive.

What kind of camera I should buy to start with?

 

Thanx all

Never dive with a camera before 100 logs.. :lightbulb: Try shoot with your 7D on land with manual setting like mounting the 580, setting iso to 100, etc etc to gain experience. You may start an inexpensive camera later like the on sale Olympus EM1 set plus a strobe. Personally I will recommend a DC with RAW capability like G15/RX100

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Thanks Mark K. I am not worry about camera, I'm taking photos for least tham 4 years. 100? :-) that is mean another 83 to go. HIHI.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Hi Arnie,

 

In my opinion, go straight on your 7D. Once and for all if you gonna continue diving in future. Imagine, spend some money on P&S and later spend again on your 7D. You are already good with your 7D. I am like you, only 20 logged, but I shoot Nikon D90/Canon 7D on land for years. I got a used rig and it save me lot of money. Currently using Canon rebel XTI/400d in Ikelite housing with 2x DS125 strobes. 60mm macro & 10-22mm for wide angle. Just got another used ikelite 7D housing and the rest of the stuff remains. Looking forward to try the 7D housing.

Experiences:

-for the first dive trip, try to get familiar with viewing the tiny view finder. Imagine you are not viewing straight to your view finder now, you have housing, mask & some water in between your eye & viewfinder. I was struggling getting focus/composition at first. Try move your mask as close as possible to the housing's viewfinder will help. P&S uses live view which is pretty easier but the focus lag & shutter lag is unacceptable.

-buoyancy. I was struggling too getting buoyant while taking photos. I overcome this first by using the advantage of fast focus lock & shutter of dslr. Lock the focus first, then Framing your subject, then snap. It can happen in less than 1s. When you dive more and more with your rig, you will be familiar with your buoyant. Some might say you gotta master your buoyancy first before bringing your rig down but I find that its totally different when you dive normally & dive with your camera rig. You gotta familiar diving with your rig.

-4 divers/guide. I was the only photographer. The guide wont wait for you to take photograph as its not fair for others. I totally agreed. Try to merge with other photographer or get a private guide which cost you a little more money. Please the guide to find some subject for you, and concentrate shooting. Spend some 5-10 minutes snapping the same subject (Macro), sooner or later you will master the composition & strobe's position.

-strong current. It was very hard to snap on a strong current situation. You need to sync your kicking, buoyancy & photographing at once. Try to get your body close to the walls, or bottom. Sometimes you just gotta give up the subject in this situation, but try first. Again sooner or later you gonna master it.

-TTL. I found TTL is very helpful as I don't have to take care of the flash power. The only settings I change down there are aperture, shutter speed & strobe positioning. The other settings are all preset. On the later stage, you will need to change more setting like focus point, ISO & metering mode. You will have no problem with those setting once your familiar with your rig.

-Getting upset. I got some very annoying photos during my first dive trip with the rig. There are only a few ok-ok pictures which is long way near satisfactory. Dont get upset as you will definitely learn mistake from your first dive trip. Review your pic on each dive day and sure you will do better on your next dive day.

-Rig too negative. I found my rig is too negative (I dont know about others). It was very tiring holding the rig down there. Get a float arms or DIY something. I use 40mm thick wall PVC pipe with both end capped & cable tied on my arms. It works like a champ. My rig is now a little negative which is comfortable for me.

-dives site. Choose a macro dive sites if you like macro & vice versa. It does matter as you will have more opportunity on the subject you are looking for.

-Travel with the rig. Huge differences between travelling with P&S setup & dslr setup. If you go for dslr setup, be prepare with the weight & size.

 

I got some pretty satisfying pic for my 2nd dive trip as a reward of some hard work. Looking forward for my 3rd dive trip with my 7D rig. I hope my opinions & experiences are encouraging you go straight for 7D setup. Cheers.

 

CH

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Sponsors

Advertisements



×
×
  • Create New...