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Dave H

CP5000 - the BEST of the REST?

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Is the CP5000 still the best consumer digital camera for underwater use?

 

There’s all these new 8 megapixel camera’s hitting the market (such as the Coolpix 8000 and Olympus 8080) and I know that a lot of people are considering upgrading their current underwater camera set ups (such as the CP5000 and the Olympus c5050 & 60) to one of the new 8mp models…

 

The question I’d ask is WHY???

 

I’m still not convinced that there is any real need for the purchase of any of these new 8mp cameras. In my view the CP5000 is still the best digital camera for underwater use, it is extremely versatile for macro and wide angle, especially when you add the 19mm Nikon WA lens. I’ve seen pics that have come out of the coolpix that leave some of the DSLR shots for dead…

 

I’m also been really impressed by some of the shots that I have seen come out of the Olympus c5050, I think both these two camera’s are still leading the way for underwater usage in the consumaer digicam market.

 

There’s two things I like to see in the next generation of consumer digital camera’s:

1. No shutter lag

2. Quick write time for Raw files

 

When a new consumer level digital camera has these features then it might be time to consider upgrading… until then I'm sticking with the CP5000.

 

Anyone have any thoughts that might convince me otherwise?

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Thanks for the link Peter (Hadn't seen that post as I don't read the DSLR foum).

 

I agree with the comments made by James and Alex:

There's no sense upgrading if you're happy with the results you are getting now. The longer you wait afterall, the better the systems will become.

 

I still don't think the new 8mp camera's will be as good underwater as the CP5000 and c5050. Hopefully in the next year or so Nikon or Olympus will develop a consumer digicam that has almost zero shutter lag.

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My dive buddy and I have used CP5000s and Subal CP5 housings now for 18 months. We love the combination BUT..... :D

 

Between us we have three CP5000 cameras and five batteries. All three cameras have developed the same problem: the cameras now won't sometimes wake from sleep mode, once switched on and off, the camera reactivates but pressing the shutter release does not activate the focussing - or anything else. The cameras will not take pics. The problem seems to intensify after being in the housing. Changing batteries makes no difference. Each camera has taken around 7000 pics.

 

Two of the the three have been returned to Nikon but this has not solved the problem. There does not seem to be anything wrong with the housings - both of which came from Seaoptics. Two cameras came from Seaoptics; one from Amazon US.

 

We don't think the problem is condensation.

 

Anyone any experience of this problem which is really causing us distress? I'm planning to switch to a D100/Subal but the experience with the CP5000s is holding me back.

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What firmware version are you using? It may help to reinstall the firmware.

 

You can download the file and instructions from the Nikon Coolpix website.

 

Cheers

James

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Thanks James, I'm using the latest version but will do a re-load and see what happens.

 

Tim

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Tim....this might help :D

 

Don't know which batteries you are using, but I used the newest Lenmar Hi-Power batteries which are 750mAh. I still changed after every dive, but I could actually get 2 dives with these batteries.

 

The standard EN-EL1 Nikon battery has somewhere around 650mAh.

 

http://www.lenmar.com/product_list.asp?pro...category=11,17#

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FYI:

You can read the full post here: http://forums.dpreview.com/forums/read.asp...message=5509827

 

I did a test with the EN-EL1 batteries for my CP 5000. I have two batteries, one is rated at 650mAh and the other is 680mAh, both are Nikon brand. I charged them in the Nikon charger (MH-53) to make sure they have a full charge then I ran them through my Maha C777Plus charger/analyzer to see what the rating is for each battery. The 650mAh analyzed at 682mAh and the 680mAh analyzed at 734mAh. Also one thing I've heard is that the Nikon chargers don't do a 100% charge, they do about 95%. So I recharged them in the Nikon charger and when the charger said it was done I put it into the Maha charger. The 650mAh charged another 86mAh and the 680mAh charged an addtional 66mAh (roughly 10%).

 

Nikon under-rates their batteries and other brands either overrate them or rate them as they are. In the end I think they are all about the same (they are probably made by the exact same company).

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Talking about batteries and the CP5000,I have been having really poor performance with my Nikon CP5000 batteries and I wonder if anyone can shed any light. I always dive on a full charge,and usually get some 30 shots before the LCD starts to show a low battery indicator. This seems to me to be an anomaly. I still need to do some proper tests, but I was wondering whether my charger might be faulty and not charging the batteries fully!

 

Any opinions welcome.

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Unfortunately, that sounds about right.....with the low battery symbol showing, there is still quite a bit of life left...I was always able to get at least 1 long dive on a set...although it was close a few times :D

 

I've never tested the actual charge on my batteries, but I can say that I definitely got better performance with the higher power batteries and chargers that are available....I have only used Lenmar and have had good success

 

I set my sleep mode pretty short also...that LCD really sucks up the battery

 

Karl

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Thanks guys. I'm not sure the battery is the cause of the problem - but it is worth looking into. We have 5 batteries between us - although they are all Nikon ones.

 

My dive buddy has reloaded the firmware and is waiting to jump overboard to see if it has worked. The problem always seems to develop - or worsen - when actually in the water: hence me wondering whether condensation might be an issue.

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On the subject of battery performance, I have run a bit of a test.

 

The same battery (original Nikon) that gave me 30 shots underwater before showing the "low" indicator, gave me more than 70 shots on land, many of which using both red-eye and internal flash, before showing the low battery warning! For the test I tried to "simulate" the same underwater usage profile....basically a 30 sec LCD timeout, and shots in quick succession followed by no shots for a few minutes, over a period of an hour or so.

 

The only reason I can think of for this is that somehow the external strobe is draining the battery. Does this make sense to anyone?

 

I use a single YS-90DX and an Aquatica housing, by the way.

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On the subject of battery performance, I have run a bit of a test.  

 

The same battery (original Nikon) that gave me 30 shots underwater before showing the "low" indicator, gave me more than 70 shots on land, many of which using both red-eye and internal flash, before showing the low battery warning!  For the test I tried to "simulate" the same underwater usage profile....basically a 30 sec LCD timeout, and shots in quick succession followed by no shots for a few minutes, over a period of an hour or so.

 

The only reason I can think of for this is that somehow the external strobe is draining the battery.  Does this make sense to anyone?

 

I use a single YS-90DX and an Aquatica housing, by the way.

Woody, what is the water temp where you are doing the test? Temperature directly affects battery performance.

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At the moment, the water temperature is roughly between 18 and 21 degrees centigrade, so not too cold.

 

The air temperature, on the other hand, is some 32 degrees.

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Just a thought, how many images have you taken with your Coolpixs? The problems I outlined above started on the three cameras my buddy and I have between us after around 7000 images.

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Not more than a couple of thousand, at most. Though one battery might be older than that, coming from my previous CP995.

 

But I am beginning to suspect that I may have an intermittent problem with the charger. I may purchase a new, more "intelligent" one (multi voltage, trickle current etc) and see how it goes.

 

John

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Woody, which charger are you using, the 995 charger or the 5000?

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The 5000 one.

 

BTW I noticed that the charge time of the 5000 is much faster than the old 995 charger

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The reason I asked is because there were problem with the 995 charger before they started shipping them with the MH-53. The problem units were the MH-51 I believe.

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How long do you think the CP5000 will be a good choice for UW use? Currently, I have a 995. I'd like to do a small upgrade, although I can't go wild cause I just don't take that many pics and I don't get into the manual adjustments very much. I found a pretty sweet deal on a very lightly used CP5000 setup that won't seem to cost me very much, after I sell the 995. Will that be a worthy upgrade? I only dive a few times a year at the most, but I'd certainly like to have a nice camera setup to take down.

 

How much do used housing for the CP5000 cost? I remember reading a year or two ago (on this site) that the CP5000 was very popular and so I'm hoping maybe there's a few members who will eventually be upgrading their equipment.

 

Thanks in advance,

 

Aaron

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Aaron,

I really like mine for messing around. I tend to like wide angle over telephoto and that is where this camera shines. A must is to get the 19mm wide angle conversion lens. I saw another thread the other day on this board where someone was asking to buy a used cp5k housing and I think there were five replys. I don't think you'll have a problem finding a used housing.

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