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plangstroth

Did lots of research considering Sony, but...

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Alright, I've spent counteless hours reading postings, reviews, and playing with cameras in the store. Here's what I have come up with:

 

Canons (A95, S70, S500) nice quality, but can't get passed the slow focusing. I actually owned a G5 and returned it for the Sony DSC-F828 just for that reason. They do seem to have a lot of underwater accessories available.

 

Fuji 810- Hard to find, and reports are mixed about poor battery life.

 

My choices: Sony DSC-W5 or DSC-P200, because they are super fast, excellent battery life, and large LCD's. I would probably lean toward the W5 since it uses "normal" batteries. I also like the small size to use the camera out of the water when I don't feel like bringing the DSC-F828 with me.

 

My dilemma: It doesn't look like a case is availabe for the P200, and I am having trouble finding out if there is a strobe that will work as well as a wide-angle lens (one thing the Canon has an advantage on).

 

Any suggestions on strobes and lenses that would work with the Sony DSC-W5 or P200?

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Why don't you house the F828? Ikelite does a housing for the camera, it will be larger than a P200's. Due to AF and shutter speed I would now buy an F828 in preference to my C8080 Oly (which I love in all other respects)

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Yes, Ike has a housing for the 828, and also is about to have one for the V3.

 

The P series does have manual exposure mode, which is good, but it lacks much adjustment range, or steps within that range.

 

To me, the V3 seems like it would be best, of the sonys out now. It does everything the 828 does, except the zoom range.

 

Don

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The reason I don't get a housing for the F828 is because that housing would cost more than buying a new small camera and case. I'd rather have an additional small camera too.

 

I also worry about a leak killing my F828. I'd rather risk a cheaper camera.

 

Any thoughts on a Strobe or WAL?

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Fuji 810- Hard to find, and reports are mixed about poor battery life.

 

Battery life i don't know about but as for availability... If you live in the states http://www.buydig.com/shop/product.aspx?sku=FJFPF810 has it for cheaper than anywhere i've found (including ebay) and ikelite is coming out with a housing for it any time now (i think). Fuji makes a housing though and inon has all the adapters for different lenses.

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I'm also interested in the Sony P-200, essentially for the size advantage. Main problem is that there is no housing yet, according to user feedback the P-150 housing does not fit.

 

Any other opinions about the suitability or not of this camera for scuba use ?

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Yes. The P200 should be pretty good, for such a small cam. Very quick focus and shutter lag. And it does have full manual exposure mode, so you can use it with a manual external flash. I've heard that the exposure adjustments, even in manual mode, do not cover a wide range of shutter speeds and f-stops, and maybe don't have enough steps along the range they have, but don't know for sure.

 

The beauty of ikelite housings, is that you can completely see all the seals, after assembly, so it really kills that worry about flooding. I've used my nikon n90s in an ike for over 12-13 years now, and (knock on wood) never a drop, or a worry about it.

 

The 828 would be great, in terms of FAST autofocus and shutter release, and you could shoot raw mode, which is a huge win underwater, so that you can easily adjust the WB, in post, and don't have to worry about it at all during shooting. RAW really is important, if you can get it.

 

Don

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I have a Sony DSC 717 in an Ikelite housing and have been really satisfied with it. I haven't had any leakage problems - as long as you mount the camera correctly there shouldn't be an issue - and you can see through the acrylic. There are some pros and cons. Due to the way the 707/717/828 focus they have a flat port on the housing and Ikelite does not make a wide angle lens for the housing (apparantly you would have focusing problems or large areas of "halo"). Strobes however, are easy to set up to the ike housing. For a smaller camera and small housing (like a Sony brand housing) most models have an external wide angle lens that can be attached. I am not sure of the strobe capability, although many of the smaller sonys have the slave flash option, which does work underwater with slave-able strobes. One final thought is that while the 828 has the high 8 mpix resolution, u derwater this may actually work against it - as the additional pixels may pick up more color from the water resulting in a lot of noise. Then again - thats what post-processing is for...Just a few thoughts, hope they help...

 

regards...

 

- MP

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