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picxie
08-03-2007, 20:23
What's a nice camera for a beginner? Nothing too big or complicated, something reasonably cheap. Preferably digital and under $500 (or is that too much to ask?).

TxHockeyGuy
08-03-2007, 21:48
There are several cameras on the ScubaToys site that are in that price range. You could also put together a canon a series camera and housing for around that price too, but you'll have to look to purchase it somewhere other than ScubaToys (unless Larry has been holding out on us!). I went with an a series and canon housing. I added a tray, arm, and strobe which puts me way over your $500 budget but you can take great pics under the right conditions with a pretty basic underwater camera IF you know how. Just make sure to get one that supports manual white balance.

Wolfie2012
08-03-2007, 22:23
you can get an Olympus SP-350 & olympus housing for about $350/$400 last I checked. Strobe will put you higher but you may not need one right away anyway :)

Sweet camera, 8.1 mp, jpg or raw or both. My pics in the gallery were taken with it.

Venio
08-03-2007, 22:25
I'm a noob in both diving and UW photography. I was interested in the same question so I did my research. At first I thought I'll by a film cam for starter. Now I'm glad I didn't opted for that. My second choice was a cheap Chinese no name brand. They come with a housing and from distance they look like id they are real :smiley2:. The problem with them is that they are missing essential for the UW photography features like manual withe balance, or at least it's not mention in their description.

A member on other board suggested to me to look for cheap new housing first and then see what posumer camera will fit it. I followed his advice and find out that Olympus is selling their older models housings on eBay, rather cheap, $10-40, for a brand spanking new one! Currently they have the PT-019, PT-020, PT-021 and PT-032. Those will fit C-5000, C-5060, D-575/580 and Stylus 700/710.

The main problem, or not, is that all these are discontinued models, If you are lucky to have one, awesome! If not, you'll have to buy an used one, as I did. The best camera from the above is C-5060. However it's almost identical to the three times cheaper C-5000 which I got. I had spent 160$ for the camera, housing and brand new battery. Cheaper then just any housing for a newer model in a store.

The reason I decided to go this path is not only that it is much cheaper but also because the quality of the camera is close to the new model cameras. Also I would no cry for too long if I accidentally flood it. The camera will let me sample the UW photography without sacrificing quality and if that is something I decide to get serious in it, I'll upgrade.

Hope my story didn't bored you :smiley9:!

ScubaToys Larry
08-03-2007, 22:25
I'm so PO'd at canon right now, I'd never carry their stuff!

The web cam in the shop is a canon that has worked fine for the last 2 years. Now starts hanging... but on one computer it works fine... on another not. I talk to their tech folks.. No idea.

Then I found someone who knew what was going on at a retail shop - the camera software was written (poorly) in java, and they used code that is now not compatible with the Java 6 that is out. So the camera just locks up for anyone with that version.

I call canon... they basically finally say, "well yea.. that is causing it, but we don't have any solution, but that camera is already 3 years old... nothing we can do. No software update, no firmware upgrade, no trade in program."

So a product that I bought 3 years ago for $1800 is now a paper weight. I talked to supervisor after supervisor... all useless - no concept of customer service. Even made one pop up the article on me in Entrepreneur magazine (http://www.scubatoys.com/entrepreneur.pdf) on using the web cam - told them that I get calls all the time because of the article, and I'll tell everyone canon is a POS... they said.. Oh well.

Sorry... been on the phone with them for 3 hours to zero satisfaction and just the word cannon made me go off...

Oh... but the short version is I don't think I'll be carrying cannon. :smiley29:

WaterRat
08-03-2007, 22:33
I can only speak from the Canon point of view. I have an old A75 with the canon housing and I love the set up. Easy to use and get great pictures. Well at least they're great to me. With point and shoot underwater setups, most people are either in the Olympus or Canon corner. Which ever you decide on get a huge memory card like 2 gigs. Shoot in the highest resolution so you can crop the pictures and don't open the camera on the boat or near water.

Ron

WaterRat
08-03-2007, 22:38
I'm so PO'd at canon right now, I'd never carry their stuff!

The web cam in the shop is a canon that has worked fine for the last 2 years. Now starts hanging... but on one computer it works fine... on another not. I talk to their tech folks.. No idea.

Then I found someone who knew what was going on at a retail shop - the camera software was written (poorly) in java, and they used code that is now not compatible with the Java 6 that is out. So the camera just locks up for anyone with that version.

I call canon... they basically finally say, "well yea.. that is causing it, but we don't have any solution, but that camera is already 3 years old... nothing we can do. No software update, no firmware upgrade, no trade in program."

So a product that I bought 3 years ago for $1800 is now a paper weight. I talked to supervisor after supervisor... all useless - no concept of customer service. Even made one pop up the article on me in Entrepreneur magazine (http://www.scubatoys.com/entrepreneur.pdf) on using the web cam - told them that I get calls all the time because of the article, and I'll tell everyone canon is a POS... they said.. Oh well.

Sorry... been on the phone with them for 3 hours to zero satisfaction and just the word cannon made me go off...

Oh... but the short version is I don't think I'll be carrying cannon. :smiley29:

I work in the hi-tech space and this is all too common. The technology changes so fast and they stop support after a couple new revs come out. Very fast planned obsolesence. Canon's just trying to get more revnue from you. :hump9:

Ron

TxHockeyGuy
08-04-2007, 00:06
I'm so PO'd at canon right now, I'd never carry their stuff!

The web cam in the shop is a canon that has worked fine for the last 2 years. Now starts hanging... but on one computer it works fine... on another not. I talk to their tech folks.. No idea.

Then I found someone who knew what was going on at a retail shop - the camera software was written (poorly) in java, and they used code that is now not compatible with the Java 6 that is out. So the camera just locks up for anyone with that version.

I call canon... they basically finally say, "well yea.. that is causing it, but we don't have any solution, but that camera is already 3 years old... nothing we can do. No software update, no firmware upgrade, no trade in program."

So a product that I bought 3 years ago for $1800 is now a paper weight. I talked to supervisor after supervisor... all useless - no concept of customer service. Even made one pop up the article on me in Entrepreneur magazine (http://www.scubatoys.com/entrepreneur.pdf) on using the web cam - told them that I get calls all the time because of the article, and I'll tell everyone canon is a POS... they said.. Oh well.

Sorry... been on the phone with them for 3 hours to zero satisfaction and just the word cannon made me go off...

Oh... but the short version is I don't think I'll be carrying cannon. :smiley29:

Unfortunately that's how the industry works. If only we had more people like you at these big companies things wouldn't be this way. I have long considered that any product I purchase will work only with what is available today and anything it depends upon that can be upgraded will more than likely break it and the vendor will not fix it. It's sad but no other vendor will be treating you any better. Now, if you were really smart you'd open up a ticket number, post that here on the forum, with an email address or link to cannon tech support and let the board members lay into them. After all, you should use the cult you started. At the very least you could get some satisfaction in knowing that after dealing with all of us they wouldn't be making any profit on that $1800 camera you bought. :smiley2:

Wolfie2012
08-04-2007, 00:16
The main problem, or not, is that all these are discontinued models, If you are lucky to have one, awesome! If not, you'll have to buy an used one, as I did.

Also don't forget that Olympus has a pretty good refurbished program. I saved a lot of cash by buying my SP-350 as a refurbished model!

torrey
08-04-2007, 01:38
Another Oly SP-350 user here. So far, no problems, but I've only had it in the water a handful of times. Use it all the time on land, though. I paid $200 for the camera and $185 for the housing, both new. I'm sure you could get them a lot cheaper now though.

picxie
08-04-2007, 03:28
you can get an Olympus SP-350 & olympus housing for about $350/$400 last I checked. Strobe will put you higher but you may not need one right away anyway :)

Sweet camera, 8.1 mp, jpg or raw or both. My pics in the gallery were taken with it.

Do you have a link or suggestion on where I could get that price? I had a look through google and came up with that price just for the camera.

picxie
08-04-2007, 03:32
I'm a noob in both diving and UW photography. I was interested in the same question so I did my research. At first I thought I'll by a film cam for starter. Now I'm glad I didn't opted for that. My second choice was a cheap Chinese no name brand. They come with a housing and from distance they look like id they are real :smiley2:. The problem with them is that they are missing essential for the UW photography features like manual withe balance, or at least it's not mention in their description.

A member on other board suggested to me to look for cheap new housing first and then see what posumer camera will fit it. I followed his advice and find out that Olympus is selling their older models housings on eBay, rather cheap, $10-40, for a brand spanking new one! Currently they have the PT-019, PT-020, PT-021 and PT-032. Those will fit C-5000, C-5060, D-575/580 and Stylus 700/710.

The main problem, or not, is that all these are discontinued models, If you are lucky to have one, awesome! If not, you'll have to buy an used one, as I did. The best camera from the above is C-5060. However it's almost identical to the three times cheaper C-5000 which I got. I had spent 160$ for the camera, housing and brand new battery. Cheaper then just any housing for a newer model in a store.

The reason I decided to go this path is not only that it is much cheaper but also because the quality of the camera is close to the new model cameras. Also I would no cry for too long if I accidentally flood it. The camera will let me sample the UW photography without sacrificing quality and if that is something I decide to get serious in it, I'll upgrade.

Hope my story didn't bored you :smiley9:!

No, didn't bore me! Was very informative, thankyou :smiley20:

I've had a look on Ebay and the seller will only ship USA/Canada, so that rules me out. It seems I can get the 710 camera here new (we're a bit behind the times!!!) on a local trading site similar to Ebay, but would still have to get the housing. I'd probably also prefer to get them both at the same time, so I know I'm not stuck with half the set with just a chance of getting the other half, plus if I get it from over there then shipping adds up if I have to send things seperately.

Dive-aholic
08-04-2007, 06:25
Search around and get a camera and housing set that you can get separate. They say there are 2 kinds of UW photographers - those that have flooded their camera and those that will. I learned my lesson the hard way with my first camera. I bought a set. Well, I ended up flooding the camera about a year and a half later. I couldn't buy a replacement camera. They don't sell them in the U.S. and there's no way to get one here through a foreign market. I wasn't very happy with this. Fortunately, I was able to buy a refurb from an authorized repair shop, but it cost me quite a bit. Since then, I've bought a couple more cameras, both separate. That way if the camera gets flooded, I just buy a new one.

downunder
08-04-2007, 07:08
I highly recommed the Sony housings. I am on my second, as I upgraded my camera once. I currently use the DSC-N1 8.1 MP. The beauty is that it is a nice general camera, then snap the $125 housing on and it's an awesome underwater camera. I really like the ability to instantly switch from 8.1 MP digital camera to taking movies underwater in a snap. The screen is HUGE so it is easy to point and shoot too!

http://www.sonystyle.com/webapp/wcs/stores/servlet/ProductDisplay?catalogId=10551&storeId=10151&langId=-1&productId=11039323

The 10MP version that is now out (have had mine for awhile) is about $300 on the net! (direct is always more expensive)

http://www.sonystyle.com/webapp/wcs/stores/servlet/ProductDisplay?catalogId=10551&storeId=10151&langId=-1&productId=11040733

Also, they make the marine pak for several other digitals.

Dabaras
08-04-2007, 08:31
If you can fit it in the budget, I recommend trying to go up to the Ikelite housing instead of the camera brand housing. This is especially true if there is TTL circuitry available. While you may not want to start with a strobe, you will likely want one eventually, and the TTL is far better than the slave options out there.

Wolfie2012
08-04-2007, 11:26
PT-030 - 179.89 (http://www.tristatecamera.com/LookAtAll-d0ep8dlg-OLYPT030-3-002200160063-0-store.php.html)
SP-350 - 199.99 (http://www.tristatecamera.com/LookAtAll-d0ep8dlg-OLYSP350R-1-0029-0-store.php.html)

SP-350 - 199.00 (http://www.trusteddealer.com/products.asp?product_id=12160)

I gave you a second link for the SP-350 just in case Tristate (the first two links) doesn't have one currently in stock. I bought mine from there so I know they're reputable.

The other link (which says they have the SP-350 in stock) is from a place called Trusted Source. I've heard good things about them but don't have any personal experience with their service.

You'll also probably want an upgraded memory card so you have more space for pictures. This is the one I got: 2GB type-H (http://www.amazon.com/gp/product/B000M73ERC/105-8398469-6390847). It's $52 but you could get a smaller capacity card for much less. type-H cards are faster (and better) than type-M cards.



you can get an Olympus SP-350 & olympus housing for about $350/$400 last I checked. Strobe will put you higher but you may not need one right away anyway :)

Sweet camera, 8.1 mp, jpg or raw or both. My pics in the gallery were taken with it.

Do you have a link or suggestion on where I could get that price? I had a look through google and came up with that price just for the camera.

Big Mike
08-04-2007, 17:41
I'm fairly new to u/w photog and I found the Sea & Sea from, (guess where) Scuba Toys. Good camera, Good Support from Scuba Toys (needed a part). It's worth the time to check it out.

Dive-aholic
08-04-2007, 23:47
My only caution on the Sea & Sea is it may be difficult to get a replacement camera when you flood the housing.

Roboray
08-07-2007, 03:43
Just posted a question in the Photo equipment post then came here and got the info I needed....Guess I need to look around before asking HuH!:smiley29:

Wolfie2012
08-07-2007, 08:22
Just posted a question in the Photo equipment post then came here and got the info I needed....Guess I need to look around before asking HuH!:smiley29:

Nobody is going to shoot you here for asking a question twice! :) Glad you found what you were looking for! :smiley20:

AggieDad
08-19-2007, 22:07
I would highly recommend the Oly SP-350 with the Oly housing. I have (had) two. One piece of advice...the MOST dangerous place for a underwater camera is .....not underwater but in the rinse tank on the boat. I know of three camera's including mine that have been bumped in the tank and just barely breaks the seal. Next dive...bye bye.
As far as the camera...Tim Blanton the resident pro at CocoView Resort using one for 99% of his work. The read time if taking pictures in RAW is very slow but it takes great pictures. DO NOT buy Hybrid batteries that say 1.2 v on the side. Both of my cameras sensed low voltage and shut down. The camera eats batteries. Get the best rechargable in full 1.5 V and you can usually get through one dive depending upon how many photo's you take. I started really trying to compose my shots and could get two boat dives done. If you open the case on the boat, it will fog on the next dive due to humidity but that applies to all cameras.

I have a Oly C-8080, Oly SP-350 and a Canon Rebel XTI (not underwater yet - housing cost $2800 for that one).

torrey
08-20-2007, 15:28
DO NOT buy Hybrid batteries that say 1.2 v on the side. Both of my cameras sensed low voltage and shut down. The camera eats batteries. Get the best rechargable in full 1.5 V and you can usually get through one dive depending upon how many photo's you take. I started really trying to compose my shots and could get two boat dives done.

Are you using AA's or CRV-3's? I bought rechargeable CRV-3's when I got my SP-350 and those batteries last a long time. The only drawback is that you won't get a low-battery warning. The warning is caused by the voltage drop you typically get as AA's run down, but CRV-3's crank out consistent voltage until they die so it will just shut off all of a sudden unless you switch them out regularly. Nice thing about CRV-3's also is that they won't lose memory either from constantly recharging before they completely run down, so I like to always keep them fully charged.

dbsea
08-20-2007, 16:14
I have had great results with the Nikon Coolpix. Scubatoys has it with the Ikelite housing. This compact camera is also great for land!

georoc01
08-24-2007, 09:18
I bought a reefmaster Mini as my first underwater camera and am happy with the results so far. As a new diver as well, there is a learning curve with the whole process, but each trip my pix appear to be getting better.

Still have too many turtle butt pix though. Need to keep working on that one.

DiverBob
08-30-2007, 20:36
My first UW digital was the Sealife DC-150. I upgraded to the Sealife DC500 with external strobe last year from ST. They now make the DC600 and ST has a nice bundle package with the external strobe. You can purchase nice wide angle and macro lenses for this camera. I can not emphasize the improvement of picture quality when using the external strobe. Helps eliminate backscatter and gives adequate light in low light conditions. It really make the colors pop in sponges and corals.

ScubaToys link: http://www.scubatoys.com/store/detail.asp?product_id=SeaLifeDC600proKit

Charlotte Smith
08-31-2007, 06:27
I'm so PO'd at canon right now, I'd never carry their stuff!

The web cam in the shop is a canon that has worked fine for the last 2 years. Now starts hanging... but on one computer it works fine... on another not. I talk to their tech folks.. No idea.

Then I found someone who knew what was going on at a retail shop - the camera software was written (poorly) in java, and they used code that is now not compatible with the Java 6 that is out. So the camera just locks up for anyone with that version.

I call canon... they basically finally say, "well yea.. that is causing it, but we don't have any solution, but that camera is already 3 years old... nothing we can do. No software update, no firmware upgrade, no trade in program."

So a product that I bought 3 years ago for $1800 is now a paper weight. I talked to supervisor after supervisor... all useless - no concept of customer service. Even made one pop up the article on me in Entrepreneur magazine (http://www.scubatoys.com/entrepreneur.pdf) on using the web cam - told them that I get calls all the time because of the article, and I'll tell everyone canon is a POS... they said.. Oh well.

Sorry... been on the phone with them for 3 hours to zero satisfaction and just the word cannon made me go off...

Oh... but the short version is I don't think I'll be carrying cannon. :smiley29:




Can't say I blame you...i tried to use your webcam with a brand new computer and it didn't work for me either.....I thought it might be Vista screwing it all up.....

Divegirl
09-01-2007, 00:22
Sealife, check it out on scuba toys, also on another thread

AggieDad
09-03-2007, 21:51
DO NOT buy Hybrid batteries that say 1.2 v on the side. Both of my cameras sensed low voltage and shut down. The camera eats batteries. Get the best rechargable in full 1.5 V and you can usually get through one dive depending upon how many photo's you take. I started really trying to compose my shots and could get two boat dives done.

Are you using AA's or CRV-3's? I bought rechargeable CRV-3's when I got my SP-350 and those batteries last a long time. The only drawback is that you won't get a low-battery warning. The warning is caused by the voltage drop you typically get as AA's run down, but CRV-3's crank out consistent voltage until they die so it will just shut off all of a sudden unless you switch them out regularly. Nice thing about CRV-3's also is that they won't lose memory either from constantly recharging before they completely run down, so I like to always keep them fully charged.

I was using the AA Hybrids rated at 1.2 V. I could get about 10 pictures and the camera would sense low voltage and shutdown. Tim Blanton sold me a CRV-3 that lasted several dives.

divechaplain-sara
09-04-2007, 02:10
If you truly want a beginner's camera, to try out and see if you like underwater photography and want to invest more then let me recommend the Snap Sights Reusable Waterproof Sport Utility Camera. It retails for $20-25 and comes preloaded with film and batteries. I took the following picture with that camera at the Flower Gardens back in May. The quality is deteriorated some from shrinking the picture to upload.

picxie
09-04-2007, 04:43
If you truly want a beginner's camera, to try out and see if you like underwater photography and want to invest more then let me recommend the Snap Sights Reusable Waterproof Sport Utility Camera. It retails for $20-25 and comes preloaded with film and batteries. I took the following picture with that camera at the Flower Gardens back in May. The quality is deteriorated some from shrinking the picture to upload.

Actually I bought one of those last year and it is good for a basic beginner's camera. I found the colours and lighting weren't the best which is why I wanted something a little more technical. And I'd quite like a digital too. Haven't decided what to get yet, have loads of time to decide.

divechaplain-sara
09-04-2007, 13:26
I want to upgrade too, but for right now this meets my budget. Once I've got the car and house paid off then I plan to buy what I really want, so I'll make do with this for the next couple of years. On my last dive trip, I saw the pictures that some of the other divers made who had the more expensive gear and they were quite impressive (great to be able to share digital pics immediately). However, when I looked at my pictures in comparrision, I had some really good pictures too. I think the biggest portion of the difference in quality between my pictures and their lay with them being more experienced/better divers and photographers than I am rather than the equipement used.

Geekybiker
10-10-2007, 11:06
I highly recommend the fujifilm line of cameras.
I have a f30, but the f20, f30, or even the f10 series are all spectacular low light performers. The f30 series has a good 2 stops better sensitivity with similar noise than its closest P&S competitor. It comes with an underwater mode that does make the photos look significantly better if you dont want to fuss around in photoshop. The housing isnt horribly expensive either.

BobArnold8265
10-10-2007, 14:07
The new Canon G9 or Nikon P5100 would be great choices. They're both $500 or less, can be set to automatic so very easy to use for a beginner. Inexpensive housings will be available for both. Finally, they can "grow" with you if you expand your skills. Both have advanced settings (including fully manual), have hotshoes for direct connection to a strobe and Ikelite is going to make housings for them. They're very good for both the beginner and more advanced phototographers.

tbg0519
12-27-2007, 10:22
Just got a housing for my Canon SD 750. Now I just have go get a 7mm to survive the cold water to play with it.

Puffer Fish
01-24-2008, 07:47
I highly recommend the fujifilm line of cameras.
I have a f30, but the f20, f30, or even the f10 series are all spectacular low light performers. The f30 series has a good 2 stops better sensitivity with similar noise than its closest P&S competitor. It comes with an underwater mode that does make the photos look significantly better if you dont want to fuss around in photoshop. The housing isnt horribly expensive either.
Yesterday, Fuji presented the specs on a new camera:

The F100..

The list of specifications would seem to make this an almost perfect UW camera:

1. 12 meg sensor

2. 28mm lens

3. f stop increased range to 3.3 - 14.4 for wide angle.

4. Full manual controls.

5. Increased dynamic range (like the S5). (this one I have to see to believe).

6. faster processing and less lag...

Will this have an underwater case? Would expect so, but don't know. In the pictures, there is a dial missing, and if that is now a touch screen, that could be a problem.

Given the low cost history of the f series, this may be one heck of a deal.... now just have to wait 6 months.

RoyN
02-04-2008, 22:41
Just got my tax return back. :D finally got my new Canon Powershot A650 and the housing that comes with it. Now comes 12megapixel of raw power. And soon, either the YS-27 or the YS-110 coming soon to RoyN.

diver 85
04-16-2008, 23:56
Take a look @ the Canon A570 or the newer A710......here are some pics taken with it(the A570)....no external strobe.....

GEAUXtiger/UW PS Pics - Photobucket - Video and Image Hosting (http://s176.photobucket.com/albums/w169/GEAUXtiger/UW%20PS%20Pics/)

RoyN
04-17-2008, 01:48
Take a look @ the Canon A570 or the newer A710......here are some pics taken with it(the A570)....no external strobe.....

GEAUXtiger/UW PS Pics - Photobucket - Video and Image Hosting (http://s176.photobucket.com/albums/w169/GEAUXtiger/UW%20PS%20Pics/)

Wow! And no strobe! :smiley20: :smiley32:

lisacay
04-17-2008, 11:16
you can get an Olympus SP-350 & olympus housing for about $350/$400 last I checked. Strobe will put you higher but you may not need one right away anyway :)

Sweet camera, 8.1 mp, jpg or raw or both. My pics in the gallery were taken with it.

Do you have a link or suggestion on where I could get that price? I had a look through google and came up with that price just for the camera.
Check ebay and seller Olympus Auctions. It is actually Olympus selling refurbished camera. Got one under 200. The housing is discontinued but ebay may alsohave them. I got a demo one from Reefphoto.com.

diver 85
04-26-2008, 10:31
Take a look @ the Canon A570 or the newer A710......here are some pics taken with it(the A570)....no external strobe.....

GEAUXtiger/UW PS Pics - Photobucket - Video and Image Hosting (http://s176.photobucket.com/albums/w169/GEAUXtiger/UW%20PS%20Pics/)

.......error here, I meant the A720(newer model).........

tbg0519
05-02-2008, 14:23
Went to the local quarry last weekend, got some nice pics of local wildlife. These fish are definitely not camera shy.

elijahb
05-02-2008, 22:39
sea life reef master mini seems like a decent camera
waterproof to 130ft no housing needed!!!
you can add a strobe to the package to if you want!

diver 85
07-09-2008, 23:44
Canon A5seventyIS with Canon UW housing if you can find one theses days........about $300 US for both.........

mitsuguy
09-04-2008, 08:12
I didn't read this whole thread, but I thought I'd throw one out there - my recent purchase... Olympus 1030SW, got for $300 straight from Oly, then the Oly housing (it's half the size of the ikelite housing) for $189...

The biggest benefit of this combination (and any of the other SW cameras) is that they are waterproof by themselves... So, if for whatever reason the housing were to flood, or if you just wanted to open the housing while on the boat, you wouldn't have to worry about it... The 1030 is depth rated to 33 feet, so on certain dives you could take it by itself... (most of their cameras are only rated to 10 feet)...

forgot to add - it is also a ~relatively~ wide angle lens, at 28mm equivalent

Just something to think about...

chace_nicole
09-04-2008, 16:44
I highly recommend the fujifilm line of cameras.
I have a f30, but the f20, f30, or even the f10 series are all spectacular low light performers. The f30 series has a good 2 stops better sensitivity with similar noise than its closest P&S competitor. It comes with an underwater mode that does make the photos look significantly better if you dont want to fuss around in photoshop. The housing isnt horribly expensive either.


I have the F20 & love it! I second the great low light performer. I do wonder if they make UW housing for it, I would love to make my f20 an UW camera for my upcoming trip. I searched & came up with the f30 housing. A couple of websites say the f20 will fit in the f30 housing, but I think I will email fuji before I purchase the housing.

caroln
09-04-2008, 17:53
I didn't read this whole thread, but I thought I'd throw one out there - my recent purchase... Olympus 1030SW, got for $300 straight from Oly, then the Oly housing (it's half the size of the ikelite housing) for $189...

The biggest benefit of this combination (and any of the other SW cameras) is that they are waterproof by themselves... So, if for whatever reason the housing were to flood, or if you just wanted to open the housing while on the boat, you wouldn't have to worry about it... The 1030 is depth rated to 33 feet, so on certain dives you could take it by itself... (most of their cameras are only rated to 10 feet)...

forgot to add - it is also a ~relatively~ wide angle lens, at 28mm equivalent

Just something to think about...

I have the older version of this, the 770SW (older as in about 9 months old now), and I like it for all the same reasons you do. I don't have to baby it, don't have to worry about it flooding, and I like the small size even in the housing.

turnpikemike
09-04-2008, 18:17
I have a Canon SD850 (with the WP DC15 housing), and I really like it. 8 MP, with a good 640x480 30 fps movie mode. It seems to have enough abilities to fine tune the pictures to make it seem kind of like a good SLR, but it also has plenty of presets, since it is a point-and-shoot. It's supposed to be waterproof on its own (I'm not going to test that, if I don't have to), and the housing is rated for 100 feet or so. One deficit is that it doesn't have the ability to use an external flash, I guess (but the question was for a beginner one, so maybe you don't need that level of quality yet). You can order it from amazon for $386 (http://www.amazon.com/Canon-WP-DC15-Waterproof-Digital-Camera/dp/B000Q2YF80/ref=sr_1_1?ie=UTF8&s=electronics&qid=1220570608&sr=8-1) for the camera and housing. If you're interested, I have a lot of pictures and videos (mostly unedited, i've tweaked a couple pictures' contrasts and colors lightly in Vista's photo viewer) at Picasa Web Albums - mike (http://picasaweb.google.com/turnpikemike), all taken with this camera.

coral cowgirl
10-01-2008, 18:57
Canon A720IS with Canon housing.....good existing light shots....so compact that it fits in one pocket of my backpack carryon (along with extra batteries/recharger). Does decent video too, unlimited length other than by the card size).