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View Full Version : Couple camera/housing questions from a scuba newb



Byte Me
10-30-2007, 14:41
I have been reading and searching like crazy trying to narrow down what I want for underwater pictures. Above water I use a Nikon D50 and am really getting into the photography "thing". LOVE the D50!! However, $1k + for a housing is just not gonna happen. If I ever got really serious, maybe, but for now and the medium term future, uh, no.

So the questions I have are from the perspective of clearing things up for me rather than "what should I buy".


1) I'm leaning away from anything under 5mp - if I do take a decent picture I'd hate to be limited to 5x7 ish for prints. Thoughts?

2) I'd prefer to shoot RAW but from what I hear (specifically about the SP350) it's so darn slow writing to the card it's pointless. Photoshop allows for playing around enough w/ jpegs. Yes?!?

3) WB - I've got an expodisc (which I also love and would use underwater) so setting WB manually would be ideal, however I see many Canons have underwater mode would should be substantially similar, yes? So either HAS to have manual WB or a Canon - any thoughts?

4) Image Stabilization, Vibration Reduction, whatever - necessary for underwater shots or a "nice to have but not a deal breaker"?

5) Lastly, zoom range. For P&S camera I've long been in the camp that zoom is like money and memory, you can never have enough. Is 3x optical (digital zoom is worthless IMO) enough or should I get more reach?

I'd like the ability to down the line potentially add a strobe.

I'm trying to keep initial investment low in case I want to get crazier down the road. I also have to keep in mind that I've got a LOT of scuba gear to buy yet too and that money tree in the back yard is bare. I've got a couple leads on set ups from various places that end up in the $250 - 300 range which is perfect right now, just for reference. I'm probably NOT going to get everything I want at that level, but hey, one can hope right? That also is one of the reasons I'd like to know from folks who have been there which of the 5 above are the biggies. If I've forgotten anything please let me know.

Thanks! Brian.

Puffer Fish
10-30-2007, 16:14
I have been reading and searching like crazy trying to narrow down what I want for underwater pictures. Above water I use a Nikon D50 and am really getting into the photography "thing". LOVE the D50!! However, $1k + for a housing is just not gonna happen. If I ever got really serious, maybe, but for now and the medium term future, uh, no.

So the questions I have are from the perspective of clearing things up for me rather than "what should I buy".


1) I'm leaning away from anything under 5mp - if I do take a decent picture I'd hate to be limited to 5x7 ish for prints. Thoughts?

2) I'd prefer to shoot RAW but from what I hear (specifically about the SP350) it's so darn slow writing to the card it's pointless. Photoshop allows for playing around enough w/ jpegs. Yes?!?

3) WB - I've got an expodisc (which I also love and would use underwater) so setting WB manually would be ideal, however I see many Canons have underwater mode would should be substantially similar, yes? So either HAS to have manual WB or a Canon - any thoughts?

4) Image Stabilization, Vibration Reduction, whatever - necessary for underwater shots or a "nice to have but not a deal breaker"?

5) Lastly, zoom range. For P&S camera I've long been in the camp that zoom is like money and memory, you can never have enough. Is 3x optical (digital zoom is worthless IMO) enough or should I get more reach?

I'd like the ability to down the line potentially add a strobe.

I'm trying to keep initial investment low in case I want to get crazier down the road. I also have to keep in mind that I've got a LOT of scuba gear to buy yet too and that money tree in the back yard is bare. I've got a couple leads on set ups from various places that end up in the $250 - 300 range which is perfect right now, just for reference. I'm probably NOT going to get everything I want at that level, but hey, one can hope right? That also is one of the reasons I'd like to know from folks who have been there which of the 5 above are the biggies. If I've forgotten anything please let me know.

Thanks! Brian.
I'm a giant fan of the fuji F50, and their uw case. Only thing that you would be short of is the zoom rate, and under water that has never been an issue. 12meg.. anti shake.... uw white balance built in...small, extremely good images, if you stay down in the 100 sensitivity range (which you should). I use a cheap strobe, but after using an INON, I am saving for one of those.

FishFood
10-30-2007, 17:29
Answers in the quote:








1) I'm leaning away from anything under 5mp - if I do take a decent picture I'd hate to be limited to 5x7 ish for prints. Thoughts?

As long as you fill the picture and dont have to crop to much, even a 3.1MP will print just fine. However, more is better. 5MP and above is a decent target


4) Image Stabilization, Vibration Reduction, whatever - necessary for underwater shots or a "nice to have but not a deal breaker"?

Ive not seen anythign like this for still pictures? These things are controlled by the shutter speed. IE, the faster the better

5) Lastly, zoom range. For P&S camera I've long been in the camp that zoom is like money and memory, you can never have enough. Is 3x optical (digital zoom is worthless IMO) enough or should I get more reach?

Any kind of zoom is a handicap as far as Im concerned. It should be used very little, so 3x OPTICAL is enough. Get physicaly close to your objects if you want good pictures.

Disable the digital like you said...

I'd like the ability to down the line potentially add a strobe.

I'm trying to keep initial investment low in case I want to get crazier down the road. I also have to keep in mind that I've got a LOT of scuba gear to buy yet too and that money tree in the back yard is bare. I've got a couple leads on set ups from various places that end up in the $250 - 300 range which is perfect right now, just for reference. I'm probably NOT going to get everything I want at that level, but hey, one can hope right? That also is one of the reasons I'd like to know from folks who have been there which of the 5 above are the biggies. If I've forgotten anything please let me know.

Thanks! Brian.

Since you're on a budget dont worry about RAW. Yes, Photoshop will do JPEGs. Wait to you have more UW Photog, & photoshop experience to worry about RAW.

Manual white balance is very nice to have. I Beleive all the Canon underwater modes do is add red back to the image. (someone correct me if Im wrong) Manual WB isnt a deal breaker though. Color can be added back with Photoshop (to some extent).

bversteegh
11-01-2007, 01:24
If you use a strobe (and if you want nice pictures, you'll need one), white balance doesn't matter. For natural light, choose the cloudy white balance setting (or automatic if the camera has the option), I always had good luck with that on my OLY's (5060 & 7070).

For Image Stabilization, I agree with earlier post - just shoot at least 1/100 of a second, and it won't matter (and the strobe is much faster than that - if you use one).

One other thing to consider - can you add wet lens to your setup? I used external closeup lens a lot for macro shots (tiny things like pygmy seahorses). And external wide angle lens are very nice if you like to take reef scenics.

Also, save your money for a while - an Inon 2000 is an awesome strobe - should be able to get one around 400 US; and it will grow with you.