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TRACI
11-28-2007, 16:46
I think I have it narrowed down between the Fuji F50 or Cannon SD900, any suggestions on which would be a better choice?

Scubakraut
11-28-2007, 19:58
I like the SD900 (http://www.amazon.com/gp/product/B000V1VG2O?ie=UTF8&tag=whicolnom-20&linkCode=xm2&camp=1789&creativeASIN=B000V1VG2O) take a look at my blog from my recent Roatan trip.
Roatan Honduras TravelBlog Archive White Collar Nomad (http://blogs.bootsnall.com/Whitecollarnomad/?p=19)

TRACI
11-29-2007, 07:51
That is a very good trip report, I have never been to Roatan , but would like to go sometime in the future.

Puffer Fish
11-29-2007, 08:40
I like the SD900 take a look at my blog from my recent Roatan trip.
Roatan Honduras TravelBlog Archive White Collar Nomad (http://blogs.bootsnall.com/Whitecollarnomad/?p=19)
Nice images... great topside shots...

I see some unwater strobe shots.... what strobe?

I think there are several differences, that amount to how much thinking you want to do.

Out of the box, the SD900 will take nice pictures... but it is limited in a lot of the range and manual settings.

Fill flash is difficult with any P+S, and it is is even more difficult with an auto camera..

I would see this as:

1. The potential image quality is better with the F50...but auto sucks big time.

2. The range of settings.. if you use them, is much bigger with the F50.

3. Controlling the output is easier with the F50.

4. But having an easy to use camera does have it's advantage. It is quick to learn... does not require a lot of practice....

As a comparison, here are some F11 images (the same basic camera, with a lower res sensor and no anti-shake):

http://i78.photobucket.com/albums/j98/garinj/filefish1.jpg

http://i78.photobucket.com/albums/j98/garinj/GoatFish2.jpg



http://i78.photobucket.com/albums/j98/garinj/scfish6.jpg

http://i78.photobucket.com/albums/j98/garinj/Joyce1.jpg

These are all really compressed images - the originals are much better.

Grin
11-29-2007, 08:47
I have a Cannon SD1000 and housing. It works great underwater, and out. I am no expert photographer, so I needed something small and easy. I didn't even realize the video capabilities of this thing until recently. It's a sweet camera. I got mine, all new, off EBAY. The Cannon site has alot of info to check also. Cannon makes a trillion models. Many models would have worked for me, I'm sure. Somehow I decided on the SD1000.

Puffer Fish
11-29-2007, 08:56
I have a Cannon SD1000 and housing. It works great underwater, and out. I am no expert photographer, so I needed something small and easy. I didn't even realize the video capabilities of this thing until recently. It's a sweet camera. I got mine, all new, off EBAY. The Cannon site has alot of info to check also. Cannon makes a trillion models. Many models would have worked for me, I'm sure. Somehow I decided on the SD1000.
You demonstrate one of the great aspects of any purchase choice.. the camera you have exceeds your needs, and is more than worth what you paid.

I would not be happy with it, but who cares as long as you are.

I like macro shots... some don't... I like fill flash shots, many don't care...I guess to each their own.

http://i78.photobucket.com/albums/j98/garinj/fortlaud031.jpg

TRACI
11-29-2007, 09:04
Those pics are really good, and those with taken with a Fugi, correct?

Puffer Fish
11-29-2007, 09:10
Those pics are really good, and those with taken with a Fugi, correct?
Those were taken with the older, not as good Fuji...I have both, just not gotten the F50 wet (in less than 2 weeks:smiley20:). You get anti-shake and better resolution in addition to what I have.. you loose some of the high ISO quality..but the turn on and shoot in auto sucks...but setting it up is not that big a deal.

Fuji's have an autofocus light that works in macro, so close up images are easy.

Puffer Fish
11-29-2007, 09:13
Here is an example of the image quality:

Big picture:

http://i78.photobucket.com/albums/j98/garinj/Jawfish3-1.jpg

Just the fish:

http://i78.photobucket.com/albums/j98/garinj/jawfish4.jpg

TRACI
11-29-2007, 09:35
Are your pic's taken with just the camera, or are you using other accessory's , like filters, strobes? I can't afford any other accessory's right now, so I was needing a camera and housing that I can use for a Coz trip in January that will take pretty good pics without having to make any additional purchases.

Puffer Fish
11-29-2007, 11:30
Are your pic's taken with just the camera, or are you using other accessory's , like filters, strobes? I can't afford any other accessory's right now, so I was needing a camera and housing that I can use for a Coz trip in January that will take pretty good pics without having to make any additional purchases.
Most are taken with the sea and sea digital strobe.. but not all. The in camera - stobe will produce back scatter, unless the water is very clear... and would suggest using it only to get color (the picture of Joyce, above was done that way)...

If you are in shallow, clear water... not such a big deal...(the last picture of the little fish was in about 15 ft, without a strobe)

The F50 has an underwater setting to do some color adjustments for you... then sun and clear water are your friend.

Puffer Fish
11-29-2007, 11:36
Here is a non-strobe picture in about 80 ft of water..not even the incamera one.....


http://i78.photobucket.com/albums/j98/garinj/bluefish1.jpg

TRACI
11-29-2007, 11:43
Thanks for all the info, like I said, I do not know very much about what kind of camera I need, I just know I would like one that is user-friendly, and takes pretty good pics, but also a pretty good price. I know I am asking for alot!

Puffer Fish
11-29-2007, 12:25
Thanks for all the info, like I said, I do not know very much about what kind of camera I need, I just know I would like one that is user-friendly, and takes pretty good pics, but also a pretty good price. I know I am asking for alot!
I think the other issue is where do you plan to do with it... just taking snapshots... I might go with the cannon. But if you want to add a strobe later...then I would not.

If we can figure out some way to absolutely insure that I get it back... I could send you my f11 in the never used UW case and let you try it....It is my backup camera now, but it has been with me a long time -still rather fond of it. As I have memory cards and spare batteries, and would cost you nothing except the shipping...might be a good way to try something out.

TRACI
11-30-2007, 09:19
I would really like to be able to add a strobe in the future, so if I purchase the F50, I would be able to add a strobe? and Canon you can not?

I really appreciate you offering to send your camera to try, that is very nice, but I am in the buying mode, so I will probably just purchase a camera over this weekend.

Puffer Fish
11-30-2007, 11:19
I would really like to be able to add a strobe in the future, so if I purchase the F50, I would be able to add a strobe? and Canon you can not?

I really appreciate you offering to send your camera to try, that is very nice, but I am in the buying mode, so I will probably just purchase a camera over this weekend.


You can add a strobe to either, just that you will either be shooting in auto or manual with the Canon. With the Fuji, you have the option of using f-stop priority (because it's f-stop range is so much bigger). Is more of a flexibility issue. That low cost strobe that ST sells, can be used much more effectively with a F50..for example.

Puffer Fish
11-30-2007, 11:21
I have not used that strobe, by the way, but believe it would work very well in it's auto mode.. but you have to have camera adjustments to make it work effectively.

don't know if Larry reads this.. but he may have some experience.

CompuDude
11-30-2007, 12:51
I would look at the Canon SD870is over the SD900. Wide angle lens is more useful underwater.

You have to decide where you are going with UW photography. If all you want to do is take some fun snapshots, and aren't really interested in learning to work with manual modes and all the related complexity, you can do some really nice work with a simply camera like the Canon SD870 (or 900... but I strongly recommend the 870 for the wide angle). I used it's predecessor for some time.

If you think you may get really into UW photography, however, you'll be happier with a camera with more manual controls, such as the Fuji.

Either camera can have a strobe added down the line, if you want one. (Neither has a way to directly control a strobe such as a hot shoe, so either camera will use a strobe with an optical pickup... when it sees the internal flash fire, it goes off also, and you cover up the internal one so it doesn't interfere. There are kits that take care of this for you when you're ready to add a strobe, it's all normal procedure.)

Some shots with my SD550 and internal flash (small, simple and sweet little rig... I miss it sometimes! But no manual controls), which are indicative of what is possible with the Canon SD870:

http://kalani.net/scuba/2006-03-12%20Channel%20Islands/thumbs/IMG_0564.JPGhttp://kalani.net/scuba/2006-03-12%20Channel%20Islands/thumbs/IMG_0584.JPG
http://kalani.net/scuba/2006-03-12%20Channel%20Islands/thumbs/IMG_0669.JPGhttp://kalani.net/scuba/2006-03-12%20Channel%20Islands/thumbs/IMG_0681.JPG
http://kalani.net/scuba/2006-03-12%20Channel%20Islands/thumbs/IMG_0686.JPGhttp://kalani.net/scuba/2006-03-12%20Channel%20Islands/thumbs/IMG_0746.JPG
http://kalani.net/scuba/2006-03-12%20Channel%20Islands/thumbs/IMG_0723.JPGhttp://kalani.net/scuba/2006-03-12%20Channel%20Islands/thumbs/IMG_0764.JPG

Puffer Fish
11-30-2007, 13:17
I would agree.. the difference comes when you want to take a natural looking strobe picture.. which is half natural light and half strobe...with an automatic.. you get great "flash" pictures....or good natural pictures, but you don't get (and this is not a great example, just what I have laying around in photobucket):

http://i78.photobucket.com/albums/j98/garinj/2313a806.jpg

The soft... you can see the water look.

TRACI
11-30-2007, 13:18
Those are some great pics, I do not know yet about how far I will be pursuing the photography, right now I would like to just take some good pics, but if I found out I am really interested, maybe I would get into the more complex photography.

CompuDude
11-30-2007, 13:21
Those are some great pics, I do not know yet about how far I will be pursuing the photography, right now I would like to just take some good pics, but if I found out I am really interested, maybe I would get into the more complex photography.

Up to you, then. The Canon is a fantastic topside camera as well, so if you're willing to risk wanting an upgrade down the road, you'd still have a use for the camera.

Otherwise, the Fuji gives you more flexibility in terms of advanced controls.

TRACI
11-30-2007, 14:09
Hopefully when I do decide on a camera, I do not flood it or drop it into the abyss, I will probably put it on a retractor just to be safe ;)

Puffer Fish
12-02-2007, 12:43
Traci..locking retractors are your friend.

To resolve some questions regarding the F50, I have been doing some comparison images with my F11. The F11 is the best 6meg sensor Fuji has produced, and is somewhat famous for image quality. It is used in all of the f series, up to the F50.

The F50, has received a lot, and I mean a lot of bad Blog press, for not having the same low light sensitivity...and that is justifiable from the images I have checked. Obviously, putting twice the number of sensors in the same place means that each sensor is half the size, and half the sensitivity.

But what about actual image quality? Is it capable of 2,000 lines per inch, as Dpreview has shown? Does this actually show up in real pictures.

I found attempting to answer this, terrible hard to do...just doing auto exposure images, even on a tripod, did not produce repeatable results. Sometimes they would be similar, sometime the F50, and even had one sample that the F11 was better (but only one)

There was a common theme...exposure. Even the slightest over exposure from either camera (and many times, it would not look overexposed) would cause a tremendous drop off in resolution.

After doing repeated exposure bracketting, it is absolutely clear, at least with the Fuji camera's I have, that you do not want to ever, even slightly over expose the image, and if you error, underexposing (at least one stop) does not hurt anything.

So that lead to doing exposure bracketing for the test, and finding the best resolution from a set and comparing those.

Note: Remember, the default setting in auto, for a F50, is ISO 400, do not, unless you have to, use that... use 100 or 200.

Here are crops from one of those test (I have done both outside and inside, flash and nature lighting, and get very repeatable results).

http://i78.photobucket.com/albums/j98/garinj/f11crop1.jpg

http://i78.photobucket.com/albums/j98/garinj/f50crop1.jpg

Top is the F11, bottom is the F50. Download and blowup to see the differences.

So, is it better...yup...perhaps around 15%, which is not much. But, due to the larger image sizes, you do have a bit more cropping space.

So why all the complaints - if I do ISO 400, the F11 is better, that's why... and that is the default.

One other note, in checking all of the frame, it is obvious that my F50 has a soft focus area, on the upper right side, at the edge.. in an 8 x 10, this would be an area around 1/2 to 1/4 of an inch starting on the upper right edge and going down maybe 5 inches... my guess is a lens build flaw. The F11 has no such area. Now that I know it, it bugs me, but in reality, that is not an area I care much about.

Note: The crop shown about, represents, for the F50, 48,000 pixel's.. or roughly .4% of the entire image.. a really, really small portion.

Puffer Fish
12-02-2007, 12:51
If anyone would like to see the actual images, the effect of over exposure or others, you will have to pm me with your email address, as the images are way to large to post.

Reg
12-03-2007, 04:18
Some Good reading material there, thanks.

I have an F11, with AutoMagic Filter. I use custom white balanance (At Deepths) however i've never tried adjusting the ISO Level. Are you saying the best ISO level to use if 400?

Puffer Fish
12-03-2007, 04:30
Some Good reading material there, thanks.

I have an F11, with AutoMagic Filter. I use custom white balanance (At Deepths) however i've never tried adjusting the ISO Level. Are you saying the best ISO level to use if 400?


NOOOOOOOOOOO... use 100 or 80 if at all possible. If you have to go higher.. the images will suffer.. just not as much with an F11.

Reg
12-03-2007, 04:46
Ok, Got it...Keep the ISO Level Low..Thanks..

TRACI
12-03-2007, 08:59
Well I finally purchased the Cannon SD870IS, so I will see how it does in Coz in January

Grin
12-03-2007, 10:57
Heres a few from my SD1000. And I am no expert at all. Actually this is the only time I ever took any pics with it underwater so far. I clip it to the bouy I drag, and whenever I feel the need, I grab it and point and shoot without even unclipping it. And it delivered pics like this. I sold a Nikon D70 and bought this camera to replace it. The D70 is obviously a major camera, but I am not that cray about photography and smaller was better for me. No strobes for me either. Your going to be real happy with the 870 I believe.
I guess you'll have to dbl-click these to open them? I can't figure out how to have the pics full sized automatically. Hope it works! It is working for me here.

Puffer Fish
12-03-2007, 13:05
Well I finally purchased the Cannon SD870IS, so I will see how it does in Coz in January
That will work... did you have difficulty finding the UW case for it???

TRACI
12-03-2007, 13:24
Those are good pics, I can't wait until I get to try my camera out

TRACI
12-03-2007, 14:16
Canon makes their own housing for there cameras, about 150-165 range. I tried to keep the camera and housing around $400, but will end up spending about $500 for both, oh well, it will be my xmas present to me :)

Scubakraut
12-04-2007, 15:06
I like the SD900 take a look at my blog from my recent Roatan trip.
Roatan Honduras TravelBlog Archive White Collar Nomad (http://blogs.bootsnall.com/Whitecollarnomad/?p=19)
Nice images... great topside shots...

I see some unwater strobe shots.... what strobe?

I think there are several differences, that amount to how much thinking you want to do.
.

Thanks, I had no external strobe, I only used my SD900 (http://www.amazon.com/gp/product/B000V1VG2O?ie=UTF8&tag=whicolnom-20&linkCode=xm2&camp=1789&creativeASIN=B000V1VG2O) and it's internal flash with the supplied diffuser which I suppose can serve as a "fill flash"
As a topside camera I used my new Canon 40D (http://www.amazon.com/dp/B000V5QV4S?tag=whicolnom-20&camp=14573&creative=327641&linkCode=as1&creativeASIN=B000V5QV4S&adid=1F2NM33V75N3WNS5S954&). I'm not sure if and when I'll get a housing for it. Kind of freaks me out taking a $1500 camera underwater. What if the case floods....

Puffer Fish
12-06-2007, 20:22
Well, Dpreview finally posted their review of the F50fd... not very surprising... except they they saw the same edge softness that I did (am always amazed that anyone else agrees with me)

The only other aspect is that the ISO 400 is actually ok...

Fujifilm FinePix F50fd Review: 1. Introduction: Digital Photography Review (http://www.dpreview.com/reviews/fujifilmf50fd/)

azdiver
12-16-2007, 16:52
you beat me to it.... i was going to post a link to the review. i'm in the market for a new topside camera and want one that is very compact. love the canons but the battery life is lousy