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Thread: newbie beginner camera recommendation please

  1. #1
    TadPole
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    newbie beginner camera recommendation please

    My hubby and I are heading to Belize to enjoy a week of snorkeling off San Pedro Island. I am sooooo excited! I would like to take a camera for some underwater shots. I took a disposable camera when we went to Mexico last time but the pics were really dark and grainey....not worth the $12 I spent on the camera and the $6 I spent on processing.

    I would really like to find a digital camera...something that would work for around $100 or so. I don't expect perfect pics, just something to show for the trip and something that we could use more than once. We try to go snorkeling once every year or two and it would be nice to find a camera I could use every time we finally get to go. I have found a few in that price range online, but regardless of what you find, there are always reviews that say the camera is not waterproof.

    I know this is a tall order. Does anyone have any suggestions for me? Is there maybe something else that I should be considering or looking at? Do I need to consider buying a more expensive camera as an investment? I just hate to put too much money into it since we just don't get the opportunity to take many trips. Your advice would be much appreciated. Thank you!

  2. #2
    Barracuda Founding Member
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    There may be cameras out there that fit your price criteria; the key is whether there is a housing available for them for underwater use, which pumps up the price.

    To get a feel for pricing, go to eBay and check out the auction and Buy It Now prices of various U/W cameras and housings. This should give you a loose benchmark on how much you may spend on pre-owned equipment, and then extrapolate to new from there.
    John Lewis--the PlatypusMan!


  3. #3
    Dominus Diabolus Urinatoris ST-Forum Mod DevilDiver's Avatar
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    For snorkeling (IMO) you would do good with one of the following waterproof compacts. You also could use for topside photography on your vacation. These of course would not be appropriate for diving though.

    'Compact Waterproof' Camera Group Test (Q3 2011) Review: 1. Introduction: Digital Photography Review

    2011 Group test: Waterproof Compact Cameras

    The test cameras


    For this group test we have selected six cameras, one from each manufacturer that currently offers a 2011 waterproof/rugged model in their range. These six models do not comprise the entire range of current waterproof/rugged cameras currently available (Olympus, for example, currently markets three rugged compacts) but they represent a good cross-section of the market in terms of style, specification and cost. Some of the cameras covered in our 2009 group test of compact waterproofs are still available, but we have not re-tested them here.
    Also possible you may find an older model for sale on here is a link to the 2009 test group.
    San Pedro is actually the name of the town, the island is Ambergris Caye. See if you can find the Manatee snorkle trip, it should be an all day but it can be pretty cool.
    DevilDiver

  4. #4
    Barracuda
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    This forum and scubaboard.com both have used camera equipment for sale section. If you don't have to rush you will find something in your price range used. I will be listing one of my old cameras on here later today. It is an Olympus C-5000 and I have 2 waterproof housings for it. I will be asking $120 shipped in the continental U.S.

  5. #5
    Kodak has a line of Sport products that take reasonable pics and are fairly tough for their price. They won't win any awards but are much better than most disposables. They have a PlaySport video camera that is a pretty good deal as well.

    The other option is suggest above and that is to pick up something older gen and used. You can often find a great shooter for a bargain price.

  6. #6
    Shark Founding Member
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    I have a 5 year old point and shoot digital Pentax camea with an underwater housing that I would be willing to send you for free. It takes nice pictures both topside and underwater, but because it is older, it has a bit more a shutter lag than new cameras. If you're interested, PM me your name and address and I'll pop them in the mail for you.
    ScubaToys and Zeagle....it just doesn't get better than that!

  7. #7
    Barracuda
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    A very generous offer from Zenagirl! You should take her up on it.

  8. #8
    Shark Zeagle Eagle's Avatar
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    That was nice of you ZG.
    --Zeagle Eagle

  9. #9
    At the end of February the new Panasonic rugged cameras are coming out with the TS20 having an MSRP of $180 and a street price likely below $150. The price is more than your original budget but this would be a serious upgrade to most of the $100 or less shooters. Its downside is no manual mode which will limit it to snorkeling and shooting on land. Not something someone could grow into a budget diving camera.

    Panasonic adds Lumix DMC-TS4 and DMC-TS20 to ruggedized camera line -- Engadget

    Certainly not as good as a free camera either.

  10. #10
    TadPole
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    Thank you all so very much for your recommendations. Zenagirl....your kindness just blows me away. Certainly an offer too good to refuse

    This sure is a great place for newbies to learn. What a great group of people here!!

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