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After much research and reading a ton of posts on this board (thanks by the way, the info has been a huge help), I am almost at a decision but am still missing a few pieces.
Here is my scenario: experienced photographer and snorkeler, just started combning the two on small disposable cameras. I am now getting Scuba certified, need a new digital anyways so thought it would be a good chance to combine the two.
After reading all the info on these boards, the Canon A80 looks like a great fit, and I have found a bundle in the internet that includes filters, wide angle, telephoto etc for land based use. I am thinking that the Canon housing makes sense.... now here are the confusing points:
1) I know that I will end up getting a strobe (... if not before Freeport in July certainly before Cozumel in September), but even after reviewing this board and various other sources I am still confused about what strobe will actually work for this config and not cost a fortune. Any guidance would be great.
2) I have read that some housings have ports that allow you to add wide angle or telephoto... can this be done with the canon housing (if not is there a good alternate), and secondly, and the UW lenses different from land based?
Any strobe that will slave off your camera's flash with pre-flash cancellation will work with the A80 and canon housing. The Inon D-180, Sea and Sea YS-90DX and Ike DS-50 with a manual controllor comes to mind. They will work by slaving off your camera's flash ie when you take the picture your camera's flash will fire which will set off or 'trigger' the strobe in sync. You control how much light comes out of your strobe by dialing a value on it.
Yes you can add lenses to the canon housing. You can add the Inon AD series wide and close-up lenses (there's no such thing as a telephoto lens for underwater use). You will need an Inon AD lens adapter to mount these lenses. The same adaptor is necessary for mounting the fibre optical cable for the Inon D-180 strobe.