• Welcome to ScubaBoard


  1. Welcome to ScubaBoard, the world's largest scuba diving community. Registration is not required to read the forums, but we encourage you to join. Joining has its benefits and enables you to participate in the discussions.

    Benefits of registering include

    • Ability to post and comment on topics and discussions.
    • A Free photo gallery to share your dive photos with the world.
    • You can make this box go away

    Joining is quick and easy. Login or Register now by clicking on the button

What to buy??

Discussion in 'Underwater Photography' started by Zambezi, Jan 9, 2007.

  1. Zambezi

    Zambezi Nassau Grouper

    # of Dives: 100 - 199
    Location: Johannesburg - South Africa
    112
    0
    0
    Hi all,

    I've just returned from some awesome diving in Ponto De Ouro, Mocambique. I've had a Sea Life DC310 for a few years now and flooded the housing on this trip:shakehead . Needless to say I now have an expensive paper weight. I've mailed Sea Life to find out if I can buy the inner camera on its own and am waiting for their reply. However, I somehow doubt they'll still stock them.

    Ok, after my sorry story, if you were to buy a good digital camera, what would you buy and why? Please bear in mind that I'm definitely no expert photographer.

    Any advice will really be appreciated.
     
  2. joewr

    joewr ScubaBoard Supporter ScubaBoard Supporter

    # of Dives:
    Location: Northern California
    1,754
    35
    48
    Hi, Zambezi,

    Goodness, it is difficult to know where to start! Probably the most cost effective route to go is to suggest a "point-n-shoot" camera such as the many that Olympus makes, for example.

    You can house it in a variety of housings with the least costly being something from Ikelite--or a similar plastic housing.

    S&S makes some good strobes that will work well with such an outfit.

    It is hard to be more specific without knowing more about your budget.

    I hope this helps a little. And please let me know if I can help any more...if I, indeed, helped this time...

    joewr
     
  3. Zambezi

    Zambezi Nassau Grouper

    # of Dives: 100 - 199
    Location: Johannesburg - South Africa
    112
    0
    0
    Hi Joewr

    Thanks for the info, every bit always helps. And yes, where to start is really difficult. I've been doing a bit of reading up on reviews, threads etc and it's mind boggling with all the vailable options.

    I'm looking at the Canon Powershot A640 with either the Canon or Ikelite housing. I'd probably go for the Ikelite housing as I often dive over 40 metres and it's rated to 60 as apposed to the Canon which is rated to 40.

    As for the budget, being in South Africa we have no choice but to pay quite a bit for consumer goods. I've checked a few sites and the A640 ranges from $279 to $330 in the USA. The best price I can find here so far is R3599 (approx $480).
     
  4. victor

    victor Solo Diver

    1,528
    108
    63
  5. AndyT

    AndyT Solo Diver

    # of Dives: 500 - 999
    Location: Cape Town , South Africa
    1,689
    15
    38
  6. ShoalDiverSA

    ShoalDiverSA Manta Ray

    # of Dives: 50 - 99
    Location: Kwazulu Natal, South Africa
    795
    6
    0
    Zambezi,

    Sorry to hear about your camera - pretty much the same reason why I don't take UW shots anymore.

    Drop AndyT a PM. He's really knowledgeable about what's on offer here in S.A. He will definitely be able to point you in the right direction. I attended a talk that he gave with one of his colleagues from SURG and it was really informative.

    EDIT: Oops, AndyT beat me to it. :)

    Cheers,

    Andrew
     
  7. joewr

    joewr ScubaBoard Supporter ScubaBoard Supporter

    # of Dives:
    Location: Northern California
    1,754
    35
    48
    Hey,

    All you South Africaners are ganging up on a lone Californiano...

    Just one more thought for your consideration. Pick a "land" camera that you like (read, fits your budget) and see if Ikelite makes a housing for it. This can be an iterative process done on line if you like. When you get a match you like, you are on your way.

    A strobe can be a bear when it comes to your outfit. For me, an underwater strobe is like an American Express card--I never leave home without it! And since you are planning 40 meter--metre--dives, you probably will eventually want one. It will, though, test the limits of your exchequer!

    So, have at it...or as one of our Yank comedians is fond of saying, "Git 'er done!'

    joewr
     
  8. AndyT

    AndyT Solo Diver

    # of Dives: 500 - 999
    Location: Cape Town , South Africa
    1,689
    15
    38
    Try to find an Olympus SP 350 - good camera , shoots RAW, has a hotshoe so you can go TTL later if you want.

    2nd choice a Fuji E-900 but doesn't have a hotshoe.

    3rd choice Canon A640 but no Raw, no hotshoe.
     
  9. Zambezi

    Zambezi Nassau Grouper

    # of Dives: 100 - 199
    Location: Johannesburg - South Africa
    112
    0
    0
    Thanks for all the info guys.

    Andy, my knowledge of photographical terms is veeeeeeeeeery limited........:confused: what does "RAW", "hotshoe" and "TTL" mean??

    If I went the Olympus or Fuji route, will I be able to use my Sea Life stobe with either camera?
     
  10. joewr

    joewr ScubaBoard Supporter ScubaBoard Supporter

    # of Dives:
    Location: Northern California
    1,754
    35
    48
    Zambezi,

    I fear that your question about RAW, hotshoe and TTL has let the cat out of the bait bag! So, I will define them for you and make a modest proposal--that does not involve Irish babies...

    RAW is the format used to store the digital data related to each picture. This format is called "RAW" because it is the raw data, unvarnished, untampered, unmanipulated. There are other formats, probably the most used and common of which is JPEG or jpg. I tend to use a format similar to RAW called TIFF. Each format stores a differing amount of data, with RAW storing the most. The two practical aspects of this are (1) you suck up more memory as you store more data and that has an effect on how many photos you can take without downloading. This is bare bones explanation! And (2) the less internal manipulation your camera's computer does, the more you can do. RAW gives you the max flexiblity and is probably the preferred format for most professionals. There are some software issues that come with RAW. Again, this is a bare bones explanation!

    A hotshoe is the little gadget that sits atop most cameras and looks something like a horseshoe...hence the name. It is called "hot" because it conducts electricity to and from items such as strobes.

    TTL means through the lens and describes the light metering system on a camera.

    Now, since you needed those definitions, I believe you are truly a neophyte to "advanced" photography. And that leads me to the following recommendation: go slow!

    I started with a throw-away, advanced to a pretty simple uw point and shoot, then a couple of Nikonos, a housed film Nikon SLR, and finally a housed Nikon digital SLR. At each step I learned a lot about underwater photography--which is only a distant cousin to its landlocked brother--if that metaphor is not too mixed.

    So, my suggestion goes back to my second post: find a digital point and shoot camera and a housing that fits your budget. I do not know enough about your strobe to make a sensible answer--and I am too lazy right now to dig out the info--but suffice it to say, you eventually will want to use at least one strobe when you do uw photography.

    I hope this helps.

    joewr
     

Share This Page