Waterproof Camera

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Waterproof Camera

Postby dangerranger » Sun Apr 01, 2007 5:29 pm

Does anyone have a waterproof/underwater camera that they would recommend? ie. Does it take nice pictures in and out of water?

Thanks!
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Postby Reditor » Mon Apr 02, 2007 10:40 am

I don't have anything fancy for scuba or diving, but I do have the Pentax W20. I compared this to the Olympus 720SW a few months ago, and liked it much more. They were comparable in quality, and each had some benefits over the other, but the Pentax images just looked crisper.

It is waterproof to 5ft for 30 minutes. You can take videos and pictures with it, plus it is small enough to fit in a pocket, so a good camera at night or when you go somewhere that may not be totally safe.

Highly recommended. I took it snorkelling for 1.5 hours and it was fine, so the 30 minute limit is conservative.

Olympus has a new one out now which is waterproof to 33 ft I think, it might be worth looking at, and many other camera manufacturers like Canon offer waterproof cases for their cameras if you're looking for something more serious.
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Postby jillypuma » Mon Apr 02, 2007 11:02 am

I currently use an Olympus mju700 with a housing (to 40m) but I'm not impressed with the picture results - the camera has been back to Olympus twice with a focusing problem and is unresolved. My previous camera Olympus C2020-Z (to 30m) with housing gave far better quality pics (with less megapixels!), and I'm currently using a friend's Olympus C7070 which is very good and now available at second hand prices (I'm thinking of buying it, it's so good!). I also pootled around on dives with a little 35mm Sea & Sea camera which gave reasonable results, actually better for snorkelling, before I moved on to the Olympus. There are some really good, cheap, entry level cameras out there.

But, in my very humble opinion, the cameras for serious underwater photographers would have to be Nikon Digi SLRs - have a look at any scuba magazine and you'll see that most of the pics are taken with Nikons. These start at about £800 though, plus lenses, plus housings.....although again, second hand ones are in circulation and worth a look.

There are also some superb cameras by Nikonos, Amphibico, and Sea & Sea though. Again, in my opinion, it pays to go to a specialist shop rather than a run of the mill camera shop, as they really do have first hand experience as they are usually scuba divers themselves and have actually used many of the cameras.

Some websites you might want to have a look around (although I appreciate they are UK based)

http://www.camerasunderwater.co.uk
http://www.digitaldepot.co.uk
http://www.uwpmag.co.uk

HTH :)
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Postby retireme » Mon Apr 02, 2007 11:51 pm

nikon and canon arethe big guys, and olympus and pentax are the cheaper ones to consider. personally i am a bit scared to bring my SLR into the water, what if fsomething went wrong?

i think most popular places would offer you to rent a camera if you went diving?
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Postby jillypuma » Tue Apr 03, 2007 3:41 am

retireme wrote:nikon and canon arethe big guys, and olympus and pentax are the cheaper ones to consider. personally i am a bit scared to bring my SLR into the water, what if fsomething went wrong?

i think most popular places would offer you to rent a camera if you went diving?


As long as you remember to carefully prepare your camera housing (ie greasing the seal with silicon) before dives then you shouldn't have a problem. I usually prepare mine in the safety of the inside of the boat or hotel room before even thinking about diving, load a memory card that will be sufficient for a whole day's diving, and I don't open the housing again, until I'm back inside when it gets a good rinse in the shower, before drying off, ready to be prep'd the next morning. As long as you remember to hold the camera in it's housing above your head when you jump so it doesn't hit the surface of the water, and tuck it under your arm when getting out of the water onto your boat you shouldn't suffer any problems.

Touch wood - I've never had a leak with any of my cameras.

Yes, you can rent cameras, but for me this is a bit like hiring diving equipment - I don't do it as I prefer to know my own equipment inside out, so that I can get on with the diving without having to work out how to use new gear.

:)
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Postby salty_dog_68 » Sun Jun 10, 2007 5:14 am

I have a Canon Powershot A630(bestbuy) with a WP83 underwater housing(helix camera- internet store). the camera is 8mp and the uw housing is good to 120'. i bought the setup just before I went to the bahamas in january for a shark feeding dive. the photos it took were stunning(just make sure you use the flash diffuser for close-ups). the camera is very user friendly. i could not be happier and highly recommend this set-up. if you would like to check out some of the pics and video from the bahamas trip check out my space and look for the bahamas photo album and shark feeding video. the camera also works great topsides. the only weakness the camera has is taking pictures in low light, inside, from a distance. but no camera works real well in this situation, in my opinion.

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Postby lsamchuk » Sat Aug 25, 2007 4:27 am

Hello there,
I'm new to GAP and the forum and just booked my first trip (Project Costa Rica - the volunteer sea turtle one).

I have a bit of experience photographing animals on land in natural light but love the idea of underwater photography. I haven't done much diving but enough to know that I want to do more. One question that I always wonder about is lighting (like I said I'm kind of a "natural light" photographer). Snorkeling isn't a problem since the depth you're at is still penetrated by sunlight. But obviously at greater depths you need some kind of lighting. Do you use the flash? If so doesn't it freak out the animals? Or do you take an underwater "flashlight" or are there special flashes that you use? I really have no clue.

I don't know if I will have the opportunity to go diving on this trip, but if there's any chance at all I'll be doing it. I'll probably just use a waterproof disposable since my digital camera is just a teeny one that I don't think I would be able to get a waterproof housing for (Fuji Finepix Z3). The last thing I want to do is freak out the turtles.

Thanks for any pointers :)
Les
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Pentax

Postby katina » Mon Aug 27, 2007 11:08 pm

I have an Pentax Optio W10. I have totally beat the hell out of it for the past 2 years while working for Fish and Wildlife in NJ. The camera has a float on it and we typically toss it from kayak to kayak to catch different angles.

The picture is great, and I hear the newer models with more megapixels are even better. I keep it underwater for hours and have never had any problems. I have also managed not to scratch the lens which is amazing since it is usually buried in a bag, picket or bottom of a boat with half a beach.

Highly recommended!
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Postby lsamchuk » Mon Oct 08, 2007 7:51 pm

Hello,
I just came across a couple of waterproof camera bags for mini digital cameras that are supposed to keep your camera safe up to around 15 feet. My Fuji Finepix Z3 is in the list of compatible cameras for one of them. They are really cheap (around $30) which makes me suspect. I was wondering if anyone has used one of these? One was the DiCAPac WP-700 Waterproof Case and the other was from Aquapac.

Thanks! :)
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Postby chriswjohnstone » Tue Oct 09, 2007 3:46 pm

Hello,
I recently purchased the Olympus 770SW (Like others I was nervous about taking my SLR underwater). So far I have found it very easy to use and flexible. It goes down 33ft and is shockproof, and goes to low temperatures. I am not 100% with the quality (then again that is compared to my SLR), and I have had some focusing issues underwater. Only 3x zoom which is not great, but all that can be expected.

On the plus side it has some great presents and allows control when you want to set features yourself. The screen is nice and bright underwater, making it very easy to see. I am really impressed with the battery life on it as well.

For me this is a great 2nd camera, something to take on trips when I cant take my larger SLR or when I want to get some underwater shots.
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Postby Tall Paul » Thu Oct 18, 2007 12:08 pm

Hey;

I am looking at a waterproof/waterprotected housing for my video camera so I can get footage while white water rafting. I will let you know the make and model once I purchase it and how it works out in the field. Not quite the same league as underwater photography, however it may be of interest to some of you.

Paul
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Postby DmitriMarkine » Mon Nov 12, 2007 8:59 pm

go to ebay and type:

underwater camera housing. Some good prices for simple housing sets
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Postby retireme » Tue Nov 13, 2007 11:25 pm

i dont really trust ebay for 'sensitive' items. i have never had a problem the few times i used it but two of my friend both go ripped off, one with a fake product and one that paid and never got their item!

i would worry that an ebay waterproof item would in fact be fake and end up ruining my camera.

i would stick with a reliable, old fashioned birck and mortar store for something that sensitive.
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Postby DmitriMarkine » Wed Nov 14, 2007 3:31 am

retireme wrote:i dont really trust ebay for 'sensitive' items. i have never had a problem the few times i used it but two of my friend both go ripped off, one with a fake product and one that paid and never got their item!

i would worry that an ebay waterproof item would in fact be fake and end up ruining my camera.

i would stick with a reliable, old fashioned birck and mortar store for something that sensitive.


Ebay is not evil,if you know who you are buying from I never had any problems in 8 years of buying.
If Ebay is not an option then
google EWA-Marine, this company sells affordable underwater housings for SLR cameras.
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Postby thetravelingbee » Tue Dec 18, 2007 11:42 pm

I have a Canon PowerShot as well as a DSLR. For my PowerShot, I use an Aquapac bag which has worked WONDERFULLY! They're not terribly expensive and definitely a good solution over having to purchase the more clunky cases. Amazon sells them, but I'm sure you could find them through other retailers as well.

Here's a link to the one I have:

http://www.amazon.com/Shown-Aquapac-Waterproof-Compact-Camera/dp/B000R9UKHM/ref=sr_1_1?ie=UTF8&s=apparel&qid=1198035754&sr=1-1
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