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Old Jul 28, 12, 10:48 pm   #1
 
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Camera for Scuba Diving

I have an upcoming trip and want to take some decent pictures underwater while I'm scuba diving. It's saltwater in case you're wondering. Which camera would you recommend?
I'm not a professional photographer and don't wish to spend too much money on my first camera for scuba but I don't want to buy a crappy camera either. I'd like to take some quality pictures like the ones some people post on their blogs.
I also like to travel light so nothing heavy please.
My budget is under $650 if possible. Let me know which additional accessories I need to buy because like I said I'm not a pro. Any suggestions?
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Old Jul 28, 12, 11:15 pm   #2
 
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http://www.bhphotovideo.com/c/search...681+4283022111

is a pretty decent listing of what is available. I have used the Sealife DC 1400 and was happy with it.
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Old Jul 30, 12, 10:22 am   #3
 
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Yoshi212 View Post
http://www.bhphotovideo.com/c/search...681+4283022111

is a pretty decent listing of what is available. I have used the Sealife DC 1400 and was happy with it.
Personally, I would go for the SpongeBob camera!

Although I haven't yet used the ones pictured, for diving you definitely want to go with something rated to at least 100 feet. I wouldn't consider anything less.
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Old Aug 1, 12, 2:00 pm   #4
 
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What i use:

Camera - $350
http://www.bhphotovideo.com/c/produc...al_Camera.html

Case - $230
http://www.bhphotovideo.com/c/produc..._Case_for.html

You may want to buy an extra O-ring at some point (after repeated use).. buy some silicone gel to coat the O-ring with after each use/clean
But total under $600.

You get a great Point and Shoot camera.. one of the best with manual controls yet small and easy to carry.
The case is also very solid.. dove to 100 ft no problems.

The reason i like the camera is i can shoot in RAW.. which is definitely needed unless you get some MEGA lights, your white balance is almost certainly off, so shooting RAW allows me to adjust in post process without quality loss.
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Old Aug 1, 12, 2:38 pm   #5
 
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Rent an underwater camera. Generally resorts will have a few for rent.

Taking decent pictures underwater is difficult unless you are in almost calm waters. Decent underwater housings cost as much as the camera or more. Shutter lag in point and shoots is a real problem.

I am a bit of a snob concerning my pictures.
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Old Aug 1, 12, 2:45 pm   #6
 
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Originally Posted by manneca View Post
Rent an underwater camera. Generally resorts will have a few for rent.

Taking decent pictures underwater is difficult unless you are in almost calm waters. Decent underwater housings cost as much as the camera or more. Shutter lag in point and shoots is a real problem.

I am a bit of a snob concerning my pictures.
I rented at first, but they cost 50-60 to rent usually, so if you go ONCE then definitely rent..
If you go diving quite a bit, consider investing in your own
If you go ALL the time, you might want to look at SLR/casings.. but that's thousands of dollars.

Agreed, underwater photography is difficult. u need light, and current makes it hard to focus.. and shutter lag is a real pain, but you learn to get used to it. Don't have crazy expectations.. it won't look as good as your Canon 5d3 photos on land..
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Old Aug 2, 12, 4:15 am   #7
 
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Originally Posted by vmsea View Post
Does that mean that I can use my own digital camera if I have the right case? I thought the normal digital cameras are not meant to withstand the higher pressure underwater.
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Old Aug 2, 12, 5:13 am   #8
 
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GoPro HD with either an eyeofmine modified housing, or the actual GoPro dive housing. Add a red color filter from Mako Spear Guns, and you are in business for 1080p video and 6/11mp still shots for less than 300 bucks.
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Old Aug 6, 12, 4:09 pm   #9
 
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There are ~$80 point-and-shoot underwater cameras that are probably what I would do for the first while if I was going to do it again. It's silly to spend too much on a camera and housing when it's going to take more than a few dives before you're actually regularly taking photos where the quality of the camera is the limiting factor.

That said what I actually did is get a gopro. You need to buy the dive housing or replacement lense but the housings are pretty cheap. The gopro is definitely a tradeoff. You can't see a preview and the still photos are pretty noisy in low light so you're not really going photo hunting. They're best used by starting the video recording and then forgetting about them. The video quality is excellent.

The gopro is just expensive enough that having one flood will be quite annoying. But just cheap enough that you don't need to treat it like your crown jewels and add a rider to your insurance policy either.

The alternative as mentioned above is to get real scuba housing for a camera. There are housings for just about every decent camera out there from point-and-shoots up to the top-of-the-iine dslrs but each housing is for one specific camera. So if you're shopping for a camera you're making a pretty big bet on your choice of camera because if you don't like it you'll also be replacing the housing. If I were going that route I would be looking hard at the mirrorless bigger-sensor cameras that have been coming out the past couple years. The new hottness is apparently the Sony RX100, not sure if there's a housing for it yet.
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Old Aug 6, 12, 11:17 pm   #10
 
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Quote:
Originally Posted by fiveninerzero View Post
GoPro HD with either an eyeofmine modified housing, or the actual GoPro dive housing. Add a red color filter from Mako Spear Guns, and you are in business for 1080p video and 6/11mp still shots for less than 300 bucks.
We're using the GoPro HD Hero2, comes with waterproof housing. Just needed to add the orange flotation pad which sticks on the back panel.

2 buttons - on/off, start/stop. Dead easy to use. And really compact to boot.

The results are rather impressive for well under A$500...
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Old Aug 7, 12, 3:35 am   #11
 
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Nikonos.

Best inexpensive underwater camera ever. The original was a Cousteau prototype, hence the name Calypso, before it became Nikonos.

My first was a new 1965 model. My second was free the next year when I found a Nikonos that someone had dropped or lost while diving. I took it into a camera shop, had it serviced, and it still worked fine. Generally, they don't leak and they don't fog.

Reliable history, simple maintenance, different lenses, flash, the whole package.
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Old Aug 7, 12, 11:59 am   #12
 
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Slightly more sophisticated than a baggy!

Why not try one of these: http://www.dicapacusa.com/?
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Old Aug 7, 12, 12:01 pm   #13
 
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Quote:
Originally Posted by willyroo View Post
We're using the GoPro HD Hero2, comes with waterproof housing. Just needed to add the orange flotation pad which sticks on the back panel.

2 buttons - on/off, start/stop. Dead easy to use. And really compact to boot.

The results are rather impressive for well under A$500...
Willy. i've been curious about the GoPro cameras..
are they shooting video or photo?
and what kind of editing abilities do you have?
(i.e. can you shoot RAW images to adjust white balance after the fact)?

Thanks!
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Old Aug 8, 12, 2:01 pm   #14
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I'm considering Olympus TG-1iHS. The review seems pretty good.
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Old Aug 8, 12, 4:05 pm   #15
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I'll echo the recommendations for a housing on a regular camera you're familiar with. I'm currently using an Canon Elph 300 HS and the Canon housing for it. I got some pretty good shots out of it on my last trip:





Video, too.
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=i3c4F...layer_embedded

I'd also say to get to the point where you are comfortable using it before you get in the water. Understand which buttons are where and how it works. Trying to learn/understand that while underwater and remembering the dive stuff really takes away from that side of the fun.
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