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Team Erectus Domini Co-Founder
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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
I would like some advice please as I have finally decided it is time to go digital. Im planning on going out to the red sea for a week in October and would like to be able to take some photos underwater. Two birds with one stone I hear you cry, so could someone offer some advice as I would like to get a digital camera that will be good for use both above and below the water.
I dont want to do anything professinal, is just for my own enjoyment and to be able to show off to everyone the amazing time that Im giong to have. The only thing is that I have no idea what to look for in a camera for use when diving. What sort of features should I be looking for and what would be a reasonable prize to expect to pay?

Cheers in advance,

John
 

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firstly do you shoot topside now with a SLR if so I would opt for a lower end DSLR and get it inside a good housing. mind you this will set you back a few pounds if you are buying from new. there are plenty of second hand set ups for sale, if that was better for your pocket. i upgraded from a sonyP12 a year ago and £5,000's later i have just about got the set up i want. then add another of grand for the tiny laptop that is used for editing, software, a realistic figure i would say was £9,000

or

go for a compact digital. some of the new hi pixel cameras around are very good, some excellent, housed from between £500-£1000

what features to look at ? for me it would be, manual white balance, a low iso setting, reputation ( do your homework and read reviews from people that own them ), look at their photos and see for yourself. another factor if you are on a budget is cost of data storage. some memory cards can be expensive...

have a look on a few dive photography forums and image galleries and see what other divers are using.

BE WARNED !!!! UNDERWATER PHOTOGRAPHY CAN SERIOSLY HURT YOUR BANK BALANCE !!!!!!
 

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Photos

This might help...
I don't own a camera.
I borrow my wife's.

She wanted a good straight forward digital camera that was good underwater and on land. She did a lot of homework!

The camera cost about £160 and the underwater housing about £130.
She got a 2 GB memory card, rechargeable batteries, case.
Total set up < £400.

The pixel are only 5.1Mpix and if I bought one now I'd recommend one with more (maybe 7Mpix at least) that will give better definition if you blow the pics up large. (try the other models in the same range)

The camera she got was a Canon Powershot A610.
I've used it to capture seal footage and the quality is so good that some of the clips have been broadcast on the BBC! (so it can't be that bad!... one professional cameraman was gutted when he saw the results and heard the price!)

The digital camera has a short video facility which was used for all the clips!

Check out the results> YouTube - Broadcast Yourself.

If you want a good solid camera that will do a good job of capturing memories , whilst being excellent value for money, I think you could do far worse and spend a lot (!) more money!

Good luck,
Safe diving,
Ben "Seal diver"
 

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Evil! Like Black Play Doh
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Doing it on the cheap

If you are not looking to sell a kidney or other major organ to fund this, then maybe ring Digital Depot for a "recon".

I bought a olympus 410 a few years ago, with a housing for £189 ! I rang them up after seeing the ad in Diver, I was going to buy a new Olympus, but the top bloke who answered the phone told me abount the refurb'd ones saving me around £90.

It's not top end stuff, but it was enough to pay for a reasonable camera for family snaps plus it could pop it in the housing for dives. The quality is good, in my un-professional view. All I would say is that the shutter lag everyone goes on about takes a while to get used to. Also the shots are a bit hit or miss, some are good & the others are dire, for no apparent reason.

There was an article in diver, expalining how to get better shots, which I have followed & they do look better. But as I ain't ever going to be a pro, just want something I can keep clip on & not worry too much about losing / flooding.

If you go this way just buy a dive bundle, which will include 2 memory cards ( religeously keep one for family, one for diving, case it all goes tits up ) a charger & cables, plus the UW housing.

Good luck
 

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Team Erectus Domini Co-Founder
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400 Posts
Discussion Starter · #6 ·
Thanks for the information guys. I had no idea that I was letting myself in for quite so big can of worms. I hadnt really considered spending quite so much money, think a little more investigating is called for
 

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aka Chimp 1 or Mavis...
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10,108 Posts
Thats exactly what went through my mind Dec 05/Jan 06, this UW photo lark is expensive, lets start with something cheaper like a compact despite having a topside SLR. It was well worth it, meant I could get used to take pictures underwater and working out what worked and what didn't.
 
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