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Can anyone advise me on which camera is more suited to someone relatively new to diving, and who knows nothing about any kind of photography.

Digital versus SLR?  The minimum equipment to start with, but something that can be added to (when I win the lottery, haha).
 

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Oh where to start.  Well I guess the questions you need to ask is what is your budget and what are your expectations.

For a basic camera you could look at the MX5,  the MX10 is more capable of being upgraded.

However both are standard 35mm cameras and you will probably find that when you fire off a role of film only one or two will be any good to begin with.  Unfortunatly you will not know this until you have the film developed.

Digital cameras seem to give much better results in the hands of a beginner than the 35mm cameras.  Also you can see your results almost immediatly also you will be able to take more pictures with a descent memory card installed.

You could look at the canon range and Sony range.  I would advise looking at the housings first and then comparing the cameras that fit the housings to see which gives the best results.  No good finding a great camera if you can't get a housing for it.

Daz
 

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There is no answer to your question really - its simply a matter of what quality of image you want to produce and what you are prepared to pay regards differences in quality at the higher end. If you look at it in cost terms then it would be:

Cheap - 35mm film point and shoot
Expensive - digtal point ans hoot with housing and strobe/s
Very Expensive - 35 mm slr with housing and strobe/s
Prohibitively expensive - digital slr with housing and strobe/s

I started with a 35 mm PS - and frankly would have been better throwing the money in the river. Do not go this route if you want decent photos.

Then I move to digital PS and found "photography" - adding strobes really gave me "photographs". I then went to a housed 35mm slr - much superior quality over the digital PS.

I suppose what you really need to assess is what quality you require and then plump for that option.

You can see some of the quality difference between dig and 35 mm at

damnam

the "full frame shots" are 35mm housed and the cropped odd sized photos are digital. You can see the 35mm is better quality even when scanned and reduced to 72 dpi (as is the dig image) but the dig' does give good quality which you can print as great photos upto 8 x 10/12 (its loosing it at after that)  in a very easy to learn package.
 

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Discussion Starter · #4 ·
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Thanks to both of you for your replies.

I thought digital would be the best way to go.  I suppose a manufacture who specialises in underwater cameras would be best?

Unfortunately, it will have to wait a bit longer, as something else has cropped up (as is usual).

Thanks again

Carol
 

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Underwater specialist manufacturer is best - I would say that Olympus/Canon produce fine underwater cameras, but they are not specialists at this. Daz is quite correct make sure you can get a housing before buying the camera. I bought a really nice digital Fuji 6800 (nr SLR) a while ago, can I get a housing - no chance. I didnt buy it with the idea of throwing into the Sea but it would be a nice option. So make sure you can get a housing.
On the other hand I have a 35mm SLR Canon, so when funds permit maybe I'll try and flood that!

HTH
Matt
 

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Hi Carol

For ease of use and great results from day one go digital. Bit more expensive but worth it. You can get an Olympus C4040Z and PT010 housing for about £700 ish. The camera can be used on land. You will get great results without expensive strobes etc as long as you are close (less than 4 feet) from the subject
 

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Hi All

Thanks for all the very helpful replies.

Anyone got a spare £700 lying around?  If so, I know the perfect home for it.


I will try and hold out for a digital camera.
 

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<font color='#736AFF'>I have a similar query to Carol's -

I have an MX5 (II) with strobe and close-up lens (total cost about £300), but now want to upgrade.  

My initial thoughts are to go for an SLR - just because of the quality issue - that said, I don't need them for anything important (ie. not for publication etc) just to develop my hobby and for my own pleasure and enjoyment (and those who I torment into looking at our holiday snaps!).  

The other reason for wanting SLR is because I rather fancy taking a few more "above sea" photos too and I am not getting the results I want with my "point and push" camera.  My impression/understanding is that it is really only possible to get the flexibility on focussing and depth with the SLR. Is that right?

I am also thinking about upgrading my torch at some point (I used to think my little (or in fact rather large) UK D8 was pretty good until my husband started showing off with his fancy shmancy greenforce HID light!).  Apart from the light emitted, one of the other reasons for upgrading thr torch is because it is too much of a faff to have to hold torch with one hand and focus camera with the other, so I will probably go for one that I can arm-mount.

Now, despite what the above might suggest, I have not in fact won the lottery or come into an inheritance.  I do however have a credit card!!

So - any suggestions please? or a point in the right direction to some suitable resources?

Thanks

Fiona
 

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<font color='#0000FF'>Better still, interest free credit at  Jessops £400 spend = 4 months IFC, £600=6 IFC up to 900 squid = 9 months IFC
whay-hey  
 

But check out my info via Andy P in the other post about waiting till summer before buying
Chee-az
steve
 

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[b said:
Quote[/b] (Fi @ Mar. 24 2003,16:22)] "My impression/understanding is that it is really only possible to get the flexibility on focussing and depth with the SLR. Is that right?"
Not 100% sure what you are acually asking (my addled old brain again) but - re-focusing, there is no difference really its dependent on the lens, both systems focus easily unless you are using a long lens (i.e. 60 or 105 or above) on a shot that does not have much contrast in it (I would presume that covers a lot of UK diving) - to get over this problem you need to buy additional focusing lights (even on the best sites in Thailand I need to use focusing lights 90% of the time when using a 105mm lens).

Re depth - I am presuming you mean actual depth the housing can go rather than depth of field or depth of colour?

If depth of field - that is lens/aperture combos and are same for both type of camera.

if depth of colour - Yes an SLR can get you much more colour depth BUT you have to use good film (I use velvia transpatacies which is expensive - in the UK I beleive around 5 quid a role!).

If depth of housing capability the there really not much in it for recreational diving - some of the polycarb hosuing are only certified to 30 meters - but thats more than enough for photography).

Forgetting all this - and not wanting to type for eons - I would advise that a suitable upgrade from the MX5 would be an digital OLY 5050 digital in a UN housing with a DS125 strobe (or a similar setup). Its also considerably cheaper than plumping for the the SLR option (esp. the housing).

You can get stunning results with an SLR but with the size - the consumables - all the processing and the general faffing about, you really need to quite dedicated (or rich) to take the SLR route. Alternatively if you have your heart set on buying an SLR anyway the SEa and sea have good prices on their housings (about 1300 quid up) but you could fly to states, buy one and fly back and still have savings over buying one in the UK.
 

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[b said:
Quote[/b] (Fi @ Mar. 24 2003,16:22)]So - any suggestions please? or a point in the right direction to some suitable resources?
Hi Fi

I think it's worth having a chat with a few folks before you decide, I've found all the staff at Cameras Underwater are very helpful - they take credit cards  
 and next day delivery.

Also Ocean Optics are friendly and helpful (if you can get to London they let you test kit in the pool!) or Alan James, havent got anything from there myself but I know folks who speak highly of them.

My view is that digital is the way to go if you're sure you dont want to publish. It's great being able to see what you've got right away, and if you've got a decent sized memory card you can just keep clicking till you get it right.

It's all down to what you're going to use it for & personal choice in the end but whatever you decide, enjoy!

smallfry
 

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<font color='#736AFF'>Thanks v.much for all that advice & the links.  I will have a chat with some of the shops and see what they suggest.

Thanks folks!

 

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For antone thats interested. There is a woman on D/NEt selling a MX-10 with external strobe for £100ono. She says the strobe is slightly scratched(whatever slightly means) but it seems like a great deal as long as the strobe still works......

Peter
 
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