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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
Hi,

Nice forum, guys.

This is my first post. I'm in Dublin Ireland, and am about to buy either an Olympus E-410 or Canon EOS 400D. The camera will be for the usual topside family, landscape, sport work and for use on the occasional dives and snorkelling that we do.

I browsed Google for a Fantasea housing for the 400D and found you guys.

Brian (diver-repairs) seems to have recently bought a 400D & Fantasea F400D.

What do you think of that combo Brian? What port did you get? I assume you got the 18-55mm kit lens?

I'm leaning toward the 400D + 18-55mm (not least because Argos currently sell the kit for €770 and Canon are running an €80 cash-back promotion, meaning I'd be paying just €690 for the 400D + 18-55mm), and I'd also probably eventually get some sort of longer zoom (not necessarily Canon) and a macro (probably Canon's own 50mm).

If possible, I'd like to get just one port that would accomodate both the 18-55mm and the 50mm macro (not at the same time, obviously :redface: ).

I'm on a small budget - I can only go for the cheapest housing/port combo that can be relied on to not flood and is reasonably easy to use.

Thanks for any replies,

Mark
 

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Hi and welcome to YDs.
I think you should be able to find a 400D a lot cheaper than argos.
It,s not just the housing you will need strobes as well.
Before you have finished you are in to 3000 euros, and you worry about it all the time .
Thanks Ken
 

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If you do want to go this way and want to save some money I have an 18-55 kit lense that I can sell you. It's as good as new and has a UV filter on it, only selling it as I have bought a replacement lense that covers it's focal range + more.

Danny
 

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The kit lens is ok, but not fantastic. What replacement lens have you got Danny?
17-85 IS

To be honest main reason I changed was that my telephoto is 70-300 and the gap between 55 and 70 was becoming a pain!

Current setup:

EOS 350D
10-22
17-85 IS
70-300
580EX Flash
Various filters, tripod etc...

All Canon lenses, works nicely for me :)

Danny (who wouldn't dare take it underwater!)
 

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17-85 IS

To be honest main reason I changed was that my telephoto is 70-300 and the gap between 55 and 70 was becoming a pain!

Current setup:

EOS 350D
10-22
17-85 IS
70-300
580EX Flash
Various filters, tripod etc...

All Canon lenses, works nicely for me :)

Danny (who wouldn't dare take it underwater!)
Same here! Too much cost for little in the way of potential use.

Only got the el cheapo 50mm f/1.8 lens (apart from the kit jobbie) at the mo and very sharp it is to.
Where did you purchase your lenses from?
 

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Same here! Too much cost for little in the way of potential use.

Only got the el cheapo 50mm f/1.8 lens (apart from the kit jobbie) at the mo and very sharp it is to.
Where did you purchase your lenses from?
ebay hong kong sellers, so far so good, record delivery was order placed 10PM Friday night uk time, lense arrived 8AM the following tuesday morning!

Danny
 

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Hi,


I'm leaning toward the 400D + 18-55mm (not least because Argos currently sell the kit for €770 and Canon are running an €80 cash-back promotion, meaning I'd be paying just €690 for the 400D + 18-55mm), and I'd also probably eventually get some sort of longer zoom (not necessarily Canon) and a macro (probably Canon's own 50mm).

If possible, I'd like to get just one port that would accomodate both the 18-55mm and the 50mm macro (not at the same time, obviously :redface: ).

I'm on a small budget - I can only go for the cheapest housing/port combo that can be relied on to not flood and is reasonably easy to use.

Thanks for any replies,

Mark
Mark

This is very much only my opinion but, if you are only looking at snorkling and the occasional dive pictures, I would ask yourself whether housing an SLR is the route to go. By all means go for the SLR for topside but you need to remember that these are usually relatively bulky and certainly expensive to take underwater. The advantage of an SLR is usually the freedom to control settings, the reduction in sensor noise, the quality of the lenses and perhaps the reduction in shutter lag [which is decreasing rapidly].

If you are looking for ease of use and the cheaper end of the lens spectrum then you are losing some of the pluses. Added to which, I would assume, you are probably not really looking at taking pictures to A3 or competition quality and so the noise and lens issues are not going to be a problem.

The Fantasea housing is about £630 from googling. That will buy you a decent compact, housing and strobe. This will be easier to use, less bulky, and still provide good quality pictures. In fact, a know this may be a bold claim, but I think that you may well get better pictures with a compact and strobe than with an SLR without one*. Added to which, composition will make far more difference than the camera.

Ask yourself, are you diving to take pictures or do you want to take pictures during the dive? If you fall into the latter then I would suggest that a housed SLR may not be what you want.

I know that there is the argument of growing into the kit and not wanting to be limited to basic equipment. But then there is also the argument of trying things out before it costs you a fortune.

If you are set on a housed SLR and money is tight then have you thought of buying second hand. You can pick up a Nikon D70s plus Sea and Sea housing for about £600 on ebay. Second hand bundled lenses (especially the 70-300) are peanuts. I don't know about the Canon equivalents because I've always used Nikon and the value of my lenses means that I am effectively tied.

I hope that this helps.

Daniel

*To back up the claim: Lack of strobe means that loss of part of the spectrum. This can be added back -to some extent- through photoshop. However, this adds noise to the picture. Added to which, lower light in the original tends to mean either a loss of aperature stops, decrease in shutter speed, or increase in ISO. A loss of depth of field can kill a picture. The decrease in shutter speed increases the chance of camera shake and so losing sharpness. The increase in ISO will increase noise.
So, if the advantage of the SLR is a reduction in sensor noise, the chances are that you are adding this back in through the above.
 

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Discussion Starter · #10 ·
I hear you Daniel.

It was originally my plan to get an entry-level DSLR for my wife (the one with the knack for taking good pics) AND a P&S/housing for both of us to use underwater.

But it occured to me that a DSLR could possibly be housed and brought underwater for not much more money than the P&S + housing.

Surfing and asking questions on forums has dispelled that thought, but it has also brought more to light for me.

What I'm looking at now is starting off with an E-410 + ED 14-42mm + ED 40-150mm for €780 from emilyandlily. I've read so much about the D40x, EOS 400D and E-410, I'm nearly bored of it all now, but we've landed on the Olympus cos it suits more facets of what we want than the others.

Not least of those facets is the cost of getting the camera underwater: My brother in law in Texas can order Olympus housing, ports & strobes and then ship them to us as gifts - all for about half the price in the UK. Housing, 2 ports, 2 strobes, relevant brackets - €1600 ex shipping:

Olympus PT-E03 Underwater Housing for EVOLT E-410: Video Direct Online Store

All-in, we could have what some reviewers maintain is the new top of the entry-level DSLR pile (the E-410), lenses and underwater system for around €2400, which is pretty good value, if everything I've been reading is anything to go by.

I hope I haven't missed something and am in for a big surprise let-down. :redface:

Extra lenses - macro (Zuiko ED 35mm?) for underwater, long zoom (new Zuiko ED 70-300mm?) for topside could follow.

Sure, a D200 in a Subal housing will be more robust and more versatile, maybe more reliable, but it'll cost 3 or 4 times the price (not sure - guessing). And that's not where I fit in the market.

I'm not interested in buying second-hand camera gear. I don't know enough to prevent myself being ripped off. I'd be the schmuck that bought the dud that everyone else spotted. Motorbikes & bass guitars - no prob. But not cameras.

Like I say, starting with the E-410 two-lens deal now and getting the housing etc later on is probably what we'll do.

Many thanks for your replies guys,

Mark
 

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OOhh, so many points raised and good advice given.

If you are snorkeling then I'd suggest that you don't want strobes - they add bulk, drag and take unnecessary time to get set-up right that you may not have on one breathe. I'm assuming here, but I guess you're not free diving down to great depths so ambient light stuff may be sufficient, it certainly is for a number of freedivers you see with cameras - you just need to be more carefull in terms of composition.

I'd try without strobes and see how you get on before spending lots on what may turn out to be an unnecessary purchase.

If you buy a camera body abroad, try and get a worldwide warrenty - this will make service support a lot easier if you have issues down the line.

By my reckoning, you could actually house a D200 in an alu housing for around 3400 euros - it'd be cheaper if you go for a D70 or D80 especially if you buy a reconditioned body / lens from a good retailer. Same would go for canon's etc

Confusing all this advise, eh?

Oh and whatever you buy - long-term, it'll cost you way more than you think at the start, especially if you get addicted.
 

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Not least of those facets is the cost of getting the camera underwater: My brother in law in Texas can order Olympus housing, ports & strobes and then ship them to us as gifts - all for about half the price in the UK. Housing, 2 ports, 2 strobes, relevant brackets - €1600 ex shipping:

Mark
Mark

A little word of warning just to save you getting a nasty surprise. There is a popular misconception that declaring goods as a gift will avoid the VAT and duty hit on importation. It isn't true. There is the normal £18 limit for small items and this is then doubled for gifts. So, small gift relief will only cover you up to £36. Once you exceed that, taxes are due (subject to preference). So, if you import the goods and insure them for $1600, you are going to get hit. Classifying goods as items of no commercial value is like waving a red flag. Its likely to draw attention especially if you have paid a pretty penny for postage. That said, using a fast package courier improves your chances to getting it through.

Daniel
 

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Discussion Starter · #13 ·
TBH, I'm not really concerned with duty/tax. I quoted the price ex-shipping because the brother in law travels a lot (his wedding gift to us was return flights for me, my wife, our (then) two kids and my mother in law (don't ask) from Dublin to Texas. He was able to pay for them all with just his air miles. He's currently in Korea - hmm... anyone know of a good Korean camera shop? :teeth: ), and I know he'd be happy to order whatever I ask for, and carry it to Dublin on a visit.

He'll be home in Dublin this September and again a few times next year. He routes his work flights close to Ireland whenever he can, so it'd be more likely that the housing, etc. would make its way to me as his hand luggage rather than shipped freight.

RE the warranty - IIUC, emiliandlily (and some other on-line stores) DO include worldwide warranties - that is something I would require to be included in my purchase.

FWIW, emilyandlily claim to have the cameras stocked in the UK, and the EOS 400Ds that they sell are in fact 400Ds, rather than Digital Rebel XTis (the US name for 400D, like you didn't already know...), so that seems plausible.

Great to get these replies - thanks,

Mark
 

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Mark

A little word of warning just to save you getting a nasty surprise. There is a popular misconception that declaring goods as a gift will avoid the VAT and duty hit on importation. It isn't true. There is the normal £18 limit for small items and this is then doubled for gifts. So, small gift relief will only cover you up to £36. Once you exceed that, taxes are due (subject to preference). So, if you import the goods and insure them for $1600, you are going to get hit. Classifying goods as items of no commercial value is like waving a red flag. Its likely to draw attention especially if you have paid a pretty penny for postage. That said, using a fast package courier improves your chances to getting it through.

Daniel
This may not always work, however some of the stuff that erm, a mate of mine imported was marked up as warranty replacement. Never had a tax bill yet on it.

HTH

Danny
 

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Discussion Starter · #15 ·
True.

I guess it's down do how believeable it is for the customs guys that the items are not brand spankers imports.

Two years ago, the then guitarist in my band went to Vegas. He got himself a new Ibanez Prestige electric guitar (€2000 at home, $1000 there) and got me a new Tune bass (€1400 at home, $650 there).

He carried over two empty battered cases and returned with the new instruments in them. This meant leaving the custom Ibanez case with the shop - a new case would have drawn attention.

He has long hair and is scruffy. I reckon he wasn't even on their radar.

Mark
 

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This may not always work, however some of the stuff that erm, a mate of mine imported was marked up as warranty replacement. Never had a tax bill yet on it.

HTH

Danny
There are a whole number of reliefs that can apply. Most people aren't really aware of them and so they put down that the goods are either worthless or gifts. If Customs start looking at a consignment these must stand out a mile.

The warranty replacement works because the goods are eligible for returned goods relief providing that they were duty paid on original import. In order to check it, Customs would need to look at the original importation document and match it all up. I would imagine that, in order to be worth their while, the goods would have to be expensive. They could technically hold the goods in suspense until you provide all the paperwork but I can't imagine it happening, especially if you use the likes of Fedex or DHL.

The other favourite, used by the ebay Hong Kong camera suppliers, is to import the goods as temporary importations of commercial samples. Although if they try to take some of my big lenses back, they'll have a fight on their hands :) .
 
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