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Discussion Starter #1
Looking to get my first camera and can get the F80 for £250. F550 is around £321. both include all the housing

Are there any major differences that make the extra money worthwhile? Or are there any other cameras i should be looking at instead (£321 is around my max)

Complete novice with photography however im a nerd so whichever camera i end up getting ill be reading loads into it once i get it :p
 

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Discussion Starter #2
Been looking around a bit more, and seems S95 is a popular choice. £199 on amazong and housing for it for £175.

Seems the price is creeping up -_- Problem is i don't want to spend £250 on an F80 if in 12 months ill wish id spent a bit more and bought an S95 instead.
 

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We've just got the s95, and whilst we haven't got i wet yet, as a camera it does appear to be quite splendid.

Sent from my GT-I9000 using Tapatalk 2
 

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Been looking around a bit more, and seems S95 is a popular choice. £199 on amazong and housing for it for £175.
I really would go this route if I were you.

The F80 is, I believe, well and truly discontinued whereas the F550 has:

• A zoom of which you might (just) be able to utilise the 24 to 72mm end (35mm equivalent) underwater. Above water 15x would mostly require a tripod.
• Too many pixels (in my book).
• No raw (preferably) or Manual White Balance. "Underwater mode" quite simply does not cut it.

After that I gave up.

The S95 is an excellent underwater "starter" camera but you realise, don't you, that it's been replaced by the S100? Having said that it's been in great demand ever since its discontinuance, looks like I'm not the only one to consider it fairly exceptional.
 

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the S95 was my choice, also does good Video,
Would recommend Maria Munns Underwater Photography book to. Although not specific to camera has some good advice for the beginner.
 

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Discussion Starter #6
Decided on S95 as the housing etc means i can add lenses if i decide to later on.

Cheers for that book link, ill have a look once i get the camera and housing
 

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F550 defo does do RAW.
Sorry, my mistook. Looks like, among my many other failings, I can't read either.

Nevertheless I'd still prefer a Canon S95/100, especially since it's significantly cheaper.
 

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Whatever you do do not buy any Fuji with an EXR sensor. I owned an F80 for 6 months before getting rid of it. the problem lies in the EXR sensor layout where some of the pixels are octagonal in shape. The problem with this is as soon as you crop or enlarge the picture these start to show up in a serious way. almost like a pointillist painting. Now i like pointillist paintings but i don't want my photo's to look like that. (just to be clear i used to love Fuji UW camera's and still have a F40 and Housing)

canon camera's are very good but unfortunately there OEM housings are not. i would in fact rather put my camera in a poly bag because at least they are cheap. The Ikalite housings are better but recently have had quality control problems so if you go for one have someone who knows what they are doing check it out. ideally buy from a shop and ask them to take it out and show you all the buttons etc.

Based on what you have said i don't think you really need RAW unless your already using it topside and know what it's all about.

I have just purchased a Olympus TG1 and housing as a replacement for the F80 and so far and am very impressed with it. unfortunately it does not do RAW or allow full manual control but for what i want it's perfect (backup for DSLR) it does have really good integration with an external strobe and several good underwater modes (perfect for a beginner to get used to taking pictures) A friend in our dive club has a S100 which is excellent but she is struggling to get to grips with it as she really just wants to point and shoot nice pictures ( she has won our club photo comp the last two years in a row so it works)

unfortunately the TG1 is outside your price range at £500

for a first camera i would look at a decent second hand camera and then buy a decent strobe as soon as you can afford it. (inon or sea and sea) you will almost certainly change you first camera anyway within a year or two depending on how much you get into it and your particular interests etc. However a decent strobe will travel with you from one camera to the next.

I can highly recommend the essential guide to Digital underwater photography by Michael AW even before you buy a camera it would be worth getting a copy as it is really easy to read and will give you a good head start.

Roddy
 
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