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TOPIC: Best option for Underwater photography

Best option for Underwater photography 7 years 7 months ago #4891

  • wreckdiver
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I am in the market for new photography equipment and need some help. I am looking for a small digital camera that is also capable of taking video. In addition it must have a market ready water proof case that will allow me to shoot decent under water pictures and video.
I came up with three cameras that seem to meet the requirements that I have, and I am hoping that some of you have some experience with one or all of these cameras.
They each have good and bad points, but I cant trust all that hype from the manufactures.

Canon G12
Nikon P7000
Panasonic DMC-LX5
“Treasure – If it’s out there, we’re going to find it!” (Tommy Vawter)
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Re: Best option for Underwater photography 7 years 7 months ago #4915

  • 1BootySeeker
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I've been out of the photography business for some time now, so I'm not up to date on the latest. But I have always been partial to the Nikon cameras. Back before digital was the rage I used three different Nikon bodies and a Hasselblad for larger format pix. The Nikons always delivered crystal clear images and I never had any issues what-so-ever.
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Re: Best option for Underwater photography 7 years 7 months ago #4919

  • Zook
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I agree with 1Bootyseeker about Nikon. I used them for years before getting out of the business also but again that was before digital. I have recently spoken with someone who used to work for me about digital because I had been reading a lot of good things about Canon and I know he uses Canon digital cameras. He told me that Canon had the upper hand but now Nikon was on top again. Now we are talking the top of the line pro cameras but that technology does trickle down. So even though I have not used any of the cameras you have listed, I too would be partial to the Nikon. That is if you have done your research and find that they will all do what you need.
A man convinced against his will is of the same opinion still.
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Re: Best option for Underwater photography 7 years 7 months ago #4944

  • stevemc
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I use a Nikon coolpix 4300, it is about 5 years old, and I use a Fantasea UW housing. I know Fantasea makes housings for Nikon mainly, and have real good prices. And all the add on stuff, video/spot lights, flashes, that kind of thing. I have used Nikon film SLRs in the past and as was said, they are superior in the lens quality, and the outcome of the photo. They still seem to be. Mine is a 4.3 megapixel, and I have blown up pictures to small poster size, maybe 18 by 24" and they are still sharp and clear. Canon is right up there too. All take viedos I am sure. When I get another digital still camera it will be a Nikon, most likely an SLR digital. And of course as high a megapixal count as possible. I have several UW video cameras, the best being a JVC (dont remember the model) production type HD to tape camera and housing, fantastic picture. It will take still pictures to an SD card also. The best video is to tape, uncompressed. You loose some character in compression. Now a low cost excellent video cam with stills too is the GoPro Hero. You can get helmet cam mounting with straps. Some friends brought some to the Bahamas on my boat this summer and made a fantastic video, and it came out perfect. They used them on their foreheads while snorkeling and spearfishing. They have 720 and 1080 p, and choices of 30 or 60 frames per second. (on the same camera using less frames and pixels allows longer running time-at full 1080 and 60 FPS you can get around 1 hour of video from a charge otherwise it could be as long as 4 hours.) very nice tiny camera, it is only about 2" by 3" by 2" thick, comes with a UW case and all straps and mounting, cables etc. they are around $200. Great deal for a cool thing. I think they record to a hard drive or maybe also to a mini SD.
Last Edit: 7 years 7 months ago by stevemc.
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Re: Best option for Underwater photography 7 years 7 months ago #4945

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When you do look at cameras, look at aperature size too. The difference between a tiny lensed 10 MP camera and a large lensed 10 MP camera both from same company, is a lot of difference. And of course flash attachments, and other things, if you are into photography you will know what I am talking about.
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Re: Best option for Underwater photography 7 years 7 months ago #4958

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B) Ahoy Steve, I am going to have to get together with you about cameras. My last UW was a Nikon 35mm that shot awesome UW photos. Now that digital eliminates all the negitives and developing costs I want to get back into underwater photography. This little unit you have mentioned seems to be within my budget and ability. What are the working depths of this camera? My old nikon would not return the shutter button below 60 feet. I don't usually dive much deeper now that I am having medical issues with depth but I was still interested in the camera you mentioned. Maybe we can get together after turkeyday when Sherene is feeling better. :)
Count your Blessings but Remember your Dreams!
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Re: Best option for Underwater photography 7 years 7 months ago #4959

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Russ, we will get together. I have a Pentax 35 MM camera in an Ikelite housing, but havent used it in years. Must be 30 years old. Same with my first UW video camera, i was the first super 8 video camera, and housing was made out of 6"or 8" PVC with fisheye lens. Still have that, it also is about 30 years old. The GoPro Hero can be found for $200. A friend is a dealer and has unadvertized prices, he cant advertize since they are below MSRP. I dont think you could find one for under $245 or so. But like I said, he has them for around 200. They are rated for 200' deep. I have never heard of anyone having a problem. I will call you after T day. Hope all is well.
Last Edit: 7 years 7 months ago by stevemc.
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Re: Best option for Underwater photography 7 years 7 months ago #4963

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I'm waiting for this unit to get a little lower in price as it just came out in September. Currently about $310.00USD

Nikon COOLPIX AW100 16 MP CMOS Waterproof Digital Camera with GPS and Full HD 1080p Video

Water-proof, Shock-proof, Freeze-proof: ruggedly built for reliable and comfortable outdoor operation. Water-proof to a depth of 33 feet.

16 effective megapixel CMOS sensor ideal for low light shooting and fast operation.
Full HD (1080p) movie with stereo sound and movie-record button that enables one-touch recording (HDMI mini connector equipped)
GPS and e-Compass functionsPoints of Interest (locations, landmarks, etc.) and location information (latitude and longitude) can be added to your photos
Shockproof if dropped from 5 ft, operating temperature down to 14 degrees F

That emphasis is mine. Because that feature is something pretty cool that I am hoping to utilize. Here's a little more about that...

"Built-in GPS, mapping and e-Compass

Imagine you and a friend are white water rafting down an unfamiliar route. The AW100's rugged waterproof build can take the pounding action while you record photos and movies of this incredible adventure, and it's built-in GPS can track your progress with Nikon View NX2 software, Nikon's mypicturetown photo sharing site or Google Earth™. Its built-in maps let you view your path, and its electronic compass is an extra safety measure that can even help you ascertain which branch to take if there's a fork in the stream. Your GPS travelogue will give you bragging rights as you share the adventure with your friends."

Now as treasue hunters I'm sure we can see how that can be pretty handy!
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Re: Best option for Underwater photography 7 years 4 months ago #6180

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I was really leaning towards the Cannon G12, but something was telling me to hold off and don't buy anything just yet. so I held back the impulse to just go buy the G12. It was just not perfect for the applications I was needing down here.

Several weeks back one of my Helicopter pilots came into my office needing some assistance with his camera mount, and showed me his new camera. Something I had never heard of before, a camera called the GoPro Hero.

We strolled out to the helicopter and checked out the mount. However, mounting the camera to the windscreen we still had more vibration of the camera than we wanted once those rotters started turning.

I was very impressed with this little camera, and started doing some research on this little gem, and found that they now have the improved Hero2. So last week ordered one for myself along with a bunch of accessories. It arrived down here in Guatemala on Monday, and I'm having a hard time putting it down, and it comes standard with a dive case.

Now I need to go try this thing out in the water, so I called my travel agent to look up some deals for me in Belize over the next couple of weeks.

Back to my pilot, yesterday a built him a custom camera mount for his flight helmet and that should take care of the vibration problem and give us a point of view series of videos instead of just a forward looking view out the window.
“Treasure – If it’s out there, we’re going to find it!” (Tommy Vawter)
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Re: Best option for Underwater photography 7 years 4 months ago #6230

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When you go to Belize, I assume you are going to Ambergris Caye, San pedro. If so, check out Palapas Bar, it is just North of the bridge, and it is the most famous bar out there. Do a search, it will come up. Some good friends Scott and Jodie Harnish, both from St Pete FL, both retired early and moved there, bought the bar and fixed it up and it is great. The year before they moved, we went to Costa Rica with them, and they were looking for something like that. You know, sometimes people just say they would like to do that, well they did. They are both great people, and Scott makes some good BBQ. Check them out. He can get you out diving and spearfishing and fishing. I have to bring him a new spear and new speargun when we go down. Tell him Steve and Lynn from Sarasota said Hi! Good luck with your new camera. Steve.
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Re: Best option for Underwater photography 7 years 4 months ago #6232

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Gracias Steve, I will do that!
“Treasure – If it’s out there, we’re going to find it!” (Tommy Vawter)
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Re: Best option for Underwater photography 7 years 4 months ago #6251

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Oh its Palapa Bar.
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