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underwater digital cameras -- followup



 
 
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  #1  
Old May 29th 07, 05:46 PM posted to rec.photo.technique.nature
warren montgomery
external usenet poster
 
Posts: 6
Default underwater digital cameras -- followup

A couple of months ago I posted a request here and a couple of other groups
for any suggestions on an underwater digital for shallow water (snorkeling)
use by someone who only visits tropical locales once every 2-3 years. I got
no replies. Don't know what that means, but in case someone is interested,
after looking at a lot of options, I went with an Olympus model waterproof
to 10 meters, and just returned from a trip where I used it. In short, it
was a great choice for what I wanted and came with some unexpected bonuses.
The camera is very compact, about the size of a deck of cards, but with a 2
gig memory card it will shoot over 1000 pictures or 1-1/2 hours of movies at
the highest resolution. All of the controls will work underwater and aren't
too hard to work with your thumb and fingers. It does a decent job of
focusing underwater as well. It seems to have plenty of battery life to go
a couple of hours of shooting under the conditions I was using it at least.
(It will also draw some strange looks from others who see you dive in the
water looking like you forgot you still had your point and shoot camera on
you and have just ruined it.) The ability to have that many shots allowed me
to be extravagent and as a result get a few good keepers, as opposed to
struggling to get all perfect shots with a film camera with 27 or 37
exposures. Another unexpected bonus was the movie capability, which added
a new dimension (swimming fish and sea turtles among other things). It has a
variety of pre-set modes for shooting underwater, but the general program
mode seems to work as well as any in getting decent shots. I actually
learned a lot more about shooting underwater using this camera than my film
cameras simply because I could get immediate feedback, and learn, for
example, that flash was really not a benefit except in very clear water
conditions (with anything in the water the flash will light it and give the
shot a cloudy cast). Probably my only disappointment was not being able to
see better in the LCD screen. I had thought using the screen would be a
benefit over a film camera with an optical viewfinder, since it's almost
impossible to see well in a view finder wearing a diving mask. The screen
provides more visibility, but it's hard to see in direct sun, and I found it
hard to pick out subjects that had low color contrast with the background.
I suspect that some colors simply don't display as brightly as they should,
making it hard to keep a small fish in the frame of the shot. Still though
this is a dramatic leap forward over what I got from film, where I never
knew exactly what was going to be on the film until it was developed (and I
no longer had the opportunity to try a different shot).


--
Warren Montgomery )
http://home.att.net/~wamontgomery


  #2  
Old May 30th 07, 07:40 PM posted to rec.photo.technique.nature
John[_6_]
external usenet poster
 
Posts: 1
Default underwater digital cameras -- followup

Good info! Thanks for sharing with us.

John

"warren montgomery" wrote in message
...
A couple of months ago I posted a request here and a couple of other groups
for any suggestions on an underwater digital for shallow water (snorkeling)
use by someone who only visits tropical locales once every 2-3 years. I
got no replies. Don't know what that means, but in case someone is
interested, after looking at a lot of options, I went with an Olympus model
waterproof to 10 meters, and just returned from a trip where I used it. In
short, it was a great choice for what I wanted and came with some
unexpected bonuses. The camera is very compact, about the size of a deck of
cards, but with a 2 gig memory card it will shoot over 1000 pictures or
1-1/2 hours of movies at the highest resolution. All of the controls will
work underwater and aren't too hard to work with your thumb and fingers.
It does a decent job of focusing underwater as well. It seems to have
plenty of battery life to go a couple of hours of shooting under the
conditions I was using it at least. (It will also draw some strange looks
from others who see you dive in the water looking like you forgot you still
had your point and shoot camera on you and have just ruined it.) The
ability to have that many shots allowed me to be extravagent and as a
result get a few good keepers, as opposed to struggling to get all perfect
shots with a film camera with 27 or 37 exposures. Another unexpected bonus
was the movie capability, which added a new dimension (swimming fish and
sea turtles among other things). It has a variety of pre-set modes for
shooting underwater, but the general program mode seems to work as well as
any in getting decent shots. I actually learned a lot more about shooting
underwater using this camera than my film cameras simply because I could
get immediate feedback, and learn, for example, that flash was really not a
benefit except in very clear water conditions (with anything in the water
the flash will light it and give the shot a cloudy cast). Probably my only
disappointment was not being able to see better in the LCD screen. I had
thought using the screen would be a benefit over a film camera with an
optical viewfinder, since it's almost impossible to see well in a view
finder wearing a diving mask. The screen provides more visibility, but
it's hard to see in direct sun, and I found it hard to pick out subjects
that had low color contrast with the background. I suspect that some colors
simply don't display as brightly as they should, making it hard to keep a
small fish in the frame of the shot. Still though this is a dramatic leap
forward over what I got from film, where I never knew exactly what was
going to be on the film until it was developed (and I no longer had the
opportunity to try a different shot).


--
Warren Montgomery )
http://home.att.net/~wamontgomery



  #3  
Old June 1st 07, 03:42 AM posted to rec.photo.technique.nature
warren montgomery
external usenet poster
 
Posts: 6
Default underwater digital cameras -- followup


Warren, was it the Olympus 720 SW that you used? How was the picture
quality?

The 770 SW. The picture quality was good at least when I managed to get the
subject in focus

--
Warren Montgomery )
http://home.att.net/~wamontgomery
"THO" wrote in message
...
In article ,
"warren montgomery" wrote:

A couple of months ago I posted a request here and a couple of other
groups
for any suggestions on an underwater digital for shallow water
(snorkeling)
use by someone who only visits tropical locales once every 2-3 years. I
got
no replies. Don't know what that means, but in case someone is
interested,
after looking at a lot of options, I went with an Olympus model
waterproof
to 10 meters, and just returned from a trip where I used it. In short,
it


was a great choice for what I wanted and came with some unexpected
bonuses.
The camera is very compact, about the size of a deck of cards, but with a
2
gig memory card it will shoot over 1000 pictures or 1-1/2 hours of movies
at
the highest resolution. All of the controls will work underwater and
aren't
too hard to work with your thumb and fingers. It does a decent job of
focusing underwater as well. It seems to have plenty of battery life to
go
a couple of hours of shooting under the conditions I was using it at
least.
(It will also draw some strange looks from others who see you dive in the
water looking like you forgot you still had your point and shoot camera
on
you and have just ruined it.) The ability to have that many shots allowed
me
to be extravagent and as a result get a few good keepers, as opposed to
struggling to get all perfect shots with a film camera with 27 or 37
exposures. Another unexpected bonus was the movie capability, which
added
a new dimension (swimming fish and sea turtles among other things). It
has a
variety of pre-set modes for shooting underwater, but the general program
mode seems to work as well as any in getting decent shots. I actually
learned a lot more about shooting underwater using this camera than my
film
cameras simply because I could get immediate feedback, and learn, for
example, that flash was really not a benefit except in very clear water
conditions (with anything in the water the flash will light it and give
the
shot a cloudy cast). Probably my only disappointment was not being able
to
see better in the LCD screen. I had thought using the screen would be a
benefit over a film camera with an optical viewfinder, since it's almost
impossible to see well in a view finder wearing a diving mask. The
screen
provides more visibility, but it's hard to see in direct sun, and I found
it
hard to pick out subjects that had low color contrast with the
background.
I suspect that some colors simply don't display as brightly as they
should,
making it hard to keep a small fish in the frame of the shot. Still
though
this is a dramatic leap forward over what I got from film, where I never
knew exactly what was going to be on the film until it was developed (and
I
no longer had the opportunity to try a different shot).



  #4  
Old June 5th 07, 11:44 AM posted to rec.photo.technique.nature
-hh
external usenet poster
 
Posts: 838
Default underwater digital cameras -- followup

On May 29, 12:46 pm, "warren montgomery"
wrote:
A couple of months ago I posted a request here and a couple of other groups
for any suggestions on an underwater digital for shallow water (snorkeling)
use by someone who only visits tropical locales once every 2-3 years. I got
no replies. Don't know what that means...


Mostly, it meant that you posted an inquiry on a niche application in
a relatively low volume group. If you would have made the same
inquiry in rec.scuba or rec.scuba.equipment, you would have gotten
responses.


It does a decent job of focusing underwater as well.


How is its shutter lag? I had tried a housed Canon A80 two years
ago...it has significant shutter lag which made focusing quite
difficult.




(It will also draw some strange looks from others who see you dive in the
water looking like you forgot you still had your point and shoot camera on
you and have just ruined it.)


Don't worry, you may still be successful in ruining it:

because the water you had exposed it to was sal****er, you now have
dried-out salt on the camera's internal protective o-rings, which will
eventually cause things to gum up and precipitate a water seal
failure.

The best short-term remedy for you for this 'accident waiting to
happen' is for you to promptly soak the camera in *fresh* water before
it has dried out from its sal****er exposure. This functionally
dilutes the salt, which reduces the salt crystal buildup.

Even if you've already allowed the camera to dry out and its been a
week or two, letting it soak for a couple of days in your kitchen sink
is a good idea. Just make sure to use *just* water, and no additives
(no soap, no anti-salt agents), as these can chemically strip the
lubricants off your o-rings.

Overall, this sal****er exposure problem is why I'd personally look at
buying a camera with a dedicated housing instead of any of these
'waterproof' sealed cameras. Sal****er exposure to cameras is a real
pain (and an expensive one), and since a consumer P&S is effectively
non-servicable, you'll probably not know that you're having a leak
until the electronics fry.


I suspect that some colors simply don't display as brightly as they should,
making it hard to keep a small fish in the frame of the shot.


For color balance post-processing, research on the "Mandrake"
technique.


-hh

  #5  
Old June 7th 07, 04:56 PM posted to rec.photo.technique.nature
warren montgomery
external usenet poster
 
Posts: 6
Default underwater digital cameras -- followup


Mostly, it meant that you posted an inquiry on a niche application in
a relatively low volume group. If you would have made the same
inquiry in rec.scuba or rec.scuba.equipment, you would have gotten
responses.

I tried some other groups, not these. Thanks for the pointer for next time.

It does a decent job of focusing underwater as well.


How is its shutter lag? I had tried a housed Canon A80 two years
ago...it has significant shutter lag which made focusing quite
difficult.

Shutter lag is longer than I'd like, but that was mainly a problem only with
flash (where for some reason the lag was longer).


Don't worry, you may still be successful in ruining it:

because the water you had exposed it to was sal****er, you now have
dried-out salt on the camera's internal protective o-rings, which will
eventually cause things to gum up and precipitate a water seal
failure.

I was always careful to soak and rinse after use. The instructions with the
camera say you have to replace the seals every 2 or 3 years. I have no idea
whether that is just CYA against failure. I've had a Nikon Action Touch P&S
for something like 20 years of occasional use for snorkeling and never had a
problem, though again the camera always got soaked and rinsed and I always
took care to examine and clean the seals on the back and battery
compartments carefully whenever I had it open.

One of the things about electronics is they don't stay current very long. I
figure the camera has already paid for itself in enjoyment and by the time
it fails I'll be ready for something else. (Sometimes I kind of wish more
things would just die so I'd have an excuse to replace them. I've never
been the kind who would go out and buy a new gadget unless there was truely
something I couldn't do with my older equipment, though sometimes struggling
with the older stuff gets to be a pain.


--
Warren Montgomery )
http://home.att.net/~wamontgomery


 




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