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advice on a camera for use while scuba diving

Discussion in 'Photography & Video' started by Ch3m1c4L, 6 Oct 2009.

  1. Ch3m1c4L

    Mobster

    Joined: 11 Oct 2007

    Posts: 2,898

    Location: London, UK

    Hello,
    I will be going on holiday at the end of the month and will scuba diving around reefs and the like, never done it before so w00t :)
    Anyway, I want a camera to be able to take pics with underwater, currently im used to using my N95/N97 camera and have never felt the need to buy a better camera as i dont do much (any) photography. Since im going to have to buy something I may as well make it somewhat worth it.

    It obviously needs to be waterproof, i shouldnt be going any deeper than 18m and maybe not even that. I want video capability as well as image, Mega Pixels mean less to me than image quality (around 5/6 minimum though). From spending the day looking around google I think I have narrowed it down to the below three, £300 is my absolute maximum budget and i would like to spend as little as possible but I know this isnt exactly a cheap thing to buy.

    Canon PowerShot D10 - waterproof to 10m, better than the other waterproof cameras, 640*480 video, 3x optical zoom. Costs £200ish

    Sony Cybershot w270 + MPK-WE housing - Waterproof to 40m, looks ok, but the IQ isnt the best, has the benefit of 720p video, 5x optical zoom. Costs £150 for the camera and £115 for the casing

    Intovo IC800 - Waterproof to 40m, havent read a review on it yet, 640*480 video, 3x optical zoom. Costs £233 with casing

    Anyone got opinions on these, or know of anything better/cheaper that I should be looking at? I will only be using them in point and shoot mode as im lazy etc.
     
  2. Ch3m1c4L

    Mobster

    Joined: 11 Oct 2007

    Posts: 2,898

    Location: London, UK

    another option would be the samsung wb500 or 550 + a pouch that is rated to 20m. From looking on the samsung site this camera looks pretty awesome, but i dont know if thats just me and my lack of knowledge.
     
  3. DampCat

    Capodecina

    Joined: 26 Feb 2007

    Posts: 13,792

    Location: Manchestah

    Hi mate.

    10m isn't going to be enough for diving in my opinion, although it depends where you are i guess.

    You're right, it's not cheap... your budget is about £100 short of my ultimate set up for diving, though. We recently bought a G10 with housing and if memory serves it was around £400. The shots we got were fantastic, and have since been used for my girlfriend's marine biology masters dissertation.

    If you search, you could probably find a cheap/second hand G9for £250 ish, and the housing would be a bit cheaper too as the G10 is coming to the end of its cycle with the G11 out soon... so the G9 housing would be cheaper at the mo (W.E. have it at £155, but search around).

    Like i said, over budget but an extremely good investment. It really does take excellent shots down to 30m (we didnt go further this time).
     
  4. Ch3m1c4L

    Mobster

    Joined: 11 Oct 2007

    Posts: 2,898

    Location: London, UK

    thanks, ill take a look :)
     
  5. Paul11

    Capodecina

    Joined: 28 Sep 2003

    Posts: 10,163

    Location: London

    would agree that not worth getting something rated to only 10 m

    30 or 40 is ideal
     
  6. Ch3m1c4L

    Mobster

    Joined: 11 Oct 2007

    Posts: 2,898

    Location: London, UK

    this will be my first ever dive, which is why i think i wont be going down very far, and im assuming since itll be over a coral reef in barbados it wouldnt be that far down? My friend said that normally beginner open water will only go down to 18m, and then advanced open water would be 30m. I understand about possible future diving though.
     
  7. Paul11

    Capodecina

    Joined: 28 Sep 2003

    Posts: 10,163

    Location: London

    if your doing yoru open water course, you shouldnt take your camera with you during the course.

    after that you can go down to 18m, (and after advanced to 40m max)

    but more than that, its about future proofing yourself. so worth getting a camera that can do everything ..
     
    Last edited: 7 Oct 2009
  8. The_blue

    Mobster

    Joined: 25 Oct 2002

    Posts: 4,186

    Location: Derbyshire

    I've taken my Fuji F31 to nearly 50 meters and it survived!

    As said above, if your learning then your going to progress so don't limit yourself with a camera at 10/20 meters. But on the other hand don't be a depth junkie for the sake of it :) Most tropical sea life does its best in the 1st 25 meters, its the shipwrecks i dive deeper for.


    Also as said above any instructor worth his salt won't let you learn with a camera and also remember your a learner even when qualified. Diving throws many things to remember, you don't just learn then know how to dive. So many good reefs have been trashed by n00bs and cameras. They can't hold level and sink/kick the reef.

    If tis is your 1st holiday please forget the camera and learn how not to kill yourself, the reef and your buddy.
     
    Last edited: 7 Oct 2009
  9. Paul11

    Capodecina

    Joined: 28 Sep 2003

    Posts: 10,163

    Location: London


    so have i .. i was bricking it that it was goign to implode on me, but it was fine :)

    great lilttle camera / housing combo
     
  10. Ch3m1c4L

    Mobster

    Joined: 11 Oct 2007

    Posts: 2,898

    Location: London, UK

    I wont be learning, it would be recreational, he quoted the numbers to give me an idea of what id be diving to. recreational meaning with an instructor, and not learning, and not needing a certificate. Hence why im pretty sure it wont be going down to far. If im not allowed to take a camera as we might damage the reef due to not being stable then fair enough, but ill still want to get some while snorkling, in which case i deffo wont need a big housing lol.

    Maybe I should have been mroe specific in my first post? Sorry for not pointing out im not actually learning etc, its been a long day at work.

    edit: on the camera front, anything wrong with a Panasonic DMC TZ7? Apperently its better than its competitors of the samsung wb550 and canon something.
     
    Last edited: 7 Oct 2009
  11. Paul11

    Capodecina

    Joined: 28 Sep 2003

    Posts: 10,163

    Location: London

    ahh i see

    in that case you will be doing a try dive and you wont go deep at all

    its just for an intructor to take you down and give you a taste of what it is like

    probablly wouldnt be allowed to take the camera with you, and my advice would be not to take it anyway, and concentrate on the dive and enjoy it without worrying about a camera.
     
  12. Ch3m1c4L

    Mobster

    Joined: 11 Oct 2007

    Posts: 2,898

    Location: London, UK

    Yea ive just re-read the details and it is as below. Maybe i should have taken it in more on the first read through, I was rather excited about booking the holiday and stuff lol. Also not having done it before I don't really know what to expect, so you explaining it a bit above has helped quite a lot.
    So, no pics on the below dive thing, and for random beach/snorkeling a pouch will be fine.

    Opinions on the Panasonic DMC TZ7 camera? I can get it for £200 so unless there is something glaringly wrong with it then i will probably pick it up in a day or two. May as well get one at least for better quality pics for normal use on land, even if i don't end up using it in the see for anything. Can also get a proper case for it in the future if i decide i liek diving, and go and get qualified etc.

     
    Last edited: 7 Oct 2009
  13. J1234

    Capodecina

    Joined: 16 Oct 2005

    Posts: 13,800

  14. Ch3m1c4L

    Mobster

    Joined: 11 Oct 2007

    Posts: 2,898

    Location: London, UK

    they look awesome :)