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Chrisfish
04-16-2005, 01:27 PM
Hi all,

I was interested in knowing if anyone here does any digital photography underwater? I will be going on a trip to Mexico in the summer and wanted to buy a camera that had underwater support.

One camera that I am considering in the Nikon Coolpix 8800. On one site I found two different styles of digital housings. A plastic type (http://www.underwaterphotography.com/Store/App/F.asp) and a bag type (http://www.ewa-marine.com/english/index.htm)

The Ikelite model would be way out of my price range; however the bag type is not. Has anyone tried these bags? Do they work? Are they worth buying?

Other options are buying a camera just for underwater shots, but that would seem to be a waste of money cause I dont do it that often.

Are there places that rent underwater digital cameras? Do you know of any websites in Canada? Spec. Toronto?

Thanks for your help,

Chrisfish

Rhys
04-16-2005, 01:32 PM
Hi all,

I was interested in knowing if anyone here does any digital photography underwater? I will be going on a trip to Mexico in the summer and wanted to buy a camera that had underwater support.

One camera that I am considering in the Nikon Coolpix 8800. On one site I found two different styles of digital housings. A plastic type (http://www.underwaterphotography.com/Store/App/F.asp) and a bag type (http://www.ewa-marine.com/english/index.htm)

The Ikelite model would be way out of my price range; however the bag type is not. Has anyone tried these bags? Do they work? Are they worth buying?

Other options are buying a camera just for underwater shots, but that would seem to be a waste of money cause I dont do it that often.

Are there places that rent underwater digital cameras? Do you know of any websites in Canada? Spec. Toronto?

Thanks for your help,

Chrisfish


I believe there are some underwater disposable cameras that might just do what you want.

Chrisfish
04-16-2005, 01:41 PM
Hi Rhys,

Those disposable cams are not digitals right? I just took a look around. I understand that the pictures with those cameras are not very good anyway.

Im looking for something digital. Although it can be for snorkeling as I dont dive.

Thanks

Chrisfish

Rhys
04-16-2005, 02:03 PM
Hi Rhys,

Those disposable cams are not digitals right? I just took a look around. I understand that the pictures with those cameras are not very good anyway.

Im looking for something digital. Although it can be for snorkeling as I dont dive.

Thanks

Chrisfish

Might I suggest that rather than getting an expensive housing, you get a cheaper digital camera and build your own housing. For snorkelling, you'll not need to make it very high pressure resistant. A sheet of perspex cut into a box-shape and fastened with double-glazing sealant should suffice. Put a larger memory card and freshly-charged batteries and you should get a day's shooting before needing to dismantle and re-build the box. For shutter control, some system such as a thick rubber sheet could be used as one side of the box.

gary_hendricks
04-16-2005, 06:00 PM
Not sure if this will help, but here's a shot taken with the Coolpix 8800 (handheld, 2 sec exposure).

http://gallery.greatestjournal.com/albums/up3/873/891873/Image003%7E0.jpg

kgosden
04-16-2005, 08:12 PM
My experience is that the Canons and Olympus cameras seem to have the best manufacturer underwater support. I have UW cases for my Olympus C-5050Z, Minolta DiMage X and my wifes Nikon 3100. The Canon, Olympus and Minolta cases are generally from the camera manufacturer while the Nikon is third party. I would warn you that it is difficult to use a camera in a case when snorkeling. The main problem is that you really need both hands free to dive below the surface. Scuba diving solves this since you are nuetrally bouyant.

Overall my favorite UW combo is actually the little old Minolta. Mainly because it is quite small. You need to realize that the case at least doubles the bulk of the camera. Imagine your camera with a 1/4 inch layer of plastic surrounding it because that's the case. So starting with a tiny camera like the DiMage series, or some of the Canons, and the end result in a case is not much bulkier than some normal cameras. A major plus of the Minolta is that the lens is completely internal so the case does not have to accomadate a lens that will stick out an extra inch when the camera is turned on.

On the low end if you are only snorkeling there is a very cheap camera and case deal from Sharper Image (http://www.sharperimage.com/us/en/catalog/productview/sku=CZ307/catid=206/pcatid=2). I don't know much about the quality, but unless you spend a lot and are going to get in close with lights, etc. this might be a good deal for your purposes.

gary_hendricks
04-16-2005, 09:23 PM
Kgosden, thanks for the Sharper Image link - its worth checking out.

ktixx
04-16-2005, 10:07 PM
This may be out of your price range, but you can purchase a camera specifically for your underwater shots from B&H For about $300.00 (http://www.bhphotovideo.com/bnh/controller/home?O=productlist&A=details&Q=&sku=277757&is=REG) (USD) shippded. The camera (made specifically for underwater shooting) is 3.3MP w/2x digital zoom and can go up to 200' in depth. Overall this is a nice little camera, however you can probably just get the waterproof bag to hold your nikon cheaper. I know the underwater case for the nikon 8800 is around $800 (http://www.bhphotovideo.com/bnh/controller/home?O=productlist&A=details&Q=&sku=357905&is=REG) So this would be a nice inbetween fit. Hope this helps
Ken

Chrisfish
04-16-2005, 10:32 PM
Hi everyone!

Thanks for all the tips on the Nikon 8800 and underwater gear! Im not going to be able to spend that much money so, it would look as though "the bag" (if anyones tried this, please let me know!) or one of the cheaper underwater digi cams makes sense. I like the look of the sealife. As for making something, I would prob destroy my cam cause I am a long stretch from being able to do something like that!

Thanks alot for your tips and links everyone!

Any more input would be great, esp. if anyone has exp. with these bags!

Chrisfish

TheObiJuan
04-17-2005, 04:06 AM
I have the sony p-150 and underwater case. I love it. The build quality is superb and I got it for $130 on ebay to boot.
I didn't fuss with any of the filters for it, as I can always adjust the WB later...
I will be sure to set my 18% grey point and white point though.
I will be using it this summer all over the carribean for my honeymoon btw.
Good luck with your search.

PMR
04-17-2005, 07:42 AM
You might want to look at the Pentax WP. The WP stands for water proof.

EAP
04-19-2005, 05:05 PM
Actually, I've found that the underwater disposable cameras can take decent photos. Usually best with optimal conditions, though (i.e. lots of sun, and photographing right near the surface. Also, you need to be right on top of the fish). But, as you said, they're not digital.

The underwater housings are expensive. I looked for and bought my camera explicity based on which ones had underwater housings that were made for them (ended up with the Canon A95). It's an excellent camera that works equally well in or out of the housing. But it was definitely an investment.

With regard to the bags, I'd wonder if you have full access to all the controls while the camera is in there.

EAP
04-19-2005, 05:08 PM
Oh, and Pentax has just come out with a brand-new waterproof digicam; the Optio WP. http://www.dcresource.com/reviews/cameraDetail.php?cam=666
5 MP, 3x zoom. MSRP $400. But it's only waterproof up to 3 feet.

gary_hendricks
04-27-2005, 09:38 AM
EAP, thanks for the info on the Optio WP.

UWPV
01-22-2006, 10:29 PM
Ewa-Marine is great but Fantase for Nikon 8800 is way better.

Check it out at Canadian site: www.PHOMAGE.com

Regards

johnjo1
08-03-2008, 06:12 AM
http://underwater-photography.webconrad.com/photo-gallery/tn_turtle_1.JPGhttp://underwater-photography.webconrad.com/photo-gallery/tn_manta-ray_2.JPGhttp://underwater-photography.webconrad.com/photo-gallery/tn_stingray_1.JPG (http://underwater-photography.webconrad.com/photos-videos.php)

Have a look at Casio Z77 + EWC-11 ($230 - 3m depth) or Z80 + EWC-130 ($330 - 40m depth)
http://underwater-photography.webconrad.com/equipment.php

swpars
08-03-2008, 08:57 AM
http://www.bhphotovideo.com/c/product/515768-REG/Olympus_226100_Stylus_790_SW_Digital.html

The Olympus Stylus 790 goes to 10 feet without a case.

http://www.bhphotovideo.com/c/product/539559-REG/Olympus_226340_Stylus_1030SW_Digital_Camera.html

If you need to go deeper, the Stylus 1030 goes to 30 feet without a case.

CaliGal
08-04-2008, 10:12 AM
I bought a Vivitar digital UWC and it was bad even in the back yard so I returned it.
I have seen some good results from the Pentax Optio, but a LOT of this has to do with lighting and proximity to the subjects. The water has to be very shallow, or your camera has to have very very powerful flash for decent results.

As far as a bag goes - they might be fine, but I wouldn't put an expensive or valuable camera in one. Another cheap option is to make your own bag for a small digital...I saw some instruction online for that too somewhere. Good housings can cost far more than the cameras they house!