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  1. #1
    Join Date
    Apr 2005
    Posts
    29

    Underwater Digital!

    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

  2. #2
    Join Date
    Jul 2004
    Location
    Formerly South Wales. Now South Carolina.
    Posts
    7,147
    Quote Originally Posted by Chrisfish
    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.

  3. #3
    Join Date
    Apr 2005
    Posts
    29
    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

  4. #4
    Join Date
    Jul 2004
    Location
    Formerly South Wales. Now South Carolina.
    Posts
    7,147
    Quote Originally Posted by Chrisfish
    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.

  5. #5
    Join Date
    Nov 2004
    Location
    Singapore
    Posts
    1,099
    Not sure if this will help, but here's a shot taken with the Coolpix 8800 (handheld, 2 sec exposure).


  6. #6
    Join Date
    Jul 2004
    Location
    Atlanta, GA
    Posts
    2,308
    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. 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.

  7. #7
    Join Date
    Nov 2004
    Location
    Singapore
    Posts
    1,099
    Kgosden, thanks for the Sharper Image link - its worth checking out.

  8. #8
    Join Date
    Nov 2004
    Location
    Connecticut
    Posts
    1,118

    Cheap Digicam

    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 (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 So this would be a nice inbetween fit. Hope this helps
    Ken
    Canon dSLR User

  9. #9
    Join Date
    Apr 2005
    Posts
    29
    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

  10. #10
    Join Date
    Dec 2004
    Location
    Charleston, SC
    Posts
    2,364
    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.

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