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Photography Question 
Heather  M. Wareham
BetterPhoto Member Since: 1/20/2007
 

UNDERWATER


Does any one have a camera that will take picture underwater. If so does it do both land and underwater and what camera would you say is best to take on vacation. If this is something you have never done before should you just get one of those through away. My girlfriend did and her picture didn't turn out great.


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2/28/2007 12:07:32 PM

 
W.    There are no camera's that - without modification take good photos both underwater and on land.
The ones that claim they do, stink.

Your best bet is to rent an underwater housing with light kit at your destination, and stick your camera inside.
The trick is finding one that accomodates your particular camera brand and model.

Alternatively you could rent a complete Nikonos V set. Camera plus flashguns. It's still film technology, but it's still king of the hill because there's still no digital alternative.


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2/28/2007 12:50:27 PM

 
W.   
But underwater is indeed a VERY interesting 'realm' for photographers:

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Underwater_photography


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2/28/2007 3:24:14 PM

 
Heather  M. Wareham
BetterPhoto Member Since: 1/20/2007
 
http://www.amazon.com/exec/obidos/ASIN/B000EA0EDO/streetprices9-20

Please let me know what you think of this one. I was checking it out on line.


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2/28/2007 5:02:01 PM

 
W.    On land it will probably function OK. But you already have a camera for that.
Underwater it stinks. A waste of your money.

This is a toy "underwater camera".

If you want decent underwater photos, spend your money on renting good gear!


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3/1/2007 3:59:30 AM

 
Christopher A. Vedros
BetterPhoto Member Since: 3/14/2005
  Heather,
It depends on what type of underwater photography you are looking to do. The Nikonos gear that W.S. is steering you towards is great (and necessary) if you are going to be scuba diving. Once you are more than a few feet underwater, you need a camera with a strong underwater strobe to light your subject, because you won't get enough light from the sun shining through the water.

If you're just looking for a camera that you can use in the water, and maybe a couple feet below the surface, you don't need a full-blown diving camera outfit. This is especially true if you will be in relatively clear water, like a swimming pool, or someplace tropical.

I've used a couple of the waterproof disposable film cameras, and the problem is that they are usually loaded with High ISO film that is very grainy.

I don't have one myself (yet), but I've seen pictures taken underwater in a pool with the Pentax Optio W20, and they were absolutely stunning. It's not made for extended or deep dives, but if you're just going a few feet down, for short periods (like snorkeling), it should be fine.

Chris A. Vedros
www.cavphotos.com


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3/1/2007 7:26:04 AM

 
W.    2 caveats:

"a few feet" means EXACTLY that: 2 feet max.!

It may work to a degree in a swimming pool. Where the water is clear.
It will NOT work in open water: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Backscatter#Backscatter_in_photography.


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3/1/2007 8:33:33 AM

 
Heather  M. Wareham
BetterPhoto Member Since: 1/20/2007
 
 
 
Here are some picture that was taken with this camera. I thought if it did both it might me nice to have something compacked for a vacation and thought it was nice that it can go in the water too. It said its can withstand a drop of 5 feet and is waterproof up to 10 feet. I thought it would be cool to get picture snorkeling or family and friends under the the water. We aren't going on this trip for a while just thought I would get your thoughts on it. Its not a photo shot just a vacations. But I would want the pictures to be pretty clear not like the disposable ones.


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3/1/2007 8:59:44 AM

 
W.    "Here are some picture that was taken with this camera."

So where are they then, Heather?


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3/1/2007 9:06:06 AM

 
Heather  M. Wareham
BetterPhoto Member Since: 1/20/2007
  The camera is OLYMPUS STYLUS 720SW. I thought if it did both it might me nice to have something compacked for a vacation and thought it was nice that it can go in the water too. It said its can withstand a drop of 5 feet and is waterproof up to 10 feet. I thought it would be cool to get picture snorkeling or family and friends under the the water. We aren't going on this trip for a while just thought I would get your thoughts on it. Its not a photo shot just a vacations. But I would want the pictures to be pretty clear not like the disposable ones. I also went to the web site were I first seen the picture and the pictures they are showing look pretty clear. The site is http://www.amazon.com/exec/obidos/ASIN/B000EA0EDO/streetprices9-20
Please let me know what you think about this camera and what they say. Or if anyone has one do you like it. Thanks always for your help


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3/1/2007 9:07:04 AM

 
Heather  M. Wareham
BetterPhoto Member Since: 1/20/2007
  Sorry when I tried to up load them they didn't come our. SO I put the web adress instead. I didn't know it posted. SORRY


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3/1/2007 9:09:17 AM

 
W.    "[...] and the pictures they are showing look pretty clear"....

You really think so, Heather?
Are you sure you didn't forget to don your glasses?


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3/1/2007 9:18:07 AM

 
Mark Feldstein
BetterPhoto Member Since: 3/17/2005
  Actually Heather, I have to disagree somewhat with W. on this one. If you're willing to shoot film, the Nikonos is still a great standard and according to specs, is good to 160 feet. B&H sells them (naturally) and here's a link. http://www.bhphotovideo.com/bnh/controller/home?O=NavBar&A=search&Q=&ci=4748

These are a tad pricey at $300 bucks but hardly disposible. And they're not merely an underwater housing for a land based camera. You can immerse the whole thing and it doesn't require a separate housing. Also, you can get different lenses for them, replaceable gaskets to keep the water out, AND yes, you can use them on land, for sky diving OR water diving. Needs a separate flash though, and don't try changing film or batteries under water. :>0)

There are a number of digital cameras including the Bonica and another called Equinox, kind of similar to the Nikonos in terms of price and being self-contained, but the Nikonos again, is a film camera. Here's another link for those at B&H. I can't attest to their quality but the Nikonos cameras are quite excellent, IMHO, depending on the clarity of the water you're in, whether you're using flash at lower depths, etc. I also think the Nikonos makes an excellent P&S camera, and if you don't replace the gasket or O rings for awhile, just do that before you take it back into the water since those gaskets tend to dry out like rubber gaskets do.

Take it light.
Mark


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3/1/2007 10:01:13 AM

 

BetterPhoto Member
  Yes Mark, I'm Back;

Hi again Heather.
Sea & sea offers a good line of low dollar under water cameras. These are film cameras, but they are very inexpensive compared to some housings, such as Ikelite. Also, Ewa-Marine offers a housing that is basically nothing more than a high tech ziplock bag for around 130-150 bucks for a manual focus slr.


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3/4/2007 7:01:54 AM

 
W.   
C'mon, guys!
If the OP will have to wait till Canada Day to PERHAPS get a tripod, how realistic is it to suggest 300 bucks one-trick-ponies, or 150 dollar ziplock bags . . . ?

Who is fooling who here?

Have a nice day!


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3/4/2007 7:21:07 AM

 
  300 buck one trick ponies, huh? Apparently, you've never used one. I've had a Sea & Sea for over two years. I've used it on every dive I've made since I got it. The strobes are excellent. I get great contrast and color saturation. As for waiting for Canada days for a tripod, I know nothing of Canada Days. I use a Velbon Victory 150 tripod that I bought fron Porter's Camera Store in 1994. I paid 30 dollars plus shipping, and it's strong enough to hold a Minolta X700 with a 500mm lens & 2X multiplier, in addition to a star tracker and MD-1 motor drive.


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3/4/2007 8:05:50 AM

 
  As for the ziplock bag, it has a self sealing seal that does very well in protecting your investment. The main drawback I found is that at lower levels (below 20 feet), water pressure makes it hard to use your camera's controls. Do some research.


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3/4/2007 8:10:06 AM

 
Who Me? 
BetterPhoto Member Since: 1/19/2007
  water housing starts at $2500, plus you have to get insurance becasue they do leak after many years of use.


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3/4/2007 10:53:53 AM

 
W.   
However, if all the above still doesn't make you rethink underwater photography, you may want to have a look at Casio's new EXILIM snorkel housing EWC-10 for the EX-Z75 and EX-Z65 cameras:
http://www.dpreview.com/news/0704/07040301casioewc10.asp

But don't expect National Geographic quality photos!

Have fun!


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4/3/2007 7:32:14 AM

 
Bob Cammarata
BetterPhoto Member Since: 7/17/2003
  I have a few points to add to this discussion:

*Nikonos V cameras will operate on land and underwater but maximum performance can be achieved on both only with specific lenses.
(The UW-Nikkor 15 mm f/2.8N, UW-Nikkor 20 mm f/2.8 and UW-Nikkor 28 mm f/3.5 were designed exclusively for underwater use.)
The standard lens, W-Nikkor 35 mm f/2.5 and the Nikkor 80 mm f/4 were designed to perform effectively both above and below water.
I say this because some may shop for "packages" of used equipment when getting into underwater photography for the first time and it pays to be aware. It's important to understand what's practical for your intended use before you buy.

*Anyone who toys with the idea of photographing underwater should be a diver first...and a photographer second.
If you mess up a photo it's no big deal but if you haven't properly prepared for what can happen to YOU below the surface,...things can turn ugly real fast.

Bob


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4/3/2007 3:33:59 PM

 

BetterPhoto Member
  Amen Bob, Amen!


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4/4/2007 8:43:43 PM

 
Debby A. Tabb
BetterPhoto Member Since: 9/4/2004
  Here is the Nikon V offered from a dealer I use alot ( it seems to be a great Price) :

http://cgi.ebay.com/Nikon-Nikonos-V-Underwater-35mm-Camera-Body-UW-NEW-USA_W0QQitemZ160103384976QQihZ006QQcategoryZ4703QQtcZphotoQQcmdZViewItem

debby


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4/5/2007 5:37:07 PM

 
Bob Cammarata
BetterPhoto Member Since: 7/17/2003
  That price is good for a N.I.B Nikonos V body.

Add another $100 or so for a standard (35 mm f/2.5) lens and you've got a great outfit.


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4/5/2007 6:09:49 PM

 
Debby A. Tabb
BetterPhoto Member Since: 9/4/2004
  Bob,
I had been reading your Underwater thread and thought it was funny I saw this while looking for a Camcorder and they had the whole matching outfit:

Heres the Flash ( more then the camera)

http://cgi.ebay.com/Nikon-SB-105-Underwater-Flash-Speedlight-Nikonos-V-RS_W0QQitemZ160103027351QQihZ006QQcategoryZ103416QQtcZphotoQQcmdZViewItem

Heres the matching wetsuit:

http://cgi.ebay.com/Nikon-Underwater-X-Small-Lycra-Dive-Skin-Henderson-NEW_W0QQitemZ160103312503QQihZ006QQcategoryZ114240QQtcZphotoQQcmdZViewItem

and you were talking about housing here is thier Canon Powershot housing:

http://cgi.ebay.com/Canon-WP-DC8-Underwater-Housing-Case-for-A630-A640-NEW_W0QQitemZ160103690514QQihZ006QQcategoryZ50506QQtcZphotoQQcmdZViewItem

just go to thier store and type in UNDERWATER in the search box.

I just thought it was intresting,
Debby


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4/5/2007 6:54:04 PM

 
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