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Camera advice please

Discussion in 'Underwater Photography/Videography' started by Christovskia, Jan 4, 2017.

  1. Christovskia

    Christovskia New Member

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    Hi there

    I'm off to the Maldives next month to (hopefully) swim with Whale Sharks and Manta Rays and am after advice for a decent underwater camera

    I currently have a Go Pro 3, which I took to Egypt but was rather disappointed with the photos

    I'm not a camera enthusiast, so don't want anything too complicated, but I would like something that will take some decent photos as I may never get the chance to go back!

    I have about £350-£400 to spend on a camera plus underwater casing

    If anyone can help I would be very grateful
     
  2. jb2cool

    jb2cool Moderator
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    Do you have any photographic knowledge/skill already or do you just want something you can point and shoot?
     
  3. Christovskia

    Christovskia New Member

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    No I haven't got much photography experience so am after a point and shoot really
     
  4. jb2cool

    jb2cool Moderator
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    Any objections to second-hand? I'd maybe look for a Canon S120 in a housing

    Are you just swimming/snorkelling or will you be diving/going deep? If just on the surface then there are some waterproof cameras which are ok in the shallows with no bulky housing needed.
     
  5. Wibble

    Wibble Fish don't talk
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    The new GoPro 5 is waterproof down to 10 metres without a housing. They're expensive, but are quite popular. When in a housing they're waterproof to 60 metres.

    Downside of a GoPro is they're not exactly a "camera", so no zoom, no viewfinder, tiny screen, etc. Then again as everyone seems to use their mobile phones as their primary camera these days, the GoPro will go where the phone can't. They're also quite rugged in the housing, so work on motorbikes, bicycles, paragliding, etc. Pretty much anywhere they show you in a tampon advert.
     
  6. Zubar

    Zubar Active Member
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    My advice would be to not bother at all, just go diving and enjoy the fantastic memories you will have which are going to better and more vivid than any of the photos you will return. Also a dive is not best enjoyed down a camera lens.
    This sounds harsh but is advice borne from experience. Not just in Diving. The pics you see in magazines are taken by dedicated photo divers with massive skill and practice and kit costing more than their car.

    A long time ago I was fortunate to be on an elephant safari in the South of Nepal, there was an annoying dick with a huge massive twat camera which was glued to his face.
    We were about 3m up on elephant back strolling along, out of nowhere (well hidden in 2m high grass) a huge roar, and a Bengal tiger lept full stretch in front of us, level with us 3m up! I can picture it to this day, knobby camera man missed the whole thing as he was staring down a lens pointed the other way. We gave chase but it was well gone, fun though!
     
  7. Sidemount_Stu

    Sidemount_Stu Sidemount & Sane!
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    With the above points in mind..... why not just use the existing GoPro for what it's primarily designed for.... Video or if you really want to, buy a newer one.

    There is plenty of ambient light.... and capturing the grace of movement in these lovely creatures would make for a great memory Video, especially if you can get some footage with you in the frame too etc

    And as an added bonus, you don't have to look down the lens of a GoPro etc either.... so you still enjoy what's going on around you!

    Personally, i'd go for the video option over photo's anyway. Just my 2p
     
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  8. Zubar

    Zubar Active Member
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    Or what Stu said, maybe get and orange/red filter but thats it.
     
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  9. Big Joe

    Big Joe Active Member

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    I find that I am starting to agree with Zubar. I am on my third camera. The first was 35mm. I have since transitioned through an Olympus and a knock-off go-pro. I am a crap photographer with crap images from all over the world, which rarely are looked at more than once. However, I have memories in my mind that I hope I don't loose. I have shared dives with dive photographers who have produced brilliant images with expensive kit but they missed other things on the dive due to their concentration. Who is right and who is wrong?? None of us really, dive the dive you want. If you just want to record your dives almost anything will do, but if you want to take "good" pictures find a good instructor, do the training and buy a camera that will do what you want.
     
    Zubar likes this.
  10. Dave Whitlow

    Dave Whitlow Well-Known Member

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    It is my observation there are really three distinct types of camera-wielding diver:

    1) The underwater photographer

    This fellow dives for the images and is more interested in what is captured by his magic box than he is about what he sees and who he is diving with. These guys often have large and expensive camera setups and make crap buddies.

    Within this group there are the macro and the wide-angle photographer. If you want to become a model then the wide-angle guy will get some nice pictures of you. If you like looking at the same bit of seabed for a long time the macro guys is for you.


    2) The underwater videographer

    Commonly these guys have a Gopro with annoying lights and swim around being a pest and see little beyond what they are trying to video. Again these guys are crap buddies. Often they will go home with masses of footage which would take hours to turn into anything useful and after a few poor efforts they decide it is too much like hard work.


    3) The diver with a camera

    This diver likes diving and would like to take some pictures home, possibly to complement a crap memory. The camera is often small and mostly automatic and can be clipped off if not required.

    I was once one of these guys and had a Fuji F11 in a small housing which captured memories and the occasional good picture. I tried flash and soon found that doing it well risked moving me into class 1) and I eBayed the strobe.

    The Canon S110 in an Ikelite housing was my later upgrade. Again could clip it on a d-ring and not use it if I wanted to. Sadly I drowned this when I failed to close the housing properly. This is probably the better option for the OP.
     
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  11. nickb

    nickb Active Member

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    Name & shame!!
     
  12. Wibble

    Wibble Fish don't talk
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    Four years ago as a diving novice I had a GoPro 3 which I took on a diving holiday. In my mind I was in @Dave Whitlow's class 1. The photos and videos were crap. In fact the whole experience was bloody awful as
    • I didn't have the diving skills to use the camera, so composition was out of the question
    • I didn't have the underwater photographic skills, so the photos were crap with the very odd one or two OK photos, none were great photos
    • I didn't have the equipment - a GoPro isn't a great camera and all cameras need lights and had a dire battery life
    • I didn't really enjoy the diving as I spent too much time prattling around with the camera distraction
    When I drowned it (didn't close the housing correctly) I found that I enjoyed my diving far more as there were no other distractions.

    I might replace it in the future but am in no hurry.
     

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