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  1. #1
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    Camera recommendations

    Hiya all,

    Just wondering if anyone has any recommendations for a compact camera + housing? I currently own a Panasonic Lumix TZ30, which I've enjoyed using and got some lovely photographs, however it's now becoming very temperamental and unreliable so need to replace. I'd like to stick with compact size as often travel around when I go away so luggage allowance is everything, also something with manual white balance is essential. As much as I'd love to be able to stretch my budget into the 1000+ I can't, so aiming for 500-600 (or less of course) incl housing.

    Thanks in advance
    Laura

  2. #2
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    Quote Originally Posted by laura0207 View Post
    Just wondering if anyone has any recommendations for a compact camera + housing? I currently own a Panasonic Lumix TZ30, which I've enjoyed using and got some lovely photographs, however it's now becoming very temperamental and unreliable so need to replace. I'd like to stick with compact size as often travel around when I go away so luggage allowance is everything, also something with manual white balance is essential. As much as I'd love to be able to stretch my budget into the 1000+ I can't, so aiming for 500-600 (or less of course) incl housing.
    Drop MrsT a line on FB and she can tell you (bore you!) with all the details of her system, what it's like to use, travel with etc. It's one of those 4/3rds ones (an Olympus E-PM1 IIRC) but is still only around compact camera size. The housing is a little bigger though but still not massive. Her model has been discontinued but I'm sure there must be similar ones available now.

  3. #3
    Pedantic Pig Divemouse's Avatar
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    One of the Olympus TG range might suit better - they are very compact and can go in the water alone, in a housing or on a tray with additional strobe as you like. I think we're now up to TG-6, so the models before are progressively cheaper. The Olympus housing seems better than the 3rd party ones.
    hormone addled, protective, psychotic, hate filled killer

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    Having owned several Canon S95s I am biased :-) but a 2nd hand S120 would give you full manual mode, RAW image files and a programmable white balance button.
    I should think the Canon housings are getting harder to come by but the Chinese knockoffs are cheap and probably OK if you look after them carefully.

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    Quote Originally Posted by OrangeHead View Post
    Having owned several Canon S95s I am biased :-) but a 2nd hand S120 would give you full manual mode, RAW image files and a programmable white balance button.
    I should think the Canon housings are getting harder to come by but the Chinese knockoffs are cheap and probably OK if you look after them carefully.
    Canon G7xmk2 are also pretty popular cameras.

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    I have gone from a Canon S100 to the Canon G7xmk2, and although the G7 is a bit bigger physically I find it much better overall. The only downside is the manual white balance is more complicated.
    So far I have just adjusted the white balance in LightRoom instead.

    The FantaSea housing is an excellent choice if you think you might want to add additional lenses etc. in the future.

  7. #7
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    Quote Originally Posted by barnaby_s View Post
    So far I have just adjusted the white balance in LightRoom instead.
    Even if the camera is doing a reasonable job it's usually worth doing this anyway IMO.

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    Another vote from me for an Olympus Pen set-up. I just moved from an XZ-1 to put my E-PL5 into a housing I was lucky enough to find on e-bay and, though the XZ-1 was a good camera, the difference is night and day... The Oly housings for the early models in the Pen range (I think they are now up to E-PL9?) are beginning to crop up on e-bay for sensible money and they are very capable (if somewhat complex to get the hang of!) bits of kit.

  9. #9
    Prior Member Tim Digger's Avatar
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    A bit slow sorry. And not specific makes advice. BUT:-
    Start looking at housings not at cameras. Many current compact cameras use the same sensors and screens etc but costs and usability of your housing will make a bigger difference than what's inside. You want a good way of attaching a fibre link for strobes and a moveable blank off of the internal flash to connect to the fibre link, also a reliable screw thread on the front to attach closeup and wideangle lenses. Not all cameras have housings available though many more than in days of yore. Am I sounding like Christian? Bless him.

    Then with camera you want full manual control as an easily used option, for point and shoot some of the underwater modes are getting quite good but still not as good as manual when you know what you are doing. With the larger sensor high pixel sensors today RAW is still desirable as it will allow more manipulation of and image post shooting but it is less critical than in days of 3mP cameras and need to be sure that whatever software you use will cope with the cameras iteration of its manufacturers RAW files. RAW is not a file type each manufacturer has their own, ORF, NEF etc.
    Hope this might help.
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  10. #10
    Dive tart, and 'tog Pete Bullen's Avatar
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    I own much of the Olympus range, the Pens are great for underwater use, the lack of viewfinder makes them hard to use for serious toggery in sunlight but they offer the full interchangeable lens experience for those who want it or (underwater) the base camera + housing + a range of available wet lenses make them very versatile and capable without breaking the budget. The TG series are fantastic, my new TG 6 arrives tomorrow, the OMD's are getting into the Prosumer level and also getting there in price. Having said that, compare the price of a top of the range Canon or Nikon with the top of the range Oly and you are saving more than 1/3rd.
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