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  1. #1
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    Underwater camera suggestions

    Hello all. I am new to this forum so not sure if I am posting this in the right place, if not please let me know! I am looking to purchase an underwater camera for scuba diving (so around 30/40m waterproof) I have seen some online such as Sealife ones but I want to make sure that it is also suitable for photography outside of the water as want to buy a camera I can use all round. My budget is around £400 but I donít have any idea on what is good quality and value for money. Any help would be greatly appreciated!!

  2. #2
    Prior Member Tim Digger's Avatar
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    If you want a useable camera for out of water as well as in water then you are looking at the housing of a land camera. Since it will be for both then a tough semi waterproof camera in a housing would give added security, provided you keep ALL seals clean and maintained. I could suggest the Olympus TG series, the 5 has recently been superseded by the 6 and may be available within budget. Sea Frogs housings to fit these seem to work OK.
    I have a Sea Frogs housing for the TG4 which is not compatible with the 5and 6. You could look around for a TG4 and a housing on the net second hand. In this area always find the housing first as the cameras are around in greater numbers.
    Evolution is great at solving problems. It's the methods that concern me.
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  3. #3
    Dive tart, and 'tog Pete Bullen's Avatar
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    I have never been impressed by the usability of sealife cameras. They are "ok" in full auto mode but if you want any kind of control they become rubbish and overpriced rubbish at that.

    You don't say what your photography skills are but with that budget (quite small for underwater kit) I'd suggest looking at 2nd hand Olympus Pen cameras a, Pen 6 or 7 maybe, or new Oly TG5, the TG6 has recently come out so the price of the TG5 has fallen a lot.
    Diving, and photography holidays in Gozo
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    Thank you very much!

  5. #5
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    I'm a fan of the Olympus pen range and there are a few housings for earlier cameras turning up for great prices on e-bay these days. Here's an example for an E-PL7 and there are others including a cheaper one for an E-PL3 (though that isn't technically as capable as the 7):
    https://www.ebay.co.uk/itm/Olympus-P...0AAOSwghddXGul

    Good luck in your search!

  6. #6
    Dive tart, and 'tog Pete Bullen's Avatar
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    and finding an E-PL3 isn't that easy, plenty of 7s around
    Diving, and photography holidays in Gozo
    Private guiding, don't follow the crowd.
    http://oceanfoto.co.uk/

  7. #7
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    Indeed, as Pete mentions, you havenít been indicating what your expectations are, neither what your general photography skills are.

    Based on the given price range I would look into waterproof cameras for the depth you want to go. Obviously these are then more of a point&shoot design, rather than for macro or high quality output

    I have owned a Sealife camera in the past, but was less than impressed by the results that it gave.

    I have also used (in the cheaper price range) a Nikon Coolpix land camera with an Ikelite housing. As a general rule you should consider that dive housings are more expensive than the camera that fits in. This brings you to the second hand market.

    Currently - next to a larger Nikon camera with a separate housing - I am using a Nikon W300, when just wanting to take a P&S. It is ranged until 30m, but I have taken mine to 40m without any issue. The one thing to improve on that camera is the fact that it dorsnít allow to save the pictures in RAW (which would help to better postprocess them).

    I have dive buddies that are using Canon Powershoot or the Sony A6500, both with housings, and that are happy with, too.

    Overall, what is important to look at:
    - waterproof cameras usually have a corrected white balance for underwater photography (even so such correction is no big issue in post processing)
    - unless you dive in cristal clear water, light usually makes the difference between usable/ok and good photos (i.e. donít expect to much from smaller setups)
    - considering the light issue (above), therefore check for ISO capabilities and sensor size.
    - if you are familiar with postprocessing, look for a camera that allows to save In a RAW format

    And finally: donít do underwater photography if you are not a 100% comfortable with your diving equipment.

    Just adding to pictures from the W300

    Diving in the given range, no extra lights


    Dive (in a dark quarry, with two 11000 lumen video lights):


    Ouside the water:

  8. #8
    Dive tart, and 'tog Pete Bullen's Avatar
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    The magenta cast in that 1st shot is awful. If that's a good shot from the Nikon FFS don't buy it!
    Diving, and photography holidays in Gozo
    Private guiding, don't follow the crowd.
    http://oceanfoto.co.uk/

  9. #9
    Established TDF Member Firefly's Avatar
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    The third shot isn't looking that good either, maybe an issue with the camera?


 

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