Dual pupose camera. Good for family snaps but has a good underwater case

Discussion in 'Digital Cameras' started by dechucka, Apr 16, 2007.

  1. dechucka

    dechucka Guest

    I am looking for a digital camera that is good for the family/holiday snaps
    ( decent zoom and can blow up pictures to poster size) but that I can also
    get a underwater housing to 40 metres or so for.

    Any suggestions?

    By the way what is the difference between an optical and digital zoom?

    I know a totally luddite question
    dechucka, Apr 16, 2007
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  2. dechucka

    Celcius Guest

    I would recommend the Canon 640:
    It has a great rating. It's not too expensive and Canon also has a
    underwater housing for it (I think it's 30m, but it's sufficient).
    The camera has an excellent zoom and is a 10 MP.
    I have a Canon XT, but wanted to go back to UW photog. Ikelite housings for
    the Xt as well as a strobe would have cost more than $2000 Cad.! No way! The
    460 is a great solution and can be used as a spare camera as well.
    Celcius, Apr 16, 2007
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  3. dechucka

    Androo Guest

    I am looking for a digital camera that is good for the family/holiday

    Most popular cameras have an underwater casing these days (check the
    manufacturers' websites).

    For poster prints 6 or 7 megapixels is enough.

    The Canon mentioned is a good camera, but have a look at the Canon A710IS,
    which has a 6x optical zoom and image stabiliser. The A570IS is similar but
    with 4x opical zoom and cheaper.
    There's also the Panasonic TZ1, TZ2 or TZ3, which have 10x optical zoom
    (TZ2/TZ3 are wide angle, so better for group shots and interiors) but are
    still compact. Not sure if the underwater housing is available yet though.
    The Fuji F31fd is smaller and has only 3x zoom, but is a great camera,
    especially for photos indoors and in dark conditions.

    Have a look at some reviews on www.dpreview.com

    Optical zoom is when the lens physically moves in and out. This gives the
    best quality.

    Digital zoom just enlarges the pixels of the image, so if you use it, you
    might start to see jagged edges and a blocky look, especially if you zoom in
    a lot or print at a large size, so be careful with it if you're printing
    poster size. It could ruin your photos.

    Androo, Apr 16, 2007
  4. dechucka

    Ron Recer Guest

    Our local paper had a short article about digital cameras in yesterday's
    paper. The article concerned reliability and was attributed to Consumer
    Reports. They said there was not a clear winner as to which brands/models
    were most reliable, but there were losers. For P&S cameras they said
    Vivitar had the highest incidence of repair and Olympus held the same spot
    for DSLRs.

    Ron Recer, Apr 16, 2007
  5. dechucka

    Sheldon Guest

    What about a camera especially made for diving?

    You may be a little limited as far as depth goes, but the tradeoff might be
    worth it.
    Sheldon, Apr 16, 2007
  6. dechucka

    Dan Bracuk Guest

    "dechucka" <> pounded away at his keyboard
    resulting in:
    :I am looking for a digital camera that is good for the family/holiday snaps
    :( decent zoom and can blow up pictures to poster size) but that I can also
    :get a underwater housing to 40 metres or so for.

    I use a Sony point and shoot. If I knew then what I know now, I would
    have got something else.

    From a photography perspective, I don't think there is much to choose
    between Sony, Olympus, Fuji, Kodak, Nikon, Canon, etc. There is a
    difference in storage though. Sony uses memory sticks which offer
    less flexibility than flash cards.

    Dan Bracuk
    If we don't succeed, we run the risk of failure.
    Dan Bracuk, Apr 16, 2007
  7. dechucka

    -hh Guest

    Look through the various manufacturer's websites at what products they
    have and what UW housings they sell for the same. One you have some
    idea of the offerings, go check out which of these cameras are new and
    which are "old" (released a year ago) and consider leaning towards a
    new one, so that the UW accessories will be available longer in the
    marketplace (also, a housing that fits more than one camera can be
    favored here too).

    For specific camera features, look for one that the reviews say it
    doesn't have significant shutter lag. That had been a harder piece of
    data to find, but do persevere.

    For other camera attributes, consider your battery choices carefully,
    as well as the type of memory card.

    A camera with a proprietary battery design means you'll have to buy
    their battery to have spares, but are generally more compact for
    fitting in your pocket when its not in the housing - - IMO, go for one
    that takes AA's.

    For memory card type, Compact Flash is gone from the P&S, and looks to
    be on the decline for (at least consumer) dSLRs too. Avoid non-
    mainstream formats such as the Sony Memory Stick, as you'll end up
    paying a premium on each memory card, especially if you're looking at
    getting one with a higher access speed. The card that manufacturers
    seems to be most standardized on today is the SD.

    Optical zoom is a real zoom (via actual magnification through
    Digital zoom is a "pretend" zoom (via cropping of an unmagnified

    -hh, Apr 18, 2007
  8. dechucka

    Michael C Guest

    This is an especially important feature I think. When something is swimming
    around you fast you need to take photos quickly.
    Although AAs are preferable I would consider this to be a lower priority.
    I think you'd be mad to buy anything besides SD these days. PDAs take it,
    phones take it, car stereos take it, mp3 players take it and even some
    cameras use it :) I would get a mini SD card though as these cost the same,
    are just as fast and come with an adaptor.

    Michael C, Apr 18, 2007
  9. I use an Olympus stylus 600 with a Olympus pt-29 housing..No problems yet
    Walter Cornett, Apr 18, 2007
  10. dechucka

    -hh Guest

    I'm going to have to disagree here.

    First off, while the mini-SD isn't as bad as some of the others, the
    new generation of "mini/micro" cards are a *bad* thing because they
    are rapidly becoming too small to handle reliably from a human factors
    design standpoint.

    We need to ask ourselves how much more likely we are to drop & lose
    one of these micro-cards versus other form factors while trying to
    replenish our camera with damp fingertips on a rocking boat, or on a
    cold day (probably while wearing gloves):


    When components get this small, we're only going to dare to service
    them under ideal, semi-"white room" conditions, which limits their
    utility. For the application of a camera that we're going to take out
    in the field, the problem is that we either can't reload "film", or we
    have to take the risk taht if we drop it in the grass, we will never
    find it and the money and photo investment on it is lost.

    And while I agree that the mini-SD "isn't so bad", that's because it
    really isn't all that different in overall size from the standard SD:


    Overall, the reason why it should be skipped is because the size
    change isn't significant and the need for an adaptor is simply because
    the adaptor is one more thing that can go wrong.

    -hh, Apr 18, 2007
  11. dechucka

    Dan Bracuk Guest

    "Michael C" <> pounded away at his keyboard resulting

    :This is an especially important feature I think. When something is swimming
    :around you fast you need to take photos quickly.

    If something is swimming around you fast, getting the photo is
    strictly luck.

    Dan Bracuk
    If we don't succeed, we run the risk of failure.
    Dan Bracuk, Apr 19, 2007
  12. dechucka

    Michael C Guest

    Right, and when you do anything that requires luck, such as enter a lottery,
    what's the surefire way to increase your odds? :)

    Michael C, Apr 19, 2007
  13. dechucka

    Michael C Guest

    With a mini SD card you have no extra chance of dropping it because it's
    firmly placed in it's adaptor. They all come with adaptors so if dropping
    them is an issue keep them in their adaptor.
    The point isn't that it is smaller, the point is that it fits more devices.
    That is a potential issue I agree. With twice as many contact points there
    is more potential for problems but so far I haven't had any issues.

    Michael C, Apr 19, 2007
  14. dechucka

    -hh Guest

    So then the reason you're buying the mini-SD rather than a standard SD
    is because ....?

    Maybe I'm leaping here, but my assumption was that you're assuming
    that the SD format will go away in the relatively near future and that
    either mini-SD replaces it (which re-invokes this "too small" problem)
    or that you're hoping that whatever the new standard is that emerges
    will be suitable for having a mini-SD adaptor invented for it as

    Ah, okay. But this only applies if you are then willing to take the
    mini- out of its SD adaptor, which then re-invokes the "too small"
    concern, as well as adds the problem of lost / misplaced adaptors.

    There's also horror stories about how evil Compact Flash is because of
    its tendency for bent pins, even though it seems that 99.9% of us
    never have any problem there either. The real bugaboo here is that
    the failure mode may be significantly less obvious than with crude old
    fashioned film technology and so forth...salt water and electricity
    still aren't close buddies.

    -hh, Apr 19, 2007
  15. dechucka

    dechucka Guest

    that IMHO is the great advantage of a digital, blaze away and you may luck a
    great photo or 2 and just delete the rest. Fim cameras it is expensive to
    throw out the duds
    dechucka, Apr 19, 2007
  16. dechucka

    Michael C Guest

    Because it fits more devices. When I originally bought my camera the only
    thing the SD card fit was my camera. But since then I've used it in many
    other devices which I didn't have at the time. Same might apply to mini-SD
    in the future. Already my phone takes mini-sd although that's pretty much a
    From my pov there are only 4 formats, PCMCIA, CF, SD and mini SD. Memory
    stick, MMC, SM and XD don't exist for me because I would never buy a device
    that used these. As PCMCIA is pretty much dead as a flash format and CF is
    going that way, that only leaves SD and mini-SD. By buying mini-SD with the
    adaptor you've got them both covered.
    That's true but in the case of a phone the mini-sd is an appropriate size I
    guess. What I think is a wank is micro-sd. While mini is easy enough to
    handle the micros are getting very fiddly.

    Although I don't completely disagree with you, I would prefer it that mini
    and micro SD didn't exist, it just complicates things further when SD
    doesn't really need to be made smaller. But now that mini-sd does exist it's
    probably worth buying it.

    Michael C, Apr 20, 2007
  17. dechucka

    Michael C Guest

    That's exactly right. Someone in another thread mentioned they throw away
    75% of their shots. They must be a brilliant photographer because on a
    recent holiday I took 2500 shots and threw away around 2450. The
    professionals seam to do the same thing with film.
    Michael C, Apr 20, 2007
  18. dechucka

    Adam Helberg Guest

    The Fuji F30 with underwater housing is not bad and very compact.

    Adam Helberg, Apr 21, 2007
  19. dechucka

    dechucka Guest

    as a wedding present I have have a fantsicly beaut photo of a sunrise over a
    beach that a mate of mine had surf and dived around for years. A couple of
    years ofter I asked him about that photo and it had taken him 6 rolls of 36
    over 2 right days to get that one photo
    dechucka, Apr 22, 2007
  20. dechucka

    Michael C Guest

    That's dedication. :)

    Michael C, Apr 22, 2007
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